A mixture of hills, fields and woodland

Walk in Ashford in the Water and Monsal Dale

Map Guide: OS Landranger 119 or Outdoor Leisure 24

Overview Countrywalker Grading
Easy walking through fields and down by the River Wye. One fairly steep climb. Moderate (height 265M, 870ft)
Footpaths Time taken
Walking on tracks and in fields/ meadows. 3 hours (including breaks).
Starting/ End Positions Distance
Round walk from the Car park at Ashford in the Water (SK 198697). 6 miles (9.6 Kilometres).

Ashford in the Water in the Peak DistrictStart from the car park at Ashford in the Water just past the church (DE45 1QF). Walk out of the car park east towards one of the old six wells. Most years there are well dressings in the village where clay slabs are decorated with flowers to form a picture. At the road turn right and head up Vicarage Lane a short distance. Cross over to the left side of the road and turn left at the signpost for Monsal Head.

Follow the path up through the trees past the houses on the right, to a stile. Climb over and walk directly across the field heading for the far north corner. Here climb a stone stile onto Pennyunk Lane. Turn left and follow this track which narrows for approx. 3/4 of a mile. Here you will come to the end of the track and a gate. Climb the stile next to the gate into a field.

Walk up the field, keeping to the left next to the wall, up to the next field. You will see a sign here for Monsal Head to the right. Turn right and climb the stile ahead onto a path. Keep on the path for nearly 1/2 mile to a wooden seat that looks out over the gorge and further fields (but this may not be always visible in summer). Follow the path for another 1/4 mile keeping to the left of the wall until you come to Monsal Head.

Headstone Viaduct in the Peak DistrictRefreshments can usually be found here at the 18th century pub or cafe/ craft centre. There are great views of the Headstone Viaduct, River Wye and Monsal Dale. The viaduct was built in 1863 by the Midland Railway with a line that goes to Buxton, but now carries the Monsal Trail. Follow the signpost to Monsal Dale. The path starts near the road, the valley side of the wall, and you must first descend a few steps before following the path down. After a short distance, do not turn left at the sign for the viaduct but keep following the path to the bottom and a stone building (Netherdale Farm) on the left. After the building, turn left and walk over the footbridge over the River Wye.

Turn left once over the bridge and now continue along the meadows at the side of the River Wye. Go underneath the Headstone Viaduct and through a gate into Monsal Dale. Continue ahead and you will soon come to the large weir on your left. Sadly there are no remains of the mill that was once here at thie weir but further down there are a few iron cog remains and an old sluice. Continue along the side of the river and after about 1 mile the path splits into two. It doesn't matter which route you take as they both end up at the same place, but taking the left path keeps you at the side of the river. After another 1/2 mile you will come to a road (A6). Cross the road and turn left into White Lodge car park. After a short distance you will see a path on the right up to a gate.

Go through the gate into a field. Follow the path for about 300 yards, past the signpost in the centre of the field until the trees become closer to you. Continue south to the woods ad follow the path until it starts to climb. For the past few years waterfrom a spring has started to come down this path. So taking care, either continue up the path in the water to a stile in the wall on the left or take a slight detour to the right up an embankment and then turn left for a short distance and then turn Left and drop back down through trees to the stile in the wall. Climb the stile and head up through the trees into the clearing at the foot of the meadow which is Deep Dale Nature Reserve. Deep Dale has lots of history and remains of a roman settlement have been found.

Great Shacklow Wood in the Peak DistrictFollow the path up until you see a dual signpost on your right. Take the left path towards Ashford. Continue along the path climbing up into woodland towards a gate in a wall. Now you are in the wood and the steepest part of the walk is over. Go through the gate into Great Shacklow Wood.

Continue on the narrow path east through the wood which will now start to descend. After approx. 1 mile you will arrive at the bottom of the path and find another path ahead to a bridge and a track to your right. Turn right and follow the track which keeps to the right of the River Wye. Along here you will find Ashford Bobbin Mill which were once used for crushing bone to make fertiliser. The village of Sheldon used to have water pumped to it from a pumping house here too. The track becomes a path soon and after approx. 3/4 mile you will reach a gate. Go through the gate and you will come to a small road. Turn left here and follow the road for 1/4 mile to the main A6 road.

On the A6, turn right and continue on the pavement. You must now cross the road but be extremely careful crossing here as this road is quite busy at times. After 350 yards you will come to the 17th century Grade II* listed Sheepwash Bridge. Sheep used to be washed in the river here before they were sheared. Cross over the bridge back into Ashford in the Water. Retrace your steps back to the car park by following the road ahead (Fennel Street).

Why not try downloading the route to an app on your device, like OsmAnd (Android , iOS) or GPX Viewer (Android , iOS).

GPX File Download

Walk last updated: June 2021