Monsal Dale - Peak District Walk

Tuesday 5th September 2023

I originally planned on doing this walk yesterday but never even made it into the Peak District as the traffic queues were so bad. An early start today meant I avoided the worst of the traffic and only passed one group of walkers until I reached the Monsal Trail. I planned the route to ensure I would be in the open earlier in the day and in the dales when the heat was starting to build. I also hoped that I would be able to access the Monsal Trail at Cressbrook but as information on the bridge at Water-cum-Jolly is sketchy doing it in this direction meant I could make an easy change of plans if required.

Start: White Lodge car park (SK 1704 7063)

Route: White Lodge car park - Brushfield Hough - Brushfield - High Dale - Litton Mill - Miller's Dale - Water-cum-Jolly - Upperdale Farm - Monsal Trail - Monsal Dale - White Lodge car park

Distance: 6.25 miles     Ascent: 391 metres      Time Taken: 3 hrs 20 mins

Terrain: Clear paths

Weather: Hot and sunny, with a gentle breeze

Pub Visited: None    Ale Drunk: None

Route Map >>


New Plantation

The walk starts with the steep climb up through the woods to Brushfield Hough.

Taddington Wood

Once at the top I can look across Taddington Dale towards Taddington Wood and Taddington Field.

Brushfield Hough

The path around Brushfield Hough is very well signed and what was once a mud fest by the gate is now a nice and easy route.

Brushfield Hough

Looking back to the farm as I leave Brushfield Hough.

Mosal Head

Looking across Monsal Dale towards Monsal Head, from Brushfield Hough.

Sough Top

I don't often walk the route this way around so it is nice to be able to enjoy the views across to Taddington and Sough Top.


I soon reach Brushfield and so far I have only met one group of walkers.

High Dale

Rather than head uphill along Bulltor Lane I prefer to follow the lane downhill and head along High Dale, a place where I have rarely met anyone else.


As I was heading out of High Dale I spotted some fungi that wasn't broken and still had that morning's dew on it.

High Dale

Looking back to High Dale as I head back up to Bulltor Lane.

Chelmorton Low

Looking across Bulltor Lane to Chelmorton Low.

Wardlow Hay Cop

Having crossed the stile at the top of the field the view changes completely. Now I'm looking across Miller's Dale to Wardlow Hay Cop and Longstone Moor.

Tideslow Rake

Looking in the opposite direction I can make out the mast on Tideslow Rake and a distant hazy view of Mam Tor.


As I start to make the steep descent the houses in Litton Mill come into view.

Monsal Trail

I soon reach the steps which will take me down onto the Monsal Trail.

Monsal Trail

Looking along the Monsal Trail, which I could have opted to follow back to the viaduct.

Litton Mill

I don't follow the Monsal Trail, instead I cross the trail and take the path down to the bridge across the River Wye at Litton Mill.

Litton Mill

Walking through Litton Mill and I'm now starting to see and meet other walkers.

Miller's Dale

The walk through Miller's Dale is very peaceful and shady, something that I'm now appreciating as the day is starting to warm up.

River Wye

Walking through Miller's Dale I get to enjoy the reflections in the River Wye.

River Wye

As I approach Water-cum-Jolly I start to see more sign of the wildlife that is usually on the river.

Rubicon Wall

Looking across to the Rubicon Wall at Water-cum-Jolly.


I had hoped that the bridge at Water-cum-Jolly would have been repaired by now, but it hasn't. I had seen a couple cross it earlier but decide not to do so and instead follow the track through Cressbrook Mill to the road.


The walk along the road towards Upperdale is very peaceful and unlike the last time I was here I'm not passed by a single car.

River Wye

I take the bridge and bridleway at Upperdale Farm to get back onto the Monsal Trail.

Monsal Dale

I make a slight diversion to the top of the viaduct to enjoy this view of Monsal Dale and Fin Cop.

Headstone Viaduct

Having dropped down into Monsal Dale I can enjoy a view of the viaduct.

Monsal Dale

As usual the cows are in residence, but they are far more interested in the grass than the people and dogs that are walking through them.

Monsal Dale Weir

Access to the weir is still blocked, although someone has removed some of the fencing and as I sat having lunch I could watch people who had accessed the water from close to the weir.

Monsal Dale Weir

I sat having an early lunchbreak looking across to the weir.

Monsal Dale

Lunch over I follow the path through the dale.

River Wye

Although there were plenty of places where people were swimming in the river I was surprised to see this area was empty. Being the closest to the car park and road it is usually the busiest.

Monsal Dale

A final look back along Monsal Dale before I do the five minute walk that will take me back to my car.


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