Monsal Viaduct, Derbyshire, England

Monsal Viaduct, Derbyshire, England

It is amazing how things can blend into the landscape. That is a point worth remembering with regard to the construction of wind farms and electricity distribution networks. Also, nature can repair the damage after human intrusion as has been proved in the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines. As with many ill-fated designs in the Scottish Highlands, it defeat you too.

So why have I added the preceding words? Well, the construction of the Monsal Viaduct in Monsal Dale near Monsal head was not without controversy. For example, Victorian environmentalist John Ruskin hated the thing and wrote of it only with derision. Given that we now see railways as an environmentally more responsible way to travel, that may seem strange but we have been gifted peace and quiet in the dale again following the closure of this railway line.

In fact, it forms part of a walking and cycling trail, the Monsal Trail that goes from Miller's Dale to Bakewell along the alignment of the former Midland Railway between Manchester and London. Until recently, the Headstone Tunnel was shut so you needed to climb up to the road to Monsal Head, go through Little Longstone and cross some fields to rejoin the former trackbed again to get to Bakewell, one of the termini for the trail. With that tunnel reopened, that diversion is necessary though it does provide some respite from an increase in the number of cyclists using the trail no that is easier to use than it once was. Also, it grants vistas to savour that no lit tunnel ever will so that's as good a reason as any to stick to using it and there's no sign of its removal from use either.

See more photos from: Peak District, England