Derbyshire Heritage Walks Derbyshire Heritage Walks (Adrian Brown)
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Rails Through The Peaks 3 - Bakewell to Buxton
Distance: 13.5 miles Duration: 6 - 7 hours Price: £20.00 per person
(Special family/group rates available - see below)
Winding its way through the heart of the Peak District National Park, the Monsal Trail follows the route of the former Midland Railway main line linking London, Derby and Manchester. Built in the 1860s through spectacular terrain, the line moved noted Victorian railway author F.S. Williams to write:

“The scenery through which we now have to pass, and the engineering works by which the journey is accomplished, must be seen to be appreciated – they cannot be described at length.”

As a result of the cuts in the network first initiated by the infamous Dr Richard Beeching, the line lost all of its local services in June 1967, and then closed completely north of Matlock in July 1968. In the early 1980s, the Peak District National Park Authority purchased a section of the former trackbed from British Rail and used it to create the Monsal Trail.

For many years, the route of the Monsal Trail had to divert away from the railway in places as several of the tunnels that the line passed through had to be closed on safety grounds. Work to stabilise and restore these tunnels has recently been completed, and users of the Trail can now follow the route of the railway all the way from Bakewell to the end of the trail at Blackwell Mill.

This walk begins at the main southern access point of the Monsal Trail at the former Bakewell Station. It then follows the Trail northwards, stopping to look at the history of each of the former stations along the Trail, plus other points of interest such as the picturesque Headstone Viaduct. Reaching the Trail’s northernmost point at Blackwell Mill, it then continues on for the final four miles into the spa town of Buxton. As the modern railway still occupies the trackbed along this section of route, the walk uses footpaths and roads to follow the route of the railway as closely as possible to reach the finish point at the remains of the former Midland Railway station in Buxton.

With good parking at the southern end of the Trail, and an easy return from Buxton by bus, this walk makes a great day out for those looking for interesting things to do in and around Bakewell, Buxton and the Peak District.

Please note that, although now nominally open, the tunnels along the trail can be closed on safety grounds during periods of severe weather. It may therefore be necessary to divert back onto the original route of the Monsal Trail in order to bypass the closed tunnels.

Distance: 13.5 miles.
View Bakewell Station in a larger map
Duration (approx): 6 to 7 hours (including lunch).
Start point: The former Bakewell Railway Station,
Station Road,
Bakewell,
Derbyshire.
Start time: 9:30am* (Monday - Saturday).
10:30am* (Sundays and Bank Holidays).
End point: Opposite Buxton Railway Station,
Station Road
Buxton,
Derbyshire.
Dates available: May 6th.
June 2nd, 17th.
July 15th.
August 19th.
September onwards, dates TBC

Private bookings for this walk are also available - see here for details.
(* = As your guide will be arriving by the "Transpeak" bus service, the actual start time may be slightly delayed if the bus is running more than 15 minutes late.)

When is this walk available?

This walk is available between the beginning of March and the end of October. Scheduled walks will normally take place at least once per month during this period, on the dates listed above. It may also be booked privately via a Personal Walking Guide on a date of your choice between March and October, or any scheduled walk may be upgraded to a private booking (subject to conditions - see here for details of how to make a private booking).

This walk is normally available for private bookings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, most Saturdays and some Sundays. It is also available on most Bank Holidays during this period. It is not normally available on Thursdays.

Although 9:30am is the recommended start time for this walk (10:30am on Sundays and Bank Holidays), and the earliest we are able to offer, it is possible to request a later start time. However, we do not recommend a start time after 11:30am (10:30am during October) due to the need to finish the walk in daylight and connect with buses from Buxton.

Prices.

The following prices apply for this walk:

Ticket Price Deposit
(Included in overall price)
Private Upgrade Cost
Adult or Child aged 16 and over
(Up to 8 people in group)
£20.00 per person £5.00 per person £20.00 per group
Adult or Child aged 16 and over
(9 or more people in group)
£15.00 per person £4.00 per person
Family Ticket - 1 adult plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
£44.00 per ticket £11.00 per ticket
Family Ticket - 2 adults plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
£54.00 per ticket £13.50 per ticket
Personal Walking Guide
(group of up to 10 people)
£100.00 per group £15.00 per group N/A
Personal Walking Guide
(group of 11 to 20 people)
£150.00 per group £22.50 per group

For more information on how to book places on this walk, and on private upgrades and private group bookings via a Personal Walking Guide, please see here. If you have any questions about the cost of this walk, please contact us via email at enquiries@derbysheritagewalks.com.

