Trowell Circular - Part 01
w/e 28 July 2013
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

This is walk number 10 in the second volume of Broxtowe Borough Council's local route booklets of the "Best Walks in Broxtowe Borough". The booklet is no longer available and unlike the walks from the first volume, it is not available to download from the Council's website. Having now walked the route I can reveal that if the booklet is ever to be reprinted the description will need revising in several places as we will see as we proceed. Another feature about this walk is that it touches on and links into other walks in the area that we have already completed. I'll highlight them as we go round and link to the relevant pages.

Pit Lane

The walk description actually starts at the car park at the far end of Pit Lane, Trowell but we dropped off the bus on Stapleford Lane and started the walk from there. This first image then should be one of the last views in the circuit according to the booklet description.

The first instruction in the booklet is to enter an open space from the car park, to turn immediately to the left (below left) through a narrow twitchell and (in bold type) to be aware of an unprotected railway line ahead which should be crossed with care.

Inaccessible twitchellPath to railway bridgeUnderstandably this is an instruction that should and could not now be followed. The twitchell is no longer accessible and the railway line is protected from pedestrians by a high fence. The alternative route is to follow the path (right) from the car park to the bridge (above) over the railway. This is the same bridge that we crossed in Part 02 the Bramcote Hills/Nottingham Canal Circular walk.

In the aforementioned walk we turned right along the towpath of the disused Nottingham Canal towards Coventry Lane but this time our route is in the opposite direction towards the Trowell Garden Centre.
Perimeter Path

Garden Centre EntrancePerimeter Path near entranceThe garden centre sits across the line of the former canal and the towpath turns left to follow the site boundary. After passing the point in the booklet description where the original route from the railway line would have met the garden centre, we passed the entrance (left) and continued along the path around the perimeter (right and above) and were rewarded with views over Trowell to Ilkeston on the horizon.
Left At The Bridge

The perimeter path continues around the garden centre as far as an old farm bridge over the canal passing on the way another path off to the left to Trowell Church. That path and the rest of the route in this first part of the Trowell Circular can be seen in images from January 2004 when we completed this section but in the opposite direction in A Walk In The Country. We didn't cross the bridge but turned left to followed the towpath again along the disused canal.
Swansea Bridge

A gentle slope leads down from the bridge to the towpath and it's interesting to compare this image of the bridge with the one in a different season in that previous walk. That earlier picture also shows the keep gates next to the bridge which, resembling lock gates, were used to drain off sections of the canal for maintenance. The bridge itself is the original stone bridges and is now Grade 2 listed. It was built in 1793-95 (with the adjacent wooden keep gates) and goes by the name of Swansea Bridge, the name apparently originating from the large numbers of swans that used to congregate on this part of the canal.
Nottingham Canal

Swans are nowhere to be seen nowadays and the sight of water in the canal is rare too. This picture taken from approximately the same place as the previous one of the bridge shows the canal bed full of reeds, rushes, bushes and even trees but in the afternoon sunshine it makes for a pleasant walk.
Nature Reserve

That is not to say that the canal is totally without water and a little further along is this pond-like area. The canal opened in 1796 but was finally abandoned in 1936. Since 1977 however it has been owned and maintained by Broxtowe Borough Council and much of it is now a nature reserve.

From this point on the noise of traffic on the nearby M1 motorway visible over to the left increased as the canal and the road converged.
Nottingham Road

Eventually the route of the canal is interrupted again, this time by the motorway bridge as it crosses Nottingham Road at Trowell. The path drops down to pass under the bridge and then rises again on the other side to continue as the towpath and that is where we'll pick up the route in Part 02.
Forward to Part 02

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