I went out with the intention of getting a photograph of the Monsal viaduct in the summer sunshine, which I pretty much managed to do (although I had to wait for the sun to come out), but also managed to discover a new path and turn my route more circular into the bargain!
I walked the same route that I'd used earlier in the year. Join the Monsal Trail at Bakewell (buy a tart or pudding to eat later) and walk the 4m to Monsal Head. Then turn round and go back the same way. The Trail is a dismantled railway. These are easy to walk all year round because they're often surfaced:
Just before Monsal Head, you have to leave the railway line because of a bricked-up tunnel, so you detour across a couple of fields and then along a road before you get to the exciting bit. Here's the money shot. (It looks sooo different when it's not covered in snow)
It's worth a wander down to the viaduct and across it for the views either side:
This was the biggest and nicest surprise of today. On the way back, almost on a whim I took the bridleway at sk214708 which the map showed would take me back to Bakewell. I should have seen from the contours on the map that it would offer good views - it climbs about 45 meters before dropping back down into Bakewell.
Beside giving these lovely views, it made the route slightly more circular.
(What's the word for a route which retraces its steps half way back before taking a different path? ...semi-circular...?)
The new alternative bit is in pink.