Autumn Footprints 2009 - Week One
w/e 04 October 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The Autumn Footprints Walking Festival in Amber Valley and Erewash followed the usual format and this year, its seventh, featured twenty nine events over the sixteen days between Saturday 12th September and Sunday 27th. Of those twenty nine events which including map reading and Nordic walking workshops, I managed to participate in eleven of the guided walks whilst my wife accompanied me on ten of them. We estimated that we had covered between forty and forty five miles during the festival. Below are a couple of images from each of the five walks completed in the first week.

Morley Heritage Walk

On the opening day of the festival, my wife was at another event so I drove to Morley Hayes Golf Club alone to join a group of people following the Morley Heritage Trail and the group is seen here being closely watched as they walked along a farm track.
On Morley Moor

This was a four mile walk across Morley Moor visiting several locations to learn about the history of the village including a refreshment stop at Morley Church where the Mausoleum was once again open. For several of us on the walk this was a repeat of the 2008 Festival and even the weather with clear skies and a hot sun beating down contributed to that feeling of déjà vu.

On Sunday there were three more organised walks but it was on Monday that we enjoyed two three and a half mile walks, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The morning walk was with the Sawley Walking For Health group seen here passing under the railway bridge at Sawley.
Steamboat Inn

The route picked up the Erewash Canal on Fields Farm Road and followed the towpath to the canal's end at Trent Lock passing in front of the Steamboat Inn before returning to the starting point via Lock Lane. This was a brisk walk completed in good time and we were able to return home for a bite to eat before setting out again for the afternoon walk.
Near the Bottle Kiln

There are walks in the festival to suit all abilities from gentle ambles to energetic rambles and our afternoon walk fell into the leisurely stroll category - not that that was any detriment to the walk. We met at the Methodist Church, West Hallam near the Bottle Kiln where our local historian guide gave us a brief introduction to the industrial development of the area showing us several examples of brick and earthenware produced.
Industrial History

The route took us towards Mapperley Village before turning off past Mapperley Castle to trace the horse drawn tramways and coal mining activities. There were frequent stops as our guide pointed out various places and items of interest and the title of the walk "Stone Blocks - Iron Rods" began to make sense as we discovered how the tramways were constructed. All in all this was a most informative and enjoyable afternoon.

Although there were longish walks on Tuesday and Wednesday, our next involvement did not take place until Thursday morning when we met at Little Eaton for a two and a half mile walk titled "Packhorse Route and Hidden Gems". A recurring theme throughout the fortnight was to be industrial history and this was no exception as we followed local footpaths along the route taken by pack horses to these cottages that once housed framework knitters.
Derwent Bridge

Crossing the bridge over the River Derwent we turned to follow the riverbank southwards before crossing again further downstream and climbing back over Eaton Hill to our starting point. Although listed as a two and a half mile walk it was actually nearer four miles and the climbs certainly got the heart pumping.
A Corner of Riddings

The weather for the week had been fine and dry and sometimes quite warm for the time of year but generally speaking it had been ideal for walking. Friday was no exception and another sunny afternoon beckoned as we made our way to Codnor Reservoir for the start of another delve into history to compare and contrast the adjoining villages of Ironville and Riddings. Although both grew to accommodate industrial workers, Ironville developed as regimented rows of terraced houses for the Butterley Company whilst Riddings was a much more piecemeal development being part of the Oakes Estate. The old properties in both villages have been modernised but many of the cottages in Riddings have received sympathetic treatment and are much more photogenic.

Our route from the reservoir took us through the streets of Ironville almost to the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border where we turned into Nottingham Lane for the ascent up into Riddings. As we passed under a bridge the sound of a steam engine was enough to cause the walking party to pause, turn and wave (left) to the driver of Thomas the Tank Engine high above. Our walk continued through Riddings but when we descended by Bullock Road back into Ironville we again crossed the railway line just in time to see Thomas making his way back to the station at the Midland Railway Centre in Butterley. More waves followed as the engine passed beneath us but then it was soon time to wave goodbye to our walking companions.

It was not a final farewell though as we were to meet many of them again the following week when we were booked in for another half dozen walks in Week Two of the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival.
Forward to Autumn Footprints 2009 Week Two

Autumn Footprints Index
Special Features Index

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.