Ashford – Monsal Head Trail

12 June 2016

Hard to believe that after 6 months living in Cheshire, this was our first hike in the Peak District. The track we followed started in Ashford-in-the-Water, through Little Shacklow Wood and Sheldon village, before going down into and along the Deep Dale. Cross the road into Monsal Dale followed by a good climb up to Monsal Head, before closing the trail loop by heading back to Ashford-in-the-water for a quick pint!

The GPS track of the 8.2 mile walk can be seen here on ViewRanger.

Ashford-in-the-water is a very appropriately named village and is very picturesque.

The trail begins by taking us through Little Shacklow Wood. Very pretty but most distinctive was the smell – pungent and at times intoxicating. Wild garlic! We were surrounded by it.

A climb up to and then short walk through Sheldon village, with a quick hello to one or two of the locals.

The route then takes us down a steep descent into Deep Dale.

As soon as we are through Deep Dale we enter Monsal Dale and start the trail that will take us up to Monsal Head. We stop for tea and a sandwich by the river in the Dale, and remember that this day is in fact our wedding anniversary.


Refreshed, we go past the weir and start the climb up to Monsal Head.


We are greeted by absolutely stunning views of the Dale and the viaduct.

We ignore the temptation of the pub and the ice-cream van and began the gentle descent back to Ashford-in-the-water.


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