~Monsal Dale & Bakewell~
5th January 2013
Walk Number One for 2013. Something from "outside the box"...
Into The Light
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Bakewell Railway Station
The last rail passengers left this station in 1967, 105 years after the first ones enjoyed the novelty of rail travel, courtesy of The Midland Railway. When all street parking is exhausted, visitors use the car park (Pay & Display) and this is a good place to join The Monsal Trail - an 8.5 mile traffic-free route bewteen Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, Bakewell.
Bakewell Northbound Platform
At Bakewell, the line has been filled in and the buildings are used as offices. The style of the building is similar at Hassop, but here the new use is as a cafe, shop and bike hire centre.
To Great Longstone
Great Longstone Railway Station
Neil Haslewood is with me today and he encouraged me to get up onto the platform, just in case a train came along. Behind the fencing is the old station building and further away is Thornbridge Hall - both are private residences, although the former appears empty at present.
The 533yd Headstone Tunnel is the longest on the Monsal Trail. It is lit, during daylight hours, for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Out of The Tunnel
1930's Tourist Poster
by S.R.Wyatt. Artistic licence shows Fin Cop (top left), somewhat higher than it really is and the train leaving a tunnel, where there isn't one. He also has the viaduct casting a deep shadow, suggesting strong sunshine!
The above photo has been lifted from an information board.
A critical John Ruskin wrote "That valley where you might expect to see Pan, Apollo and The Muses, is now deseasted in order that a Buxton fool may be able to find himself in Bakewell at the end of twelve minutes, and vice versa."
We crossed the A6 at White Lodge and took the footpath into Great Shacklow Wood, the path being awash with the results of recent rainfall. Our route climbed steeply out of the wood en route to Sheldon.
The Steep Bit
Fields to Sheldon
Church of St.Michael & All Angels, Sheldon
The Cock and Pullet, Sheldon
We walked through Sheldon, where there is a church, a pub and, just maybe, a cafe. The latter was signposted and a notice on the house door invited a ring of the bell. So possibly drinks were on offer, we could try that at home.
Magpie Mine Main Shaft
The main shaft is 729ft deep, the bottom 160ft is flooded. Water above this level is drained via a "sough" to the River Wye near Ashford-in-the-Water, 1.25 miles away.
After visiting the mine, our walk took us along roads and down into Kirk Dale and then up and over the tree-lined hillcrest, as seen above.
Looking Back to Bole Hill
The walk from Kirk Dale is in a straight line (heading ESE) through many fields. Bole Hill is the highpoint and does not have public access. The next village is Over Haddon.
After the experience of Over Haddon, we start to complete the round with a sharp turn in the direction of Bakewell.
Bakewell War Memorial
The Original Bakewell Pudding Shop
This furry example of a captivated bird was on show near the river in Bakewell, along with a few other birds of prey.
Neil and I changed our footwear and headed back to Hassop to see what was on offer at the former railway station.
Hassop Railway Station
Walkers: Neil Haslewood and Me.
Time taken: 5hrs 15mins over a distance of about 11.5 miles.
Route: Bakewell Railway Station, the old trackbed through Headstone Tunnel and over the viaduct, down to Monsal Dale (River Wye), over the A6 at White Lodge, up to Sheldon via a corner of Great Shacklow Wood, Magpie Mine, Kirk Dale, Over Haddon, Bakewell.
Weather and Conditions: "Mild" - calm, overcast - some weak sunshine on the way to Over Haddon.
Greetings Count: The Monsal Trail - link below, is hugely popular.
Richard's Refreshment Review: Hassop Railway Station is a small complex for the outfoor enthusiast. Bike hire, bookshop and cafe. It was very busy when we arrived, but they coped (unless you wanted a baked potato) and there are loads of tables. Sadly, there is little inside to suggest that this was once a railway station. Probably much busier now than at any time in the past.
- Mike Brockhurst's description of the same walk, albeit walked by a "guest".
- The Monsal Trail
- Disused Stations, points to Bakewell. Great website for railway enthusiasts!
- The Magpie Mine
Most photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2013 ©
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