The Monsal Trail, Bakewell, Derbyshire
Reward yourself with a traditional Bakewell Pudding after walking or cycling the 9-mile Monsal Trail (also known as the Cake Trail). It follows the former railway line offering spectacular views of the Derbyshire countryside and the magnificent Monsal viaduct as you taste and go.
Derbyshire’s Cake Trail comes with its own sweet sugar rush.
It follows the popular Monsal cycling and walking trail and highlights traditional tearooms, cafés and restaurants specialising in locally produced bread, cakes and patisserie.
It ends in the town of Bakewell which is world famous for its Bakewell Pudding. A fabulous foodie and fun day out for all the family.
Cycle The Monsal Trail
The Monsal trail runs through the Peak District National Park and rewards you with plenty of excitement as you cycle through a series of dimly lit former railway tunnels. It starts at Blackwell Mill at Wye Dale and takes you along the former railway line to Bakewell Station.
Soak Up The Scenery
You’ll see limestone cliffs, the River Wye meandering below, Litton and Cressbrook Mills where they used to produce cotton for the lace-making industry, and ‘la pièce de résistance’, the Monsal viaduct, one of Britain’s most impressive viaducts. Whether you’re pedaling or walking along the Cake Trail, take a short detour off the trail for a sweet treat. Just remember to leave space for some Bakewell Pudding at the end.
Stock up on Provisions
The Litton Village Shop is a community-run village shop with its own café.
Enjoy Lunch With a View
The Monsal Head Hotel makes a good half way stopping point for coffee or lunch and has wonderful views across Monsal Dale. They like dogs here too.
Have Tea and Cake
Although it’s towards the end of the trail, we love the café at Hassop Station. With its beautiful building and book shop, it’s a perfect place for a late lunch or Afternoon Tea.
Eat An Original Bakewell Pudding
There are lots of places in Bakewell where you can try the famous pudding. The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop is a crowd-puller because it claims to have the original recipe.
Indulge in Fine Dining
If you still have a hearty appetite after cycling the Monsal trail and enjoy fine dining, book in for dinner at the stylish Peacock at Rowsley. It will be a fitting end to your delicious day out in the Peak District.
- Bike hire centres are at Blackwell Mill and Hassop Station (electric bikes are available)
- At the viaduct, walk up the footpath to see it in its full glory
- Visit The Rutland Arms in Bakewell to see where Jane Austen engraved sketches in the glass
- Take the 4 mile detour to the spa town of Buxton. Quench your thirst with a drink of its famous water (from the fountain opposite the old swimming baths)
- If you’ve enjoyed cycling the Monsal Trail, try the Tissington Trail or visit the Peak District in June for the Eroica Vintage Cycling Festival
A Bakewell Pudding is made with puff pastry and is best served warm. It’s not to be confused with a Bakewell Tart which is made with shortcrust pastry.
Doggie heaven. This is a fantastic day out for me. Make sure you keep me on a lead especially when we go through the tunnels as it can be difficult for cyclists to see me.
How to Find the Start of the Monsal Trail
Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire, Wyedale Car Park, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, SK17 9TE
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.