Part of the Ilkeston Cam "Days Out" Series

MONSAL DALE, Peak District, Derbyshire

The Classic View From Monsal Head

Monsal Dale
It has been a long time since we last visited Monsal Dale in Derbyshire's Peak District and it has been even longer since the photo below was taken on a previous visit. The autumnal landscape left is just as enchanting today as the wintry landscape below and the man made viaduct does not detract from the verdant view in the slightest.

In this ever changing world the beauty and charm of some places seems to remain constant whatever the season. Monsal Dale is one of those places and as you can see below, even in mid-week Monsal Head is a popular spot with ramblers, walkers, tourists and sightseers. First stop on our latest visit was at the Monsal Head Cafe. The building also houses a gift shop.

 Stepping inside is like having one foot in a bygone era. A collection of old tins that once contained all manner of goods reside on the picture rail.

There is also a selection of old black and white photos of the area, framed and hung on the walls. 'Oxo' posters add even more interest whilst refreshments are prepared and served. Sustained by a large Eccles Cake each, sips of a good cup of coffee were interspersed with cries of 'Have you seen ... ' and ' Ooh look at that!' When we had had our fill, the view from the open door hardly did justice to the delights just across the road.

A row of seats adjacent to a small car park enables people to sit and enjoy the views at the designated viewing point but many find their own favourite spot at the wall at the side of the road. 
And this is what they were looking at. To see a larger sized panoramic view click the image below (159kb)


The information plaque not only provides a map of the area but also gives some interesting historic detail. 
Between 1861 and 1968 the dale echoed to the sound of trains on the Midland Railway's main line from London to Manchester. The viaduct remains to remind us of the bold enterprise of railway engineers. It now forms part of the Monsal Trail and you may walk on it.'

A signpost points the way either to the viaduct or to the valley about which the plaque states: 'It is no mere chance that the River Wye flows through this valley - it has created it! Over thousands of years the steady erosion of running water has deepened the river's bed cutting almost 100 meters into the limestone plateau of the White Peak.'
Even in October when the trees are beginning to change colour it is still possible to see a lot of the greenery in the valley. The view above shows both Netherdale and Upperdale Farms and for a closer look and more images of the area click here.

Back to Days Out Index
Special Features Index
Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.