Brushfield, Miller's Dale and Monsal Head from Lees Bottom

This Peak District circuit visits the hamlet of Brushfield before following the Wye Valley back to the start. The walk passes infamous Litton Mill, Cressbrook and Monsal Head.

Technical sheet No. 293323

A Taddington walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Last update : 08/04/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h35 ?
Distance Distance : 10.41 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 201 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 207 m
Highest point Highest point : 334 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 164 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Taddington
Starting point Starting point : N 53.232077° / W 1.746123°
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(D/A) Exit the car park onto the A6 main road. Cross over to the signed path, descend the awkward stile and follow the path into the woodland. Where the path splits turn left following the sign to Brushfield. The path climbs steadily through the woodland to reach the farm at Brushfield Hough.

(1) Here arrows help with route finding across a field and then between the farm buildings and onto the farm access track. After exiting the farm, follow the track across the first field to a gateway in a wall. Here the right of way bears half right (not along the track) to reach a finger post. Turn left here along a clear track descending towards Brushfield.

(2) Go past the cottages at Brushfield, bear right onto a well maintained track and continue along the eastern edge of High Dale. Continue along this undulating track until it turns sharp left (grid ref. SK151724).

(3) Go right here along a wide area between walls with evidence of earlier mining activity. Continue between the walls to join a footpath descending into the Wye Valley. The path drops down quite steeply to reach a bridge over the former railway and now the Monsal Trail. Descend to Monsal Trail on the right before crossing the bridge and then bear left down a narrow path that leads across the River Wye onto a road. Turn right along the road to Litton Mill, with its rather infamous past. Go to the left of the mill and follow the clearly marked concessionary path past the main building. This leads onto a path beside the River Wye.

(4) Follow the path downstream. Initially the river is quite narrow but after a while it becomes much wider passing a limestone crag on your left popular with climbers. The wider river is due to the weir at Cressbrook which was used to ensure a constant water supply for the mill. Bear right across the weir, climbs some steps and follow the path which bears left and rises gently up onto the Monsal Trail. Joining the former railway the walking is easy and you can make good progress along the dale to the viaduct below Monsal Head.

(5) If you require refreshments then cross the viaduct and take the path on the left which leads up to Monsal head. However to continue this walk take the path on the right just before the viaduct and drop down to the meadow beside the River Wye. Bear right and follow the riverside path back to the A6 and the start(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 171 m
1 : km 0.79 - alt. 269 m - Brushfield Hough
2 : km 2 - alt. 272 m - Brushfield
3 : km 3.39 - alt. 331 m - Turn right
4 : km 4.64 - alt. 206 m - Follow the path downstream
5 : km 8.13 - alt. 175 m - Monsal head
D/A : km 10.41 - alt. 173 m

Useful Information

This Peak District walk starts by climbing onto the high ground to the west of Monsal Dale before descending to the Wye Valley to pass Litton Mill, Cressbrook and Monsal Head. The route uses well-signed paths and apart from the initial ascent provides easy walking throughout. After rain, some of the paths can be quite muddy but the views more than compensate for this inconvenience. The start is at White Lodge Pay and Display Car Park where there are also public toilets. Refreshments can be obtained at Monsal Head by following a short diversion from the route.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.42/5
Number of opinions : 4
Clarity of route description : 4.5/5
Clarity of route map : 4/5
Walk interest : 4.75/5

on Mon 12 Apr 2021 05:01:21 EDT

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 11/04/21
Clarity of route description : ★★★★★ Very good
Clarity of route map : ★★★★☆ Good
Walk interest : ★★★★★ Very good

We did a version of this walk, starting from the carpark at Miller's Dale station and tackling it in reverse. This has the advantage of getting the really steep climb out of Miller's Dale towards Priestcliffe and Brushfield at the start of the walk, followed by the delightful traverse of High Dale and then a descent to the Monsal trail and a flat route back to the start. We were fortunate with the weather and really enjoyed the peaceful surroundings and excellent views. It would be good to do it again at a different season. The route is easy to follow and the station cafe at Miller's Dale offers refreshments.

Admin walker
on Mon 08 Apr 2019 04:44:46 EDT

Woops !
Thanks for this comment about the car park. We are going to add that in the description

on Mon 08 Apr 2019 04:23:54 EDT

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 06/04/19
Clarity of route description : ★★★☆☆ Average
Clarity of route map : ★★★☆☆ Average
Walk interest : ★★★★★ Very good

The Car Park is Not Lees Bottom Pay and Display. It is called White Lodge Car Park. Lees Bottom refers to the Dale over the A6 and below the road. So don't keep driving up and down the A6, wasting time, looking for a Lees Bottom Car Park as it does not exist !
Once on the trail the walk was splendid, even without any sunshine. Luckily no rain. Highly recommend it.

on Fri 23 Nov 2018 05:10:31 EST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 21/11/18
Clarity of route description : ★★★★★ Very good
Clarity of route map : ★★★★☆ Good
Walk interest : ★★★★☆ Good

When I recced the walk by myself, 3 weeks ago it was in fabulous sunshine and the views were great. Unfortunately, it was misty for the group when we did the walk yesterday but it was still enjoyable. A steep climb to Brushfield Hough at the start.

on Mon 05 Feb 2018 13:27:57 EST

Many thanks for your feedback on this walk. Please feel free to post photos of the walk if you have any

on Mon 05 Feb 2018 03:52:17 EST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 22/01/18
Clarity of route description : ★★★★★ Very good
Clarity of route map : ★★★★★ Very good
Walk interest : ★★★★★ Very good

Quite a steep climb at the start of the walk and a steep descent to Millers Dale but otherwise fairly flat, although there is a climb up to Monsal Head if you decide to take the suggested refreshment diversion. An alternative which we took for refreshments was to pass the Monsall Head pub and go down the road opposite to the Packhorse Inn at Little Longstone. Well worth the extra kilometre or so.
After a prolonged period of wet weather the path alongside the river Wye on the final stretch of the walk was extremely muddy but still pretty.

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