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