Thursday, 1 March 2012

Monsal Head (circular) – (Peak District) – Derbyshire – 26/02/12 – 5.25 Miles – Helen, Ally, Grant (Molly)

Our now regular trio of myself, Helen, and Molly, were joined for this trek by youngsters Grant and Ally. One of whom wants to get into walking more, and the other one whom Helen wants to remind of the benefits. So both Helen and myself agreed that this particular route which we last did in May was an ideal short and scenic Peak District promo. For my part I was firing on a lot more cylinders than the previous week, although as usual never quite the full quota.

So after completing the tourist shots overlooking Monsal viaduct, we descended down some steps, over the river, and climbed up this time to join the Monsal trail. As is now usual there was a fair quotient of cyclists about, requiring Molly staying on her lead, however by the time we reached Cressbrook Mill, and come off the trail, we were able to let her run free again.

Descending down to Water cum Jolly, we were able to reminise about the time Molly nearly decided to run with the rapids on the weir there, as well as point out the place where Luther made an unscheduled swim. The first time I ever did this walk with Helen (not last May) there was too much water about to walk along the limestone walls. Not this time however, and we were all able to enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings, as we were passed by other walkers with the occasional dog. As time was moving on two of our party (myself being one of them) were whinging for lunch, so eventually we had it there alongside the water.

After briefly crossing over the Monsal trail again, we began the day’s steep climb. Myself and Grant pushed each other on in the usual macho male way, whilst the three ladies took a more leisurely approach. One thing I find with walks is that the best views are often behind you, however on this occasion we all took our fill of Millers Dale, whilst taking assorted snaps for posteriety. I then tried to lead us astray whilst following a couple of walkers ahead of us, until the GPS in the grey fleece, put me back on track again.

Further along I looked once more to add some element of tension and uncertainty to proceedings, as I then wondered aloud whether we were still on the correct path with no promised farmyard in sight. However the newer member of our party then produced an app on her mobile, which was able to give us a satellite aerial shot of where we were and where we were heading (which is alright if you like that sort of thing I suppose).

Some of the best views on this walk are when you make the stony descent on the approach to Monsal Head, before eventually crossing over the viaduct. Following which we finished with a steep climb up the steps, where a little girl asked me if I was alright after I stumbled. At the top one is greeted with a choice of ice cream van, pub and tea shop. We chose the latter, having our cake and coffee outside, whilst watching the assorted walkers, cyclists, dog walkers, motorbikers, and hot hatchbacks, that seem to hang around there.

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