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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Winter 2018 > AUTUMN TRAILS

AUTUMN TRAILS

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION AND NEW PLACES TO DISCOVER THIS AUTUMN, TRY OUT THESE RUNS IN THE PEAK DISTRICT, LAKE DISTRICT AND BRECON BEACONS. THREE BEAUTIFUL AND VARIED TRAIL RUNS FOR YOU TO EXPLORE…

PEAK DISTRICT MONSAL HEAD 8K

BEST FOR: POST-RUN REFRESHMENTS

© KEITH SHARPLES

WHERE?

An interesting short route that mixes up some fairly technical steep climbing and descending with flat, well surfaced and very runnable trails. Running through the two tunnels on the Monsal Trail is great fun and the route as a whole would be a good head to head race between an all-out fell runner and a roadie.

THE ROUTE

Resist the lures of the pub, cafe and icecream van and head down on to the Monsal Trail. The initial steep, rocky and stepped path rewards accomplished and nimble descenders, but you’re quickly on the flat, running along the trail and crossing the spectacular viaduct. If it’s the weekend you’ll be weaving round walkers, cyclists and horse riders, but plough on – running through the Cressbrook and Litton tunnels makes the crowds worthwhile. Run on a quiet day and they’re eerily still and quiet. After the tunnels, leave the trail and climb steeply before enjoying fast running on grassy trails. Apart from the regular gates, it’s then super quick running on undulating semi-metalled roads and tracks before the path narrows and steepens for the descent back to the Monsal Trail. You’re now back on the viaduct and, if you’re a mountain goat, looking forward to the steep climb to the finish. If you’re not so fond of climbing, think of the pint, cake or 99 flake that’s waiting at the top.

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