GREAT LONGSTONE WALK
An easy walk, it first climbs gently up towards Longstone Edge, before descending to Little Longstone. The next stop is Monsal Head with its magnificent views, before returning along The Monsal Trail to Great Longstone.
The village street is left, where the remaining water pump in Great Longstone stands. In 1895, the water from two of the pumps was condemned as unfit for human consumption. The villagers were not impressed as they had never noticed any ill effects and it was another seven years before piped water arrived.
A narrow track is followed up towards Longstone Edge, giving expansive views to the south. The descent is through fields to Little Longstone.
The tiny hamlet of Little Longstone strung out along the road, has a late 17th century Manor House and an even older pub. The Pack Horse Inn is a popular refreshment stop for walkers.
The view from Monsal Head is considered one of the best in Derbyshire. Yet John Ruskin, the poet and conservationist ranted when the viaduct was built: ‘The valley is gone - and now every fool in Buxton can be in Bakewell in half an hour and every fool at Bakewell in Buxton.’
The last section of the walk takes you back to Little Longstone and then along the Monsal Trail.
Length: 4 miles.
Start/Finish: Road side parking close to the Village Green.
Location: On a minor road off A6020 from Ashford in the Water, 1 mile from Monsal Head.
Terrain: Relatively easy walking with no steep sections. Can be muddy.
1. From the village green walk up the street passed The Crispin pub and turn right up Moor Road.
2. After passing a number of houses you walk along beside a high wall and follow it round to the left into the access road for Dale Farm.
3. Follow the road round behind Dale Farm to the right and continue to follow it as it becomes a rough track and climbs steadily up the hillside.
4. Eventually the track swings to the left and flattens out before starting to descend gradually.
5. About 100 yards before you reach the Wardlow to Ashford road that you can see in front of you, go over a stile on the left signed for ‘Little Longstone’.
6. Follow a well-trodden path across a field to a stile in the wall opposite and then, keeping close to the wall, go through two further fields, crossing a stile and a wall remnant.
7. After entering a long narrow field head for a high stile in the bottom right hand corner, go down the next field angling to the left to a stile in the bottom corner.
8. Continue slanting slightly to the left heading towards a group of houses until on reaching a wall junction you turn sharp left over a stile.
9. Then with the wall on the right walk for a short distance, before going over a wall stile on the right.
10. Turn left over the stile and head for a stile 20 yards in from the wall on your left. Then walk down a narrow passage to the road between some farm buildings and a pub.
11. Turn right and walk alongside the road for a short distance to Monsal Head.
12. Return along the same road to Little Longstone, look out for the ‘Monsal Trail’ sign on the right, and follow a much-used path down to the trail.
13. Turn left along the Monsal Trail passing under three bridges. A few yards after going under the third bridge turn right up the ramp and go over the bridge and through a squeezer stile on the other side.
14. Follow a clear path across a field to a lane leading straight back into the village of Great Longstone.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Hassop Railway Station Bookstore (Tel. 01629 813444) on the Monsal Trail was built much nearer to Bakewell than Hassop to serve The Duke of Devonshire. It is particularly ornate. Now the railway is no more, it has been converted into a very large bookshop. There is a small café serving snacks. Just off A6020 and B6001 between the village of Hassop and Bakewell. Open daily.
Ashford in the Water, this lovely village nestles on the banks of the River Wye as it meanders its way south towards Bakewell. The beautiful medieval Sheepwash Bridge, overhung by willow trees is a particular attraction.
Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop (Tel. 01246 583392) is situated at Pilsley, one and a half miles from Chatsworth House. Sells a fine selection of meat and dairy products. Gift shop and restaurant. Open daily.
The Crispin (Tel. 01629 640237) a large comfortable old pub situated in the centre of the village. St Crispin was the patron saint of shoemakers, which once was a traditional local trade. Food is served lunchtime and evenings seven days a week. There is outside seating and a large function room available.
Monsal Head Tea Rooms now known as Hobb's Cafe) (Tel. 01629 640346) is a genuine friendly walker’s café with stone floors, large mugs of tea or coffee and a good selection of food. A section of the café sells crafts goods. Open Tuesday to Sunday from the end of March to the end of October. Reduced winter opening. Reduced winter opening.
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GREAT LONGSTONE FEATURE
Sheltered by Longstone Edge from the cold north winds, the attractive limestone village of Great Longstone winds its way along a minor road linking Monsal Head and Hassop. Its comparative isolation from major tourist routes is probably the reason that it has remained relatively undiscovered by the visitor.
But the situation is changing, no longer is it a one street village – much discreet development has taken place and newcomers have moved in. And with the opening of the Monsal Trail and the increase in leisure time, more walkers now visit the village to enjoy its quiet charm and hospitality.
Less than half a mile from Monsal Head is the village of Little Longstone, with its charming cottages with their well-kept gardens.
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