My school mate Daz decided to take me for a 2hr drive to the Monsal Trail a 20km hike in the Peak District. This is another disused railway line converted into a hiking and cycle track.
I must say that this was an excellent easy walk with fantastic scenic views but very busy on the Sunday of a long weekend.
The start from Monsal head carpark is a little steep and the stone steps a little slippery as I saw two people fall over.
Once at the bottom of the track to the left was a long tunnel towards Bakewell, we turned right onto the Viaduct. The views from the viaduct were very scenic with lush green grass with a small stream flowing from the distant hills and two white swans gliding around looking at people walking the banks hoping for some bread or maybe just think about, well what ever swans think about while gliding around in the early morning sun.
Walking down the track I try out my new camera and try and take some selfies for my blog and introduce Daz while taking some video. I fail badly as I turn off the camera while lining up the shot and record nothing but my feet.
Daz manages to do a nice into for my video and explain where were walking.
As we are walking along the fully sealed pathway people walk and cycle past on a full range of bikes. From mountain bikes to racing bikes, fully kitted out in all lycra to tandem bike and mums and dads with children in seats. To mums pushing or running with prams and lots of people were out walking their dogs and the occasional jogger pass us by.
I loved seeing all the stone walls beside the track and vanishing off to the distance. The green fields were a stark contrast to the dry brown grass we get back in Australia. I also forget how bleak all the stone buildings can be in the towns with similar coloured paths and roads. Out in the country they contrast with the surrounding green fields and blue streams and look so beautiful and remind me of the tv show Heartbeat as they are picture perfect.
As we walk through another tunnel the temperature drops and I almost reach for my jumper. It takes a little while for my eyes to adjust to the dim light and drips of water drop from the roof down the back of my neck and splash off Daz’s head, which I laugh at as I can barely see him screwing up his face.
Daz tells me its so much better that they have opened up the tunnels as before you had a massive climb over or around all the hills the first time he did the walk and was very exhausting.
At the half way point we walk past the bicycle hire place and little shop and sit down by the weir. After a few sandwiches and a drink I walk around the corner and am amazed by the beauty that is in front of me, A stream with the most vibrant moss covered trees I have ever seen. I call Daz over and he too is taken by the sight, claiming he has never walked the extra 20m to see this.
On the way back I spot a guy trying to push his bike and connected child carrier complete with small child strapped in up this very steep incline to the start of the Monsal Track. I run over to him and ask if he needs a hand, short of breath he say yes. So my good deed for the day I run back down the hill where Daz is wondering where I’ve gone.
On the way back we walk over a small bridge where a lady is spinning wool on an old fashioned wheel in front of a cottage. I think of Rumple stilt-skin and believe magic can happen.
We follow the stream back for some time on a narrow track and I spot a few fish in the stream and yellow tits flying around collecting for their nests.
There is a hive of activity with rock climbers scaling the lime stone walls and abseilers rappelling off the viaducts. We are just happy to navigate the slippery stepping stones while trying to talk into the video camera. We soon get tired on this narrow track and head back up to the main Monsal Trail as its starting to get later in the day and we have other places to visit.
Back at the head of the trail we return to the carpark and Daz treats me to and Ice-cream. I must say they its one of the best walks I’ve ever walked.
We then head over to Bakewell where they make the famous Bakewell tarts and puddings before the 2.5hrs drive back home.