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Monsal Head, a famous Derbyshire Peak District beauty spot.

The Peak District covers much of Derbyshire and parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. There are numerous interesting towns such as Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton, Leek, Matlock and Wirksworth, plus many enchanting villages

Monsal Head

opportunities for exercisespectacular scenery

Monsal Head view of the railway viaduct
Monsal Head view of the railway viaduct
Monsal Head is a famous beauty spot with a magnificent view down Monsal Dale and up the Wye valley. The position is at a spot where the Wye, on its passage eastwards to meet the Derwent, encounters a band of harder rock and is forced to make a sharp turn southwards and carve its way through a high ridge of limestone. The view is spectacular, with the river far below, winding through a steep-sided and often rocky valley.

Looking up Monsal Dale
Looking up Monsal Dale
The route of the former Midland Railway makes its way along Monsal Dale and was carried by a viaduct over the river and into a tunnel which goes right beneath Monsal Head.

This is now part of the Monsal Trail, a popular route with walkers at weekends. The viaduct is now an accepted feature of the landscape, but when the railway was built in the 1870s, John Ruskin campaigned against the damage done to this unique environment, simply 'so that any fool from Bakewell can be in Buxton by lunchtime'.

Monsal Head Viaduct
0 - Monsal Head Viaduct
Monsal Dale
1 - Monsal Dale
Monsal Dale - river Wye
2 - Monsal Dale - river Wye
Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK185715 Click here for Google Maps

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How to get there

By Road:
Monsal Head lies just off the B6465 road, which joins the A6 at Ashford with the A632 Chapel-en-le-Frith to Chesterfield road. There is a large public car park with public toilets behind the Monsal Head Hotel, which overlooks Monsal Dale. However this is a popular spot and the carpark is often full on summer weekends.

By Bus: the 27 bus from Bakewell to Tideswell passes Monsal Head.
When is it open?

Public land, no restrictions. Numerous footpaths around the dale.

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