Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Monsal Dale & Bakewell~

5th January 2013

Walk Number One for 2013. Something from "outside the box"...

Headstone Tunnel

Into The Light

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Bakewell Railway Station

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 Northern Platform Hassop Station
Bakewell Northbound Platform
Hassop Station

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.

Monsal Trail

To Great Longstone

Great Longstone Railway Station

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.

Headstone Tunnel

Headstone Tunnel

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

Out of The Tunnel

Monsal Dale Monsal Viaduct
Monsal Dale
Monsal Viaduct

Peak District Poster

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!

Steam on Monsal Viaduct


The above photo has been lifted from an information board.

Monsal Dale Viaduct

Monsal Viaduct

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."

Wye Valley Weir

River Wye

Great Shacklow Wood

To Sheldon

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.

Steep Walk

The Steep Bit

Fields to Sheldon Sheldon Church
Fields to Sheldon
Church of St.Michael & All Angels, Sheldon


Cock and Pullet, 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

Magpie Mine

Magpie Mine Winding Gear, Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine Main Shaft
Winding Gear

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.

Kirk Dale

Kirk Dale

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.

Bole Hill

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.

Over Haddon

Over Haddon

After the experience of Over Haddon, we start to complete the round with a sharp turn in the direction of Bakewell.


To Bakewell

Short-legged sheep to Bakewell
Short-Legged Sheep
into Bakewell


Bakewell Memorial

Bakewell War Memorial

Bakewell Pudding Shop

The Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

Furry Owl


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

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.

Useful Links:

Most photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2013 ©

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Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....