HASLAND: Church walking group step out on Monsal Trail

Eight walkers of the Hasland Church Walking Group travelled to the Great Longstone Road/Ashford Road off the A6020, and, braving the rain, ascended on to the Monsal Trail.

Turning right they walked on past Thornbridge Street, rich with cowslips, bluebells and wild garlic growing along the verges.

Later they entered a deep cutting bringing them to the Headstone Tunnel, at a quarter of a mile the longest on the trail, and they had a drinks stop at the end.

Leaving the tunnel brought them out on to the Monsal Viaduct, built in 1863 it is 300ft long and boasts five 50ft arches. The view from the viaduct is spectacular.

They then passed through Monsal Street, through Upperdale to the portal of the Cressbrook Tunnel, then turned right off the Trail to go down to Cressbrook, with the Arkwright Mill on their right. The mill is now luxury apartments

commanding a view down Upperdale and the Wye. They passed the mill race and entered Watercum-Jolly to walk to Litton. This part of the river is beautiful, in a deep gorge with an abundance of life.

At Litton Mill, also converted into luxury apartments, they turned left past Riverside Cottage, onto a bridge over the river, to climb back onto the Monsal Trail, turning left to arrive at Litton Tunnel. Here they had lunch just inside the far end of the tunnel, after which the hundred yards of the embankment offers wonderful views down to the river.

The group then retraced their route through the Cressbrook Tunnel, past Monsal Street, over the viaduct, through the Headstone Tunnel to their cars. Everyone enjoyed the walk despite the adverse weather.