Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another bit of the Monsal Trail

I thought we'd have a little break from the Morville adventure and keep Much Wenlock for a later post. Last week we went into Derbyshire to walk another stretch of the Monsal Trail - this time we parked at Monsal Head and walked from the viaduct towards Cressbrook Mill as far as the Rubicon wall and Water-cum-Jolly and back with a slight diversion along the way.

We parked in the large long-stay car park behind the Monsal Head Hotel and made our way past Hobb's cafe and craft shop to the path which leads down to the viaduct where the trail started.

This is where we were headed - down through the trees towards the viaduct built in 1863 to carry the trains from Bakewell to Buxton, just to the left of the path down at the end of the viaduct is another closed tunnel.

A view from the start of the path near the car park

Down through the trees

A view of the hills from the viaduct

Cressbrook Mill

Steps down to the river Wye

The waterfall near Cressbrook Mill

The Rubicon Wall at Water-cum-Jolly we crossed the bridge and walked along the other side of the water until we reached the corner - it was very muddy underfoot here - we turned back to retrace our steps to the viaduct.

We walked under the viaduct and out into the buttercup meadow

It was so peaceful and magical amongst the buttercups down by the river

I could have stayed here for ages just taking in the atmosphere listening to the insects buzzing and the coots on the river calling to each other; I just wanted to sit amongst the buttercups and dream the day away and for a while time and place were suspended. There was a certain timelessness about the place that is hard to describe.

Eventually we wandered further along the river to find the weir we could hear roaring in the distance

Then we returned along the buttercup meadow, up the path towards the viaduct passing wild orchids as we walked and back up to the car park.

We sat and had our picnic lunch on a seat overlooking this view just a stones throw away people were sitting in the garden of the Monsal Head Hotel eating pub lunches and back in the short stay car park the local ice cream van, Bradwells, was doing great trade with the passing ramblers.

I shared my sandwich with this little chaffinch - I think he enjoyed Paul's home made bread as he ate all the crumbs we put down for him and ignored the other bread left there by the last inhabitants of our seat.


  1. Just found your blog and didnt want to leave without thanking you such georgous pictures. Lets one believe in myth and magic.

  2. It's lovely in Monsal Dale isn't it? The great thing about it is that you nearly always feel as though you have it to yourself - though I must admit I never go at the weekends!

  3. We absolutely adore Monsal Dale - and the pub is one of our favorite places for lunch. Apart from the stunning and spectacular nature and geography of the place, the history is fascinating too. Its so hard to imagine the place as a hive of industrial activity, but that is what it once was. I would have loved to buy one of the flats at Cressbrook Dale - it would have made a great weekend bolt hole.

  4. It was lovely to come along with you on such a beautiful tour!;-)

  5. Oh, how I'd love to follow that pathway through the trees!! Magic.

  6. Beautiful photos and a beautiful peaceful looking place. lovely little Chaffinch photo too!

  7. Oh a buttercup meadow and a kind of walk..I believe in myth and magic...

  8. Once again thank you all so much for visiting me and leaving comments. Welcome Paula and thanks too for your comment.

    Rowan and Diane - one day we will all meet at Monsal Head I'm sure:)

    Sal, Pamela, Simone and Dutchess - it was a lovely, magical walk:)