Cossall & Strelley - Part 04
w/e 07 August 2011
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

I think it is pretty obvious by now that this walk was not completed in one go but broken down into smaller sections over a number of weeks. That being so for this final section we caught a bus towards Kimberley from Ilkeston and alighted at Awsworth Lane, Cossall where we concluded Part 3.

Drive To Factory

PaddockStilePicking up the route again where we emerged onto Awsworth Lane from the footpath from Babbington, my instinct would have been to turn left to head for Cossall Village but Malcolm Sales' route in his "100 Walks in Nottinghamshire" says to turn right for about 50 yards, carefully cross the road and follow the drive seen above to a small factory. At the side of the factory a path (left) leads between two paddocks to a stile (right) into a thicket of hawthorns.
Clearly Defined Path

The thicket is actually on the route of the old Babbington Branch of the Midland Railway that joined the Erewash Valley line at Ilkeston Junction. Once through the trees Malcolm Sales advises following the "clearly defined Cossall MarshCoronation Roadpath" to emerge opposite Church Lane (left) at Cossall Marsh. The road to Ilkeston (Coronation Road) from here does not appear on maps until the First World War years and the current line of the road was a post World War 2 realignment. Our route is to follow the Coronation Road under the two bridges (right) to ascend by a flight of steps up to the Nottingham Canal.
Bridge Crossing

The canal is carried across the road in a large pipe via the first bridge and the second allows pedestrian and cycle access. Skirting the industrial development on the former Cossall Colliery site the path rises again to reach the towpath alongside the canal.

The first part of the towpath walk is by an overgrown area for the same pipe that carries the canal water across the road also extends for some distance and there is very little water to be seen. Very difficult here to imagine narrow boats plying their trade transporting coal to the River Trent at Nottingham.
Both Sides Now

The towpath eventually splits and actually crosses the canal to run along both sides. From here on however there is more water in the canal but still not enough for it ever to be navigable again.
View To Cossall

Enclosed TowpathErewash Valley From here on until we leave the towpath the canal is enclosed on both sides by trees and high hedges (left) but there are intermittent views to the right across the Erewash Valley to Ilkeston (right) and to the left the houses at Cossall (above) our ultimate destination can be seen only a couple of fields away. Back in 2007 we walked along the towpath in the opposite direction and images from then can be seen here.
Swing Bridge

At the former swing bridge position on Mill Lane we could have turned right and soon been back home in Ilkeston but in order to complete the circuit we left the canal which is now a Local Nature Reserve and turned left to head into Cossall Village.
Mill Lane

Following Mill Lane to Cossall is another example of a route we had completed previously in the opposite direction. That can be seen in Part 10 of the Monk's Way series which includes images not only of Mill Lane but also of the former swing bridge position and the Nottingham Canal in November 2004.
Church Lane

Mill Lane joins the same Church Lane that we saw at Cossall Marsh but now it's at the south side of the village having wound its way up the hill and through the village centre.
Start & Finish

And where Church Lane meets Robinettes Lane to the left and Dead Lane to the right marks the end of the circular route. The temporary road sign "Slow" would have been more appropriate if it had said "Stop" for this is the start and finish point of Malcolm Sales' route. Dead Lane leads to the bridle path that took us to the motorway seen here in the distance and then on past the trees on the horizon into Strelley and on to Swingate. Although this marks the end of the route, we still had to get back to Ilkeston. Such is the complexity and inter linking of paths in this area that we were able to return through Cossall and along the first part of the Dragonfly Trail (again in the reverse direction) to Cossall Marsh just in time for the bus back into town.
Back to Part 03

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