Autumn Footprints 2009 - Week Two
w/e 11 October 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

And so on we go to the second week of the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival in Amber Valley and Erewash and in this second week we were booked on another six walks from Monday to Saturday inclusive. The walks again varied between ambles and rambles beginning on Monday afternoon with the Denby Bicentenary Walk.

Flamsteed's Birthplace

FarmlandThis was one of the walks that veered towards a ramble as it started at Loscoe, near Heanor and covered six miles mainly across fields and Flamsteed Memorial Parkfarmland (left). It included some 24 stiles and visited the birthplace of the first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed on the way to Denby. Although this is not the actual building (above) a plaque on the wall records that this was the site of the house where he was born on August 19th 1646. The walk also included visits to Denby Village, the Flamsteed Memorial Park (right) and the Denby Pottery Visitor Centre (link to earlier visit in 2003).
Denby Pottery

The weather stayed fine for the whole of the Autumn Footprints Festival and the only rain that did fall was while the group was at the Denby Pottery site on Monday afternoon. Even so, the precipitation here was not enough to warrant being called a shower and most of the group were enjoying a break in the walk where a short stop was just long enough for a drink in the restaurant in the Visitor Centre. The Pottery is celebrating its bicentenary this year hence the name of the walk.
Cranfleet Canal

Cranfleet LockIn week one, we had passed Trent Lock with the Sawley Walking For Health group on the Long Eaton Canal Walk and our Tuesday walk in week two returned us to Trent Lock for a brisk walk with the West Park Walkers, another Walking For Health group based in Long Eaton. Our previous walk had taken us along part of the Erewash Canal but this time we followed the Cranfleet Canal, where a stiff breeze was creating some choppy waters all the way to Cranfleet Lock (left). From there we followed a footpath and some minor roads to loop round back to the lock before returning along the canal to Trent Lock.
River Trent

This peaceful scene of the River Trent adjacent to the Navigation pub near the end of the walk belies the fact that behind me were some thirty five to forty walkers happily chatting to each other as they followed the path back to the car park behind the pub and the end of the walk.
Cottage Farm

Coffee BreakBreaston was the starting point of our Wednesday walk as we set off for the far side of neighbouring village Draycott following the route of the old Derby Canal that has now been transformed into a footpath. The view over the farmland above was to the north towards Cottage Farm and Risley beyond. Like our earlier walk at Denby, we broke at the midpoint for refreshments this time at the home of one of our fellow walkers. Brian Marshall and his wife Jane were hosting a coffee morning in support of Macmillan Nurses and their efforts raised a magnificent sum of nearly £350 boosted by the arrival of the sixty four walkers from Breaston (right).
Leaving Draycott

Suitably refreshed with coffee and cake, we continued through Draycott leaving on the south side to pick up the Midshires Way and the Coffin Walk back to Breaston, a total distance of about four miles.
Cattle Meadow

Hillier FeaturesIt was a five mile walk on Thursday morning and another change of scenery as we headed west to Holbrook for the 10am start. The relatively flat landscape of Breaston and Draycott was replaced by the hillier features (left) between Holbrook, Duffield and Little Eaton. Part of this walk followed and overlapped a small section of the Little Eaton walk along the River Derwent of the previous week but much was in the upland meadows and necessitated weaving between the resident cattle on more than one occasion. With my lifelong phobia of the bovine species I was more than happy for the company of my fellow walkers.

There were about thirty five of us on this walk but I am not sure what this horse saw that was so amusing as we passed the stables at one of the farms on the way back to Hobrook.
Erewash Canal

After our exertions in the earlier walks in this second week, a much gentler wander with the Sandiacre Strollers (Walking For Health) from Sandiacre to Stapleford and Stanton Gate that included a stretch of the Erewash Canal was just what the doctor ordered on Friday morning. I had started the Autumn Footprints with a repeat of the Morley Heritage Walk and this Sandiacre walk was also a repeat of the route we followed in the second week of the 2008 festival.
Wildlife Wander

The final walk of the 2009 festival took place on Sunday but out final involvement for this year was the Stanley Village Wildlife Wander on Saturday afternoon. Our route took us in a figure of eight circuit from the village centre along Common Lane to cross the fields (above) before picking up the dismantled railway cutting - one of the few sites locally ideal for glow worms - to Klondyke and a return to the village centre via Stanley Brook. There are many more images from this area in the Village Trail for Stanley Village elsewhere on this site.

The Walking Festival again appears to have been a great success and has given us the opportunity to renew some old acquaintances, make new friends and see some familiar scenery from an entirely different angle to that to which we become accustomed. Several times we returned home physically tired but felt much better for the exercise at the end of the fortnight. Even walking up Bath Street in Ilkeston now is not such a trudge anymore and we can accomplish it without blowing half as much! We'll continue to walk - don't think we'll manage forty five miles every fortnight though - but we're already looking forward to the 2010 Festival which is planned for Saturday 11th to Sunday 26th September.
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