MONSAL HEAD RIVER WYE PEAK DISTRICT
Monsal Head is a famous beauty spot with a magnificent view down Monsal Dale and up the Wye valley. The position is at a spot where the Wye, on its passage eastwards to meet the Derwent, encounters a band of harder rock and is forced to make a sharp turn southwards and carve its way through a high ridge of limestone. The view is spectacular, with the river far below, winding through a steep-sided and often rocky valley.
The route of the former Midland Railway makes its way along Monsal Dale and was carried by a viaduct over the river and into a tunnel which goes right beneath Monsal Head.
This is now part of the Monsal Trail, a popular route with walkers at weekends. The viaduct is now an accepted feature of the landscape, but when the railway was built in the 1870s, John Ruskin campaigned against the damage done to this unique environment, simply 'so that any fool from Bakewell can be in Buxton by lunchtime'.