Horizon line


Amber Valley Ramblers, Derbyshire

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Diary Walks Monsal Head 25 June 2017

Monsal Head 25 June 2017

E-mail Print PDF

Walk Diary Sunday 25 June 2017 Weather, 16°C. fair.
Monsal Head Depart 10 a.m. 10 ¼ miles Leader: Gordon T.
No. on walk 10

A little less hot than of late, ideal walking weather with just a slight hint of moisture in the air from time to time, although nothing to worry us unduly. All good striders out today, so the pace was good, stretching those legs a little more than usual. I am told we ascended over two thousand five hundred feet during the walk, in fact the only flat bit I remember was the walk back along the Monsal Trail from Cressbrook to the viaduct. We were amazed at the abundance of wild flowers, predominantly yellows and purples of many differing species and because of my lack of knowledge some will remain unnamed.

We set off from the steps to the fore of Hobbs Cafe, to which we returned at the end of the walk, taking the path west making a slow descent below Hobbs House to the weir in Monsal Dale. Just after the weir we crossed over to the north side of the water and continued to follow the River Wye, leaving it near to Lees Bottom, then turning to climb steeply up through Brushfield Hough, with a slight pause near the top to catch our breath. We continued with a lesser climb to pick up a bridle way, following it into Brushfield, stopping near to Middle Farm for our first break.

From here we carried on to High Dale and then to descend very steeply to Litton Mill and re-cross the river. A little time was spent admiring the large quantity of Brown Trout below the foot bridge upon which we stood, I did take some snaps but the pictures were not very clear. We took the small narrow back lane below Slack Side, seemingly hewn into the side of the rock face. After passing the National Trust field study centre sign we took the winding well surfaced path along Tidewell Dale and by twelve thirty we arrived at the car park and toilet block at the northern end of the Nature Reserve. The facilities were made use of and the thought was to stop at the picnic tables to take our lunch break, wrong, our leader moved us on for another half an hour, climbing the rise at Litton Dale before taking our break on a, some would say, draughty hill top, there were good views across the valley to the south of Tideswell village, although the famous church 'The Cathedral of the Peak' was not in view.

With less than four miles to go we moved on following a good path eastwards and once past Litton, we took the path to enter the top of the fantastic Tansley Dale, although a long strong descent, it was worth stopping every now and then to take in the views ahead and the wonderful show of wild flowers clinging to every nook and cranny, so many you could fill a book. Rock Roses were everywhere their yellow flowers seemed to cascade down and alongside the path together with Coltsfoot and the miniature purple flowered Thyme. Another purple feast further along was a splendid Spear Thistle the first I've seen this year, Scabious, Crane's Bill and Common Orchids added their charm to this riot of colour.

From Tansley Dale we made our way along the lower path following a dried up stream bed through Cressbrook Dale as far as Ravensdale Cottages, joining the road here. After walking into Cressbrook we crossed the stream near to the converted mill buildings and Water-cum-Jolly. (Although nowadays Litton and Cressbrook Mills are adjudged to be fine residences, they both have a somewhat notorious history. During the late eighteenth century, there was a labour shortage in the textile industry, the solution was to bring pauper children from workhouses in the south to Derbyshire to work in the mills as pauper apprentices. The workhouses were paid a sum of money, effectively the children were bought on contract to work as apprentices until the age of twenty one, their starting age was seven years old.) It was then up to join the busy Monsal Trail, striding along to cross over the viaduct to the tunnel entrance, not entering it but ascending the long path back up to the head of the dale and Hobbs Cafe. You know the rest don't you?

JW1JW2JW3JW4pictures by James W.



Last Updated on Sunday, 25 June 2017 21:42