When we were planning our weekend in the Peak District National Park we asked our friends at Accessible Derbyshire to recommend a wheelchair walk. A few ideas were put forward and the one that caught my attention was the Monsal trail.
I think the best way to experience a destination is on foot. There is something special about bimbling along, it gives you time to immerse yourself in a place and enjoy the here and now.
The Monsal Trail looked like the perfect place to do exactly that, so off we went to the start of our walk at Hassop Station in Bakewell.
The old train station was originally in the Derby to Manchester section of the Midland railway. In 2010, the station was converted into a cafe, bookshop, and in the following years, a gift shop and cycle hire were added.
We arrived at the station on a Bank Holiday and it was absolutely jam packed with cyclists. When I say jam packed, I mean, I’ve never seen so many bikes in one place – ever!
As a result, the cafe was also busy, but there is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating so we had no problem getting a table.
Access in a wheelchair is through the main entrance which is all flat as is the cafe itself.
Bridget opted for a Cheese Toastie and Chips
And I had baked potato with Chilli
After a hefty lunch, it was time to walk off the extra pounds. And what better place to do it than on the Monsal trail which runs alongside the station.
The Monsal Trail is an 8.5-mile traffic free cycle route, part of the Sustrans cycle network. Because we were under time constraints, we were only able to bimble a short section of it.
The next time we visit Derbyshire, we’ll definitely be heading back to the Monsal Trail to walk a bit more of it.
Access to the trail for people with reduced mobility is at the far end of the car park. The trail itself is gravelly but not uneven, and as far as I could see; it’s flat.
The part of the Monsal trail I really want to visit next time is the tunnels. Old railway tunnels have been opened up, resurfaced and lit up so you can walk through them, they look a bit spooky!
Sadly, we didn’t have too much time to spend on the trail, but it has whet my appetite for more. We will be returning to the Peak District National Park soon, and we’ll be exploring the area in a lot more detail.
If you want more information about access in and around Derbyshire, I recommend you contact the team at Accessible Derbyshire. They are experts in the area and have built an impressive resource covering places to visit, things to do and where to stay in Derbyshire.
If you’d like to see where we stayed in Derbyshire, read The Room For All Seasons on Lane End Farm
And, if you’d like to know a bit more about Bakewell tarts read: When is a Bakewell Tart Not a Tart?
Disclaimer: We visited the Peak District as guests of Accessible Derbyshire, as always opinions are my own.