The Walk In The Clouds - Part 01
w/e 22 August 2010
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
The "Walk In The Clouds" is the second in a series
of "Country Walks" leaflets published jointly by what
was then called Groundwork Erewash Valley but is now Groundwork Derby and Derbyshire and Erewash
Borough Council . The leaflet is dated 1997. The walk begins
at the Sandiacre Library car park (above left) and proceeds by
road and alleys to St Giles Church (centre) and on to Stoney
Clouds (right). We covered this route in some detail (albeit
in the opposite direction) in the Village Trail around Sandiacre
so to see the first part of the walk, click the following links:
Sandiacre Village Trail Part 8, Part 7 and Part 6.
"Walk In The Clouds" is a particularly apt title for
the walk for, as well as passing through the area at Sandiacre
called Stoney Clouds, the route crosses some of the highest ground
in Erewash where you can "enjoy breathtaking views over
the Trent and Erewash Valleys" according to the leaflet.
The leaflet also mentions a Saxon window above the chancel arch
in St Giles and a stone carving of the Sandiacre Imp on the arch
itself. The church has always been locked whenever I've visited
but a photo of the Imp can be seen here.
The walk is approximately six miles in total but in this first
part we will only cover about a third of that from the start
at the library to the edge of Stanton-By-Dale. There are several
paths through Stoney Clouds but the most direct route is to turn
right on entering the public open space before passing through
the gate directly ahead.
Our first objective is to cross the M1 motorway so even when
not in sight, all we need to do is head in the general direction
of the traffic noise. There are also frequent views of the road
and even more extensive ones than this should you climb to the
highest point of Stoney Clouds.
The grassy paths eventually narrow and lead down over rocky and
uneven ground through the trees to an open area at the side of
the motorway. This walk of course is not suitable for wheelchairs
A paragraph in the leaflet states that the grassland around Stoney
Clouds still shows signs of the mediaeval ploughing system known
as ridge and furrow. From the appearance of the undulations in
this area that was formerly part of the Erewash Valley Golf Club
before the motorway cut across it, this could well be the area
Although I think this land is still part of the Golf Club, access
is gained to the course by passing under the motorway through
On the other side we double back to walk this grassy path shielded
by trees from the motorway embankment on the left and the golf
course on the right.
The path then turns to cross the golf course along a route delineated
by a series of white posts. The course itself has very little
rough but each hole is lined by trees so even though this is
a public footpath, it is always advisable to watch for flying
golf balls as the path crosses several holes.
From the final white post, a kissing gate in the hedge marks
the exit onto Quarry Hill. To the left of this view is an old
quarry which gives its name to the road and is probably unique
in that it has been included in the course layout containing
Before leaving the course there is just time to look down the
fairway to observe a lone golfer preparing a shot but I cannot
continue without recalling an episode from my youth. With some
school friends I cycled to Stanton-By-Dale and we found a number
of "lost" balls at the edge of the course. We took
them down to the clubhouse where the professional gave us sixpence
(2½p) for each ball but he also invited us to "caddy"
at the weekend for some amateur competition that was taking place.
Three of us accepted but our payment was at the discretion of
the golfers. A long Saturday afternoon followed lugging golf
clubs in bags almost as big as us and at the end of the day we
all received different amounts which in total only amounted to
just over £1.00. It seemed a bit like slave labour but
the quarry holes made a lasting impression. Those were the days!
Emerging from the golf course at a corner on Quarry Hill our
route now continues up the hill, with the quarry on the left,
into Stanton-By-Dale which is where we'll pick up the walk in
the next part.