Masson Hill Walk, Matlock
Masson Hill walk offers beautiful views over Matlock. From the station, the walk follows The Limestone Way steeply up Masson Hill to Geoff's Seat, from where there are great panoramic views over Matlock and the surrounding area. The walk continues across Masson Hill to the edge of the Heights of Abraham, before descending across fields back to Matlock.
You can enjoy this walk straight from Matlock Railway Station.
From the station, walk towards the town turn right below the imposing weeping Beech Tree and walk up Snitterton Road past the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Only 20 metres later turn left uphill to follow the Limestone Way signpost. Keep on uphill past the ‘French Wine People’, crossing over the railway and passing through the farmyard of Bridge Farm to some steps in front of the farmhouse. Climb these into the field beyond. From here, walk straight on through the field ignoring the path that veers off to the left. After crossing the track at the top of the field, keep straight on through the next six fields. The path is reasonably easy to follow here through the squeezer stiles (including one with a dressed stone stoop). The flowers in these fields are lovely in spring and early summer – particularly when the Buttercups are out.
Walk up the right hand side of the field in front of Masson Lees Farm. Cross the drive leading into the farm before crossing the small field diagonally into the far corner. Then keep on the path ahead as it rises through the next field and disappears round the corner to the right. This brings you on to a track nearly at the top of Masson Hill. Twenty five metres to your right you will see Geoff’s Seat. This has been placed here in the memory of a Matlock Solicitor who was involved in the creation of the Limestone Way – a route from Castleton via Matlock (devised by Matlock Rotary Club some years ago), it now extends from Uppertown, Bonsall to Rocester, Staffordshire. Geoff’s Seat provides an excellent viewpoint with Riber Castle, Matlock, Darley Dale, Oaker Hill and Stanton Moor all visible.
The route of the walk turns left where the path reaches the track, so retrace your tracks from Geoff’s Seat. Keep on the track with Masson Lees Farm below you on your left. The track descends before starting to ascend along the bottom side of three fields. Stay on the track as it climbs. Where it bears round to the right ignore a narrow path on the left leading into the brambles and thorn trees. As the track rises, 25 metres later fork left along a grassy track. Walk forward, 30 metres keeping to the left of a number of picnic tables and a ‘talking telescope’ slightly uphill to your right. There is considerable groundwork occurring here as this leaflet is published but signposts will remain. Ahead is the top station of the cable car to the Heights of Abraham. In front and below the lower gate to the Heights a signpost points to the zig-zag downhill towards the stile at the side of a metal gate. With High Tor and Pic Tor now a great view on your right walk diagonally left downhill (north) through the trees until, after a couple of fields, you will be heading towards Masson Farm. The path stays just to left of the farm, passing behind the farm buildings to a rather awkward step stile. Take care stretching down this to come into a smallish field fenced to your right. Cross this to the gap in the far side. Walk down the narrow path with the high wall on your right. This path can sometimes be rather slippery, especially as it sees very little sunlight, so take care.
When you come out on to St John’s Road turn left downhill towards St John’s Chapel which is a striking and attractive building. After passing the water trough below the Chapel, take the rising path to the left – do not continue down the road. This path is also often in the shade and can be muddy. It will bring you to a stile beside a gate after 100 metres or so. Beyond the gate try and look over the wall for another excellent view of High Tor.
Continue just past the gate following the path as it bears round to the left to a dried-up dew pond, then right, then left again until you reach another squeezer stile on your right. Pass through this before crossing the next two fields along the path in front.
In the third field, with a wide view of Matlock in front, you rejoin the path which brought you uphill out of Matlock. Follow this downhill to Matlock.
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