A wander from Monyash to Magpie Mine via Flagg and Taddington

First, apologies for the poor quality photos that will appear in this write up. My trusty Canon SX220 met its demise, when the velcro on the belt loop of camera pouch it had sat in for over three years, finally gave way, resulting in the camera dropping on to a stone and smashing the LCD display.

Luckily I had a spare compact, another Canon, but a budget model, which got me through the day.

I have since replaced the SX220 with a more modern Canon SX280. Both cameras give me full or semi auto control with option of full manual shutter or aperture control, while still having a pocket sized camera.

Those of you who are keen photographers will know what I mean about being able to take control of the exposure settings.

Anyway, moving on.

Another apology, for circumstances beyond my control, I’ve not been able to get out since my last walk up Creag Dhubh, where I wrote about a fabulously quiet and wilderness style walk in Creag Dhubh and a walk on the wild side
So as you might imagine, I was more than gagging to get out for a wander. It was touch and go whether this one would come off or not, for I was not only gagging for a wander, but also an overnight stop.
Yay, home for the weekend
Not easy when it’s peak holiday season, but a pure luck chance and I managed to sneak in a last minute booking, against someone who had cancelled. Yes, it was the very day I broke up from work; I phoned to see if there was a chance of a midweek booking, to be offered this very weekend.

A big thank you to that person, or persons…..

As soon as work was finished on Friday lunch, the factory was on summer shutdown, I got home, dumped my work gear where it belonged, loaded up the car and headed off to the Peak District.

I kid you not, I was like an excited school kid going on holiday, and I was getting away not just for a walk, but a camp too!

Considering it was the start of the peak holiday season (no pun intended, peak as in peak time, not Peak District), thankfully the roads I was driving on were very well behaved. However, listening to the travel news as I was driving, the motorways seemed to be full of their usual Friday afternoon chaos and calamities!

Arriving in Bakewell on schedule I grabbed a bag of chips before getting to the campsite, set me up nicely. Then the ten minute drive from Bakewell to the campsite was just as pleasant. In fact, the only drawback is not driving through the pretty village of Ashford-in-the-Water. But then understandably so, I guess the villagers wouldn’t agree with me, and to be honest, I’m on their side totally. For if I lived in a pretty village like that, I wouldn’t really want traffic thundering past….

I arrived on site, which was quite busy to say the least with more yet to come on the Saturday night. I checked in only to find that the chap who runs the site had broken his ankle while on holiday in Ireland!

Tent pitched, I took a wander for a local pint and to enjoy the sun setting over the hills across the River Wye from Monsal Head.
Monsal Head sunset
At this point, I was considering a walk from Monsal Head, over Little Longstone, Coombs Dale to Calver and back via Longstone Edge. But then I had a change of mind and something prompted me to pay a visit to Magpie Mine, somewhere I’d not been for many years, since a child to be exact.

So some last minute planning took place Friday night, taking in to consideration the weather forecast for the Saturday, hot, dry and very sunny, which is a good recipe for dehydration. I looked at various routes and options, ideally with at least a suitable refreshment point halfway and journeys end.

Journey’s end was decided, Monyash, THE OLD SMITHY, which welcomes walkers, cyclists and anyone.

The route, was an adhoc route, the only definite section was the Limestone Way out of Monyash, a jaunt towards Sheldon, then Magpie Mine and Monyash.

It’s rare I don’t have a more definite plan, even though all planned routes are flexible, either due to circumstances or an option appears while walking to investigate somewhere close by.

So back from the pub, I set about organising my rucksack, lightening the load while making sure that if I did become benighted, I was able to keep comfortable, but, I was able to carry extra fluids. It’s not unusual for me to consume 3 litres of water on a hot day and using a hydration pack, you cannot monitor how quickly your water is being consumed.

So I always carry at least a 500ml bottle. But in this case, I had two 500ml bottles; for the map told me shade would be as good as non-existent. If I need to break in to that emergency supply, that would be the time to make for the nearest safe haven where I can top up, or if nearer, back to the car and make sure I’m suitably rehydrated.

Added to that, though I now carry the Sawyer Mini Water filter, but studying the map revealed NO WATER sources!

I think it might be time to consider re-writing the blog listing what I carry and why. You can read about what I carry in What's in my pack?

