Nantwich & Crewe Ramblers At Monsal Head And Trail In The Peak District National Park.

Several new members joined the group to make a grand total of 49 walkers as the C & N Ramblers set off on Sunday September 1st to Monsal Head in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire.

C&N Walkers near Monsal Head

Monsal Head standing high above the dale offers an ideal viewpoint for admiring the horse shoe shaped valley of Monsal Dale and the railway viaduct which once carried the Monsal Red Railway Line.

From Monsal Head the walkers descended to Ashford in the Water where a break for coffee was taken near The Sheepwash Bridge. This is a packhorse bridge with an attached stone sheepwash. Lambs were placed in the pen on one side of the river and the ewes swam across the river to get to them, while being pushed underwater by the shepherds to clean the fleece before shearing.

From here the walkers continued along the Wye Valley passing Ashford Mill and through the Great Shacklow Wood. After lunch the walkers climbed the High Dale and on to Litton Mill where they joined the Monsal trail. The Litton Mill is notorious as this is where orphans from major cities were abused by Ellis Needham, with the graves of many to be found in local churchyards.

C&N Walkers on the Monsal TrailThe Monsal Trail is a cycle, horse riding and walking trail that follows a section of the former Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway line. The line was closed in 1968 by the Labour Minister for Transport Barbara Castle, not as it is often thought by the Beeching Axe, It is about 13.7 km in length and starts at the Topley Pike junction in Wye Dale and runs to the Coombs viaduct following the valley of the River Wye.

After passing through the Litton and Cressbrook tunnels the walkers then returned to their starting point at Monsal Head. A debriefing was held at the Stables Bar where all agreed that the Walk leaders Mario Di Bratto, Alan Grattage and Pete Winby had once again provided an excellent days walking

On Sunday September 15th the C & N Ramblers will be heading for BAKEWELL in Derbyshire.
Bakewell is a small market town in the Derbyshire Dales deriving its name from ‘Beadeca’s Well’. It is well known for the local confection Bakewell Pudding (often mistaken for the Bakewell Tart) and is an ideal centre for walking.

There will be three walks to choose from of six, nine and twelve miles. Travel will be by coach, departing from Nantwich Bus Station 08.30 with pick-ups at Wells Green, the former Earl of Crewe pub and Crewe Library.

Rambles are held fortnightly on Sundays throughout the year and there are also evening rambles on alternate Thursdays during the summer months.
New members of all ages are very welcome. For further information please contact Marie Leeke (Membership Secretary) on 01270 842661 or visit