Peak District – Bakewell and Monsal Loop

I have just returned home from another rather impromptu walk in the glorious Peak District. This time we headed for the White Peak, Bakewell to be precise. I had been wanting to do a walk in that area for some time but the lure of the slightly more mountainous feel of the Dark Peak pulls me back every time, we only had limited time so it was the perfect choice as it’s a short ride from home.

We parked the car near Bakewell Station and set off along the Monsal Trail, I haven’t walked along this trail for some time so it was nice to come back and see the improvements that have been made recently. We walked North West and passed Hassop Station, This would be a nice place to stop i’m lead to believe as there is a great cafe here… We just had a quick look over the fence as we went by. We carried on passing through Great Longstone station and it wasn’t long until we reached the newly opened Headstone Tunnel. This was perhaps the main reason why we had chosen to do this route, I had been wanting to check it out for some time and I wasn’t at all disappointed.


The Headstone Tunnel was opened to the Public back in May 2011, It has been fitted with lights and it makes a perfect photographic venue. Sadly I didn’t have my Canon DSLR with me today but I did have my old Canon A640. I set it to manual mode, adjusted a few settings and posed for another picture while wearing my Social Hiking T-shirt.

The tunnel is very impressive indeed as is the very famous Headstone Viaduct, some would call it the Monsal Dale Viaduct but I’ll give it its correct name here. Looking up from below the Viaduct you really do get a sense of the engineering mastery that has been used to construct it, It reminded me of when I stood underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge… The only difference is the materials, they are both equally breathtaking.


From the Monsal trail we took a left turn and headed down off the Viaduct and along the River Wye through Monsal Dale. The place was deserted today which is the way I prefer it, It can become rather busy here in summer and at weekends. I took a quick picture at the Weir and then we kept going towards Great Shacklow Woods. We climbed up the footpath which weaves its way through the forest then drops back down towards the River.

The sun had begun to break through the clouds as we continued down the valley to Ashford-in-the-Water, this is another place that gets very busy. The ancient bridge here is another great photographic spot, There was a bus load of students doing surveys in the river so I couldn’t get in to the spot I wanted for a picture. Not to worry.. We continued along the river and in no time at all we were back in Bakewell.

For more information on the Monsal Trail, visit this page on the Peak District National Park Authorities Website..


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