Though I noted there are camp sites quite early on in the route, that didn’t mean water was easily accessible and most certainly the only water sources available later on, would be the farms on route.

But you can’t assume that they would all be obliging (though I’m sure most would oblige), or even inhabited!
Saturday morning arrived and I was rewarded with a fantastic sunrise from my tent.
Armed with my Canon SX220, still in full working order at this point, I grabbed a photo or two, or more….

Breakfast came and went, while enjoying a chat with my camping neighbours, we all wished each other a good day, some walking, and some cycling and others were sightseeing.
Rucksack packed, I set off for Monyash parking up at the small car park opposite the village school, which was filling up fast, with various walking groups meeting there.

A quiet and sunny start in Monyash

The small car park opposite the school in Monyash
Some detail about Monyash taken from Monyash in the peak district website

Monyash (pronounced Munyash) is a small village situated in the middle of the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. The village lies in a shallow hollow in the limestone plateau at the head of Lathkill Dale. Most of the houses sit along two roads and at the intersection is the village green. The rolling scenery around the village is typical of the White Peak area, with limestone walled fields and small clumps of broad-leaved trees.

This was a very rewarding moment, for it shows what real walkers are, very nice and welcoming people. The three different groups I chatted to all asked if I was with their group, and when I explained I was walking solo, invited me to join them.

Anyway, boots on, I picked my rucksack up from the boot of the car, clipped the waist belt up then adjusted the straps for comfort and routed the mouth piece of my hydration pack and bang, the camera pouch dropped!

Fingers and toes crossed, I picked the pouch up, opened it and was confronted with a cracked LCD screen!

Hey ho, too late to get upset, I need to get moving and by chance, I had a spare camera in the car, which sufficed to get me through the day.

So, in the North West corner of the car park is the start of a public footpath. A quick check on the map to make sure it was the path I wanted, for my planning suggested a path a little further north.

The footpath from the car park

...." this path takes you at the back of people’s gardens"....

...."before becoming open fields"....

However, it would get me to the Limestone Way, just as easily. Now, this path takes you at the back of people’s gardens before becoming open fields.

Crossing the fields, we eventually come to Cross Lane, where we continue in the North Westerly direction towards the Limestone Way.

Incidentally, the last time I walked the Limestone Way from Monyash, was July 2013, covered in A Limestone walk from Monyash, which took in Arbor Low Stone Circle, Bradford Dale and Lathkill Dale.

It was hot, 26.9ºC (80.4ºF) with virtually no breeze!

...."It was hot, 26.9ºC (80.4ºF)"....

...."with virtually no breeze!"....

I wasn’t too long before I reached the point where Cross Lane became the Limestone Way, so following the lane to the right a little, you can see where the Limestone Way routes itself, still following a North Westerly direction.

The point where Cross Lane ends and the Limestone Way takes over.

Taking the path to the right

Then to the left just after the barn in the above picture, is the Limestone Way

While walking along the Limestone Way, it wasn’t too long before I entered a very large camp site, Knotlow Farm, just outside Flagg. At this point, it was very unclear where the Limestone Way actually went, for there was no signage, no tell-tale footpath impression, just a large field with a lot of tents on it!

A full check of the map to get a bearing and look at alternatives, should I need to make a detour. The alternative would be to head to the farm and follow the track out of the farm, which would bring me back on the Limestone Way.

The alternative route through Knotlow Farm is shown in purple

However, I wasn’t to be beaten, the footpath is somewhere and I was going to find it with minimal fuss.

So, I worked out the track and where roughly in the field the footpath would cross the boundary feature, sorted my backstop, the field far corner, where I could pace back from if the crossing point wasn’t clear.

...."I worked out the track and where roughly in the field"....

...."As luck had it, there was a gap in the dry stone wall
that was most definitely the Limestone Way, with a dilapidated sign to confirm it.

As luck had it, there was a gap in the dry stone wall that was most definitely the Limestone Way, with a dilapidated sign to confirm it. So through the gap I went and followed the edge of the field, only to eventually re-join Knotlow Farm campsite.

Here I picked up the tarmac farm track which was my alternative route should I not have found the footpath as marked on the map.

Over the dry stone wall and in to a field

Only to return back on to Knotlow Farm Campsite

Follow this tarmac track to the road for Flagg

This next section to Flagg was easy; I just followed the track to pick up the road in to Flagg, following the bend to the right and straight in to the small village of Flagg.

