Monsal Dale Hike

I’ve had a busy weekend. Very good, but busy. Yesterday, I went on another hike with the RamSoc, also to the Peak District- this one was to Monsal Dale, where the Monsal Trail is a converted railway line! I again did hike #3, which was 15.9 km (according to my FitBit we walked exactly 10 miles, so pretty darn accurate this time). We went through Monsal Dale, High Dale, Tideswell Dale, Miller’s Dale and Monsal Trail. Today I looked up what a dale is because apparently we walked lots of them, and turns out it is literally just a valley, “particularly in Northern England.” (A little unsure how something can be more of a valley according to where it is- going to take a wild guess that the definition should actually say “particularly found in Northern England” or something similar.)

One of the best views was actually right at the top, as we started. From here, we could see the old viaduct and into the dale/valley. The day started out pretty grey, and we all expected rain, so for comparison, here are pictures of the valley from the start and end of the hike (it was a loop).

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Start of the day view
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End of the day view
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End of the day view

It didn’t, in fact, rain the entire time! I feel like I say this quite often but I’ve gotten so lucky with the weather. Every time I go do something cool, the sun comes out!

As you can see from these pictures, we started quite high. Unfortunately, that meant we had to go quite far down (and eventually back up). I was a little confused at where we were during the hike, but I think the basic loop was around the hill behind the viaduct. We started by going down, walked through lots of great trees, across a cute little river/stream, and then went back up a hill on the other side.

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Through the trees (not pictured: a lot of downhill action)
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Cute little bridge
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Before we knew how muddy it was
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Cows were literally everywhere. Really didn’t understand this one though.

After a very steep ascent, our calves were all burning but we had reached the other side of the trees and emerged into incredible, lush, rolling hills. Everything was so green and fertile!

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Emerging from the trees
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Rolling hills
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Picturesque barn
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Trademark stone walls

These stone walls were EVERYWHERE. Henrietta (who was on the hike as well) and I couldn’t imagine how long it would’ve taken to construct even one wall, let alone the hundreds that we saw. Hundreds. Thousands maybe (I’m not good at estimation but they were seriously everywhere). When I mentioned something last hike about these walls to a girl from England, she was really confused at what the fuss was about- Henrietta and I, on the other hand, LOVED how cute they were. They stretched out over the hills, forming amazing little webs of stone, and were much nicer to look at than barbed wire or something similar that we were both used to.

A lot of the hike really doesn’t need to be explained- I mean, we just walked a lot- so I’ll just add some pictures chronologically.

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Through one of the dales
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Through the trees
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What a view!
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Nice little barn
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Sunshine!
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Through more trees
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Felt like we were in the Sound of Music!
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Made Henrietta do a Sound of Music spin
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Henrietta and I
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Loving the view
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Casual hiking (this was one relatively tame hills believe it or not)
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Public footpath
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Cute little cows
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It was pretty darn muddy
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Another valley
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View from below the viaduct
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Cool house (don’t know it’s significance at all)
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Path (seriously running out of captions)

At the end of the hike, after our legs were already absolutely dead, we didn’t have to climb the hills (which was amazing) because we walked through the old converted train tunnels. I think there were three, and they were surprisingly long! The last one opened up onto the viaduct.

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In between tunnels
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Inside an old train tunnel
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View from the viaduct (and part of the first valley we walked through)
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Viaduct shadow

It was great reaching the viaduct, because the view was really cool and we could see parts of where we had been. It also meant we were right at the end, which, no matter how cool the hike was, was pretty exciting because we were quite tired. Can you spot the problem, though? Think about our very first view of the viaduct from above… We had to walk all. The. Way. Up. It was probably the steepest hill of the whole hike (and that’s saying something! I walked up 140 floors according to my FitBit!). There was a pretty great reward at the top, though… While everyone else went to the pub, Henrietta and I headed for the ice cream truck.

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ICE CREAM (and a view)
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We made it!

Funny story about the hats: we both brought them to shield us from rain. Turns out we needed them for sun instead. A happy surprise!

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Another great hike down

Sorry that this was so loaded with pictures and not much text, but I feel the pictures speak for themselves! There’s so much beauty out here and I feel so blessed to get to see it!

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Proverbs 30:5

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