Monday, 10 July 2017

Monsal Dale - Saturday 8th July 2017

A small group of four made the journey to Monsal Dale, close to Bakewell, in warm and sunny weather. The walk was based on the Monsal Dale and Brushfield circuit starting from the lovely vantage point of the Monsal Head Hotel. From there you could look down into the valley some 250 feet below. The view is spectacular over the River Wye.

Our walk took us over the Headstone Viaduct and along the Monsal Trail through both the Cressbrook and Litton Tunnels, doing our best to avoid the cyclists! John Ruskin, the writer was critical of the Viaduct when it was built in 1863 as it destroyed the beauty of the Dales. However, time moves on and a preservation order was placed on it in 1970. The curved tunnels were cut through limestone and have a combined length of nearly 1,000 yards (or 914 meters in new money).

We spotted an abundance of wild flowers along the Trail; including wild orchids, harebells and Scabious Devils Bit.

We then left the Trail and headed up a long, steep incline to the High Dale. Walking through some disused mine-workings led us to the village of Brushfield and dropping down to the High Dale dry valley. We came in sight of the Hotel and had to negotiate a steep, flinty path to bring us back to the Trail and the final ascent of the 250 feet of steps back to the Hotel.

We appreciated the later than anticipated lunch and a cool drink at the Hotel, followed by an ice cream sitting on a bench overlooking the valley in glorious sunshine.


Monsal dale from Monsal Head

Ramblers

Cressbrook from Monsal Trail

Inside the Litton Tunnel

Litton Mill

Climbing High Dale

Through the High Dale


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