Walk leader:Steve Edwards Walk Distance: 11 Miles app Total Height Gain: 1685ft app
The Monsal Trail and Monsal Dale
Monsal Trail uses part of the former Midland
Railway Line through the Peak District National Park. It runs for eight and a
half miles between Blackwell Mill Junction at Wyedale, three miles east of
Buxton, and Coombs Viaduct, one mile south-east of Bakewell. We enjoy it for
about 3 miles.
We start our walk from the coach park and head up the steep road towards
the former Bakewell Station and onto the trail. Although the railway line
closed in 1968 the station building is well preserved and now functions as the
headquarters for a local business. We make our way behind the station and set
off west along the trail.
As a former railway line the trail is completely flat and
the good quality surface to the path allows us to make good progress with the
biggest decision of the day being whether to stop at the magnificent coffee
shop situated at Hassop Station, less than a mile into the walk that serves
great bacon baps.
We continue along the disused railway track and onwards to
the now opened Headstone tunnel immediately prior to the Monsal Viaduct.
From the viaduct, we leave the flat walking and follow the banks
of the river Wye past the weir.
We continue through wooded terrain to where the path crosses
the main A6 road from Bakewell to Buxton. Once across this road there is a
small picnic area, but we don’t stop, instead pushing on towards the toughest
section of the entire walk.
This brief section south of the A6 begins with a steady
climb before reaching a stream, which may be bone dry, or a raging torrent
depending on the weather. We walk up the stream for about 10 metres before
reaching a stile. Once across the stile the path becomes ever steeper until we
reached a stone wall where the path divides. We head uphill on a path which is
relatively short but can present a real challenge if wet under foot.
In the top field, we will find a suitable spot for lunch or continue
across rolling farmland to the village of Sheldon, which is a very picturesque
little place boasting an enticing looking pub called ‘The Cock and Pullet’. Heading
out of Sheldon we return to farmland paths towards our next landmark on the
horizon - Magpie Mine. This was one of the most famous lead mines in the Peak
District up until its closure in 1952 and today is something of a heritage
After the mine, we head towards a short section of quiet public
roads continuing downhill all the way to Over Haddon and onward into Bakewell.
If we maintain a good pace we should be back in Bakewell in plenty of time
for tea and tart.