Mable goes trailing around Bakewell
Time taken – 1 1/4 hours
There are times when you just want an easy walk and sometimes you can step out your front door and make the most of the lovely Peak District countryside that we live in or you can choose to venture further afield for some different scenery, but equally unchallenging strolling. This is one of those walks and if you find yourself in the market town of Bakewell wearing sensible shoes, with an hour or so to kill, this is the walk for you.
We found ourselves in Bakewell one early summer evening having done some grocery shopping after work. The weather was beautiful and it seemed a sin to go home, so I decided we would walk before going home. We made a good choice as the way was easy and there were some lovely views across Bakewell to keep my interest.
The walk started by the river, in the centre of the town and just by the large car park there. Walking on the opposite side of the river, to the town, follow the footpath down towards the show ground and crossing a cattle grid or using the small gate, if you are a dog, cross over the showground until the road bends to the right. Although flat and quite featureless the ground is scented, for Mable, so it keeps her interest, but do beware of “nasties” underfoot that could hurt paws (especially after the fair has left)
Continue straight ahead until you reach a meadow, where you should keep to the left side fence until you get the chance to go through and gate and stile following a rough path. You will see a sign for the public footpath and at this stage just walk diagonally across the field using the right hand side of two openings to get through the hedge. After this you will find a small bridge that crosses a ditch where you should turn left towards another sign post.
On turning to the left you will find yourself on a Bridleway which is part of Coombs Road leading uphill through pasture until, at the peak, you can take in good views of the valley below. From here the bridleway turns into a more traditional surfaced lane and you should see the old viaduct off to the right. If you veer to the left for 2 minutes and then right, you will find yourself on the Monsal Trail, the former railway line that extended 8.5 miles through the Peak District from Wyedale, near Buxton to the Coombs Viaduct near Bakewell.
If you take a left when you get onto the trail you will find only gentle undulations as you follow the embankments and cuttings of the old rail line. With bridges to go under there is always the temptation to try to call out and get an echo, though Mable tends to look on in disgust at such childish behaviour! Following this route brings you, eventually to the old Bakewell Station, above the town.
Coming out at the station, it is a downhill walk back to Bakewell’s bridge and, on the night we partook of the walk, a brief cooling dog swim in the shallow river upstream. You may of course find that this premium Peak District town offers hostelries, cafe's and bistro's that are more to your liking when it comes to relaxing before going home - the choice is of course yours - each to their own and may we all enjoy it as much as mable enjoys bath time!