Newest Review: ... two of its wells and enjoyed the pond. A very generous lady who was feeding the ducks with her daughter offered my eldest son some of their... more
Tissington trail the first disused railway to turn into a trail for the public to use
The Tissington Trail (Ashbourne)
Member Name: claireylulu
The Tissington Trail (Ashbourne)
Advantages: relatively easy on foot, flat, beautiful landscape to view
Disadvantages: not as much to see as other trails in the area
On our recent camping holiday to the Peak District we decided to do the Tissington Trail. My fiancé has always loved walking and before I had the boys I had started to enjoy a good walk but now we have the boys who are only three and a half and twenty two months going on a long walk is difficult having the pushchair. The Tissington trail is a disused railway line so it makes it perfect for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
The Tissington Trail is part of what was the Buxton to Ashbourne railway line. It was built by LNWR and opened in 1899, it was of the last railways to be built in the Peak District. But unfortunately like many small lines it closed in 1960. Eleven years later it was opened as the Tissington Trail for the public to use and enjoy. The nice thing about this trail is it was an experiment to see if using a disused railway bed would work in this way and because of the success of this trail we can be thankful that there are many more disused railways preserved in this way. This trail is linked to the High Peak trail as well. The great thing about this trail is it is free and can be enjoyed by everyone; walkers, cyclists and horse riders and you won't be disturbed by the modern day traffic.
As we were staying at a camp site just off the high peak trail where it joins the Tissington trail we decided to get a bus to Tissington and walk back to the camp which is in Hurdlow. So we didn't do the entire trail but most of it and we had a fair walk to the bus stop before hand. I do like walking but around twelve miles is pushing me.
We started in the beautiful small village of Tissington. The village seemed very quiet and peaceful with lime trees and grass verges. It is certainly a village that is unspoilt and is well known for its well dressing. As we walked through the village we did stop and look at two of its wells and enjoyed the pond. A very generous lady who was feeding the ducks with her daughter offered my eldest son some of their bread to feed the ducks too, he did really enjoy this. As well as ducks the pond had some good size fish bobbing up and down much to my son's amusement. We then followed the signs through the village to join onto the Tissington trail. Here there is a large car park and many picnic benches.
Arriving onto the track you soon get used to the feel on foot of a gravelly track, it is very easy to walk on and is relatively flat so having the pushchair was not a problem. The track itself is fairly wide allowing bikes to pass you nicely while you continue to walk on. Reading a leaflet on the Trail I must point out it does say there is relatively steep incline at the southern end of the trail but as we missed this small part I can't comment on it. The rest of the trail is pretty much flat though.
The Tissington trail might not have the fascinating tunnels and viaducts like the Monsal but the views for the Tissington are magnificent. At one point of the trail you are elevated giving you some fantastic views around you. The views change over from your right to your left as the old railway line moves sides from the road. There are also some lovely bridges along the trial which I enjoyed looking at. I have always had a fascination with old railways that are no longer in use so really enjoyed walking this trail.
Throughout the trail there are points which have seating allowing you to have a rest. There are also a few points were you are able to get refreshments. One thing you might also find useful is a map of the Tissington Trail at various points along the trail telling you where you are, how far you have to go to the next refreshment stop or named place. Towards the end I found myself struggling and looking how far I had left to do was a little disheartening! At the Riverdale there is a sign for the 'Stable Cafe' taking you slightly off the actual trail. After Tissington you arrive at Alsop where there is a small car park.
My favourite stop on the trail was at Hartington, well it is a mile from the actual village but there is sign to lead you to the village off the trail. At the Hartington stop there is a car park, some toilets and a few picnic benches. The toilets are ok and quite clean. We did make a stop here for the toilet and to have a look and admire the signal box that remains there. The signal box looks in great condition from the outside and peeking inside you can see the signal leavers are still inside. It was great to see one up close and of course we had to take a few pictures of us next to it! It is certainly a big plus on this trail for me. I have been told during the summer months it is actual open on a Saturday and Sunday as an information point. For us it was a Wednesday so it was shut up.
The last stop on the trail before it links to the High Peak trail is at Parsley Hay. There is a circle hire here which seems to be very popular especially as it is right on the actual trail. There are also some toilets, an information centre and a refreshments hut with a lot of picnic benches to sit on. We did grab something from the refreshments hut as our supplies had ran out. They sold hot and cold drinks, hot food like bacon butties and flapjacks and ice creams. I got a small hot chocolate which cost £1.40 we also got a large piece of chocolate Tiffin for £1.50 and a raspberry lolly for my son for 80 pence. The hot food looked decent when we saw it coming out and looked a decent size. This point was very busy but that could be because of the cycle hire been positioned here.
Length of time:
This trail seems to be a firm favourite with cyclists and we as walkers seemed to be in the minority. This may be because some people find the Tissington tail to be the least exciting compared to the Monsal trail with the tunnels in the Peak District. At thirteen miles it shouldn't take you to long to do both ways on a bike. For us walking and only doing one way and making stops for lunch and snacks it took us four hours and forty five minutes. I was very tired at the end of it and although it is very flat I would say it isn't for the faint hearted. There isn't any need for maps as the trail is well sign posted so you won't get lost!
As there are many access points with car parks it allows you to join the Tissington Trail at many points which is great as you can do as much or as little of the trail as you feel you can manage. Taking in the country air and the views and wildlife it is certain to please all people. My eldest son managed to walk a little of it before retiring to the Phil and Ted double pushchair whilst my youngest son remained in the pushchair for the whole walk. It was lovely to be able to let my son go and not be worried of traffic. He loved looking at all the wildlife along the trail and he was very happy when we found some raspberry canes. He enjoyed a couple of raspberries before moving on. He loved the idea that a train used to come along these tracks and we found ourselves walking in a line as he was up front being the train hooting as he walked. As for my fiancé who is a keen walking and has done some big walks in the past it was a little boring. He enjoys trekking up big hills rather than flat walking but he enjoyed the experience as a family. I would say I really enjoyed it but found I was very tired at the end of it. I would highly recommend you have a go at least some of the trail it is lovely.
Summary: Recommend you give it a go
More reviews in the field of Sightseeing National
- A must-see attraction on the Isle of Wight
- Woo hoo what a ride
- "The Most Romantic Shakespeare House"
- Gorgeous House and Gardens
- Tip Top Tintern
- A hidden gem
- Plas yn rhiw country house
- Cragside, full of technology, nature and history a National Trust Gem!
- Fishing in the Sky
- Beautiful castle on the Isle of Wight