Travel to and from the walk.

This walk is easily accessible by both car and public transport. Full details of how to get to and from the walk will be included in the walk information sheet you will be sent along with your booking confirmation, but detailed information on the various public transport options is also available on our travel information page, which we try to keep as up to date as possible.

By far the easiest way to get to and from this walk from the Derby, Belper, Matlock and Buxton areas is by bus, as the hourly High Peak Buses "Transpeak" service between Derby and Manchester calls at both Bakewell and Buxton. From the bus stop in Bakewell, it is then a walk of just over half a mile to the start point at the former Bakewell Station. The end point of the walk, opposite Buxton Railway Station, is adjacent to other bus stops served by the "Transpeak" service.

By using the TM Travel 218 bus service, it is possible to reach Bakewell from Sheffield. At the end of the walk, you can then use the 5:43pm High Peak Buses number 65 bus service (weekdays only) to return to Sheffield. As the 5:43pm number 65 bus does not run at weekends or Bank Holidays, the easiest way to travel back to Sheffield is to use the "Transpeak" to return to Bakewell, and then the TM Travel 218 service back to Sheffield.

From Chesterfield, the walk can be accessed by using the Hulleys of Baslow 170 bus service to Bakewell. Unfortunately, a direct return to Chesterfield is more problematical, as the final Buxton to Chesterfield bus departs at 4:50pm (4:30pm Sundays and Bank Holidays). It would, however, be possible to return to Chesterfield by taking the High Peak Buses number 65 bus service above and changing at Sheffield, or by using the "Transpeak" to return to Bakewell, and taking the Hulleys of Baslow 170 service from there.

The Derbyshire Wayfarer day rover ticket is accepted on all of the above bus services. If travelling from Manchester, it is possible to use the Greater Manchester Wayfarer day rover ticket on all bus and train services between Buxton and Manchester, and you can also use it on the "Transpeak" to or from Bakewell if needed.

If you have any questions prior to booking regarding public transport options, please contact us and we will attempt to help you if we can.

If arriving by car, there is a 28-space "pay-and-display" car park at Bakewell Station, and more "pay-and-display" parking a short distance away at the Bakewell Bridge Car Park and the Bakewell Agricultural Centre. If using a sat-nav, the postcode for Station Road is DE45 1GE, while that for the other "pay-and-display" car parking is DE45 1AQ - This covers both Bakewell Bridge Car Park and the Agricultural Centre. If you do arrive by car, you can then use the "Transpeak" service to return to Bakewell, alighting at Matlock Street a few minutes walk from the car parks.

Is there anything special I need to bring?

Yes - a torch. Although the newly-reopened tunnels along the Monsal Trail have electric lighting installed, this can sometimes fail and leave you literally in the dark. It is therefore a good idea to make sure you pack a torch and spare batteries, just in case.

We also recommend that you bring plenty of water to drink, plus something to eat, as there are few facilities along the way for you to purchase food and drink apart from the cafe at Hassop Station or a mobile catering van that may be at MIller's Dale Station. Given the distance and time involved, we recommend that you bring at least two litres of water per person (preferably a little more), and think seriously about increasing that amount by at least 50% in warm or hot weather. In very hot weather, we would also recommend you "pre-hydrate" by drinking an additional 250-500ml of water before starting the walk.

Are there any disabled access issues?

Unfortunately, there are a few issues regarding disabled access on this walk. There are no real issues with the sections of the route that use the Monsal Trail as this is suitable for cycles in addition to walking, and so is also theoretically suitable for wheelchairs too. However, there is no easy wheelchair access off the Trail at its northern end at Blackwell Mill, and the closest easy wheelchair access off the Trail is back at Miller's Dale Station about two and a half miles back from Blackwell Mill. Also, the route onwards from Blackwell Mill to Buxton is unsuitable for wheelchairs and those of limited mobility as it is cross-country, involves a few steep climbs, and also a number of stiles.

For this reason, bookings cannot be accepted from wheelchair users or those of limited mobility for the full 13.5-mile route. It is however possible to make a private booking for the Bakewell to Miller's Dale section, where there is a step-free access off the Trail to a car park that can be used as a pick-up point. This walk is essentially the reverse of our Miller's Dale to Bakewell walk, and so is priced accordingly at £10.00 per person plus a private booking fee of £10.00 per group. If you are a wheelchair user, are acting on behalf of someone who is, or have difficulty using steps and stiles or other mobility issues, please contact us in order to discuss your exact requirements.

