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Monyash and Back

Blog Posted on 28 Feb 2011


The forecast was for cloud turning to rain, but it was in broken sunshine and a strong south-westerly breeze that we left the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield and headed up into the leafy lanes of Fulwood.  Past the Hallamshire Golf Course and the old Lodge Moor hospital complex, we climbed up to Fulwood Head, with Sheffield laid out below us.  At over 1000 feet we were still within the City boundary (allegedly the fourth highest city in Europe).  Passing the 18th century Roundhouse at Ringinglow - actually octagonal and formerly a toll booth - we reached the main Sheffield - Hathersage road and climbed up to Stony Ridge, where the plaque marking the toll road is still to be seen.  Across the ridge then down Froggatt Edge, past the Duke of Rutland's former gamekeepers house of White Edge Lodge, the Grouse Inn and the Chequers, and left onto Ridings Lane and Duke's Drive.  Beside the River Derwent and the former Curbar Mill (used in the television series "Colditz", but now up-market apartments) we joined, briefly, the main Chesterfield-Buxton road.
In Baslow we turned right onto the 17th century Baslow Bridge, over the Derwent, where a lone fisherman was trying his luck in the centre of the fast flowing current, and onto Wheatlands Lane, which took us to Hassop.  Climbing past Hassop Hall, through the woods, we were soon on level roads again, with views up to Longstone Edge. Down Longreave Lane, with a profusion of snowdrops on either side of the road, we joined the A6020, and went past Thornbridge Hall - an education centre and home to the excellent Thornbridge brewery (thought its success means that most of the brewing now takes place in purpose built premises in Bakewell) - to Ashford in the Water where we used the cycles-only route over the old bridge to get to the A6. A short climb towards Bakewell and we were soon back on the minor road of Crowhill Lane.  A right turn took us across the hillside, with now more distant views of Longstone Edge, and across to the top section of the climb out of Kirkdale.  At the summit we headed west, then turned left onto Horse Lane, and down to the welcoming sight of the Smithy cafe at Monyash.
Fully refreshed, we headed out, this time with the wind at our backs, along Chapel Street, then right and across Flagg Lane to The Jarnett and Taddington. Briefly on the A6 then onto the delightfully named Hollow O The Moor and down the hill to Millers Dale, under the imposing Arches of the former Buxton to Matlock railway line, and up the hill towards Tideswell.  We avoided the village, passing through Litton (past the excellent Red Lion Inn) and onto Church Lane and Conjoint Lane to cross the A623.
Bearing right we headed for Great Hucklow, then up towards Hucklow Edge and the gliding club at Camphill.  The wind meant that nobody was flying today, but we almost were as we touched 40mph down the hill towards Abney.  Through the village and down Abney Clough past the beautiful Highlow Hall and on to Hathersage.  A long climb up to Surprise View, then past Toad's Mouth (so called after the distinctive large rock beside Burbage Bridge), brought us to Fox House Inn and down the hill back to Sheffield. 
Total distance was a little over 50 miles, the threatened rain had not materialised and the tailwind back had made for a very enjoyable late winter ride.


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