Monsal Head (White Peak) from the A6

6 05 2018

Thu 19 Apr 18
I was sent a cheap holidays leaflet through the post recently – UK Breakaways – Richard and I had a browse and thought it looked worth a try. As we haven’t really done much in Derbyshire (I’ve only been to the Dark Peak and only once), we decided Buxton in the White Peak District could be very nice. And, as my last walk was from the A6 (but in Cumbria), I thought it would be nice to make the next post also from the A6!

Photos a mix of my film camera and Richard’s digi point-and-shoot (marked)

We were based at the magnificent Buxton Palace Hotel which, despite its glorious past, is now having to earn its bread and butter with coach tour groups, UK Breakaways and the like. Still, the place is still magnificent – we didn’t take any photos inside (which we probably should have) but here is the exterior…

We had three days to explore the area and this was the 3rd and final day. The weather was magnificent and we were very sorry to leave the next day. I was really stunned by the area and couldn’t stop enthusing about it for the whole trip – including the drive back! Even the drive there was better than expected – certainly better than driving to Shropshire had been the other year…

At the excellent Buxton Tourist Information (located in the Gardens buildings), we found a leaflet about Monsal Dale – a dale with an old, disused railway which Richard was keen to visit. This listed around 8 walks, giving length and difficulty. As my leg was being pretty bad, we selected a quick visit to Millerdale to see the magnificent twin viaducts across two roads and the river and then planned to do a 3 miler along the riverside from White Lodge carpark to Monsal Head.

Richard’s photos of the viaduct – you’re only allowed to walk across one and it’s a horrific drop off it so, after a peer each side, I stuck to the middle!

We then drove down to White Lodge carpark on the A6 which, unfortunately, as in common with many carparks in the peak, you have to pay for – by card no less! Never done that before! As at Millers Dale, there was about one off road parking space not in the carpark but it was booked…

You immediately cross the road and descend to the river. This could be a very muddy walk in wet weather but it had been dry for a week or so and was fine. My photos again for a while – I had some kind of fault going on where there were strange lighting effects on some photos and light looked to have got in on others. As the rest were okay, I’m sure my old Zenith isn’t leaking though…


Wood Anemones? (we used to call them ‘wooden enemies’

After a mile or so of pleasant, flat walking through the pretty woodland, you reach a magnificent weir…

Richard’s photos…

We crossed the river on a bridge just before the weir and sat next to the weir in the lovely spray for a while as it was a hot day and my leg needed a break. From there, you ascend a path through woodland which climbs all the way to the hamlet of Monsal Head. Monsal Head is superbly equipped – within a few yards there was: a pub, a caff and an ice-cream van! We chose the pub and sat looking at the superb view while we drank…


I thought this was the view of the whole trip – so beautiful (my photo)

I was fascinated by the rocks in the distance on my next photo which I later found out are called “Hob’s House”.

I got Richard to take close-ups so I could look for climbing possibilities – after all, limestone is my medium so far…

Anyone climbed here?

We finished our drinks and headed off down to the valley bottom to visit the viaduct – this railway bed runs for miles along Monsal Dale and we wished we’d brought bikes as most had. You can hire them in a couple of places along the route though and we certainly will next time.

Richard took these photos of the route through the nearby tunnel…

And I took this shot from the viaduct of our return along the other side of the river…

I had another little rest as the steep descent had upset my hip a bit and then we set off down to the foot of the viaduct to take the river bank back to the car (Richard’s photos for the rest of the walk)…

My leg improved on the softer ground and we were soon back at the car where we went further south to visit another pub in a delightful village a few miles down the road – it was definitely a day for drinking in that heat!

When we arrived back at Buxton, we decided to head for the beautiful gardens via the ice cream van there. The ice cream van sold what I call ‘proper ice-cream’ – the soft, whirly stuff which is creamy and delicious. She was also doing double nougat wafers which, although not quite the thing for a hot day, were deemed essential by me!

My garden photos…


another light spoiled – sorry


some lovely old buildings in Buxton

We were fascinated by this fantastic carved dead tree full of animals and knights…

What a place! we’ll be back…

Advertisements

Actions

Information

14 responses

9 05 2018
Dan Hudson (aka icemandan on Walkhighlands)

Know the Peak District well – if you can’t do hills, the dales are well worth exploring. I recommend Lathkill Dale and, if you’re into industrial archaeology, the old railway path along the Manifold Valley. Dovedale is also beautiful but very crowded.

The Peak District is a bit lacking in peaks – although the moors of the Dark Peak have an appeal of their own – you can lose the crowds away from the Pennine Way and the very top of the Derwent Valley has an almost Scottish sense of remoteness – despite being 10 miles from Barnsley.

The walk along the eastern edges is very good and offers interesting rocks, very wide views to the east – as far as the Humber Bridge on a clear day – and the possibility of mid walk pub lunches.

Some of the best summits are Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill, a couple of pointy reef knolls at the top of Dovedale, Win Hill between Ladybower and Hope and Shuttlingsloe on the Macclesfield side.

Lots to explore and it soaks up the people better than the Lakes.

Like

11 05 2018
mountaincoward

Parkhouse & Chrome are the very next post actually – they were brilliant but my leg less so! Thanks for all the recommendations – we’ll definitely be going back to Buxton again

Like

8 05 2018
tessapark1969

Used to go to the Peak District quite often but now not been in years. Nice post.

Like

11 05 2018
mountaincoward

Loved the White Peak – just so pretty and so much scope for easier walking. I liked the Dark Peak too but it’s a bit like around our way on the moors – one gritstone moor’s pretty much like another really…

Like

7 05 2018
Blue Sky Scotland

Great photos Carol and it’s always nice to explore a new area. Please don’t tell me you can book a parking space now by smart phone !!!?…. I used to enjoy Doors Open Day every September but they ruined it for me by allowing people to book places weeks/months in advance as I preferred to just turn up on the day if I was free.

Like

7 05 2018
Jim R

You had a day of beautiful weather. Thanks for the tour.

Like

7 05 2018
mountaincoward

It was 2 days of really great weather – our first day was ‘orrid though!

Like

7 05 2018
chrissiedixie

That tree looks wonderful!

Like

7 05 2018
mountaincoward

Amazingly well carved – not sure if they did it by chainsaw but there are people who carve as well as that with a chainsaw!

Like

7 05 2018
John Bainbridge

Used to walk that area a lot when I was very young.

Like

7 05 2018
mountaincoward

Well we intend to walk (and cycle) it quite a lot more 🙂

Liked by 1 person

8 05 2018
John Bainbridge

Very beautiful place.

Like

7 05 2018
Simon Howlett

What a magnificent place to stay Carol. Were tiaras required when dining? Stunning viaducts and I particularly like the wood carvings.

Like

7 05 2018
mountaincoward

No tiaras – would have looked out of place with the tattoos of some residents!

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: