White Peak Walk - 7th July 2007
Date 7th July 2007 Description White Peak Walk
Start Location Monyash Village Peaks Climbed  
Start Grid Reference SK 14983 66626    
Total Time 8hrs 12min
Time taken for all statistics
Walking Time 7hrs 42min    
Stopped Time 0hrs 30min    
Distance 26.50 miles    
Moving Average 3.5 mph Temperature  14-19°C
Elevation at Start 265 metres  
Total Ascent 1,180 metres Weather Sunny with a slight breeze
Max Elevation 422 metres Walking With 253 walkers and runners

Monyash Village - Waterloo Hotel - Brushfield - Bakewell - Calton Lees - Rowsley - Stanton Moor - Harthill Moor - Long Rake - Monyash Village

I have been looking forward to this years White Peak Walk for some time with the hope of completing the walk in a record time. I drove to Monyash nice and early to avoid any problem in parking as I knew the fields which are normally used would be very wet and probably would not be used. On arrival one of the Marshalls asked me to park in the rear car park at the Bulls Head (mmm ... this would be handy after the walk). After gathering a few belongings into my rucksack and deciding if I needed to wear a fleece or not (which I decided not to) I headed off to the village hall for registration. A lady in front of me asked how many would be taking part in the walk today - the answer was that approximately 325 applied but 60 had unfortunately now cancelled. (See exact numbers below).

I waited a short while for the start at 10am. Photographs were taken and final instructions given just before the start of the walk ... a very long last few minutes. Then we were off heading out of Monyash and following Blackwell Lane to Flagg. The sun was out and the clouds slowly breaking up so this promised to be a great day. There was a lovely breeze too. Amazing after all the bad weather over the last few weeks with floods and heavy rain.

I kept up a reasonably walking pace at just over 4mph. One of the advantages this year was that I made sure that I was near to the front of all the ensuing walkers. This meant that the early stiles were crossed without any problem or queuing!!! After Flagg we headed up Green Lane and Sough Lane to the highest part of the walk on Taddington Moor. Then it was a short decent down to the first checkpoint at the Waterloo Inn. A quick drink and my card clipped and then I was off again heading towards Priestcliffe. As I had completed the walk for previous two years I knew my way quite well. The second checkpoint was not far away at Brushfield. I was joined by a local lady from Monyash for a while (Samantha Johnston - who in the end came in as the fastest local lady). She told me she was studying at York University and next year was her final year. Her t-shirt also informed me that she was a member of the University Squash Team.

The path from Brushfield leads one along the top of Monsal Dale then descends steeply down to the famous aquaduct which overlooks the dale. After crossing the aquaduct the path ascends sharply to the Monsal Head Inn. Although this walk is in the Peak District and one does not ascend any mountains you still climb over 1,100 metres over the 26 mile course!!! Then it's onwards through the lovely village of Little Longstone and onto the Monsal Trail. The Trail is followed for about a mile before heading off for Bakewell and checkpoint 3. This week also sees the annual carnival in Bakewell. From the checkpoint we walked alongside the River Wye then along Coombes Road before turning off to cross Bakewell Golf Club and then climb steeply up through Manners Wood. This part of the walk is 'way marked' and was quite wet underfoot with streams of water flowing down our path. The route over Calton Pastures and past Calton Houses to the next checkpoint 4 at Calton Lees is nearly downhill all the way.

A quick bite to eat and drink before heading towards Rowsley. The path across the fields was very muddy and trying to avoid the deep mud and pools of water was very difficult at times. The checkpoint at Rowsley (5) offers tea and coffee as well as biscuits, water and juice - very organised here!! This is the point where many walkers start to fight against the tired legs and feet and in previous years many inexperienced walkers have retired here.

The route continues along a small lane through Holly Wood and on to Stanton Woodhouse. Here one now crosses fields and passes a small area where "New Age Travellers" reside. A road is then reached and a choice of direction can be made. Either follow the road left and around the base of Stanton Moor or follow the road right uphill to gain access to the top of Stanton Moor. The latter was my route today. I passed the ancient "Nine Ladies Stone Circle" while crossing Stanton Moor. Eventually the Lees Road is reached - I met some walkers here who had decided to take the road instread. It's then downhill all the way to checkpoint 6 in the village of Birchover (Stanton Moor). There is a feeling that you are well on your return journey here. More to drink and then off again headed downhill through the village. After passing the Druid Inn a track is taken in the direction of Robin Hoods Stride. I can remember it very well being in this area earlier in the year - it's a lovely part of the White Peak.

After crossing the B5056 we joined the Limestone Way to pass Robin Hoods Stride and continue on to the next checkpoint (7) at Harthill Moor. Then we went through Harthill Moor Farm (where a very lively dog was on the loose) at took the path towards Youlgreave. On arriving at Youlgreave there are several options to the next checkpoint but I decided that I would take the quiet road (Moor Lane) out of the village. This is quite a steep part of the walk (or seems it when you have walked over 20 miles). It's a great sight to see the last checkpoint (8) at Long Rake. Only about 3 and a half miles to go now!!

Across fields once more to pass Calling Low keeping on the Limestone Way. There is then a decent and re-ascent at Cales Dale (which is close to Lathkill Dale). This is very steep and wooded but a good stone path prevails. It is a lovely dale. Not far to go now. On reaching One Ash Grange Farm a wall is encountered which must be climbed (via stone steps). Near the top of the wall is where the new path continues (it's a split level path!!). The final path to Monyash is an easy one once again along the Limestone Way. Weary legs for some on this final part of the walk. The path goes through the churchyard to arrive back at the Village Hall.

It was a great day and congratulations to all those who took part in the walk. Also a very big thank you to all those who arranged such a splendid event once again. I will be back again next year.

In the end 253 walkers and runners took place in the White Peak Walk. 15 retired at various points throughout the walk. My time of 8 hours and 12 minutes placed me 83rd (my best yet!!)


© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125

Reference Books Used

Maps Used
OL24 Explorer - The Peak District (White Peak Area)
Walkers gathering at start in Monyash
Walkers gathering at start in Monyash
Checking on time and taking photographs
Last minute instructions before start ...
... and we are off through Monyash
... heading towards Blackwell Lane
Walking along Blackwell Lane
Nearing village of Flagg
Main Road - Flagg
Green Lane - Limestone Way
Walkers on Sough Lane
Approaching Checkpoint 1 - Waterloo Inn
Newly mown fields near Waterloo Inn
Fields near Priestcliffe
Refreshments at Checkpoint 2 - Brushfield
Viaduct over Monsal Dale
Path climbing out of Monsal Dale
Little Longstone Church
Packhorse Inn - Little Longstone
Longstone Station on Monsal Trail
Fields shortly after leaving Monsal Trail
Path on the way to Bakewell
Pond on Calton Pastures
Path near Calton Houses
Refreshments at Checkpoint 4 - Calton Lees
A very muddy and boggy path to Rowsley
Rowsley village
Refreshments at Checkpoint 5 - Rowsley
Two Dales
Nine Ladies Stone Circle - Stanton Moor
Walkers near Robin Hoods Stride
Track to Harthill Moor Farm
Youlgreave from near Harthill Moor Farm
Nearing Youlgreave
Barn near Youlgreave
River Bradford
River Bradford
Youlgreave from Moor Lane
View towards Lathkill Dale
Bulls Head - Monyash

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