Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk
The Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk is a 9.3 km circuit in Derbyshire that will take you from the picturesque village of Ashford-in-the-Water through the scenic countryside to explore the beautiful forests of Great Shacklow Wood. Along the walk, you will experience a variety of terrain, including urban walkways, farmland tracks, riverside landscapes, and serene stretches of forest. There are a few steep parts along the route, but overall this is a fantastic walk that can be enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts of most skill levels.
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Route Description for Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk
While the Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk isn’t overly challenging or technical, there are some steep sections along the route that could prove difficult for less mobile walkers. Additionally, there are a few crossings over busy roads that should be treated with caution. Make sure to arrive early if you would like to secure parking near the trailhead.
Although a good portion of this walk takes place in the forest, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t charming or scenic. While out on the trail, you will traverse some beautiful stretches of farmland, walk alongside the winding River Wye, and experience the tranquil beauty of the dense tree cover that makes up Great Shacklow Wood. If you want variety, then this trail will be just what you are looking for.
Setting out from the car park, make your way to Vicarage Lane and turn right, following it a short distance to pick up the trail on your left. From there, follow the path uphill past the buildings and cross over the stile. Make your way across the open farmland for 0.4 km and cross another stile to meet up with the road.
Turn left here and follow Pennyunk Lane for 1.1 km, passing in between fenced-off fields until you arrive at a stile. Make your way across and continue west for 0.3 km. Pass through the gate and turn right, following along the fence and passing through another gate shortly after. Continue walking along the track and pass through any gates that you encounter, before arriving at the edge of a large wood.
Turn right and skirt alongside the edge of the forest for 0.6 km until you arrive at Monsal Head and the viaduct viewpoint, where you can spot the beautiful arches through the trees to the west. Hobb’s Cafe and The Stables pub on your right are great options for some mid-walk refreshments if you are so inclined. After exploring the area, head west to return to the trail and keep right at the fork to enter the forest and continue on your journey.
Continue walking through the serene woodland atmosphere of the forest for 0.9 km, where you will pass through a gate and descend the hillside to cross over the River Wye. After making your way across, keep left and follow closely along the edge of the river as the trail turns south towards Great Shacklow Wood.
After 1.4 km, head left at the fork in the path and cross over the streams. When you have reached the edge of the A6, cross over the road and pass between the two car parks to exit the tree cover and walk through an open field. After passing through the gate, continue on for 0.4 km to cross over a stile and make your way through the tranquil landscape of the Deep Dale Nature Reserve. Meeting up with a junction, head left and continue climbing uphill through the beautiful expanse of Great Shacklow Wood.
Upon passing through the gate, continue through the dense forest for 1.5 km, passing countless trees as you meet back up with the River Wye and pass the Ashford Bobbin Mills on your left. Continue on for 0.8 km along the winding river as you pass through four gates and arrive at the edge of the road.
Turn left here to meet up with the A6, following it to the right for 0.3 km. Head left here to cross both the road and the river, eventually arriving back at Vicarage Lane, where you began the Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk.
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Insider Hints for Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk
- There are a few steep sections of trail, so exercise caution and wear proper footwear.
- Hobb’s Cafe and The Stables pub offer great spots for some refreshments around the mid-way point of the walk.
- Take a short detour in Monsal Dale to get up close and personal with the beautifully engineered viaduct.
Getting to the Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk Trailhead
Top reach the car park for the Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk from Buxton, head southeast on the A6 for 14.6 km and turn left onto Buxton Road. In 0.5 km, head straight to arrive at the car park.
Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk Elevation Graph
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Monsal Dale and Shacklow Wood Walk Reviews
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