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.

The Big Wood

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 Wood.

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 the left.

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.
Golf Course

From the seat there are some lovely views over the golf course and the Derwent Valley.
Bat Box

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 box.
Up The Hill

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.
Into The 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.

"You Are Here"If 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?

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