Autumn Footprints - Week One
w/e 05 October 2008
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Leaflet CoverThe sixth annual Amber Valley and Erewash Walking Festival "Autumn Footprints" took place between the 13th and 28th September and with walks of varying lengths and over differing terrains there was truly something in the programme for all ages and abilities. Well over thirty guided walks were arranged for the sixteen day festival and we booked in for thirteen of them. Unfortunately I proved that a good diet with one exception (see Sawley walk below) and exercise even with Walking for Health groups had no effect whatsoever on my weight and just before the final day of the festival I developed a heavy cold. That meant I abandoned plans to join the six mile Pinxton Push along the route of the Cromford Canal from Langley Mill. My wife and I did however complete a dozen walks and captured images on ten. The images on this page are from five undertaken during the first week.

St. Matthew's Morley

The festival was launched on Saturday morning followed by a walk in Shipley Country Park but as we were otherwise engaged our first walk was in the afternoon. This was led by local residents around the Morley Heritage Trail and was a circular walk of about four miles stopping at several locations to learn about the history of the village. One such stop near the end of the walk was in St. Matthew's Church where refreshments were very kindly provided by the church members.
Morley Landscape

Morley is not a village in the traditional sense of the word but a number of scattered settlements and this view above is typical of the countryside and landscape between them. What is also apparent from this image is the beautiful weather that we were blessed with. The whole of the festival in fact, enjoyed fine weather although the second week was not quite as good as the first.
Kirk Hallam Lake

The following afternoon we joined the Friends of Kirk Hallam Lake for another Heritage Walk around the lake and along the route of the old Nutbrook Canal to Straw's Bridge and back.
Picnic Area

This was only a short walk of about one and a half miles but was a really pleasant way of spending a Sunday afternoon once again bathed in warm sunshine. It is hard to believe from this view that the lake and picnic area is surrounded on three sides by a housing estate and a large school.
Glebe Farm

Monday saw us on the Little Eaton Ramble in the morning followed by a walk through Orchid Wood to St. Chad's Water with the Sawley Walking for Health Group in the evening. I hope I don't offend anyone by saying the first walk was a "ramble" in both senses of the word as the many stops on the way allowed the leader to reminisce about childhood visits with his grandfather who was employed at the Water Works high above Little Eaton. The route we followed, left the village to steadily climb up to Drum Hill and the group is seen here approaching Glebe Farm as we approached the high point of the walk.
Bleak House

Beyond Glebe Farm the track continued to Bleak House which is adjacent to the Water Works. From this high point there were some splendid views towards Derby and perhaps we spent too much time admiring the scenery as the walk which seemed much longer than the quoted two and a half miles overran the projected two hours by almost an hour. The evening walk at Sawley and Wilne took place in failing light and I took no photos but we were to return to St. Chad's on another walk during the second week of the festival.

(The overrunning of the morning walk meant that we had a late lunch and as we had to be leaving early for the evening walk, we skipped tea. On the way home later I took my wife out for a meal - chips, mushy peas and thick gravy eaten with a plastic fork from a polystyrene carton under the light of a silvery moon on a car park! Who says the age of the romantic is dead?)
Codnor Park Reservoir

Our next participation in the festival did not take place until the Friday when we joined friends, some old, some new, for another Heritage Walk around Codnor Park and Ironville. The walk started at the Codnor Park Reservoir and was a four mile circuit up and down Monument Hill.
Codnor Castle

This is another area where I am planning a Village Trail and the leader of the walk has graciously sent me some notes about the history and heritage of the area of Codnor Park and Ironville but one of the points of interest on this walk was Codnor Castle. The castle is one of only two mediaeval castles in Derbyshire retaining the original architecture and there is much more about its history on the dedicated Codnor Castle website.
Pentrich Church

On Saturday we moved from the history of Codnor Castle to the history of Pentrich. The Perusing Pentrich walk included a visit to St. Matthew's Church which was not far from the start of the walk at the Village Hall. Harvest Festival was being celebrated and the church which has its origins in about 1150 was beautifully decorated throughout.
Pentrich Landscape

The village of course is famous for the Pentrich Revolution where many men on June 9th 1817 began a march towards Nottingham from where they aimed to head for London and overthrow the government of the day. They were protesting about unemployment and poor conditions with low wages for those in work but their revolution was thwarted, three men were hanged, fourteen transported to Australia and several more jailed.

Leaving St. Matthew's Church the walk continued through fields and along lanes around the village and in fairness was more walk than talk. At this particular location (above) overlooking the ruins of Wingfield Manor (just visible above the front of the tractor) we were also treated to some of the smells of the countryside as the farmer sprayed his fields. In complete contrast our Sunday outing was more talk than walk but none the less interesting for that. The Local History Society at Ilkeston took us behind the scenes at the Erewash Museum, around St. Mary's Church and back through the centuries to Hilly Holeys in a walk titled Wholly, Holy, Holeys. No pictures from that walk as all three locations have often been featured on this site but there are plenty more from week two of the Autumn Footprints.
Forward to Autumn Footprints 2008 Week Two

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