Cheedale (approx 6 miles)

Map: Sheet OL24 Peak District - White Peak Area.
View Wyedale Car Park in a larger map
Start: SK 104 725. Wyedale pay and display car park is situated on the A6 opposite the entrance to Topley Pike Quarry. On busy days it does fill up - the nearest alternative is at Millers Dale.
Route: click here to view the route superimposed on GoogleEarth (GoogleEarth must be installed on your computer in order to view - click here to download GoogleEarth).

This is a linear walk with a difference; the outward leg follows the Monsal Trail, so is level and well-surfaced. The return route passes through the same valley, but at river level, approximately 50 feet below the former railway cuttings and tunnels. The walk passes through a very dramatic landscape, but is also muddy, slippery, involves some short scrambles, stepping stones and is subject to flooding. There is an alternative route via Wormhill.
The disused railway which forms the first part of the walk is rich in industrial archaeology. All of the walk is rich in natural history, with Cheedale being as near to a rainforest as can be found in Britain.
More info: Monsal Trail Peak District NationalPark
Cheedale Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Refreshments: The Anglers Rest at Millersdale serves food and drink.
The recently opened cycle hire cabin near Blackwell Mill Cottages also incorporates a tuck shop selling tea, coffee and confectionary.
Route profile: The profile that I created using Quo is misleading, due to the nature of the first part of the walk following a disused railway line through tunnels.
Wydale Car Park, King Sterndale Leave the car park by the bridleway at the far end.

bridleway through Wyedale This is the first of two railway viaducts that you pass under. This one is still used by mineral trains from Tunstead Quarry (dubbed Britain's first superquarry).
steps leading up to Monsal Trail
On the right hand side of the track, just before passing under the third viaduct, there are steps up to Monsal Trail. Either climb the steps or follow the alternative routes signposted for cyclists. Follow the trail in the Bakewell direction.
the Monsal Trail
The Monsal Trail follows the route of the Midland Railway, which opened in 1863. Trains ran until 1968. For 12 years it remained unused, until taken over by the Peak District National Park. However, most of the tunnels remained closed until 2011.
Rusher Cutting Tunnel on the Monsal Trail
The first tunnel, Rusher Cutting, is short...
Chee Tor No 2 Tunnel on the Monsal Trail
... as is Chee Tor No 2 Tunnel.
looking down to the path through Cheedale
Between the two Chee Tor Tunnels the trail crosses a viaduct over the River Wye - and also the footpath by which we return. When you see walkers below, it is reassuring that the lower footpath is not closed due to flooding
Chee Tor No2 Tunnel on the Monsal Trail
Chee Tor No1 Tunnel is the longest of the three tunnels we pass through - but since its reopening, is well lit and well surfaced.
Monsal Trail, just east of Chee Tor
Almost immediately after leaving the tunnel, the trail crosses the river again. In the past we have come across abseilers descending from this viaduct - but there were none on this day.
East Buxton lime kilns
On the left you pass disused like kilns. The nearby information board not only details how these were used, but gives information about how this structure now provides nesting for swifts and a place for bats to hibernate
East Buxton lime kilns
It is possible to take a closer look at the structure, both by investigating the interior...
East Buxton lime kilns
...and taking a path on the left that climbs up to the top.
platforms at Millers Dale Station
Millers Dale Station was once the largest on the Midland Railway - now it houses picnic benches and public toilets. There is also a large car park, which could be used as an alternative starting point for the walk.

Leave the station following the Bakewell signs.
signpost for Millers Dale
After passing more lime kilns (this time on the right), look out for the footpath sign shown above.

Turn left and walk down the steep path to...
footbridge over River Wye at Millers Dale
...come to the river and cross the footbridge.
Anglers Rest, Millers Dale
On meeting the road, turn right for refreshment at the Anglers Rest or turn left to continue with the walk
waterwheel, Millers Dale
Look out for the remains of waterwheel on left - the nearby information board details the history of the mill at this site - there was a mill recorded here in the Domesday Book.

After passing the site of the mill, continue along the road and under the railway viaducts.
entrance to Cheedale Nature Reserve
Turn right along the minor road signposted for Wormhill. Almost immediately on the left you pass the nature reserve gate. Follow the path between gate and signpost, then through the gap in the wall on the left (don't climb the steps ... they lead back to Millers Dale Station).
the River Wye in Cheedale
The path leads alongside the river, and is quite well surfaced until...
the River Wye in Cheedale reach a junction of paths and the sign pictured, which reads:
Difficult footpath & likely to flood in wet weather. Alternative routes via Blackwell or Wormhill.

Continue straight ahead to walk along the short stretch of boardwalk.

(If the route through Cheedale is not passable, we would recommend following the path to Wormhill, then through Hassop Farm. Join the Pennine Bridleway and then rejoin this route near Blackwell Mill Cottages.)
the River Wye in Cheedale
The path through this part of the valley is narrow, usually muddy and slippery.
crossing stream in Cheedale
Where streams enter the valley from the right, first cross the plank bridge shown, and then turn left to cross a second footbridge.
the River Wye in Cheedale
The footpath continues alongside the narrowing gorge...
stepping stones along the River Wye in Cheedale
...until the river takes up the whole width. The stepping stones allow you to continue to where the gorge widens again.
the River Wye in Cheedale
As you cross a footbridge, you can look up to the trail, where it passes over a viaduct between tunnels. The path continues on the left bank for a short distance, before you cross another wooden footbridge, back on to the right bank.

There is another section with stepping stones – take care not to catch your head on the overhanging cliff as you walk along the last few stones. You pass under two more viaducts and the path widens as you approach...
Blackwell Mill Cottages
...Blackwell Mill Cottages. Here you turn left to cross...
cycle hire & tuckshop at Blackwell Mill
...the footbridge. The cabin ahead houses cycle hire and a shop where tea, coffee and other refreshments can be bought.

Take the righthand fork, which passes under the railway and retrace your steps back to the car park.

Other walks near here:

  • Lathkill and Bradford Dales - 8.5 miles
  • Tideswell Dale, Wyedale and through three tunnels - 8 miles
  • Monsal Head, Cressbrook Dale, Longstone Moor - 6.5 miles
  • Monsal Head - Ashford in the Water - 6 miles
  • Tideswell Dale to Monsal Head - 8 miles

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