Walk distance: 4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate- lots of squeeze stiles so this may not be suitable for larger dogs
Pub stop: Monsal Head Hotel- Stable Bar
Starting point: Long Stay Monsal Head car park- DE45 1NL (£5.50 for all day- machine takes coins and card but doesn’t give change)
Download the route map here.
This walk takes in the beauty of the Monsal Valley, heading through the Headstone Tunnel and through the Peak District. It has a lot of squeeze stiles, so if you have a larger dog it might not be suitable.
From the car park, pass the toilets on your right and walk between the Monsal Head Hotel and the Stable Bar. Then cross the road diagonally heading through the gap in the wall. Take a moment here to take in the view of the viaduct and the valley.
Turn right here and follow the steep steps down. Keep walking down ignoring any other turn offs, keeping straight on sign posted Monsal Dale.
Follow this path down for around a quarter of a mile until you pass Netherdale Farm on your left, and see a footbridge. Turn left to cross over this and then take the steep narrow path leading up to the right. This will take you up to a gate which will then bring you up to the viaduct.
Turn left walking across the viaduct towards the Headstone Tunnel- it will take about 5 minutes to walk through the tunnel. It is well lit, but watch out for cyclists.
Continue along the trail for about half a mile until you see a sign to the right for Ashford.
Go across the stile and then diagonally left across the field towards another stile. Continue across two more fields and stiles with the wood on your left to reach Longstone Lane.
Here cross the road and go through a squeeze stile. Keeping the wall on the left continue walking across three fields with farm buildings on the right.
After the last stile walk up a narrow tree lined path to the road. Cross here to go up some steps to another gate, passing the geese on the right. Go through another stile to the road.
Turn left here walking past Highfields farm (signed) and turn right up the road that says “Highfields”- Pennyunk Lane on a map. This will look like a farm track.
Continue along this track as it bends round, ignoring all other side paths for about a mile (keep going, it will feel like you have been walking along the path for a while!) At the very end of the track, go through another stile and turn left.
Walk up the field keeping the wall on the left. At the top of the field go through a gate and turn right.
Pass a small pond on the right and go through another gate. Continue down this path going through several gates and stiles- first along a walled path, then a field, and then another walled path.
After you’ve gone through the last gate, turn right to pass the bench on your left and follow the path sign posted to Monsal Head.
You will then come back to the gap in the wall where you started. Cross back across the road to get back to the car park.