Gateway to Flash Village Hall

About Flash

Flash, whose name means a swamp, is the highest village in Britain, being some 1518 ft above sea level. Going back into history, Flash had at least five houses in 1597, had three inns and three shops in 1817. The local church of St. Paul’s was built starting in 1743, its graveyard contains graves dating back to at least 1791.   There was a village post office by 1904.  In 2020 there were still no signs of a swamp!

During the 18th century the area was settled by pedlars and hawkers who, like the landscape were rough characters.  This gave Flash a reputation as a wild place where counterfeit money was made and outlawed practices were continued. Prize fighting was one such, which was still held at Flash for some years after it had been made illegal. The village’s proximity to three county boundaries helped – when the police came, the ring was simply moved to another county!

When Sir George Crewe (conservative politician) first visited Quarnford in 1819/1820 it appeared to him as ‘the very end of the civilised world’, and Flash village was ‘dirty, and bore marks principally of Poverty, Sloth, and Ignorance’.

Although the village historically was almost an outpost due to its relative isolation and small economic significance, it is situated in some of the most picturesque and unspoilt areas of the English countryside.

Quarnford is the civil parish containing Flash and other hamlets. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 244, reducing marginally to 242 at the 2011 census. The village is in the Peak District National Park.

The name Quarnford, recorded in 1227, is derived from Old English cweorn, a quern or millstone. The ford was probably over the Dane near Manor Farm, and the name may refer to a stopping place on a route for the carriage of millstone.

Things to do


Cycling – oh Dr. Beeching!

Dr Beeching, was a physicist and engineer who for a short but very notable time was chairman of British Railways. He became a household name in Britain in the early 1960s for his report The Reshaping of British Railways, commonly referred to as “The Beeching Report”, which led to far-reaching changes in the railway network, popularly known as “the Beeching Axe”.

As a result of the report, just over 4,000 miles were removed from the system on cost and efficiency grounds, leaving Britain with 13,721 miles of railway lines in 1966. A further 2,000 miles (3,200 km) were lost by the end of the 1960s.

The plus side of this legacy is that many a mile of disused railway line has slowly been reopened as nicely undulating cycle paths!  There are at least 4 such cycle paths near to Axe Edge Green Farm, each has cycle hire facilities as well as opportunities for refreshments en-route.

High Peak Trail
Grade: Easy. The High Peak Trail is one of the quieter former railway trails to cycle in the Peak District National Park. The trail is a traffic free 17.5 miles in length, and runs from the High Peak Junction, near Cromford to Dowlow just south of Buxton.

The trail follows the route of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway, which was built between 1825 -1830, and was one of the world’s first long-distance railway lines. Although the end of the trail at the High Peak Junction is worthy of a visit, be warned that many visitors start their journey from slightly further along the trail, such as from nearby Middleton Top, to avoid the steep 1 in 8 climb out of High Peak Junction. From here the trail is easy going right until the end.

The High Peak Trail is a favourite with cyclists who want to discover the hidden gems of the Peak District. Offering expansive vistas as the trail sits high above the surrounding countryside, and a glimpse of an industrial past, featuring the only old-style lime kiln still intact in Derbyshire and the stationary engine at Middleton Top, once used to haul the trains up the steep incline.

The surface is mostly flat and even, it can develop a few puddles along the way after heavy rain, so mudguards are a bonus, or just be prepared to get muddy. It can be quite narrow in places, and there are a few gates that cyclists need to stop and dismount to get through, definitely a route to take it easy, and soak up the Peak District views.

There are plenty of picnic tables to rest at on the trail, and close to the other end of the trail it merges with the Tissington Trail, close to Parsley Hay, where there are refreshments, toilets, car parking, and bike hire available.

Manifold Trail
Grade: Easy. Quieter than the Monsal Trail, the Manifold Trail rivals the Monsal Trail for scenery, and interesting features to see.

This route starts at its northern end at the Hulme End Visitor Centre, (postcode SK17 0EX) where there are refreshments and information about the trail located in the Old Railway Station buildings. There are car parking facilities here, and it is just 1.5 miles from Hartington Village in the heart of the Peak District. The surface of this trail is mostly very good, with just short sections of uneven surface where tree routes have caused damage to the smooth surface.

The path follows the route of the old Manifold Valley Light Railway from Hulme to Waterhouses, which operated for passengers and goods from 1904 until closing in 1934. Only a few years later, in 1937, the route was re-opened in its current format – a walking/cycling path. The 8.25 mile route runs alongside the River Manifold, which is a tributary of the River Dove. From Spring to Autumn large parts of the riverbed in the valley are dry.

