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Monsal Head and Taddington, Derbyshire County Walk

PUBLISHED: 12:01 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:13 09 October 2012

Monsal Head

Monsal Head

7 milesmonsal head - viaduct - brushfield - high dale - taddington - white lodge car park - monsal dale monsal head

Distance: 7 miles

Approximate time: 33/4 hours

Total height climbed: Just over 1,000ft

Stiles: 14

Parking: Monsal Head SK 185716

Start: The Methodist Chapel SK065665

Refreshments: Monsal Head and Taddington

Toilets: Monsal Head and White Lodge car park

Directions: From Bakewell take the A6 Buxton road. In about 11/2 miles turn right onto the A6020 Chesterfield road. In 300 metres turn left on to the B6465 into Ashford-in-the-Water then almost immediately turn right signed 'Monsal Head', still on the B6465. Drive up to Monsal Head (11/2 miles). Turn left into the car park.

Description: A very varied walk with three quite steep climbs but well worth the effort as the views over Monsal Dale are quite stunning. Most of the route is on tracks with very few fields and stiles. The return paths are down a dale from Taddington and along Monsal Dale.


1. From the car park walk between the Hotel and the Stable Bar cross the road and go through the widest wall gap.{A}

2. Turn right down the stepped path for a few metres then turn left at the footpath sign to the Viaduct and Monsal Dale. Follow the woodland path down to the viaduct and turn right. Just after the end of the viaduct turn left through a gate.{B}

3. Walk up the stony path which becomes a track. Ignore a track on the right. At the top of the track pass through a gate. If you take a few steps off to the left you will have views down into Monsal Dale and the River Wye.{C}

4. Continue along the track, crossing two stiles by gates for about mile. Pass a gap on the left and continue ahead keeping a wall on your left; Brushfield Hough farm is over to the left. Go through a wide gap by the Brushfield sign.{D}

5. Walk down the track for another mile going through three more gates. Then continue past the renovated buildings of Brushfield hamlet.

6. At the road junction turn right to follow the Miller's Dale and Priestcliffe route. {E} Walk up the road behind the buildings after which the road becomes a track winding round the farm barns via gates. Continue along the stony track for about mile. At a fork of tracks take the left fork to go through a farm gate under the trees and immediately turn left through a small gate.{F}

7. Walk down the steep dale side crossing broken walls. Cross the bottom of High Dale. The official route is straight up the dale side to the footpath sign and gated stile. However an easier ascent is to follow the sheep track to almost at the top then turn right to double back picking up another sheep track and following the wall on your left until you reach the footpath post and stile. {G}

8. Cross the gated stile. The route is now clear ahead, crossing five fields and gated stiles. After the last gated stile by a farm gate keep straight on along the walled track.{H}

9. Cross the busy A6 to walk up a walled track. Before you reach a barn turn left over a low wall stile.{I} Follow the wall on the right then cross a stile and keep straight on up into Taddington.

10. {J}Turn left through the village passing "The Queen's Arms". At a fork of roads signed "Town End"; take the right fork. Just before a road junction and at the side of "One Day Cottage" turn right by the way-marked sign post. {K}

11. Walk up the track to turn left and continue along the walled path/track. At a T-junction of tracks turn left. {L}

12. On reaching the road turn left down hill to take the first turning right.

13. Walk up the surfaced track passing Lodley View Farm. Further along, at Taddington Fields Farm, bear off right to go through a small gate. {M}

14. Bear right to cross a wall stile by the footpath post or go through the large field gap ahead. Keep straight on down the dale which in while becomes very stony. Ignore paths off right to follow a fence on your left. In about mile cross a stile on the left and turn right. Continue down the dale on a wider path to cross an old stile. This is quite a nice picnic area with limestone out crops.{N}The path is indistinct in places so keep more over to the right while still heading down hill; you will soon see the A6 ahead. At the bottom of the hill by a way-marked post your will join a clear surfaced path.

15. Turn left along the surfaced path to go through a gate then across the White Lodge car park. Walk down to and across the A6 to cross a stile and down steps.

16. Follow the path to cross a stile into the woods where you will be on the Monsal Dale route. Keep to the main path for about 20 minutes. As you near the weir turn right to cross the River Wye. {O}

17. Follow the steep path up the dale side going through two gates. In about 15 minutes you will reach Monsal Head.


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