Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Monsal Trail

Today as a 'something cheap to do in the last few days of the summer hols' day out, we visited the Monsal Trail in Derbyshire.  From our house in Trafford it was only an hours drive, about half an hour/twenty minutes further up t'road than one of our other fav haunts, Lyme Park.

We (me, being the resident geek) had looked at the maps and decided that we would head for Millers Dale. It was the closest car park that has decent access.  For us with H in the trailer we often come across trails that start with a small A frame or a gate, or worse a set of stairs.  It takes me about 15-20 minutes to get bikes out and trailers etc put together, so to do all that and then to have to head somewhere else, is not an ideal situation.

We headed out of the carpark to the butty van to stock up on food and get change for the pay and display.

After a short conversation with a lovely pair of ladies enquiring about trailers and whether it had caused shaken baby syndrome in my rather dopy-after-being-in-the-car toddler, with the promise of train tunnels on a bike ride, we were off to Wyedale.

The tunnels are great.  They are cold feeling and slightly spooky.  We mused it would be a great baddies lair or the entrance to the Batcave.  H's trailer is equipped with a DVD player so we get a bit of peace, and the sound of Mr Tumble rang out against the chilled dripping wet bricked walls.

At Wyedale, we about turned and headed towards Hassop.

Me and Mr Mancbikemummy have spent the most wonderful Christmas weekends in Hassop Hall, and it has a very special place in my heart.  It was a slow slog, but O did brilliantly.  He now has an Islabike with gears, so it was much easier for him to cover the distance.

We reached the cafe and book store at Hassop just as the small inhabitant of the trailer woke up.  Two mugs of hot choc and a shared sausage butty and we about turned and headed back.

I will probably take some photos when we return.  Because I have to say, it was the best family friendly, accessible cycle route I have enjoyed to date, so we will definitely be coming back.

No A frames, go gates and guess far as I can tell from a quick bit of research, no abuse.  So why can a successful trail like this be accessible to all, yet some councils feel the need to gate off and make access difficult for huge sections of the public?

Anyway, to end on a positive......if you cycle with children, or want a nice walk with a buggy, or ride an adapted bike or trike, or wheelchair, if you have a pulse, go and visit the wonderful Peak District and specifically the Monsal Trail.

It is a thing of beauty!

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