MILLERS DALE WALK
This short walk takes you through a particularly scenic part of the Wye Valley, with steep sided hills on either side. The small villages of Litton Mill and Millers Dale are just about able to find enough room to squeeze into along the valley floor.
It was difficult territory to construct a railway line with tunnels, viaducts and cuttings, but more than half this walk follows the former trackbed of the old Midland Railway. It opened in 1867 linking Manchester with London and closed just over one hundred years later. Derbyshire County Council have converted most of this section of the line, apart from the tunnels which have been closed, into trails for walkers and cyclists to enjoy.
Litton Mill is where Robert Blincoe arrived as a child from a London poorhouse. He later wrote a harrowing tale of the cruelty and inhuman treatment meted out to the mill workers, many of whom never saw their families again. The mill has been converted into apartments.
The pretty little village of Millers Dale sprang to prominence with the opening of the railway, when it became an important junction on the line. Some of the railwaymen’s cottages still survive down by the river.
Length: 3.25 miles or 4.75 miles, if the detour is followed.
Start/Finish: Millers Dale Station Car Park.
Location: On the Wormhill Road, off the B6061, that runs through Tideswell, linking the A6 and A623.
Terrain: Mainly easy flat walking along the Monsal Trail and a normally quiet country road by the River Wye. There is a short steep descent from the trail at Litton Mill and the reverse at Millers Dale. Both the ascent and descent can be slippery in wet conditions.
1. Leave the car park through a gate to the left of the station buildings and turn left along the Monsal Trail.
2. Continue along the trail for about one and half miles, before leaving the trail about 75 yards after passing under a bridge. The tunnel, a short distance ahead, that used to carry the railway is now blocked.
3. Turn left, by an inviting looking seat, at a sign for ‘Monsal Trail via Litton Mill.’
4. Walk down a rough track that descends through trees quite steeply, bending to the left near the bottom to a footbridge over the River Wye.
5. On the other side of the river, follow the short path to the road linking Litton Mill to Millers Dale.
6. Turn left and walk down the road to Millers Dale – Alternatively if you wish to extend the walk by about one and a half miles: Follow the path to the right through Litton Mill and along the riverbank to Cressbrook Mill (floods after heavy rainfall), passing through some of the Peak Districts finest scenery. Return along the same route.
7. A few yards after passing the Angler’s Rest at Millers Dale, turn left, first crossing a short, and then a long, footbridge over the river.
8. Go to the left by a sign for the Monsal Trail and Priestcliffe and walk up a short, steep, winding path that can be quite slippery in damp conditions.
9. At the top, opposite a quarry and nature reserve, turn right along the Monsal Trail.
10. A few minutes later you arrive at Millers Dale Railway Station, where you keep to the right of the station to go through the gate into the car park, where you started your walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Buxton Pavilion Gardens is a Grade II listed park covering 23 acres of landscaped gardens in the centre of Buxton. The park is suitable for all ages, whether it’s a gentle relaxing stroll you want, or family entertainment.
Monsal Head from where you get one of the best views in Derbyshire, of the Wye slowly winding its way down the dale between meadows and the steeply wooded side of the valley. Monsal Dale viaduct is recognised as a triumph of Victorian engineering. Refreshments are available.
Bakewell is a picturesque old market town set in the heart of the Peak District. Visitors flock there in the summer, to shop and explore its many nooks and crannies, to admire its fine buildings, or just relax and feed the ducks by the lovely, clear, sparkling waters of the River Wye. There is more space in the winter, but on a sunny day it is limited.
The Anglers Rest (Tel. 01298 871323) has been a public house since 1753. The ivy covered walls enhance the external appearance of this attractively situated pub, overlooking the River Wye. There is a comfortable lounge with coal fires in winter, dining room and hikers’ bar. Open Monday to Friday lunchtimes and evenings, all day at weekends. Meals served lunchtimes and evenings. Accommodation.
Monsal View Cafe now known as Hobbs Cafe (Tel. 01629 640346) is a friendly walkers' cafe with stone floors, large mugs of tea or coffee and a good selection of food. A section of the cafe sells craft goods. For full opening details please ring or visit website.For full opening details please ring or visit website.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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MILLERS DALE FEATURE
Millers Dale is a tiny hamlet, set in the heart of the Peak District, sharing its name with the dale in which it lies. The scenery in this part of the Wye Valley is magnificent, with the impressive Ravenstor Cliff only a short distance down the road, on the route to the once infamous Litton Mill.
The richness of flora and fauna along the dale sides has resulted in the area being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has several nature reserves in the area.
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