Track down fascinating, family-friendly walking and cycling routes with our tipsters’ pick of rural and urban trails
My favourite railway walk is along the Manifold Track, a narrow gauge railway in the Peak District that closed in 1934 and was probably one of the first railways to become a footpath, thanks to the foresight of Staffordshire Council. This is limestone country and full of interest. The mysterious River Manifold disappears underground completely in the summer just below the old halt at Wetton Mill and picturesque Thor’s cave overlooks the tiny track bed that winds its way up the valley crossing no fewer than 27 bridges on its way from Waterhouses to Hulme End, where bikes can be hired. Kids love cycling through Swainsley Tunnel and don’t forget to stop for cream tea at Wetton Mill.