Monday, September 12, 2011

Litton, Cressbrook, Litton Mill, Monsal Head, Ashford-in-the-Water and Bakewell.

For the first time since I started writing this blog nearly a year ago I was let down by the buses; the number 65 service to Buxton departed twenty minutes late this morning from Sheffield bus station.

I arrived at Litton and walked across the fields towards the western rim of Cressbrook Dale; with  the final mile or so right at the edge being through woodland. I entered a part of the village of Cressbrook I hadn't visited before, and then walked along the road and down a track to what is now the pretty village of Litton Mill. The mill buildings are converted into executive flats, but this place has a sad history; in the nineteenth century young orphans from the neighbouring cities were sent here as forced labour - frequently suffering abuse and being treated no better than slaves.

I crossed the footbridge over the River Wye and stopped a while to look at the large trout and busy ducks; and thought about the history of this place...so beautiful; yet so tragic.

There was a short climb up onto the old railway track which is now the Monsal Trail, soon passing through Litton Tunnel, and then Cressbrook Tunnel.


I paused, and rested for a few minutes on Monsal Viaduct and then climbed up through the woods to Monsal Head. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I didn't get as breathless as I feared; it seems that my bronchitis is currently under control.

The cafĂ© at Monsal Head is rather disappointing. It has a limited menu more appropriate to a teashop. I had to settle for a pot of tea, and toast with marmalade -  I couldn't wish for a better view though; the photograph was taken only a few yards away from where I was sitting.



It was a simple walk across the fields, and later along a track, to Ashford-in-the-Water, followed by a short riverside section into Bakewell, which I had to rush a little in order not to miss the bus back into Sheffield.