Autumn Footprints 2014 - Week Two
w/e 28 September 2014
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

As forecast the conditions at the start of the second week of the Festival showed a marked improvement on those of Friday's walk at Belper and the fine weather continued throughout the week.

Codnor Castle

On Monday we set off from Codnor Market Place with the Heanor and District History Society and headed straight to the site of mediaeval ruins on the "Codnor Castle Walk". The strong autumn sun shone down on us as we heard a brief history of the castle and explored the ruins before continuing down the hill to the next phase of the walk.
Codnor Park Reservoir

That second phase moved us from mediaeval times to the industrial age with a walk along the towpath of disused Cromford Canal into Ironville and the Codnor Park Reservoir where we stopped for a picnic lunch. From here we returned to Codnor via Golden Valley making a short diversion along the canal to see the entrance to the 3000m Butterley Tunnel. (Click here for aerial route map)
Hazy View

The weather was still fine on Tuesday although the distant views on the "Crich Walking For Health" route were quite hazy. This was one of the shorter walks in the Festival but nonetheless enjoyable for that. We had left the village centre and walked through the cattle filled fields seen here below before a steady climb up to walk along the edge of a quarry.
Crich Stand

The path led to Crich Stand, the Sherwood Foresters' War Memorial. There was time here to enjoy some more splendid views of the surrounding countryside before descending again into the village. (Route map)
Breaston WalkersRadio Derby VanWednesday saw us joining a group of about sixty walkers (left) in Breaston for the Parish Council's "Breaston Macmillan Walk" and we headed off across fields and the Derby Canal to Draycott. There we made directly for Brian and Jane Marshall's house and piled into the garden for tea or coffee and cake. The roving reporter from Radio Derby was also there - his van was parked outside (right) - to interview Brian about the event which raised over £400 for the Macmillan Charity. After our refreshments many of the walkers returned to Breaston by a different route but we cheated slightly on this one and caught the bus back from Draycott. (Route map)

Eaton Bank

There was no catching the bus on Thursday though and a chair lift might have been more welcome to help everyone on the Erewash Ramblers' "Breadsall to Eaton Park" walk up the steep steps and hill path at Eaton Bank. The climb certainly made me and several others blow!
From Eaton Park

The climb was well worth it though and we were rewarded with some splendid views over the undulating countryside from Eaton Park before dropping down again back to Breadsall. (Route map)
Promise Fulfilled

Crich Stand loomed large on the horizon for much of Friday's walk but our route this time had taken us from "Whatstandwell Station" with the Amber Valley Ramblers to Alderwasley for the first part of the route. This was another very enjoyable walk with the same group I had walked with on the previous Friday at Belper but this time the weather was so much better and the promised views actually materialised.
Cromford Canal

After crossing the main Whatstandwell to Matlock road the second and concluding part of the walk through the wooded Derwent Valley was alongside the old Cromford Canal. (Route map)

The penultimate day of Autumn Footprints was on Saturday but it was also my last walk of the Walking Festival for this year and I joined the Holbrook Parish Council group for the "Holbrook, Horsley and Castle Walk". This was another walk laced with interesting anecdotes and history through open countryside and historic sites like this quiet corner near Horsley Church.

From the village we headed up to the ruins of Horsley Castle in the woods and a little more history about the site before returning to Holbrook via Coxbench touching several long distance paths like the Midshires Way and the Centenary Way on the way back. There can be no finer end to the Festival though than the fine views across the Derbyshire countryside in the September sunshine. (Route map)

So after twelve walks in fifteen days from the forty on offer in the sixteen day Festival, the old knees and ankles were beginning to creak a little but they'll soon recover and I'll be looking forward to seeing the brochure for next year's event which should be available about next June. Keeping my fingers crossed that in these austerity stricken times the funding required from the respective councils in Erewash, Amber Valley and Derbyshire for publicity etc will still be available even though most of the walk leaders are volunteers. Our thanks must go to all concerned for this year's event.
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