Monsal Dale – Derbyshire

We woke up very early this morning and despite the showers dug out our walking boots, packed a picnic and drove out into the Derbyshire peak district.

We headed for the Monsal Trail, which runs for eight and a half mile east of Buxton to the south east of Bakewell (tart anyone?).  It winds through the limestone Wye valley and our destination was the local landmark Headstone Viaduct at Monsal Dale.

The view at Monsal Head is fantastic, a busy tourist spot but on a morning like today we had the whole place to ourselves.


The slippery slope down to the valley floor was certainly a challenge, I’m glad we wore our boots instead of trail shoes. I had visions of slipping and falling on to my camera:-(

We walked alongside the river bed stopping periodically to watch Wagtails, Bluetits, Jays and Pippits darting around. It’s still quite early in the year for many of the plants but the Marsh Marigolds had started to flower. I not sure what this is below but it was stunning en mass.


Continuing along the river Wye we could hear the sounds of the waterfall approaching which marks our favorite spot on the whole trail. The Weir has been photographed many times before and I was looking forward to trying out my 450d this year. Curstie was quite happy to tuck into an early lunch whilst I climbed down the steep river banks with my gear and onto the even slippier river bed below.

After reading an article in Digital Photo magazine I thought I’d have ago at long exposures. I don’t have an ND filter yet so I had to use a shutter speed of around 1/4th sec so as not to burn out the highlights.




img_2094-largeMy rucksack taking a well deserved break. It’s starting to rack up some miles now.

After lunch, the clouds were getting darker so we decided to head back to the viaduct and climb back up the valley wall.

img_2120-largeHeadstone Viaduct built in 1863.

All in all, a fantastic morning walk.


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