Autumn Footprints 2020 - The Virtual Festival
w/e 27 September 2020
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Go Walking- follow the Leaflet!
This year Covid-19 has put a stop to the usual annual Autumn Footprints. Normally this would consist of a range of guided walks led by local knowledgeable volunteers over sixteen days in September. However with Covid-19 restrictions this has had to be revised and there will be no led/guided walks. Instead some previously produced walk leaflets have been collected together onto the website to be enjoyed in family/friends groups – obviously observing strict social distancing guidance. Log onto to download the leaflets from the homepage.
Please note the leaflets have been produced over the last 20 years. Therefore, it may be that there are some public houses and cafes that are no longer in existence. There may be some sections where the paths are narrow. All routes are to be walked in accordance with strict government guidance on social distancing.

See also the Special Features section of this site for various Country, Family, Town and City Walks, Village Trails, Walking for Health routes and other Miscellaneous Walks.
Below are a few images from a previous Autumn Footprints Festival

Walking The Northern Fields Of Amber Valley (2015)

 Autumn Footprints walks are graded Easy, Moderate or Strenuous to enable walkers to decide which to join and this one fell into the latter category. That was not because of the seven mile length but because it was over the undulating landscape across the northern fields of the Ambver Valley district but because it included several uphill sections with one particularly difficult climb - but we'll come to that later.

Lea Village

The walk started on Church Street near Dethick, Lea and Holloway Cemetery from where we climbed up the hill behind Christ Church and followed footpaths to enter and pass through Lea Village.

Dethick Church

We left the village, dropped down to cross Lea Brook and then climbed up again to head over the fields to St John's Church at Dethick. After passing through the churchyard and by the adjacent Manor Farm we turned right to walk along Dethick Lane to a crossroads with Shaw Lane and Green Lane.
Green Lane Stile

Green Lane is actually a good description for it is basically a green footpath across the undulating fields separated by dry stone walls and hedgerows. Obviously with stiles to negotiate, the large number of walkers became stretched out but soon after this we stopped for a coffee break which enabled everyone to catch up.

After crossing Cunnery Lane the route continued across the fields to the edge of Tansley near Matlock.
Towards Matlock

A short walk through the back streets of Tansley took us out into the open countryside again as we headed towards Matock. We dropped down the hillside (above) but for every "down" there is an "up" and the next section of the walk in particular is what made this walk strenuous.
MatlockFern Covered HillsideAn uneven rocky path twisted and turned through the chest high, fern clad hillside. A clearing in the fern about half way up was a good viewpoint over Matlock (left) and many of the walkers took advantage of it to pause, not just to appreciate the view but also to catch their breath, me included! We continued climbing up the rocky path (right) and eventually walked into Riber Village.
In Riber Village

Walking through the village we passed close to Riber Castle on Riber Road. There's an Ornance Survey marker stone and bench mark (inset) near here showing the "Height Above Datum" as 797.28 ft. That's about 243m and we would climb only 3 or 4m higher before descending to our start and finish point about 100m lower.
Over Matlock Bath

Now four and a half miles into our walk we turned off Riber Road to walk through more chest high, fern lined paths above Starkholmes for a lunch break on the high ground above Matlock Bath. Notice the cable car ride up to the Heights of Abraham towards the right of the picture.
Riber Castle

Suitably refreshed we returned towards Riber with the castle now prominent on the horizon but soon turned off to follow Hearthstone Lane.

This led us through the little settlement and farm known as Hearthstone, a working farm with some holiday accommodation in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside high above Matlock.

As we were high above Matlock that meant some downhill paths to follow back to Lea and Holloway but this being the northern fields of Amber Valley, that also meant there would be some uphill paths as well before we reached the finish!
Route Map.

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