Picture Perfect Walk Around Monsal Dale

June 2018 Walk Every Day for a Week Challenge – Day 4

On day 4 of my monthly challenge I went to explore Monsal Dale in Derbyshire with Kev. I am loving this current heath-wave and I would love it to stay so warm with blue sky all summer. 

Monsale Dale

The Walk

We parked for free on the road just opposite of  Monsal Head Hotel. You can immediately see the breath-taking views of Monsal Head, getting an idea of what your walk is going to be about. We went left via the woodland path until we reached the Monsal Dale Weir waterfall on the river Wye. Then we continued through Monsal Dale towards Headstone Viaduct. We crossed the little bridge and through Netherdale farm. We walked until we reached Cressbrook Mill.

There is a signposted footpath in between Cressbrook Mill and the houses which leads you through the woodland along the river to Litton Mill. Just after Litton Mill there is an easily missed footpath on the right which leads you through a little bridge up to the Monsal trail. When you come to Litton Tunnel turn left, avoiding the tunnel itself, and go up the path along the ridge back to Monsal Head Hotel. 

Monsale Head, Derbyshire

Me enjoying the Monsal Dale Weir Waterfall

Me at Monsale Dale

And then I look up and all of a sudden, there was one cow, two, three, four cows in total. Where did they come from? 🙂

Monsale Dale, Derbyshire

Monsal Dale is just so so pretty. I enjoyed walking through this calm, quintessential picture perfect landscape full of wildlife – just stunning on a beautiful sunny summer day.  I imagine this must be a perfect spot for painters

Monsale Dale

Headstone Viaduct

“A five arch masonry viaduct constructed to carry the Midland Railway across the Wye Valley at a bend in the river near Monsal Head in the Peak District National Park. It was designed by railway’s chief engineer William Henry Barlow (1812-1902) and opened in 1863.

As a result of the 1921 Railways Act, on 1st January 1923, the Midland Railway merged with a number of other major and minor companies to form the  London , Midland & Scottish Railway. On 1st January 1948, it became part of the nationalised British Railways. The Rowsley to Buxton line was closed in 1968. 
In July 1970, the Monsal Dale Viaduct was Grade II listed. The rail tracks have been removed and a footpath laid over the viaduct’s deck. In 1981, a 13.7km length of the former Midland Railway route between Buxton and Bakewell re-opened as the Monsal Trail, a vehicle-free route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Access through the tunnels on the route, including Headstone Tunnel, was re-established in May 2011.”
Monsal Dale, Headstone Viaduct


Monsale Dale


Monsale Dale


Monsale Dale

Netherdale Farm, this would be my ideal place to live in. 🙂 

Monsale Dale


Monsale Dale


Monsale Dale post box

Cressbrook Mill

“Sir Richard Arkwright built the original Cressbrook Mill in 1785, with a later building being constructed by his agent, William Newton in 1815. These buildings lay ruined for several years, they are now restored into attractive apartments and remain the most imposing feature of the village.”

Cressbrook Mill

Litton Mill

“Litton Mill is a small hamlet grouped around a former cotton mill on the River Wye. The mill was built in 1782 by Ellis Needham and in 1897 it burnt down and then rebuilt.

The mill was originally water powered but later in its history steam power was used. The boiler house chimney is situated up the hill behind the mill in order to increase the flue length.

In its early years it employed up to 400 people, most of them children, often orphans both local and from as far away as London. Cotton spinning was discontinued in 1930 although the mill continued spinning man-made fibre until the mid ’60s.

Litton mill has a shameful history, and in the nineteenth century its child workers were mistreated terribly. Food seemed to have consisted mainly of watery porridge flavoured with onion and the children were expected to work 16 hours a day.

Beatings and abuse were rife and at one point, so many were dying that the owner sent the bodies to other parishes for burial so the local authorities wouldn’t get alarmed by the number of fatalities. 

The buildings were empty, disused and derelict until they were converted to apartments in 2003 and renamed ‘Phoenix Building’.”

Cressbrook Mill in Derbyshire

Beautiful view onto a Cressbrook Hall. It was built in 1835 in a tudor style. The hall is not open to public but is available for weddings, fine dining and corporate events. It also has nine self catering holiday cottages.

Cressbrook Hall


Monsale Dale in Derbyshire

We returned to Monsal Head Hotel where we enjoyed the views of Monsal Head once again with well deserved ice cream bought at the nearby ice cream van. 

Ice cream at Monsal Head

What a STUNNING walk! This must be one of the best walks I have ever done in the Peak District.

Thank you Kev for a good company and showing me around. If you have never been, go and see yourself, the photos just don’t do the justice. 

Monsal Dale walk map route

I took quite a few pictures so I made a video. Enjoy. 🙂