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Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood

There are currently 3 comments and 22 photos online for this walk.

Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood
Author: Peter Truman, Published: 21 May 2010 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide star1 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide star1 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide star1 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide star0 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide
Derbyshire, White Peak
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide boot Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide
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0004_black_low_cloud Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Today's weather
7 °C, Overcast, Wind: 0 mph SSW
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0007_fog Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide 0004_black_low_cloud Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide 0018_cloudy_with_heavy_rain Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide 0004_black_low_cloud Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide 0003_white_cloud Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide

On a late spring day this relatively gentle walk comes alive with bird song, lambs, bluebells and the scent of wild garlic! The climbs in this route are not too fierce although the path is steep and rocky heading into Great Shacklow Wood. However the effort is well rewarded as you walk down through the wood - this is a beautiful path and tends to be relatively quiet and peaceful.
It is a popular path to Monsal Head as many will stop in Ashford and walk the gentle slope up and admire the views down Upperdale and of Monsal Viaduct, now closed to trains and part of the Monsal Trail. There's a choice of refreshments at Monsal Head. Tea or coffee, ice creams, a restaurant in the hotel and enormous helpings of fabulous food washed down with wonderful beers in the pub. In winter there's a log fire that is sure to warm you through if the beer and food doesn't.
Once down into the valley the River Wye twists its way majestically down Monsal Dale before you cross the main A6 road from Bakewell to Buxton and head up the sharp but short climb to Great Shacklow Wood. Once up the slope its a quiet, relaxing and rather wonderful stroll back to Ashford.

The start for this route is Ashford. There is some roadside parking and a tiny pay and display car park in the village. Approximate post code DE45 1QB. The village does get busy so you will need to either arrive early or be lucky to get a space. I would recommend avoiding weekends if you want some solitude though! There's also a regular bus from Bakewell or Buxton and beyond in both directions.
If very busy you can adjust the start point of this walk to either Monsal Head where there is a good sized pay and display car park or to the White Lodge car park along the A6.

Walk Sections

Ashford to Monsal Head
Ashford to Monsal Head

Start: OS ref SK194698
End: OS ref SK183715

Start point: 53.2249 lat, -1.7109 long
End point: 53.2402 lat, -1.7273 long

There's a well worn trail from Ashford up to Monsal Head. From the village centre head out to Vicarage Lane - from the car park turn right where it is signposted to Monsal Head and Wardlow. A footpath sign a short distance along this road takes you left and quickly up past a row of houses and out over the fields. Follow this path over the field and over the stile onto Pennyunk Lane. This track can also be joined from a little further up Vicarage Lane if you miss or do not believe the first signpost!
Pennyunk Lane is obvious as a track until it ends and you are onto fields. The path is then waymarked and will bring you out above Monsal Dale. The summit of Fin Cop is to your left and can be reached if you wish by following the path adjacent to the wall. Note that the fields are private land and you should stay to the right (the Monsal Dale side) of the wall. But this path is overgrown and can be prickly, so you choose!
Once you have admired the views simply follow the path down the slope towards Monsal Head. You now have a decision to make. Stop for refreshments or continue.

Monsal Dale
Monsal Dale

Start: OS ref SK183715
End: OS ref SK170706

Start point: 53.2402 lat, -1.7273 long
End point: 53.2322 lat, -1.7468 long

From Monsal Head there is a gradual path down to the river. Follow this path and you will arrive at the weir. Continue along the river for a short distance and cross the footbridge. You are now in the valley bottom and the walk follows the river until you emerge onto the main A6 road.
Enjoy the walk alongside the river - there are likely to be fly fishermen at some point along the river although to this day I have never seen anyone catch anything! The Dale is tranquil and quiet and there are many spots along the river where you might enjoy a picnic or simply sit and watch the river and admire the views over Fin Cop or the densely wooded sides of Brushfield Hough.

Great Shacklow Wood
Great Shacklow Wood

Start: OS ref SK170706
End: OS ref SK194698

Start point: 53.2322 lat, -1.7468 long
End point: 53.2249 lat, -1.7109 long

Cross the A6 (care - the speed limit of 50 often appears to be exceeded) into the car park opposite. There's a public convenience here if needed, but otherwise cross the car park and follow the path across the field towards the woods. The path heads up the stream and is signposted Deep Dale. Follow up the slope and you will come to the entrance for Deep Dale on your right. Go left at this point (signposted Ashford) and climb up a fairly stiff slope towards the woodland, pausing to admire the views to Fin Cop to your left.
Go through the gate into the wood taking care on the stony path at this point. Now simply follow the path that slopes gently down through the woods. Do not rush this as it is a woodland to be enjoyed. The trees make a wonderful canopy with sunlight streaming in through what few gaps there are. Birds are everywhere and the woodland floor is a huge collection of plantlife. In spring there are lovely displays of (English) bluebells and masses of white wild garlic flowers.
You will pass a weir and old waterwheels and workings. Continue along the river until you reach the Sheldon Road and continue along that road where it meets the A6 shortly and along to Ashford-in-the-Water. Cross over by the old bridge and back into the village.

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2010 by the author ptruman and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 comments for "Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood"

Lovely walk. Really easy going and relaxing apart from the one hill

By redwoodsharp on 23 May 2015

On section 2 Monsal Dale it isn't clear about which direction you should take after Monsal Head as there are 3 ways down to the weir. Basically on this route you double back on yourself taking the lower path which you can see below you as you arrive at this point, and miss the busy path completely... This is a steepish path (and slippy in a wet day) which takes you the weir and over the foot bridge. You could also go down the main busy footpath, over the viaduct, take the signposted path on your left and down to the weir - which is less steep, over the grass and up to the woods and A6. Otherwise, you can end up going back in a circle. Hope this is helpful! - otherwise lovely walk, we'll be back!

By Juddlin on 02 Jan 2016

Great views on this walk. Some of the paths are narrow with steep drops so not for the faint hearted. Our dog loved it and was of the lead most of the time. It says the walk is 6 miles but the health app on my phone calculated 8 1/2 miles.

By SChappy25 on 26 Feb 2017

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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22 gallery images for "Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood"

136_0ptruman1274396841 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Field just above Ashford
136_1ptruman1274396841 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Farm on Pennyunk Lane
136_2ptruman1274396841 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Pennyunk Lane
136_3ptruman1274396841 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Pennyunk Lane near Monsal Head
136_4ptruman1274396841 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Looking across Monsal Dale to Brushfield (left) and Upperdale
136_0ptruman1274397034 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Path towards Monsal Head
136_1ptruman1274397034 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Monsal Viaduct and Upperdale
136_2ptruman1274397034 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Path from Monsal Head to river
136_3ptruman1274397034 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Weir on River Wye
136_4ptruman1274397034 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
River Wye and weir
136_0ptruman1274397390 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Footbridge over River Wye
136_1ptruman1274397390 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Fin Cop
136_2ptruman1274397390 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Fin Cop from path to Great Shacklow Wood
136_3ptruman1274397391 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Path through Great Shacklow Wood
136_4ptruman1274397391 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Bluebells in Great Shacklow Wood
136_0ptruman1274397653 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Bluebells in Great Shacklow Wood
136_1ptruman1274397653 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Wild garlic (just flowering) in Great Shacklow Wood
136_2ptruman1274397653 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Waterwheel
136_3ptruman1274397653 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Riverside path near Ashford
136_0ptruman1274398113 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Along the Sheldon road
136_1ptruman1274398113 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Bridge in Ashford
136_2ptruman1274398113 Ashford, Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walking Guide Image by: Peter Truman
Uploaded: 21 May 2010
Ashford village

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