Flagg, meaning Old Norse God, is a typical White Peak village and an interesting one too.

The following is taken from the Visit Peak District website

Flagg is a small Peak District village, set in the Derbyshire Dales, halfway between the picturesque town of Bakewell and the spa town of Buxton.

Flagg is a friendly village in the area officially known as "The White Peak". A thousand feet above sea level. It is predominantly a farming village, concentrating on all aspects of agriculture. Before water was piped to houses etc it was pumped up from a well and collected from stand taps in the village, Flagg water supply never failed and farmers from miles around would come with their tanks to collect water for their animals.

Flagg Hall is thought to date back to the 16th century and had associations with the Dales and Fynnes, who were old Derbyshire families. The most noted resident of Flagg Hall however is the 'haunted skull' which is still said to be contained within. Legend has it that should this skull be removed or buried, great misfortune will befall the owners of the Hall. An attempt was made to bury the skull at Chelmorton many years ago, but when the funeral cortege neared the village, the horses refused to proceed and despite any encouragement by the coachman, they reared and stamped so much that he was forced to return the vehicle to the Hall, and the skull was replaced.

Flagg is actually best known throughout the United Kingdom for the point-to-point races held annually on Easter Tuesday by the High Peak Hunt. Flagg Moor is the setting and the races are Derbyshires equivalent to the Grand National. It is said that King Edward VIII when Prince of Wales actually rode at Flagg Races!

Soon after entering Flagg, a few houses then the village hall, I came to a cross roads. The next section was across the cross roads, just to the left of the drive up to Flagg Hall Farm. Following the path marked on the map.
Flagg Village Hall

Flagg cross roads and footpath to the left of Flagg Hall Farm Drive
shown below

Flagg Hall Farm Drive

Now here’s the interesting part. I tend to use Ordnance Survey 1:25000 maps printed on Toughprint paper, which is waterproof paper and being A4 size, is more manageable.

Just digressing, you can read about my early and pleasantly surprising experiences with Toughprint waterproof paper in my blog Toughprint Waterproof Paper from Memory map.

I now have quite a nice collection of A4 sized dedicated coverage maps, which really are a lot easier to handle than the full Ordnance Survey sheets.

However, Flagg is on the edge of the Ordnance Survey OL24 White Peak map, from here I used my Harvey’s 1:40000 scale map. The interesting thing is, Ordnance Survey shows the path through Flagg Hall Farm, and Harvey’s show the route I took through the fields!

So, it may look like I veered away from the path according to the Ordnance Survey map, but according to the Harvey’s map, is was on the correct path. Added to that, at the recognised crossing points, there were styles!

So at some time, either in a previous life or reviewed life, that was/is a foot path.

My guess is, based on the little yellow circled sign with the green background and yellow arrow directing me across the field and the Harvey’s map is probably the most up to date, being one of the latest in the series and a copyright date of 2012, vs. my Ordnance Survey map with a copyright date of 2009, that is the preferred and proper route.

I've included images of both the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 1:25000 and Harvey's White Peak Map 1:40000 maps below to show the differences

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 1:25000

Harvey's White Peak Map 1:40000

However, a warning, the styles were rickety!

A nice steady ascent across the fields and I soon reached Flag Lane. Here I would turn right heading in an easterly direction for a distance of approx. 120 metres, to pick up a footpath heading in a Nor-Nor-West direction, for the next destination, Taddington.

That was quite a handy opportunity for me, for every so often, I will check my pacing steps, to make sure there are no changes for when I might really need to know the distance travelled between notable navigation points when in low light or poor visibility.

Flagg Lane

The footpath off Flagg Lane to head in a nor-nor-west direction for Taddington
(and photo below)

If time is against you at this point, you can shorten the route to Magpie Mine by 5.33 km (3.33 miles) and omit Taddington from the walk.

Once you continue along the Flagg Lane past the footpath I took, for a total distance of approx. 2.13 km (1.32 miles), you can still get to Magpie Mine.

Taddington was added in to the plan just before I entered Flagg, and was also designated as my lunch stop.

...." following the narrow field system, I eventually came across another style on my right"....

Straight across this field
So following the narrow field system, I eventually came across another style on my right where I would walk in a North-Easterly direction across the fields to pick up the road in to Taddington.

