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Monsal Trail Walk


MONSAL TRAIL - BAKEWELL & ASHFORD IN THE WATER by John N. Merrill

- 6 MILES

- allow 2 1/2 miles.

Basic route - Bakewell - Bakewell Station - Monsal Trail - Thornbridge Hall - Ashford-in-the-Water - Bakewell.

Map - 1:25,000 Explorer Series No. OL24 - The White Peak - East Sheet.

Car park and start - Bakewell or Bakewell Station.

Inns - Several in Bakewell - Castle Inn, Rutland Arms and Ashford-in-the-Water - Bulls Head and Ashford Arms.

Teas - Numerous in Bakewell.

ABOUT THE WALK - A beautiful walk along the trail for 2 1/2 miles before descending to the attractive village of Ashford-in-the-Water. You return to Bakewell via the River Wye.

WALKING INSTRUCTIONS - From the Market Place in Bakewell, follow the Sheffield road and cross the five-arched bridge of the River Wye. Just beyond this bridge turn half right and ascend Station Road. At the top is the former Bakewell Station and car park on your left. Turn left and gain the trail and turn left along it. The walking is delightful giving a different view of favourite areas of the Peak District as you walk under bridges, through viaducts and past old stations. After a mile pass Country Bookstore, on your right at Hassop Station, and after approximately two and a half miles along the trail you reach the impressive Thornbridge Station beside Thornbridge Hall. Continue along the trail for a further 200 yards to the end of a cutting. Here, as footpath signposted, you turn left and follow the path to Ashford-in-the-Water, a mile away.

The path is well defined and stiled as you pass a small wood on your left and descend to a lane, half a mile away. Cross this and continue along the path which now swings to your right with a small plantation on your left. A quarter of a mile later you reach the B6465 road. Cross this and follow the path opposite across the field to a minor road. Turn left and where the road forks 200 yards later, turn left and descend steeply past the houses. Turn right at the bottom and on reaching the central part of Ashford, turn left and cross the main A6020 road and follow the closed road, with the cricket field on your left. If you have time, Ashford-in-the-Water is a very attractive village and well worth exploring: the Sheepwash Bridge is a fine example; the church has a Norman tympanum, funeral garlands and examples of Ashford Marble.

On the closed road you cross the River Wye via a small bridge. On the road side of the left-hand parapet can be seen ÔM. Hyde 1664Õ. According to legend he crossed the bridge on horseback laden with sacks of flour. A strong wind caught him and blew him into the river where he drowned. At the end of the road, turn left and shortly afterwards, left again and follow the well used path back to Bakewell. At first you cross a field close to the River Wye before ascending and passing through several stiles and a small housing estate and road to the A6 road. Turn left to go back down the road into central Bakewell and the Rutland Arms. Turn left to the Tourist Office and Market Place.