18 Alstonefield – Monyash

Alstonefield to Monyash 9.75 miles (15.6Km.)

The descent to Biggin Dale

The descent to Biggin Dale

I heed the warning to take care down the slope into Biggin Dale but still manage to tumble on the wet ground. The two sets of stepping stones are now disused with one set totally submerged after the heavy rain of yesterday. The bridge looks long standing but the guide makes no mention of it being here in 1996. I’m grateful for this improvement, stepping stones need to be perfect to encourage my crossing.

Beresford Dale

Beresford Dale

There have already been a few folk on the paths on this October midweek day but once into the the upper reaches of Dove Dale it gets fairly busy on this well used path through the limestone gorge of Wolfscote and Bereford Dales. Hartington is another ‘honeypot’ for walkers and those who do the Peak District by car. Once a centre for the making of Stilton cheese the dairy was bought out by Long Clawson Dairy in the Vale of Belvoir and production is now centred around the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray.

Hartington - General Store

Hartington - General Store

Past and present the Peak District has been mined and quarried for many minerals. While the present day extraction of limestone continues to scar the landscape older workings have left depressions and fissures in the ground and care must be taken in places to avoid danger.

Our route crosses the High Peak Trail, now a popular cycle track but once a tramway built to cross the hills and link the Cromford and Peak Forest canals. Built like a canal with tight bends and inclines connected by relatively level sections, just like flights of locks.

Monyash has a pub and tea room. On my last visit the pub was most particular about muddy boots while the tea room also serves local ale and is better furnished to cater for walkers. On this occasion I pressed on having taken a welcome break in Hartington where micro-brewery ale is available at the Charles Cotton Hotel.

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Great English Walk map of section 18

Map of section 18

Great English Walk hills and dales of section 18

Section 18 - the work


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