Monsal Trail

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During the bank holiday weekend, we went hiking/walking to Monsal Trail. Yet another fantastic walking trail 🙂 I had heard a lot about this trail from different people praising the beauty that prevails around it. But sometime you have to be physically at the place to admire what we have in front of you. And Monsal Trail was one such beauty.

The Monsal Trail is a traffic free route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders  through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular dales, stones and green landscape. Perfect for a family holiday with young kids or older generations.

The trail runs along the former Midland Railway line for 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell. You can choose to bike or walk, most of the way is a flat surface. It is definitely a long walk, but not a strenuous one. I would personally advise for a cycle trip, but make sure you arrive early morning if plan is to hire the bikes. Unfortunately we could not get hold of bikes.

Most of the route was opened to the public in 1981  and it passes through 6 tunnels -Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel, Chee Tor No.2 and Rusher Cutting – all open for trail users. Each tunnel is about 400 metres long and will be lit during normal daylight hours.

I have no doubts why it has been regarded as one of most spectacular route for liesure walking, you pass through bridges, woodlands, monsal head, tunnels, cafes, ice cream shops, mills, little villages and what more do you need on a walk 🙂

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Plan was to to a round cycle trip from Bakewell to Wyedale and back to Bakewell, but we could not get the bikes to rent 😦 Hence planned to do a 8.5 miles long walk from Blackwell crossings to back to Bakewell. If you are not in the mood to walk 17 miles, you can take a bus from Bakewell – named TP and buy a ticket to blackwell crossing. The drivers are very well aware of the fact that they are going to get a lot of hikers on board to get down at Blackwell crossing, so you will not miss the stop, he will advise you when to get down.

Yes, these people were hogging before we start walking down the trail.

Yes, these people were hogging before we start walking down the trail.

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Me & Ash are always happy on a trail 🙂

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Monsal Hea

Monsal Head

Breakfast point, sadly nothing for me. Drawbacks of Gluten free diet

Breakfast point, sadly nothing for me. Drawbacks of Gluten free diet

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Castleton Walk, Peak District

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Continuing the last post 🙂 So we walked from Hope to Castleton Village. It’s a pleasant walk of around 4 miles.

The village of Castleton was laid out in a grid pattern at the base of the slopes that surround it. It is a market town around 100 years later. There is evidence to suggest that before it became known as Castleton, the land was home to settlers from the Ice Age, as traces of Ice Age mammoths have been discovered in the magnificent caves of the village.

The earliest, historically recorded settlers were actually the Celts during the Iron Age, who built an imposing fort at the top of Mam Tor, which is also known locally as the shivering mountain. To this day, the remains of a Celtic hill fort are situated on the summit of Mam Tor, standing at an altitude of 17,000ft, standing above Castleton. It is one of the highlight of Castleton.

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Castleton is also well-known for the four underground show caves that surround the village. Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern and Peak Cavern.

Few pictures of the village and our walk.

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Hope Walk, Peak District

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Peak District in Derbyshire is the second most visited national park in the world. It’s a paradise for walked, bikers, adventure seekers. This weekend we went back to Peak District to spend sometime in the Hope Valley and do some pleasant walks. This was a last minute plan, browsed 100 of pages for an accommodation and luckily got few beds available in a bunkhouse for the weekend.

We stayed in the village of Hope at Pindale Farm & Outdoor centre. A not so cozy but clean bunkhouse at £15 pp for a night was a great deal. It has everything for a weekend stay – a small kitchen, dining table, chairs, baths & toilet.

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We then headed for a circular walk from Hope to Castleton Village.To the north stands Win Hill and Lose Hill and the heather moors of the Dark Peak, to the south the limestone dales of the White Peak. A part of Hope Village valley was once a part of Royal hunting reserve.  There is a cement factory which has been the source of employment in the village since the 80s. The railway arrived in 1892 and opened up employment prospects for local people with easy access to both Manchester and Sheffield.

Hope (meaning “a valley’) is one of the very few Derbyshire villages to be mentioned prior to the Domesday Survey of 1086, the earliest surviving record dates from a charter of 926 AD which tells that King Athelstan won a battle nearby, and purchased land at Ashford and Hope from a Dane. Hope is also unusual for having kept its name with the spelling unchanged for over a thousand years. Now a days hoarded with Tourist, this village is a home to fantastic pubs, tea rooms and a plenty of walks all around it.

With clearly marked routes and a bit of detour via public footpath, you can do a circular walk from Hope to Castleton. In my next post I will be writing about Castleton.

But here are some pictures of Hope Village and our walks till Castleton.


