Distance; original walk (in circular Walks in the Peak District; 20 Walks of 6 to 10 miles by Pat Tidsall) measures 9.5 miles but, because we didn’t have enough time to finish the whole circuit, we cut it short by returning to Ashford via the river and woodland path from White Lodge car park instead of going over the top to Sheldon. The shortened route was about 6 or 7 miles and took 3hrs 20 mins. There was some steep ascent at the beginning and again from White Lodge up to Little Shacklow Wood (but it would have been steeper still had we gone up to Sheldon!) and there was a tricky, stony, slipppy descent after White Lodge just before the path up to the wood.
Facilities; very good route for toilets. There are toilets in Ashford Car Park at the start (20p discretionary fee but I have to say these toilets are not as nice as they were last time I visited them. Not surprising perhaps as Ashford was extremely busy on this Bank Holiday Monday) and there are also toilets half way round at White Lodge Car Park. There is also an excellent ice cream van next to the cafe and the gastro-pub at Monsal Head.
And later we passed Thornbridge Hall, the name of which always puts me in mind of Jane Eyre. I can also quite easily imagine the first Mrs. R roaming along the crenellations (just about visible in my photo);
Training Update; started walk too late to walk the full 9.5 miles as planned but saw some very nice holiday cottages at Little Longstone which, if we stayed there, might see us start off at a more appropriate time for a decent, long walk. Any excuse for a weekend away!!