Is this walk suitable for dogs?

This is an ideal walk for dogs, if you think they can handle the especially long distance involved. If you would like to bring your dog with you, we do ask that you inform us at the time of booking. We also ask that, due to the large number of cyclists and horses using the Trail and the fact the the later part of the walk crosses farm fields containing livestock, you keep your dog under close control on a short non-extendible lead at all times and do not allow it to run free under any circumstances.

Booking

Scheduled Walks

You can book and pay for places on all of our scheduled walks online via PayPal. Other payment options are available on request - Please e-mail us for details if required.

The cost of this walk is £20.00 per person, including a £5.00 per person non-refundable deposit. The normal maximum group size for this walk is 8 people, but we can accommodate groups of up to 20 people if required, and offer a discounted rate of £15.00 per person for larger groups of 9 or more. For bookings of more than 8 people, please e-mail us with details of your booking and we will send you a PayPal invoice or arrange other payment options as required.

We also have discounted family tickets available for this walk. These cost £44.00 for one adult and up to three children aged up to 15 years old, or £54.00 for two adults and up to three children aged up to 15 years old. Other discounted family rates can be quoted on request - please e-mail us for details. All family tickets include a non-refundable deposit.

Private Bookings

If you wish to have the exclusive services of your guide, you may upgrade any scheduled walk to a private booking. Not only does this guarantee you the exclusive services of your guide, but it allows you to walk at your own pace without having to worry about others, and the walk may also be varied within reason to suit your own personal interests or abilities. Please note that we cannot upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking if we have already received other bookings for that walk.

The cost of upgrading a scheduled walk to a private booking is the same as for a scheduled walk, plus a private booking fee of £20.00 per group. For private group bookings of 9 or more, we offer a discounted rate of £15.00 per person, including a £5.00 per person non-refundable deposit, plus the £20.00 per group private booking fee. Please e-mail us for more information if you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking.

Personal Walking Guides

You can also make a private booking for this walk on dates other than those on which it is normally scheduled by booking a Personal Walking Guide. This allows you to do the walk when you want to, not when we have it scheduled. We have Personal Walking Gudes available most days, except for those listed as either "unavailable" or "unavailable for private bookings" on the calendar here. Please see the table below for the days of the week on which we are able to offer Personal Walking Guide bookings for this walk.

Availability - Rails Through The Peaks 3
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Bank Holidays
Yes Yes Yes No Yes Most* Most* Most*
* = Please contact us for details of availability

The normal maximum group size for a private booking on this walk is 8 people, but can be increased to 12 people if required.

The cost of booking a Personal Walking Guide for this walk is £100.00 per group (£150.00 for groups of 11 to 20 people). Please note that we cannot take a Personal Walking Guide booking for this walk on the same date as we are also running it as a scheduled walk. Please see here for how to book a Personal Walking Guide for this walk.


When can I book this walk?

Bookings for scheduled walks can be made at any time up to 48 hours before the intended date of your walk, or up to 72 hours beforehand for Personal Walking Guides, but the earlier you book, the more chance you have of getting the date you would like. We regret that we cannot accept bookings made less than 48 hours prior to the planned start time of the walk (72 hours for Personal Walking Guide bookings).

Please ensure before booking that you have read and agree to our terms and conditions.

Latest booking news

  • Bookings are open for all dates listed, and close at 11:30am two days prior to the date of the walk.
  • We are now accepting Personal Walking Guide bookings for this walk for 2018. Personal Walking Guide bookings may be made for Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, most Saturdays and some Sundays between the beginning of March and the end of October 2018.
How to book

To book a scheduled walk, simply select the number of places you require from the drop-down list, enter the date you would like to book, and confirm that you accept the terms and conditions. If you have a credit or debit card, you don't even need a PayPal account in order to make your booking.

Once we have received your booking, we will e-mail your booking confirmation and other information you will need to the address you gave during the booking process. In order to allow sufficient time for us to process your booking, please book at least two days ahead of the date of the walk you wish to book.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please contact us via e-mail with details of the walk you would like to book and we will send you the necessary information. As booking in this way takes much longer than booking online, please book at least two weeks before the date of the walk to allow for postage times.

Private bookings

If you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking or book a Personal Walking Guide for this walk, please contact us to see if this is possible. You can find more information on private group bookings here, and information on Personal Walking Guides here.

Book a place on this walk

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If you encounter any problems with your booking, or have any questions about this walk, please e-mail us.



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