Stepping Out

Bakewell Road, Matlock.
Bakewell Road, Matlock.
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Sunday morning dawned bright and breezy in Bakewell. A small group of hardy ramblers had met up for a circular walk of the area. Climbing out of the town and on to the Monsal Trail we were soon passing signs of the old railway line that used to service the nearby Chatsworth Estate. Both Bakewell and Hassop stations were finally closed down in the 1960s after they fell into disuse. It is good to see that the buildings have been preserved and converted to other uses, Hassop station becoming a café and bookshop.

Leaving the Monsal Trail after a couple of miles we cross fields and climb up towards Monsal Head. There can be few places in Derbyshire that provide such spectacular views as this looking down at the confluence of the Wye and Derwent rivers. A cold wind is blowing strongly so we do not linger.

We head down into the bottom of the Wye valley. The recent heavy rain has turned the footpath into a carpet of mud and we slip and slide along. It is with some relief that, as we begin to ascend from the river, we leave the mud behind.

Ashford in the Water quickly comes into view. It is a very pretty limestone village where the river Wye can be crossed via the Sheepwash bridge. It is here that shepherds have traditionally given their sheep a dunk in the river so they can be cleaned and sheared.

Our walk meanders along the river Wye and back into Bakewell. The clouds have hovered over us all day but the rain has kindly held off. We have time for a detour into a local pub and a chance to get warm before heading back home to Sheffield.