Autumn Footprints 2012 - Week One
w/e 16 September 2012
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

2012 marks not only the tenth anniversary of Ilkeston Cam but also the same milestone for the Amber Valley and Erewash Walking Festival, Autumn Footprints. Staged over sixteen days the Festival this year offers about forty free guided walks between the 8th and 23rd September and we selected and booked walks on most of those days. There was obviously no shortage of images for this page but I've selected just a few from each walk to illustrate the variety we enjoyed during the first week of the Festival.

Denby Cricket Club

Former Denby Methodist ChapelJohn Flamsteed's BirthplaceAfter attending the launch event at Shipley Park on Saturday our first walk the "Denby Heritage", was on Sunday afternoon. This passed the village cricket ground where I captured this quintessential English summer scene whilst the walking group paused nearby at the former Methodist Chapel (left). Later we passed John Flamsteed's 1646 birthplace (right) who went on to become the first Astronomer Royal.
Derwnet Valley

Tour of Britain LeadersTour of Britain PelotonThe Monday walk, the "Little Eaton Round", followed a well known path from previous Festivals along the Derwent Valley between Little Eaton and Duffield. We were fortunate enough to leave the river bank and start the climb up to the high ground above Little Eaton just as the Tour of Britain cycle race approached Duffield where Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and all passed us at speed.
The Town, Little Eaton

Before returning to Little Eaton (above) the six mile walk took us again along some familiar paths but also into areas that I for one, had not walked previously in this part of Derbyshire.
St Michael's Church

The longest walk of the week at nearly eight miles began in Alfreton on Tuesday and followed the same route as last year's walk as far as the Golf Club. It then took a different direction and headed south over fields and open countryside to a lunch stop in Pentrich. The peaceful village of today was the setting for England's last revolution in 1817. There are several plaques in the village commemorating various events of 1817 including one at the foot of the steps up to St Michael's Church that states that "The curate hid rebels here from the goverment troops."
(And yes, "goverment" is spelled like that on the plaque.)
Wingfield Manor

After leaving the revolutionary village of Pentrich the return journey took in views of the Sherwood Foresters' Memorial at Crich Stand, a Roman Road and the English Heritage ruins of Wingfield Manor (above). The title of the walk was "Romans and Revolutionaries" and this image was taken from the site of a Roman Camp close to the Roman Road.
Horsley Woodhouse

As the complete antithesis to the moderate walk through the undulating landscape of Alfreton and Pentrich, the Wednesday walk was a gentle two mile stroll with a Walking For Health group from "Horsley Woodhouse to Denby Pottery" where we enjoyed a morning coffee in the Visitor Centre. The outward journey had been across fields and footpaths but we returned via the roads and lanes completing a similar distance with a brisk walk in about a third of the time.
Moravian Settlement

Thursday saw another six mile walk classified as "moderate" at "Spondon and Locko" which again was a mixture of familiar paths and new ones. It started with a route across the fields from Spondon to Ockbrook that I had not walked previously but the Village Trail around Ockbrook meant I was well aware of the Moravian Settlement.
Locko Park

The route from Ockbrook to Dunshill was again one I had not walked previously but from there into Locko Park where we enjoyed a picnic lunch overlooking the lake, the route was along paths we had walked previously including a section of the Midshires Way some of which can be seen in the Dunshill Triangle.

Another five mile moderate walk titled "Lower Hartshay and Heage Windmill" was on the agenda for Friday and this turned out to be the most memorable walk of the week. Starting again along unfamiliar paths we approached Heage and walked through the village to pass close to the six-sailed eighteenth century mill. Our lunch stop was close to the mill and several of the group walked right up to it to get a closer view.
Surveying The Landscape

Having toured the mill in 2004 (see here) I stayed with the rest of the group and surveyed the surrounding countryside.

TunnelPonyThe walk was made memorable on the way back to Lower Hartshay along the route of the old Cromford Canal. At the entrance to this tunnel, I slipped on a moss covered boulder and fell headlong into the mouth of the tunnel injuring my left knee. A little further along a small pony lashed out with its back legs and caught my wife with a glancing blow just below her right knee.

We had planned to complete more walks in the second week of the Festival and whilst my wife is walking freely, unless my leg improves significantly by Monday, I can't see me traipsing across fields and climbing stiles in the early part of the week at least. Hopefully my mobility will improve quickly and I'll be able to feature more images from the second week of Autumn Footprints. No-one will be more disappointed than me if I can't.
Forward to Autumn Footprints 2012 Week Two

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