A circular walk from Monsal Head to Ashford in the Water (approx 6 miles)

Map: Sheet OL24 Peak District - White Peak area
Start: Monsal Head Hotel (SK 184715)
Route: A walk through typical White Peak countryside - the outward route through high level pasture - returning via the steep sided wooded valley and riverside paths.

View from Monsal Head Hotel From the short term car park in front of the Monsal Head Hotel, walk to your left. Go through the gap in the wall and take the path heading south west, signed Ashford and Monsal Dale. Where the path divides take the left hand fork, signposted to Ashford. To start off with the paths follows the edge of the wooded valley, giving stunning views of Monsal Dale. There are two benches positioned to view the valley at the point where the path bears left, through a gate, and away from the Dale.
between Monsal Head and Ashford The path passes through about eight fields before you pass a dew pond on the left. At the end of this field the path turns left through a narrow gate. At the end of this field pass though a sile to the right of a gate into an enclosed lane. At a junction of tracks, keep straight ahead. After just less than a mile of walking along this lane, there is a footpath on the right - but we missed this, so carried on to meet the road at Highfield Farm. From either the lane or the footpath (if you don't miss it), turn right on to the road. Follow the road down to the old parish pump and the river at Sheepwash Bridge.
Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford in the Water Cross the bridge and turn right, walking along the A6 for just less than 300 metres. Turn left along the minor road signposted towards Sheldon. Follow the road for about 300 metres, then take the footpath by a gate on the right, following the river.
derelict water mill, by River Wye near Ashford Continue along the riverside path for just over half a mile, until you come to a bridge and a diused watermill. The path leads behind the mill buildings. The path continues close to the river for about a quarter of a mile, until reaching reservoirs. Here the path climbs, then enters woodlsnd. At junction of paths keep ahead, following the finger post in the direction of White Lodge.
direction post - to White Lodge car park The path crosses a stone wall, then starts to descend. Bear right at the next junction of paths, passing the direction post pictured on the left. Bear right again, entering Deepdale. Follow the dale down to the car park. Cross the car park, taking the pedestrian exit to the A6. Cross the A6 to follow the footpath directly opposite. The path descends to follow the river. Stay close to the river until you come to a footbridge.
weir on River Wye below Monsal Head Cross the footbridge, and follow the path on the southern bank of the river. After passing the weir, the path ascends through dense woodland, emerging close to Monsal Head.

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