Walk this way

Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford in the water
Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford in the water

Ashford-in-the-Water - how to get there

Ashford lies between Bakewell and Buxton. Head north off the A6 along the A6020, then turn left, 200 yards later. The pub is on your left.

1: From the car park of the Ashford Arms walk along Church Street to the left, passing the Bull’s Head. Continue until you reach an octagonal shelter on your left. To the left of this is the old sheepwash Bridge. Turn right along Fennel Street, At the grass ‘triangle’ at the end of the street, bear right up Vicarage Lane. Within 50 yards take the footpath signposted Monsal Dale to the left. Climb up the steps past the houses on your right to come out into open fields. From the squeezer, walk straight ahead bearing slightly right. Keep slightly to the right of a single hawthorn tree just over halfway into the field. As you get nearer the end of this field, the stile should be visible at the far end of the hawthorn hedge.

2: Once on the rough track that is Pennyunk Lane, turn left. Walk past the white painted bungalow, Ploverfield. At the pond on your left, follow the track to the right for the next half a mile, ignoring all tracks off it to the right. The track ends at a gate. Pass through the stile beside it and walk up the left-hand side of the field beyond. Pass through the wicket gate at the top of the field and immediately turn right. Join another track 50 yards away and keep straight on until you come out into the open above Monsal Dale.

3: Turn right along the path running above the dale. Stay on this to climb out onto the road at Monsal Head. Walk past the Monsal Head Hotel.

4: At the crossroads, follow the signpost for Little Longstone and Great Longstone. The road descends through Little Longstone, with Longstone Edge on the horizon to your left. You pass a chapel on your left and then a pinfold on your right as you go. Some 100 yards after passing the Packhorse Inn on your left, take the signposted path on the opposite side of the road for the Monsal Trail. Pass through the wicket gate and keep straight ahead through the next two fields. In the second of these two fields you will be walking beside the Monsal Trail. Upon reaching a stepover stile on your right, climb onto the trail.

5: Turn left along it and then almost immediately right off it. Cross the first field beyond the trail. In the second and third fields the path runs parallel to the wood on your left. At the end of the wood, keep forward to reach the road.

6: Cross road. Take car because the lane is narrow and the traffic can be a little fast. Walk along the left side of the field beyond the lane. Pass through the small gate and, keeping the wall on your left, proceed with the farm buildings to your right. Go through the wicket gate and keep forward towards the stone outbuilding ahead. Proceed through the squeezer to the right of this and then along the narrow path to the road.

7: Cross to the steps leading up to the stile in the wall opposite and then cross the field to the stile on the far side.

8: Turn left on the road beyond and, ignoring the right turn into Highfield, 100 yards later, turn left down Hill Cross. Walk down the steepish hill towards the centre of Ashford. At the bottom of the hill, bear right towards the Ashford Arms 200 yards away. *

DISTANCE: 4¼ MILES

TERRAIN: HILLY

ABILITY: ANY

PARKING: YES

TIME: 2 HOURS