Saturday, 11 June 2011

Two strolls in the Peak

Monsal Head Distance: 3km; Bugsworth Distance: 2km; with Lynsey, Isabel, Mum & Dad

I had recently heard that the tunnels on the Monsal Trail had been reopened for the first time since the railway line closed, which meant that it was no longer necessary to divert from the old railway line when trying to follow the Monsal Trail. Therefore, with my parents visiting, we headed off for a short 3km stroll around and underneath Monsal Head with Isabel in her rucksack carrier.

We set off from the carpark at Monsal Head at approx 11am under sunny skies and headed east along the road to Little Longstone, where we picked up the former route of the Monsal Trail along a footpath to eventually join up with the old railway line. From here we headed back west along the Monsal Trail to enter the Headstone Tunnel. The trail through the tunnel was quite busy, but reasonably well lit as we admired the engineering of the tunnel. Soon after leaving the tunnel we crossed the Monsal Viaduct with excellent views down to the Dale below; it must have been an impressive sight when travelling by train after having come through the tunnel. We headed back up the hill to reach Monsal Head just as it started to rain soon after midday so we headed into the tearoom for lunch.

On the way back home, we took a short detour to visit the Bugsworth Canal basin, near Whaley Bridge where some sort of festival was taking place that seemed to involve lots of people demonstrating the different sorts of engines that can be used in canal boats! We wandered along the towpath for around a kilometre from the carpark before returning to enjoy some ice cream.

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