This is an exhilarating walk through high pastures and woodland returning along the Monsal Trail to Bakewell’s former railway station.
You get the difficult part over with first on the walk, as it climbs steeply up through woodland to Ballcross.
After that it becomes much easier, passing over good pasture land where sheep graze. The Moatless Plantation stands on a circular site and was probably a meeting place in Saxon times.
The ridge wall along the bridlepath as you begin your walk through Manners Wood, divides the Chatsworth and Rutland Estates. Manners is the Rutland family name.
Haddon Hall, a medieval manor house, was the home of the Manners family until 1640. It stood empty and neglected for nearly 300 years before being painstakingly restored. Considered by many to be the most romantic hall in the country, it tells the tale of the elopement of Dorothy Vernon with John Manners.
You join The Monsal Trail at Coombs Road viaduct, the eastern terminal of the trail. The Peak National Park, following the closure of The Midland Railway in 1968, established the footpath.
Length: 5 miles.
Start/Finish: Bakewell Old Station Yard.
Location: Follow A619 through Bakewell, once over the river bridge turn right up the hill, follow the road round as it ascends to the former Railway Station.
Terrain: A steep climb at the start, but after that easy going.
1. Walk up the hill from the station car park and turn right, opposite a white cottage onto a bridleway leading through the trees and then crossing a golf course on a sunken path.
2. Continue the steep ascent through an area of woodland to a minor road and turn right and within a short distance right again along a bridle lane.
3. Go through a stile and continue ahead with an area of woodland on the left aiming just to the right of a large pond that will soon come into sight and cross a stile into the next field.
4. The path angles slightly to the right, to join a farm track that is difficult to distinguish at first. This leads to a stile by a gate where you continue in the same direction, just passed the corner of a wood, to a ladder stile on the right.
5. Follow the well trodden path through the wood coming out on the other side through a gateway.
6. Follow the track on the left, which soon starts to descend as it twists and turns to meet a junction of tracks.
7. Take the second track on the right and follow it to the right at the next intersection to go by Bowling Green Farm. Continue down a short section of bridleway before going through a stile gate into a field on the right.
8. Cross three fields keeping close to the fence, before turning left down the farm access road to Haddon Park Farm.
9. Follow the road round as it bends to the right down to the foot of the hill where you turn right onto another bridlepath, with marshland and the River Wye on your left.
10. Follow the path across a long field, angling slightly to the right about two thirds of the way across the field to a stile in the far top corner. Then turn left down a farm lane leading to Coombs Road.
11. On reaching Coombs Road go over the road and climb the steps opposite up onto Monsal Trail, where you turn left, and continue along the trail back to the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Bakewell Old House Museum: (Tel 01629 813165) built in Henry VIII’s reign, this splendid little museum is packed with interesting exhibits. The museum recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. For further information website: www.oldhousemuseum.org.uk
Bakewell Old Market Hall: (Tel 01629 816558) an impressive building that dates back to the 17th century and now accommodates the Tourist Information Centre. Goods produced by members of the Peak Products organisation are attractively displayed for purchase. In addition, if you want something a little different, you can send a postcard to the future as well as acting as landscape detective!
Haddon Hall:(Tel 01629 812855) perhaps the most perfect example of a medieval manor house in the country. The gardens are a delight and believed to be the most romantic in Britain, being the setting for the elopement of Dorothy Vernon and John Manners. For further information website: www.haddonhall.co.uk
The Castle Inn (Tel. 01629 812103) is a cosy 16th century pub with stone floors and a beamed ceiling, situated by Bakewell’s medieval bridge. Food available lunchtimes and in the evenings. Seating outside. Accommodation.
The Bakewell Pudding Shop Tea Rooms (Tel. 01629 812193) delightful restaurant and shop where you can sample a Bakewell Pudding made to the original recipe. Bakehouse tours can be arranged for parties. Open daily.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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Set in an enviable location on the banks of the River Wye, in the heart of the Peak District, is the picturesque old market town of Bakewell.
Visitors flock to Bakewell in the summer, to shop and explore its many nooks and cranies, to admire its fine buildings, or just relax and feed the ducks by the lovely, clear, sparkling waters of the River Wye. There is more space in the winter, but on a sunny day even, that is limited.
The Bakewell Pudding Shop is an interesting place to visit, with information panels and exhibits to view as well as the chance to sample a delicious Bakewell Pudding, not ‘tart’, as some mistakenly call it nowadays.
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