Once on the road, now heading in a northerly direction, there is an un-signposted path to the right, but it is shown on the map. I started to navigate this path, but it was very overgrown, so I back tracked to pick up the road again and follow that in to Taddington.
The road to Taddington

...."on the road, now heading in a northerly direction,
there is an un-signposted path to the right,
but it is shown on the map"....
...."I started to navigate this path, but it was very overgrown"....
At the highest point on the road, I had a clear view over to Eyam Moor and the radio mast that sits on the moors summit.

Eyam Moor, (pro “eeem”) where I enjoyed a lovely walk in 2013 and a very interesting wander around the village of Eyam, is covered in Eyam; a plague village and a walk on Eyam Moor.

The radio mast can be seen across a lot of the Peak District and the views from the moor are fantastic.

Looking over to the radio mast on Eyam Moor

Once in the village of Taddington, I investigated the various footpaths coming down in to the village, if I had continued down the earlier aborted attempt. They were all navigable, many of which were actually small lanes to the villagers houses.

Lunchtime, so my stomach was telling me, was getting overdue, so it was time to find the pub. I could just make out what looked like a pub sign, so walking along the road in an easterly direction; I came to the Queens Arms, a nice pub inside with a nice and small beer garden, on the edge of the car park.

One of the many paths in to Taddington

An old road side side


My lunch stop, the Queens Arms, Taddington

with a small and tidy beer garden

There was my lunch stop.

Taddington is one of the highest villages in England, at its highest point on the map, is 365 metres above sea level (abbrv. asl) and the point at which I reach the road in to Taddington, is 383 metres asl.

The following is taken from Taddington Village’s website
which is worth a visit, both online and also when in the area.


Situated on the undulating White Peak plateau, between 305 and 460 metres above sea level, Taddington ranks among the highest villages in England and serious winter snow is a common occurance. First recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086AD, the name originates from the Anglian people who first settled these parts during the later sixth century. One man amongst them called ‘Tada’ set up a farmstead or ‘ton’ hereabouts for his extended family or clan and from him we get ‘Taddington’.

Taddington is an good example of a planned village, probably created in the ninth or tenth century when the newly introduced open field system required the population to be gathered into nucleated communities. It is a ‘street village’ where houses were laid out along a single street, each small plot having a narrow croft and a back lane behind. The site chosen huddles in the lee of higher ground which gives protection from the prevailing south-west winds whilst avoiding the best arable land where medieval arable strips are still evident in the many long narrow fields.

But perhaps most importantly, the village was placed close to a natural source of drinking water. The White Peak is underlain by limestone and consequently without surface water except where local geology has created springs such our ‘High Well’ and we still celebrate the importance of this water in our annual Wells Dressing.

You will also note that Taddington, like many other Peak District Villages, also blesses their water wells.

Back in 2012, I wrote about Tissington’s Well Dressings, which looks at some of the work and history, which you can read here Tissington Well Dressing, an ancient custom, today

Incidentally, at the time of writing, the current pub owners have a parrot that startled the life out of those waking past it! Unfortunately, it didn’t want to pose for the camera, was quite happy to show off what acrobatics it could do in the cage.

Lunchtime over, I headed back on to the main road through Taddington, heading Eastwards and my next destination was Magpie Mine.

Soon after leaving the Queens Arms, at the junction I took the right fork, taking me away from the main road and start ascending in to the country. From here it is relatively straightforward; just follow the lane which eventually became a track and ended up a footpath, taking me around the southern tip of Deep Dale.
The lane out of Taddington

Which soon becomes a track

The path in to the southern end of Deep Dale

The path up to Flagg Lane, with the path to Deep Dale just behind
Eventually I start to descend and at the bottom of the small hill, I joined up with the footpath out of Deep Dale.

After another minor ascent which took me back to Flagg Lane. I turned left to head in an easterly direction, for the path to Magpie Mine.
The track eventually reaches Flagg Lane

Quite early on in my planning stages, I was considering heading for Sheldon. This was mainly due to the fact the last time I visited Magpie Mine, the walk was from the village of Sheldon. However, when I added Taddington to my route, timings didn’t really make Sheldon a viable option for today.

However, if you decided to visit Sheldon, another of the many pretty Peak District villages, then then take Johnson Lane at the junction (GR SK 165 682) where you can take the road in to the village and then any one of the four footpaths out of Sheldon to Magpie Mine.

