Monsal Head – Peak District UK

Monsal Head – Peak District UK

This beautiful climb up to Monsal Head takes you up to one of the most famous views in the Peak District, this is a short but challenging climb.


  • Distance: 0.6km
  • Elev gain: 61m
  • Starting Elevation: 174m
  • Final Elevation: 230m
  • Avg Grade: 8.7%
  • Max Grade: 22.5%

Difficulty Rating: 6 / 10

The Climb

This part of the world will always have a special place in my heart, I learnt to ride a bike on the Monsal Trail, and have taught my boys to ride on this same trail. I also spent many of my formative years drinking in the Stable bar at the top of this climb, although nowadays I’m more likely to be spotted in the tea room next door topping up on caffeine and cake rather than the bar.

It’s worth stopping at the top to take in the view of the view from the top of the climb, which includes the Headstone viaduct over the River Wye, forming part of the Monsal trail.

View of the Viaduct from the top of Monsal Head
View of Headstone Viaduct from the top of Monsal Head. Image Credit: Wiki


The entrance to Headstone Tunnel leading to the Viaduct on the Monsal Trail is a great family day out in the Peaks.

This hill has also become famous for its yearly Hill climb event, drawing in pros and amateurs alike (even Sir Dave Brailsford popped over to watch the riders). This year I witnessed a 6 year old racing and putting out a pace most grown adults would be happy with!

6 year old smashing the hill climb
This 6 year old gets massive kudos, he’s faster than most adults. If you squint you can see me just above the zero on the right! image credit: Monsal Hill Climb


The crowds at the Monsal Head Hill climb. Image:

Beware, it may be short but go out too fast and you’ll regret it before you reach the summit. Pacing is everything.

If you can it’s best to do this hill earlier in the day as it can get busy with cars on the weekend with tourists driving up and down from Monsal Head to Cresbrook.

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