The Best Monsal Dale Walk
“A Cloudy day walking in the peaks is better than a sunny day in the office”

The best monsal dale walk. A pleasant circular walk which starts and ends at monsal head one of many beauty spots in the Peak District in Derbyshire.

Plan your day for the monsal dale walk

Start/Parking:The best place to park is behind the Monsal Head Hotel (DE45 1NL). There are 150 spaces and an awesome view of Monsal trail and the Monsal dale from the top right of the car park.

The charges are as follows:

Up to 1 hour £1.20

Up to 2 hour £1.90

Up to 3 hour £3.00

Up to 4 hour £4.00

Over 4 hours £5.00

Coaches per 2 hours £5.30

There is also a public toilet at the entrance to the car park if you need them.

Walk summary: We started the Monsal dale walk at 10.00 am and got back to the car park at 2pm. We stopped for a quick coffee break looking over Miller’s Dale and a picnic just past lower farm. I say we, my wife and 10 year old daughter joined me on this walk. So obviously it’s a suitable walk for children. A few of the paths are very rough underfoot and there is a 300m climb.

Guided walks: We have guides available to escort you on your walk. Our guides are very friendly, experienced hill walkers. They are also highly qualified first aiders. Obviously there is a charge for their time; the more there are of you the cheaper it will be. Click here to arrange your guide.

I have attached a PDF below under the photos for you to print off and carry with you if you prefer.


Walk to the front of the Monsal head hotel, which is next to Hobb’s teas and crafts. Opposite the tea and crafts you’ll find a gap in the wall. Follow the path to the right signed “upper Dale” and “Monsal Viaduct”.

The path turns left after a great little wooden seat inscribed:

“I was on my 50th birthday

And I stayed at Monsal Head

But the view just so splendid

I felt 21 instead”

Continue downhill towards the Monsal trail viaduct. As you reach the trail you’ll see Headstone tunnel to the left which (like the other tunnels along the Monsal Trail) has been opened. There is now a great cycle route from Bakewell to Wyedale. We, as a family, aim to hire some bikes in Bakewell and report back on this web site under our cycle routes near Chesterfield pages.

Anyway our walk goes away from the Headstone tunnel. Just follow the trail to Cressbrook tunnel. On the way you’ll pass the former Monsal Dale station. My wife had a couple of minutes on the bench on the platform and imagined how it would have been. Here she also had a chat with Barbara Mary Henshaw.

When you reach Cressbrook tunnel take the path through the gate on the right. There’s not much point walking through the tunnel especially as the views on the walk we did were fantastic. When you’ve gone through the gate follow the path to the obvious fork and then take the left path. Follow this path until you come to a couple of caves (about a mile). We had a look in the caves and got very dirty but that’s what it all about. There not big but the kids love it.

When you reach the cave a path descends down to the Monsal trail. When you reach the trail follow it up to the bridge with Litton mill on the right. Take the path to the left of the bridge. When you reach the top of the bridge take the path to the left and climb the hill (300m ascent). This is a long climb to the top of the hill so take your time and enjoy the view on the way.

At the top climb over the two styles following the obvious path. The path follows the wall. You reach a small gap in the wall on the left which is easily missed but marked by a public footpath sign. Once through the gap cross the field to the far end where you reach a farm road. Turn left up the track and then turn first right onto the public bridleway.

"What a great view"

Follow this path down the hill and into the valley. At the bottom turn left and follow the wall to the gate at the end and the road. Here turn left and follow the road uphill. At the top you’ll find a small hamlet, Brushfield. Follow the road to the right and through the big gate after you pass the houses. The gate is broken so be careful.

Follow the main path through the following fields. Be careful some of the fields are private property. The main path takes you eventually down into the valley and brings you back to the Monsal trail via duct. From here you can make your way back to the car park.

There you are, I hope you enjoyed this fairly easy and straight forward monsal dale walk. If you have any comments please leave them below for our future visitors.

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My favourite monsal dale walk