Sheldon, like many Peak District villages, have their own website, which you can find here; Sheldon Village A historic Village in the Heart of the Peak District

Back to the route, walking along Flagg Lane, where, you can see the buildings of Magpie Mine, past the junction with Johnson Lane, a mere 175 metres according to the map, was the clearly marked footpath I needed to get to Magpie Mine.
...."At this point, you can clearly see the chimney of Magpie Mine"....

At this point, you can clearly see the chimney of Magpie Mine, so it’s a case of follow the footpath right to the mine.

Once at Magpie Mine, many of the buildings still stand, though in a derelict form, as you would expect.

CAUTION! As with any derelict site, buildings or land, treat the area with respect, for you don’t want to become a casualty.

The old buildings of Magpie Mine

The winding gear and mine shaft

The old buildings of Magpie Mine

After a wander around and taking a few photos, it was time to set off for Monyash.

The final stages of the route would be as straightforward as you could get.

The map tells you there are NO direct footpaths to Monyash, so it is road all the way from here.

Taking the track from Magpie Mine, heading more or less in a southerly direction, I reach Flagg Lane again. Turning right and heading in a westerly direction, heading for the junction with Horse Lane, which, heading south westerly, is the route straight in to Monyash.

The track from Magpie Mine to Flagg Lane

The pedestrian gate just to the right of the vehicle gate

Junction of Flagg Lane and Horse Lane

Horse Lane, leading straight in to Monyash

Eventually, I reach Monyash and a T junction at the end of Horse Lane, where I turn left to walk past the car park where my car is parked, but!

I desired a post walk drink, preferably a cuppa at THE OLD SMITHY, though the Bulls Head pub next door is just as welcoming, which Andy and I used when we completed the walk A Limestone walk from Monyash.

What a welcoming sight THE OLD SMITHY was, I sat outside with my cuppa, just reflecting on the day’s very enjoyable wander and generally just chilling, when a voice said “Hello, fancy seeing you here!

When I looked up, there was one of the girls, along with her husband, who work in my local Go-Outdoors!

The Old Smithy

and the bottom line is?
"Muddy Boots Welcome"
What a chance meeting. That was a really pleasant time, chatting, catching up with the gossip, sharing camping and walking stories, among the many topics.

Eventually, we parted our ways back to our respective camp sites, mine at Monsal Head, and theirs near to Lathkill Dale.

Back at the campsite, kit sorted as best one can, freshen up and change of clothing, I then took a walk to the Stables Bar for dinner and to watch the sun setting over Monsal Head.

A perfect end to a perfect day.

For those wondering, I have since ordered a replacement for my Canon SX220, the Canon SX280. The SX280 has all the features I desire that the SX220 had, plus a lot more, like GPS tagging, better zoom (500mm on 35mm equivalent against the SX220 which was 250mm on 35mm equivalent) along with a whole host of other features, many of which I may never use.

But it fills the gap left by the SX220 nicely

Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,
Peak Rambler
Twitter            @PeakRambler
YouTube        Peak Rambler on YouTube

Links to some of the areas I’ve mentioned and written about here:
Creag Dhubh and a walk on the wild side
A Limestone walk from Monyash
Eyam; a plague village and a walk on Eyam Moor
Tissington Well Dressing, an ancient custom, today
Monyash in the peak district
Visit Peak District
Visit Peak District - Flagg
Taddington Village History
Sheldon Village A historic Village in the Heart of the Peak District
What's in my pack?


  1. What a great walk, but then aren't they all in the peak?! What a shame about your camera, but you were lucky to have spare and to be able to get it replaced straightaway. I've been visiting all of the well dressings this year so will be visiting Taddington again soon to theirs.

    1. Oh absolutely, White or Dark Peak.
      It was a fabulous walk. Great stuff on the Well Dressings, I actually envy you. The dressing of the wells is fabulous stuff, a lot of preparation and hard work goes in to the wells.
      I’m intending to get to Eyam Well Dressing, after visiting the fascinating village of Eyam for the first time last October.
      You may have read my blog on Tissington Well Dressing, “Tissington Well Dressing, an ancient custom, today”, if not, you might like to have a read on the following link:

      BTW, I liked the Magpie Mine at sunset photo you tweeted up.