Headstone viaduct spans a wintry Monsal Dale

Monsal Dale walk of 10 miles

..circular walk taking in this popular trail

START AT THE CRISPIN INN, GREAT LONGSTONE - CHECK WITH LANDLORD FOR PARKING - 01629 640 237 - allow 3.5 - 4.5 hours depending on stops!

1) Start at the Crispin Inn Great Longstone and turn left out of the car park. Cross the road at the first bend to join Moor Road. Continue the steep climb up Moor Road eventually reaching a footpath sign on your left, marked ‘Longstone Edge & Wardlow’, at the edge of a woodland copse opposite a pair of metal gates. (If you reach a cattle grid, you’ve gone too far!) Go into the copse and follow the very steep path signposted ‘Longstone Moor’, ignoring any right hand paths on the way up before eventually reaching a stile onto the moor:

SECTION TIME: 25-35 minutes 

2) Continue over the stile and up onto the moor itself. Soon you pass a few windswept trees, on each side, and shortly afterwards some old, fenced-off mine workings, also on both sides of your route. Straight ahead you will see a footpath sign on the horizon and you should continue towards it. VIEWPOINT. Follow the same path passing the sign and down almost to a stile in a wall (do NOT cross this stile) before bearing sharp left to walk parallel to the same wall and onwards, descending eventually to another stile, on a bend in the road, in the bottom right hand corner of this part of the moor, where wall meets wall:

SECTION TIME: 20-30 minutes

3) Cross the road to a stile to access the first of several field paths running diagonally across before arriving at Wardlow. When you meet the road, turn right and walk down the path and pavement as far as a footpath sign on the opposite side of the road marked ‘Ravensdale 1 mile’. Follow this delightful ‘green lane’ to the top of Cressbrook Dale which affords some great views down the dale and over to the distant village of Litton:

SECTION TIME: 20-25 minutes. 

4) PLEASE NOTE – EXTRA CARE REQUIRED ON THIS SECTION, VERY SLIPPERY AND ROCKY PATH - Continue onto the RIGHT HAND fork of two grassy paths ahead taking care on this steep-sided, potentially slippery and occasionally rocky path (sprained ankle country!) and down into Cressbrook Dale itself. Veer sharp left as you arrive at the bottom of the dale. Continue along the valley floor, with the stream on your right, onto the usually, very muddy section just before the cottages at Ravensdale. Continue past the cottages (note Cressbrook crags on your left) and up to a road junction. Turn left and follow the road down the hill until just before the apartments at Cressbrook Mill (converted mill) picking up a signpost marked ‘Concession footpath to Litton Mill’ (sharp turn to your right along a well hidden path that runs behind the apartments) and on to the café known as Brew Stop. When open, food is not available here, but other refreshments are:

SECTION TIME: 40-50 minutes. 

5) Turn right out of Brew Stop and immediatley cross the weir at Water cum Jolly Dale via the rickety bridge and, bearing up and left, onto the alpine-style path that leads up to the Monsal Trail. Continue along the Monsal Trail until, just before reaching the famous viaduct, taking the path that leads off the trail to the left, descending to the banks of the river Wye.

Watch Monsal Dale video or see our Monsal Dale page for lots more information and photographs of the famous dale.
Turn right and continue round and under the huge viaduct to a gate and into the wide open valley floor. Continue along until you reach a large (and noisy!) waterfall. VIEWPOINT. Pass the waterfall reaching an iron bridge after just a few minutes. Cross the bridge and veer left onto the path that wends its weary way along the dale side up to the welcoming prospect of another rest at Monsal Head:

SECTION TIME: 45-60 minutes. 

6) 8 MILE WALKERS ONLY…(shorter version)
- From Monsal Head hotel cross the busy Ashford road signposted to Little Longstone & Great Longstone. Walk down the roadside pavement past the church, then the Packhorse pub and on to some signposts opposite Little Longstone barns. Take the left most stile signposted to Great Longstone and continue up the grassy bank and across the fields and stiles until you reach Station Road (opposite a bungalow). Turn immediately left and continue along until you reach the Crispin Inn.

- Turn back, very briefly, onto the same route that took you to Monsal Head and veer immediately left on a path signposted for Ashford. Continue along this path for a goodly while, ignoring any signposts off the main and clear route ahead. Just past a dew pond in a field, veer sharp left and downhill into the bottom right corner of the field to a stile, keeping the wall to your right. Continue on the now well defined, rough path that ends opposite Highfield Farm above the village of Ashford in the Water:

SECTION TIME: 40-50 minutes

8) Turn left here and continue briefly to meet the junction of the busy Monsal Head to Ashford Road (care please). Cross over to join Longstone Lane and continue past the houses on your left and farm cottages on your right to a stile into another field on your left. Follow this path over several stiles before arriving at the Monsal Trail. Turn right here and continue as far as the former Great Longstone station (now a private house). Climb the steep steps to your left just before the bridge. Turn left and round the next bend to a gate into a field. Cross the field diagonally to another gate in the hedge. Turn left and continue on the pavement back to the Crispin Inn and lots of lovely beer and food:

SECTION TIME: 35-45 minutes

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015