Brushfield Hough and Monsal Dale

Walk Area
OS Map
Start Point
Altitude Information
Start Point
Low Point
High Point
Other Information
Tea Shops
Last Walked
Monsal Head
3.50 Miles (5.60 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Monsal Head Hotel
DE45 1NL  (SK 1844 7152)
764 feet   (233 meters)
508 feet   (155 meters)
984 feet   (300 meters)
Pay and Display
Feb 13th 2013  Duration 2h
Map For
This Walk.

Walk Altitude Profile:

The Odd Looking Walk Profile!

You may have noticed that the altitude profile for this walk looks a bit different. This is because the route crosses Monsal Dale via the Headstone Viaduct (grey area beneath the line).


Car Park Charges
Monsal Head
These prices were correct at the time of last visit.
(February 17th 2017)

    One Hour       £1.30
    Two Hours     £2.20
    Three Hours   £3.30
    Four Hours    £4.40
    All Day          £5.50

A steady walk with wonderful views down into Monsal Dale and Upper Dale on the ascent to Brushfield Hough. This route is along good paths with the only rough section being the long climb up from the Monsal Train to Brushfield Hough, when walked in February 2013 a couple of the sections of farm track at the top of the walk were flooded, but these sections were easily avoidedusing alternate well trodden paths. The path down from Brushfield Hough is setpped and zigzags through woodland so is manageable but quite steep. The final section tracks the River Wye before climbing through woodland back to Monsal Head .

The tea shop for this walk is Hobb's Cafe adjacent to the Monsal Head Hotel, please note that Hobb's Cafe is not usually open on Monday's or Tuesday's. The only toilets on this route are near the car-park entrance at the start/finish of the route.

Getting There:

Monsal Head is located on the B6465 near to the village of Little Longstone, around a mile and a half to the north of Ashford In The Water. From either Bakewell or Buxton take the A6 to Ashford In The Water, then turn onto the B6465 and follow the signs for Monsal Head. From Sheffield, Castleton and the A623 turn off the A623 at Wardlow Mires and follow the signs to Monsal Head. There is also a bus (service 173) to Monsal Head from both Bakewell and Castleton, the timetable for which is available from the Derby Bus Info web site.

The Walk:

From the car park make your way to the front of the Monsal Head Hotel either by passing between the hotel buildings, or via the car park entrance turning left, then left at the far side of the hotel. In front of the hotel is a free short stay car park and vantage points for the stunning views down into Upperdale, Monsal Dale and the Headstone Viaduct.

Snowy View of Monsal Dale, Derbyshire

Upperdale, Monsal Dale and the Headstone Viaduct

From the viewpoint near the front of Hobb's café and the Monsal Head Hotel, pass through the roadside wall and take the path down to the right, after a short descent a marker post is reached at a junction of paths, take the path to the left and walk down do the site of the former Monsal Station.

On reaching the Monsal Trail to the left is the North-West is the Headstone Viaduct and to the South-East the western portal of the 533 yard (471m) long Headstone Tunnel, even though not on the route it is worth an explore if you have the time, especially the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest - Geological) cutting at the far end.

On joining the Monsal trail turn right and walk across the Headstone Viaduct, on the far side of the viaduct look for a footpath marker post to the left a few yards along the trail. Leave the trail and pass through the gate signed "Public Bridleway To Bushfield", then take the rough path to the right and begin the long ascent up Putwell Hill. Along the path beyond the point where the path swings sharp right at a large ivy covered tree, there are good panoramic views to both left and right down into Upperdale (right) and Monsal Dale (left).
Derelict Building Putwell Hill, Derbyshire

Chimney Stack On Putwell Hill

After a while the path passes beneath power lines and bears left and begins to level out, just beyond the point where the path passes beneath the power lines for a second time off to the right is a derelict building and chimney stack shown on the OS map for this walk. Ahead is a gate and farm track with a large yellow disc marker, go through this gate and follow the walled farm track along the top of Monsal Dale for a little over a third of a mile. When walked in winter this track was flooded in a couple of places but was easily navigated be keeping to the right, in one case there is a well trodden path trough gaps in the wall making me believe that particular flood is long-standing feature. Eventually the track reaches another gate with a squeeze stile to it's left, go through the stile and across the field on the other side
keeping the boundary wall to the left. Exit the field through the vehicle gap in the wall ahead, a few yards into the second field go left through the wall at the footpath marker signed "Lees Bottom White Lodge", this marker post is the highest point on the walk. Follow the farm track at an angle to the right across the to an exit on the far side, then down towards the farm buildings ahead. I was a little unclear about the path through the farm but this is the path I took, walk along the track through the farm to a point where it comes to the last building on the left, go left through the gate immediately in front of this building then right at the end of the building. At the end of the low wall on the left bear slightly left to rejoin a farm vehicle track beside the hedge line. Walk down the track to a wooden footpath marker, then turn left to a stone step stile over a wall, the path is now off to the right through a gap in the scrub ahead, I followed footprints in the snow but you may be a little less easy to spot in better weather.
Continue to walk in the same direction until the path becomes more well trodden and obvious as it begins to descend the hillside. As the path winds through the woodland the slope immediately to the left becomes noticeably steeper, to the point where the path becomes stepped and zig-zags to make the descent easier. Eventually the sound of the weirs on the Wye begins to to become audible, as not long after does traffic on the A6 ahead! Towards the bottom of the hillside a footbridge over a stream at Lees Bottom comes into view, this unfortunately is not on our route, as the path approaches the footbridge it comes to a footpath marker post, turn left signed "Monsal Head". The path soon joins the River Wye, keep an eye open on the water along this stretch for Dippers. Walk along the wide path, that at times moves away from the river bank, although by the look of tracks people often choose to walk closer to the waters edge. Walk along the path following the general course of the river for half a mile or so until the footbridge across the river below the big weir comes into view, now leave the main path and cross the river via the narrow footbrige.
Footbridge Over Stream Lees Bottom, Derbyshire

Footbridge At Lees Bottom

Once safely over the bridge with it's fine view of the weir a short distance upstream, follow the path left along the river to a viewing spot beside the weir. To the right is a stock gate, go through this gate and begin the long steady climb back up to Monsal Head. When walked there were a couple of fallen trees across the path, but nothing that could not be clambered over without too much effort. Eventually the path comes to a second stock gate, go through this gate and take great care if you have children or animals with you that you are now directly above the western portal of the Headstone Tunnel, so there is quite a drop.The path continues to climb until it reaches the point in front of the Monsal Head Hotel where the walk began it's descent down to the site of what was once Monsal Station. From here it is a short retracing of the the route around the Hotel back to the car park and the end of the walk.
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