Middleton-By-Wirksworth - Part 02 - Middleton Moor &
High Peak Trail
w/e 31 August 2014
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
In Part 01 I promised to look at some of the natural
beauty of the landscape at Middleton Top but even here, history
and industry have left an indelible mark on the surrounding countryside.
At the rear of the Visitor Centre and at the side of the High
Peak Trail a signpost points to a flight of steps leading to
On the immediate left at the top of the steps are some old stone
walls. These are the remains of a loading bay on a siding of
the Cromford & High Peak Railway where limestone from Redhill
Quarry on the moor was transferred to the wagons. The hill in
the background is the spoil heap from the quarry which is now
a designated nature reserve.
The siding continued to the right to other limestone quarries
on Middleton Moor but now the railway has gone and it is only
footpaths that draw hikers, walkers and photographers onto the
The main line of the Cromford & High Peak Railway has been
transformed into the High Peak Trail and is very popular with
both walkers and cyclists. Many people pull up onto the car park
with bikes attached to the rear of their vehicles either directly
or on trailers but those who arrive without can soon hire one
by the hour from the Cycle Hire Centre at the Visitor Centre.
Then after checking directions and perhaps deriving some information
from the many notice boards they can set off to explore the area.
I did hear one lady returning with a child though exclaim that
she felt a little saddle sore and thought that a three hour ride
had been a little ambitious!
For the less energetic (ourselves included) there is still plenty
to see at Middleton Top. In a corner of the car park is a viewing
platform overlooking the countryside to the south.
A plaque set into a large boulder at the viewing point commemorates
the Queen's Silver Jubilee and identifies places that can be
seen in the distance. We noticed that Crich Stand, the Sherwood
Foresters' War Memorial could neither be seen nor was shown on
In the pleasant late summer sunshine we decided to take a stroll
from the car park along the High Peak Trail and set off in the
direction of Parsley Hay which this signpost with Redhill Quarry
spoil heap in the background showed was 11.5 miles away. We didn't
go that far - by a long way!
Our walk though did reveal more of that lovely undulating Derbyshire
farmland and countryside to the south.
And as we turned to return to the car park we saw on the horizon
like a lighthouse on the edge of a cliff, the feature mentioned
earlier at the viewing point, Crich Stand.
Our journey to and from Middleton Top and taken 40 to 45 minutes
each way and we were there only a couple of hours so it hardly
constitutes a "Day Out". But given the right weather,
a pair of walking boots or a bike, a day when the engine house
is open and the engine working on a "Steam Day" a day
at Middleton Top is hardly enough to enjoy all that it has to
offer. A website for the area says that it has a visitor centre,
gift shop, cycle hire centre, car park, toilets and picnic area
which we have already seen but there is also the Redhill Quarry
Nature Reserve full of wildflowers, a museum in the engine house
and the wonderful countryside all around to enjoy.
Back to Part 01