Cossall & Strelley - Part 03
w/e 10 July 2011
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The ridge of high ground at Swingate marks the high point of this circular walk and in this part we make the gradual descent to almost reach the lowest section at Cossall Marsh passing Babbington on the way. We took a bus to Swingate and picked up the route to continue the walk near the Queen Adelaide on Babbington Lane.

Babbington Lane

For much of the walk so far we have been following the route of the long distance footpath, the Robin Hood Way but it is here at Swingate that we part company with it as we begin the return journey to Cossall. Our route now follows Babbington Lane passing the water tower that is a significant feature on the skyline from miles around. The route passes some cottages (left) at the end of the lane which then becomes a bridle path (right) that leads to Grasscroft Farm.
View Over Babbington

Once through the trees at the end of the lane the views open up over Babbington to Ilkeston beyond or as Malcolm Sales' "`100 Walks in Nottinghamshire" book describes them "excellent views over the Erewash valley to east Derbyshire."

About half way along the bridle path towards the farm, a signpost indicates a little used footpath along the hedge line where the gradual descent continues.
Path Through Field

The path leads through the fields and over a number of stiles to the hamlet of Babbington. Although the path appears to be little used, its route is obvious although in this particular field deposits left by cattle mean that care must be taken where you place your feet!
Final Stile

The final stile into a leafy path with roses blooming on the right in this rural setting belies the fact that there was once a busy colliery at Babbington.

The path takes us to this track that leads to Westby Lane but the colliery is long gone and farming is now high on the agenda, the barn ahead being full of cattle.
Westby Lane

Passing the barn we must now follow the long Westby Lane that provides the only vehicular access into Babbington from Awsworth and Cossall.

Over to the left and seen here zoomed across the intervening countryside is Cossall, our ultimate destination to complete the walk but we will eventually reach it from the other side of the village.

As we continue down Westby Lane, there are cows to the left and horses to the right but if there were to be a soundtrack to this composite of images, it would be the barking of dogs from Babbington Hall Kennels and Cattery which is over to the right. There is also a Rescue Centre here caring for stray and abandoned dogs.
Seat Without A View

Westby Lane continues to Awsworth but at a significant zig-zag in the lane our route is straight ahead along a footpath to Awsworth Lane at the area known as Cossall Marsh. There are several seats along this path but the views from them are far from inspiring as they only look into the dense greenery Awsworth Lane to IlkestonAwsworth Lane to Awsworthon the other side of the path.

At Awsworth Lane it would seem natural to turn left to head for Cossall but the route we are following initially takes us to the right where, in about fifty yards on the opposite side of the road is another footpath that we will follow when we return for the next part. On this occasion however we caught a bus from here back into Ilkeston.

Back to Part 02
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