You've got to climb the heights to see the best sights
It’s easy to become complacent as we set off for what will turn out to be another fabulous walk in the Peak District.
In recent weeks we’ve been blessed with good weather, great walk leaders, beautiful countryside, and convivial company. We are just used to exceptional walking.
Ramblers’ walks are graded from ‘easy access’ to ‘technical’ and most of our Tuesday ten miler’s are leisurely or moderate and today was no exception.
Anne our leader did not shy away from mentioning the climb ahead explaining “you need to gain the height to get the sights” and so eleven hikers set off from Ashton, on the three-mile trek to 12 hundred and 70 feet at Longstone Moor, passing Churchdale Hall en route, before heading north into Great Longstone where we stopped for 11’s at Chuckling Charlie’s playground. Refreshed, the climb continued through ancient woodland and heather moor, with the promised views across to Foolow and Eyam, as well as moorland sheep and sanctuary donkeys. No sooner had we reached the top when we began the decent, precarious in parts, south into Cressbrook Dale following a drover’s trail lined with drystone walls.
Typically, Dales. Continuing south we reached the hamlet of Cressbrook with it’s imposing Mill now converted to housing where we stopped for lunch, with a detour to Water-cum-Jolly
and it’s mill pond and Weir, a haven for wild foul, but today only a couple of swans could be seen.
Onwards and (back) upwards we crossed the River Wye then began a short climb up onto the Monsal Trail, today a magnet for walkers and cyclists, and made our way towards the Monsal Head Hotel’s Stables Bar for a well-earned pint (other refreshments also available).
Hard as it was, eventually we made our way the last two miles back to the start.
Now moving mainly along wall lined field edges and ahead stretched mosaic landscape that is the English countryside, and why we enjoy walking so much. Just over 9.5miles and five hours total. Thanks Anne for a great outing.
Places of interest
Churchdale Hall was purchased by the Dukes of Devonshire from the earls of Westmoreland in the early part of the 19 th Century. The house is almost in the cottage orne stle and was
extended in 1836 and again in 1840. The 10th Duke of Devonshire lived here from 1020 until his death in 1950. In 1955 the small Estate and House were sold to David Russell
The Monsal Trail is a cycling, horse riding and walking trail in the Derbyshire Peak District.
It was constructed from a section of the former Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway, which was built by the Midland Railway in 1863 to link Manchester with London and closed in 1968. The Monsal Trail is about 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long and opened in 1981. It starts at the Topley Pike junction in Wye Dale, 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Buxton,
and runs to Coombs Viaduct, 1 mile (1.6 km) south-east of Bakewell.
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Rambler outings. Remember while out observe social distancing, carry a mask, hand
sanitiser, and gloves. Obey the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.