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WPC: Reward

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Finding happiness is every little thing you do is a Reward. Here are some of my self given rewards 🙂

  1.  This view is a reward of the view around me just before my first bungy jump 🙂
  2. Switzerland
  3. Jumping of a canyon with a fear of water (non swimmer) was a reward for me 🙂
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  5. Setting up first camping tent, after re-tries & re-tries was a reward 🙂
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  7. Hiking up the Britians’ highest Mountain with Ash was our reward 🙂
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  9. Hiking up 6miles for this view, was reward to eyes 🙂

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WPC: Serenity – Less Travelled Routes

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All you need is an eye to capture the serenity. I find it on the less travelled routes, hiking through the valleys, crossing the broken bridges and a desire to be at the top of the mountain to see the captivating nature around me.

Picture taken during my hike to Kinder Scout Peak in the The Peak district.

In response to – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/serenity/

Kinder Scout Hike

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Hiking is an idea to get fit and reach that summit, and no doubt  that I look forward to attain those benefits too.

But what pulls me into hiking is the excitement of going out of my way, beyond what I was prepared for and getting lost onto the trails and then finding my way back through those extra miles that add the adrenaline rush in my body.

It is the feeling that says to me I have lost but I still know where I am.

A hike to Kinder Scout ( Water over the edge) was one of the similar day. It is known as black mountain too and it resides in the beautiful valley of Peak District. I have been to Peak District earlier too, but the very famous British rains did not give me a chance to explore this valley very much and I was confined to the interiors of my tent for most of time.

It is a strenuous hike of 14.2Kms and will check your ability at many points during the hike. But once you reach the summit, you will forget all about carrying those heavy backpacks, jumping from boulder to boulder, walk on the peat bogs, there will be just a rhythm playing in your ears, a rhythm that will appreciate the beautiful nature creation around you.

On the way to Kinder

On the way to Kinder

For the people who love hiking, it is a must do. Not just for the heights but to experience the challenge that comes with it.

Now time to share how I planned it, mistakes I did and things that you should not forget to bring along.

Drove to the beautiful village of Burch Vale and stayed in a very nice, economical B&B- The Old Post Office(http://theoldpostofficebedandbreakfast.co.uk/). The owners are lovely people and extremely helpful. They will be ready to help you to provide necessary information about the place or direct you to appropriate resource.

The hike starts from a car park near Edale Village, you should walk up to the National trust Information centre and from that point onwards your hike will start giving you the option to choose two routes:

1. Grindsbrook Booth leading to leading to Edale Moor and then up to Kinder Scout and come back via Jacobs ladder leading to Pennie’s way.

2. Upper Booth leading to Jacobs ladder to Kinder Low and then up to Kinder Scout/kinder Downfall and come back via Edale Moor.

Whichever route you choose, there will be a certain amount of scrambling up and down, some quite steeps ascent and descent, ladder walk but with a view to cherish forever in your eyes.

It is an exposed plateau and it could be windy, misty and very cold. Very very easy to get lost in case the clouds turns up and spoils the walk.

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First Camping in Dovedale Valley

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Little I knew about camping when couple of years ago, an idea popped up into my head about Camping on bank holiday weekend. When it comes to holidays I am the most happiest person on this earth ( You might think Am I insane to think that I am the only one who feels happy for a holiday, Isn’t it same for all humans 🙂 ). But what makes me happier is planning for the trip. I am a favourite member of my gang when it comes to trip planning and all of them have by default guarded me that duty. A big big thank you guys for trusting me and believing in planning skills. Ahhhh We Girls, you give a chance and can talk about ourselves all day long:P.

Coming back to my story, so I had proposed the idea of Camping without having a clue about how a good camping is supposed to be done. What I could recall from facebook pictures was we need a tent, few clothes, a sleeping bag and some food and most important a tent pitch. So my idea of camping was welcomed by my friends.

Hence I called a camping site owner, booked a pitch, my friends got a 6 men tent and we were set off for a journey to peak district. Driving through busy bank holiday weekend traffic and a beautiful country side of Derby, we finally reached our camp site.

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Camp Site (Picture courtesy Ash)

Yeyyyyyy!! But that expression did not stay any longer, as sky was covered with dark clouds after a while and we had to make sure tent is intact before it starts to rain else a sleepless night in car was awaiting us.

As new we were to camping, it was same with the skills on how to put a good tent too. So all the engineers were on the duty to put the tent, some one was hammering the nails, others were pulling the poles( basically everyone was getting their head around in bits of tent) and after 1 hour of hard work, we had a tent – DISASTER. It was not proper, not firm and a blow of strong wind will knacker us out.

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Disaster (Picture courtesy Ash)

So the whole process began again (this time using our much-loved YouTube) and YeYyyyyy our tent was stood up once again and this time properly intact :)(hopefully :P)

Me- Inside Intact Tent

Me- Inside Intact Tent

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