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Monsal Head, standing high above the dale, offers the best viewpoint for admiring the horse shoe shaped valley of Monsal Dale. Arguably the most stunning viewpoint in the peak district national park, scene for numerous filming locations, Monsal Head offers a fusion natural beauty.
The striking railway viaduct at Monsal Head once carried the Midland Red Railway Line, and is now considered an essential part of the surrounding countryside. After the line was closed it was taken over by the Peak Planning Board, and now forms part of the Monsal Trail, from which the walker can overlook the dale. The many tunnels along the Trail are now closed, but most can be circumvented by paths.
At the head is the Monsal Head Hotel, with its stable bar and restaurant, and a large pay and display car park to cater for the thousands of visitors to it every year.
From its source on the gritstone moorlands west of Buxton, breaching Poole’s Cavern, the River Wye cuts a southerly course through the limestone white peak, where it meets the River Derwent at Rowsley. It is not many miles long but it passes through some magnificent scenery, and a many dales. Monsal Dale is that part of the Wye valley between Water cum Jolly dale and the foot of Taddington dale, where it meets the A6 road.