The Tissington Trail
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The Tissington Trail is a popular recreational route in the heart of the Peak District on a former railway line.
Route Start Location: Parsley Hay to Ashbourne
|21.2 km||156 m||4-5 hours - walking, plus return|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Activivity Type: Moderate Walk, Mountain Biking
Summits and Places on this Route
There are car parks, toilets and refreshments available at Parsley Hay, Hartington Station and Ashbourne.
You can also go off the trail into one of the villages if you need to find a pub on the Tissington Trail or cafe – The Waterloo Inn at Biggin, Herbert’s Fine English Tearooms at Tissington, The Old Dog at Thorpe and there’s plenty of choice in Ashbourne.
Note that many facilities along the trail close for winter – including cycle hire. Visit the links provided for further updates.
You’ll need to return to the start with either two cars or completing the Tissington Trail in both directions.
Fees are standard – £4.75 currently, but check the Peak District National Park Website for parking updates.
The Tissington Trail
The Tissington Trail is one of the most popular cycling and walking routes in the Peak District. It follows the route of what used to be the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) line between Buxton and Ashbourne which closed in the late sixties. The Peak District Authority bought the line and re-opened it as a route for walkers and cyclists in 1971. As it’s a former railway line, you can be assured that the gradient is reasonably steady.
You can even ride the virtual Tissington Trail on Google Streetview (which is at least still free at time of writing). GIve it a go below!
The Tissington Trail starts off from Parsley Hay, which is a short drive from Buxton. There’s ample parking here as well as the Parsley Hay Cycle Hire centre which hires a range of bikes and provides refreshments and toilets. This building used to be the railway station. At Parsley Hay the route joins up with the High Peak Trail, another recreational route on a former railway line.
The Tissington Trail continues downhill, with scenery aplenty and options for side excursions to some of the villages on the way. These include Hartington, Biggin, Tissington, Thorpe and of course Ashbourne. One of the highlights, especially for rail enthusiasts is the intact signal box at Hartington Station. There are toilets and a seasonal snack kisok at Hartington Station. You can also divert from the Tissington Trail into Dovedale at Thorpe, a worthy diversion.
Finally – the Tissington Trail ends with a 600m tunnel to walk through before you reach Ashbourne. Thankfully, it’s lit throughout! You will need to organise transport at this end, or return the same way, so bear that in mind. The return leg includes a few 100m of climbing, but thankfully it’s so gradual that you’ll hopefully not notice!