I ran this as an ‘out-and-back’ run, starting at the western end of the trail, at Wye Dale (near Blackwell Mill cycle hire), running to the Coombs Viaduct, south-east of Bakewell, and back again. I used the wooden ‘trail ends here’ signs at each end as my start, turnround, and finish points. The route is a nice surface for running, mainly compacted gravel with some tarmac sections through the six tunnels. The weather was very warm and humid on the day I ran it, so the cool, shady tunnels were a welcome relief! It’s a popular route for walking and cycling so there was a certain amount of people-dodging, but it wasn’t too bad. It also seemed slightly uphill on the way back, but whether it actually was, or if it was my just my legs getting tired, I’m not sure! I did the run unsupported, carrying my drinks myself.
It’s a very scenic route, passing through limestone cuttings and some more wooded sections. It passes over two viaducts, the Monsal Head viaduct being particularly impressive, with amazing views down to the River Wye valley way below.
After finishing I had a very welcome cup of tea from the kiosk at Blackwell Mill cycle hire, where the staff were really friendly and interested in my run.