Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bakewell, Little Longstone, Monsal Head, and Ashford-in-the-Water

I took a different route through Bakewell to reach the first footpath of the day; the path starts at a very picturesque bridge and then leads up onto pleasant grassy fields with nice views of Longstone Edge.

I then walked through some woodland to reach the road at Rowdale House. As I was waiting for the traffic to pass so that I could take some photographs I noticed how many large lorries there were on this stretch of road, especially delivery lorries and tankers. For the rest of the day I was convinced that the entire Peak District was being clogged up by heavy goods traffic...maybe it only happens on a Wednesday.

It wasn't long until I was on the Monsal Trail, with close-up views of Great Longstone and the Edge behind.

I didn't stay on the Trail for long before taking the path that leads to Little Longstone. Photographs of the pub and the church always seem to be representative of a village.


It's not far up the road to Monsal Head. Here's my cropped version of the classic view of the valley and the viaduct.

I then took a path which was new to me, down through woodland to the bottom of the valley, crossing the river over a footbridge right next to the weir. The water spilling over the weir today was impressive, roaring like a lion and glistening in the sun like a ton of tumbling diamonds.

The riverside path leads to Lees Bottom, where I timed it just right to catch the TransPeak bus back into Bakewell if my ankle was feeling a bit sore. It was fine though and so I was able to continue with the walk.

The path from the car parking area at Lees Bottom which goes to Ashford-in-the-Water is a bit difficult at first, quite a bit of slippery limestone in places, and one section where the path is actually a stream. Along this section I placed my right hand on a moss covered rock to help with my balance, and was immediately stung. It was quite painful, and remained so for the rest of the walk; even now, as I'm typing, I've got a sensation of 'pins and needles' in my fingertips. This has never happened to me before anywhere in the Peak District; I grab onto all sorts of things for balance and support...but have never been stung, or bitten, before. Maybe it was something in the water.

I arrived unscathed at Ashford and took a photograph of the old bridge from a different angle.

I walked along the path back to Bakewell, and arrived with enough time for some sausage roll therapy and to be sprayed with water by a passing car which seemed to be operating as a mobile fountain. Water, I'm hoping it was only water, was being forced out at quite high pressure in at least four directions.

Welcome to Bakewell; home of the tarts, and the puddings.

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