Ashford In The Water to the Magpie Mine

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Tea Shops
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Ashford In The Water
4.00 Miles (6.40 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Sheepwash Bridge
(SK 1942 6961)
446 feet   (136 meters)
446 feet   (136 meters)
1076 feet   (328 meters)
Road Side - Limited Off Road
Apr 30th 2013  Duration 2hrs 10m
Ashford-In-The-Water Parking
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This Walk.

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A four mile circular walk from Ashford-In-The-Water to the Magpie Mine near Sheldon. All of the uphill stuff is contained in the first half of the walk out to the mine, the climb out of Ashford has some stunning views across the Wye Valley and back down into Ashford. The walk returns through Little Shacklow Wood where the path passes through a steep gorge flanked by ransom (wild garlic) before following the course of the River Wye back into Ashford.

Refreshments for this walk are to be found at the Aisseford Tearooms just down from Holy Trinity Church in Ashford. Toilets for this walk are located in the small public car-park off Lennel Streeet in Ashford.

Getting There:
View Over Ashford-In-The-Water, Derbyshire

View Over Ashford-In-The-Water

From Bakewell follow the A6 north and westward towards Buxton. After about one and a half miles turn right onto the A6020 Chesterfield road. In a few metres turn left to drive through Ashford ignoring the turn to Monsal Head and passing the pub and church. Turn right up Fennel Street and in about 150 yards turn right into the car park. This car park is very small eight to ten vehicles at most (if parked carefully), you may be better off parking on the roadside wherever you are able to find a space.

Ashford-In-The Water is also accessible by public transport, served by bus services 173 (Bakewell & Castleton), 177 (Bakewell & Buxton), and the Trans-Peak service (Derby, Belper, Matlock, Bakewell, Buxton, Stockport & Manchester). Bus timetable information for these services is available form the Derby Bus Info web site.

Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford-In-The-Water, Derbyshire

Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford-In-The-Water

The Walk:

From the start point at the foot of Sheepwash Bridge, cross the bridge towards the A6, then taking care of fast moving traffic cross the A6 and take the footpath up the slope directly opposite. Walk up the driveway then take the footpath to the right of the gate and continue to walk up the hill towards the communications mast in the distance. Throughout the climb up toward the mast there are stunning views back over Ashford and the Wye Valley. Walk past the mast and go through the stock gate in the wall ahead ahead to step out onto a country lane, turn right and walk along the lane across the top of Arrok Plantation until in a little less than half a mile the lane descends to a road junction. At the junction cross the road and climb the stone step stile in the wall opposite, then clime the hill to the stock gate clearly visible at the top of the field. Pass through the gate and exit out onto another lane, again turn right and walk up the lane to a footpath on the left along a farm track. Turn left onto the track and walk along the track for just over a third of a mile, at the end of the track go to the right of the farm gate and cross the step stile into the field beyond.

The Magpie Mine

The Magpie Mine, just South of Sheldon, was one of the most famous lead mines in the Peak District and is the only one with a significant part of its building still standing, having been taken into the care of the Peak District Mines Historical Society in 1962. The mine buildings can be seen from the Bakewell - Chelmorton road. The mine is at the junction of the Magpie vein, the Bole vein and the Butts vein, and was only one of several mines exploiting these veins - the Red Soil Mine and the Maypitts mine lay within only a few hundred yards of the Magpie. The Magpie Mine is first recorded in 1795, though the workings are probably much older. It finally closed in 1958.

From this point the ruins of the magpie Mine should be clearly viable ahead, when crossing this and the fields surrounding the Magpie Mine please be aware that there are a lot of old mine workings just below the surface. Walk directly ahead to a marker post at a derelict wall, the on in the same direction to a gated step stile in the corner of the field. This stile is some what rickety, and the wall to the right has collapsed, so rather than risk the stile I went through the gap, it may be worth considering the same route it the stile is still in poor condition when you reach this point. The ground ahead now shows the effects if years of industry and subsidence, so follow the path care fully up to the chimney and winding house of the former lead mine.

Magpie Mine, Sheldon, Derbyshire

The Magpie Mine

Ore Cruching Circle, Magpie Mine, Sheldon, Derbyshire

Ore Crush

On reaching the mine it is worth taking the time to explore the ruins especially the old ore crushing circle a short distance off to the left of the pit head. From the point where the footpath reached the mine head pack towards Sheldon keeping the drystone wall immediately to the left, at the end of the wall cross a stone step stile then walk across the field to a way-marked stile in the far right corner. Although the path clearly continues across the next field, turn right on entering the field and do not follow the path ahead. Keeping the wall to the right walk to another stone step stile, this section has a lot of fairly small fields to cross each with a stile of some description. Walk across the middle of the next field to another step stile, the bottom step if which looks (obvious ornamental moulding) as if it has been reclaimed from some old building. Cross to another stone stile then across the top a paddock with the wall to the left and a fence to the right, now keeping the wall to the left cross various stiles stone and wooden until the route arrives at an old barn. From the barn follow the farm track down the slope to a stock gate and exit the maze of fields onto a quiet lane. On reaching the road turn right and walk down the hill and follow the road as it turns left with the buildings of Lower Farm on the corner, just beyond the farm house a signposted footpath enters the fields on the left, enter the field then walk sown the slope to the right towards the woodland. Part way across the field the path divides, our route takes the lower (leftmost) path. Follow the path alongside the waterworks to a stock gate, then continue forward to a rather ramshackle stock gate behind rusting oil drums at the edge of Little Shaclkow Wood.
Woodland Memorial at the mouth of a cave, Little Shacklow Wood, Derbyshire
Enter into the woodland and follow the path down the valley floor as it descends through the woods, the path is a but rough under foot in places so please take care not to slip. As the path drops through the wood the slopes become covered with Ransom (wild garlic) and yellow flowered Lessed Celandine, along the way the path passes a small cave in the rocks to the left outside of which stands a small memorial stone. Continue down the slope as the path kinks to the right and becomes even steeper and rougher under foot, until at last it reaches a plantation of fir trees and flattens out.
Bear right and still heading down hill continue until a wooden step stile and five-bar gate are reached, cross the stile and continue in the same direction along a rough vehicle track, keeping the wall to the right walk down to a track through the wall at the bottom of the slope with the River Wye visible ahead. Take the track to the right and walk onto to a wooden farm gate and stile, go through the gate, or over the stile, then follow the path as it meanders alongside the river back towards Ashford. Eventually the path reaches a wooden kissing gate then up a short drive and onto a minor road, turn left and walk along the road until it joins the main A6, at the junction with the A6 turn right and walk back towards Ashford, when you reach Sheepwash Bridge, cross the A6 being aware of the speed of the traffic, then cross the river back into Ashford and the end of the walk. If you require refreshments the Aisseford Tearooms are on the right just beyond Holy Trinity Church.
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