We managed to get a day off from our various responsibilities today & took a wander along the Monsal Trail - one of the best, if not THE best cycleways in the country. It follows the route of the old London Midland Scottish railway, built in the 1860s along a route of astonishingly challenging terrain.

Passing through five tunnels blasted through the limestone and then bursting out onto the precipitous sides of Wyedale, it offers the weird, otherworldly silence of deep underground, interspersed with fantastic views from the tops of cliffs overlooking the valley.

Being underground is dark and dank, you hear the creaking of the leather of your shoes and your own heartbeat, interrupted by the occasional splash of dripping water. Large parties of ramblers who've been chatting enthusiastically in daylight suddenly become silent and pass like ghosts - strange how it affects almost everyone similarly.

Then, we're out into the morning light and the sun picks out the elegant architecture of Cressbrook Mill and we can hear the river tumbling over the rocks far below!