Allestree - The Big Wood
w/e 07 May 2017
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
We had cause to be in Derby north of the city centre
and as we made our way home I decided to turn left at a road
junction where I usually turn right. This took us into a part
of the city we're not overly familiar with and led us into Allestree
and Quarndon on our way back home.
I'd previously seen Allestree Park marked on maps and knew there
was a car park off Woodlands Lane so we pulled in to explore.
Paying scant attention to the information provided at the exit
from the car park or the number 1 post we headed off into Big
There was a choice of paths but they seemed to be going in the
same direction but the carpet of bluebells tempted us to go to
We were rewarded with this view of a bank absolutely covered
with the flowers. We passed another post with a number 2 on it
so surmised we were on a trail of some kind.
Eventually we reached a flight of steps leading down to a seat
overlooking Allestree Park Golf Course and yet another post.
This was number 5 so we must have missed numbers 3 and 4 somewhere
along the way.
From the seat there are some lovely views over the golf course
and the Derwent Valley.
The path seemed to peter out at the bottom of the steps so we
turned back into the wood, ducked under this fallen bough, noting
the "bird" box on the tree. Subsequently we found out
that the Friends of Allestree Park group has erected bat boxes
in the wood so this could well be one of them rather than a bird
The path through the trees became somewhat indistinct so we ventured
out and continued down the edge of the golf course with the trees
on our right until we spied a steep and winding path leading
back up the hill hopefully towards our starting point. We'd given
up on the numbered posts.
Whether this "long and winding road" (with a nod towards
The Beatles) is a public footpath or not I'm not sure but we
climbed the hill along it between the wood and the golf course
wondering if it would lead to the Emerald City. As it was neither
yellow nor made of bricks, we just hoped it was leading us back
towards the car park.
In fact the colour yellow was noticeable by its absence as blue
was the predominant colour in the banks of flowers on the hillside.
There must be literally millions or even billions of them in
the Big Wood.
We turned off the path where it stopped near a green on the golf
course and re-entered the wood and were just about to turn left
along what looked like a path through the trees when I spotted
the board adjacent to the car park straight ahead.
I learned one thing from this expedition it is perhaps to do
a little more research before embarking on any exploration. I
also learned that when a map is available at the edge of a wood
it is worth giving it more than a cursory glance before setting
off into the trees.
Looking up Allestree Park on the internet when I got back home
I found the reason for the numbered posts. There is a leaflet that can be downloaded describing
a Nature Trail and the numbered posts are points of particular
interest. As it happened we had followed the route more or less
through Big Wood to where it joined the golf course but there,
to continue along the Nature Trail, we should have returned back
up the steps and followed a different path via a quarry back
to the car park. Instead we had walked down the golf course from
just below the orange line on this aerial view and along the
white path. The designated footpath across the golf course leads
to Allestree Hall from where there is another Nature Trail. That
is also where the main car park is situated off the main Derby
to Belper road. I'll swot up on that before we visit again!
I've a new found admiration for the explorers of old who set
off into the unknown to discover the new worlds. There was no
internet for them to search but I'm still wondering if this is
Big Wood where is Little Wood?