The Valley is a popular choice for visitors to the Peak District offering easy access and good flat trails for the cyclist, combining both natural and man-made highlights such as Wetton Mill owned by the National Trust, and the spectacular Thors Cave overlooking the Valley.

Wetton Mill is a good stopping point for visitors wishing to enjoy the tearoom there, and there are often refreshment vans at some of the car parks along the route, as well as the Tea Junction tearoom at Hulme End. If you wish to start from the other end of the trail at Waterhouses, Staffordshire, (postcode ST10 3EG) there is a car park and refreshments here, as well as cycle hire throughout the summer months.

Monsal Trail

Grade: Easy. Now that the old Railway tunnels are fully open along this route, it is surely one of the most scenic cycle tracks in England, with some of the best views the Peak District has to offer.

The 8.5 mile trail starting from the north, is located just to the south of Buxton at Blackwell Mill, (postcode SK17 9TE) where there is a cafe and cycle hire hut. The other end of the trail starts from Bakewell, from the old railway station, where there is a small car park.

The Monsal Trail provides a glimpse of the history between man and nature in the Peak District, including Lime Kilns and the magnificent Monsal Head viaduct. The trail follows the route of the old Midland Railway which closed for the last time in 1968, and a number of the old stations remain. Hassop Station is worth a stop on your travels, and is now a cafe, bookstore and cycle hire centre with car parking.

The tunnels are the biggest crowd puller to the trail, especially popular with children, as six in total feature along the route. Built to last when the railway was constructed, it is always strange on a hot day to feel the temperature drop as you travel through the longer tunnels.

Other points of interest to keep an eye out for, are the old mills alongside the trail, the imposing Cressbrook Mill and Litton Mill, and the wonderful views as the river Wye cuts through the valley. The trail is mostly level, with a gradual slope downwards from the north, to Bakewell in the south. The surface is a smooth sandy/crushed stone type finish; hence it can get a little dusty in dry weather, and be prepared to rinse down a clogged up bike in very wet conditions.

The one downside to the Monsal Trail is that on a hot summer weekend it can get incredibly busy, in some respects it is a victim of its own success. Those wishing to get away from it all and find a quiet spot in the Peak District may well want to look elsewhere on these days and visit at a quieter time.

However, if you just want to take it easy, and soak up the scenery, then there are not many better places in the Peak District to do so in such a short bike ride.

Tissington Trail

Grade: Easy. The Tissington Trail splits from the High Peak Trail just to the south of the Parsley Hay Visitor Centre, where there are refreshments, cycle hire, and car parking.

From Parsley Hay, the trail runs south towards Ashbourne, it is 13 miles in length along the route of the old Ashbourne to Buxton railway line. The trail is flat, with a gradual slope downwards from north to south. The surface is a sandy/crushed stone finish.

There are not as many features per mile to see on this trail as there are on the more popular Monsal Trail, or even the Manifold Trail, but it is never dull, with expansive Peak Districts vistas to experience. This openness does mean it is exposed to the wind in many parts.

If you do pass by Tissington Village on the trail, a detour to see the village is highly recommended, it is one of the gems of the Peak District, with its quaint shops and tearoom, Tissington Hall, and St Mary’s Church with its imposing Norman tower.

At the southern end of the trail at Ashbourne, there is a cycle hire centre with refreshments, there is also car parking here and it is also very close to Ashbourne Town Centre for further facilities.



You could write lengthy books containing all the walks around the local area.  In fact, lengthy books have been written, blogs have been written and there is so much information out there.

They say the best way to explore Venice is to forget the map and just wander the meandering streets.  We would say the best way to explore the Peak District National Park is BY maps, picking up a copy of OL1 Dark Peak and OL24 White Peak and following the vast network of public footpaths.

Local gems include the Goyt Valley, Lud’s Church, Three Shires Head, Macclesfield forest, Chrome Hill, Mam Tor, Macclesfield canal and the Roaches.

Country pubs

Country Pubs

We are equally blessed with a large variety of country pubs. Here are a few you can ‘Google’ to whet your appetite!

The New Inn (Flash)
The Knight’s Table (Flash)
The Three Horseshoes (Leek) With a quirky themed Spa
The Lazy Trout (Meerbrook)
Ye Old Cheshire Cheese (Longnor)
The Royal Oak (Hurdlow)
The Ship Inn (Wincle)
The Reform Inn (Leek)
The Packhorse Inn (Crowdecote)
And many more!

Our local pub is called the New Inn where you genuinely will feel welcome.  In fact we can almost guarantee that you will be friends with most of the locals by the end of the evening!

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