Tissington Trail, Derbyshire

Tissington Trail, Derbyshire

The Tissington Trail offers 13 miles of mostly flat and traffic-free cruising for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. Easily accessible and wheel-chair friendly, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy the Derbyshire Dales. 


In 1899, the London and North Western Railway opened up a railway line from Buxton to Ashbourne. The last one to be constructed in the Peak District, it ran for several decades until it eventually closed in 1967. Soon after, the land was absorbed as part of the Peak District National Park and in 1971, a new project was launched to transform the disused railway into multi-use trail. 50 years on, it’s still as great for families with youngsters as it is for active types burning through the miles.  

If you are considering a day on the trail, the mostly traffic-free, 13-mile route is suitable for walking, cycling and horse-riding and is wheelchair-friendly too. Made up of crushed limestone, the surface is for the most part really smooth and flat – although there’s one steep incline at Mappleton. Depending on how long you want to spend on the route, there are also many easy access points along the Tissington Trail too, so you can choose exactly how much or little you’d like to cover.

Starting in Ashbourne, the trail wends its way past pretty villages like Thorpe, Alsop and Hartington and offers great views of the countryside of the Derbyshire Dales. It also passes close to Dovedale – a stunning limestone ravine that’s well-known for its jaw-dropping scenery and famous stepping-stones across the River Dove. At its northern-most point, Parsley Hay, the trail later joins up with the 17-mile High Peak Trail – great for prolonging the adventure.

If you have time, a visit to the village that the trail was named after, Tissington, is recommended. Only a very short detour off the route, the village itself is proclaimed to be one of the prettiest in the Peak District and is overlooked by the 17th Century Jacobean Tissington Hall. Interestingly, the village is also home to a number of dressed wells – part of a Derbyshire tradition that began as a thanksgiving ceremony in the 14th Century after the village escaped the ravages of the Great Plague.

For more information about the trail and surrounds, there are many information points along the way, including a Visitor Information Centre at Ashbourne’s Town Hall Yard, a restored signal station outside of Hartington (open on weekends in the summer), and the Peak District National Park Visitor Information Centre at Parsley Hay. If want to cycle the trail but don’t have a bike, there are cycle hire facilities at both ends of the trail, in Parsley Hay to the north and Ashbourne to the south.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at out luxury cottages in the Peak District and Derbyshire here.


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