Autumn Footprints 2018 - Week Two
w/e 30 September 2018
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Locko Park

After the downpour on the middle Saturday of the Festival and the cancellation of Sunday's walks, week two turned out for the most part to be perfect weather for walking. I started on Monday with the Erewash Ramblers at Bluebell's Ice Cream Parlour at Spondon for a seven mile walk through Bartlewood, Dale Abbey and Locko Grange - a route that took us through Locko Park (above) near both the start and the end of the walk.
Dale Abbey

We had a brief "Coffee Break" at Bartlewood and sat on the grass at the Dale Abbey Arch to eat our picnic lunches before returning over the fields to Locko.
Route Map

Tuesday morning was taken up with other commitments but I did make it to Langley Mill just in time for the 2pm start of the five mile "Two Canals and Turbine" walk with the Heanor Walking For Health group. We followed the line of the former Nottingham Canal before crossing the Erewash Valley close to the wind turbine at Newthorpe to pick up the Erewash Canal for the return.
Erewash Canal

This route was an amalgamation of two shorter walks usually undertaken by the Walking For Health group that had been devised to create the longer route especially for the Festival. This view on the towpath of the Erewash Canal was near the end of the walk at Langley Mill.
Route Map
Still Waters

Other commitments prevented me from taking part in any of Wednesday's walks but I was back by the Erewash Canal again (further south this time) on Thursday when I walked with the Long Eaton Rambling Club. Under clear skies this was another perfect day for walking and perfect for some reflective shots in the still waters of the canal.
Stoney Clouds

Part of this walk was along a section of the canal that the Sandiacre Strollers had walked on the previous Friday but on this walk we crossed the canal to climb up Stoney Clouds before heading off across the Erewash Valley Golf Course for another picnic lunch in Stanton By Dale. The return to Breaston was via Risley to complete the eight mile circuit.
Route Map

Leaf ID SheetTreasures SheetA long standing 9:15am appointment on Friday morning meant that I couldn't make the 10am start for either of the walks on offer. Later in the day we made our way to Shipley Country Park to investigate another aspect of the Festival called "Awesome Autumn!" This self-led activity primarily aimed at children was available every day throughout the Festival. From a range of activity sheets available at the Visitor Centre I selected two and we set off through the Cinderhill Coppice looking for autumn leaves and fruits. One item to tick off on one of the sheets was "cones with thick woody scales."
Autumn Leaves & Fruits

One of the sheets involved looking for a variety of leaves and we didn't fare too well finding items to mark off although we did identify a number of leaves and fruits


We found several other items but were surprised that in our wanderings we didn't come across any conkers, acorns or hazelnuts. We did however see these willow leaves by Osborne's Pond. - but then again as I said, the activity was aimed at children and children would no doubt have done far better than us!
Shipley Country Park Map

Latin HouseStained GlassSaturday and Sunday morning were taken up up by other things so the only walk we were able to participate in was around the "Listed Buildings in Risley." We were familiar with most of the buildings like the Latin House (left) on the main road and All Saints Church but on this occasion we were able to enter the church to see some of the internal features like the colourful stained glass (right).


We were also on this walk able to enter the grounds of Risley Hall which is now a hotel and hear some of its history. The Sunday afternoon route included a walk along the original terrace which runs alongside Risley Brook. It is thought that the brook was diverted from its original route to form a canal or moat in the Hall grounds.
Final Steps

After walking round the Hall part of which is now a Nursing Home and residential area we passed through the former Rose Garden and saw many original architectural features of the Hall before exiting the grounds and taking the final steps to Church Cottage behind the church for refreshments courtesy of the Parish Council.
Route Map

This final walk was listed as being 2 miles but in reality it was only about a mile. In fact it was more talk than walk but nonetheless enjoyable for that. It just goes to show the variety the Festival offers - from easy short strolls to 10 mile strenuous rambles and everything in between. Well that wraps up this year's Autumn Footprints Walking Festival but I suspect that routes are already being planned for next year so to paraphrase the final words of a popular dancing programme on TV, until then "Keep Walking!"

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