Dunnshill to Dale Abbey
w/e 20 March 2011
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
This short linear walk of about 1.5 miles from Dunnshill to
is along the route of the long distance footpath The Midshires
Way. It can be made into a circular walk by returning via another
path over the fields and along the road in the image below but
on this occasion my "driver" agreed to pick me up in
So leaving the car at Dunnshill I set off down the path to carefully
cross the busy Ladywood Road (the A6096 from Ilkeston to Derby)
and picked up the path through the small copse opposite.
After passing through the trees I followed a "Public Footpath"
sign pointing to the right but soon realised my mistake and returned
to take the correct route along a wide track behind Waterlog
Farm where a herd of cattle were grazing at the top of the slope
to the left.
For most of the way the track runs at the foot of a wooded escarpment
that is called Dale Hills, blossom on the trees on the left indicating
the spring is not far away.
Rounding a bend I saw that the track actually leads to Columbine
Farm but a footpath continues to Dale Abbey between the farmhouse
and the escarpment.
A slight rise in the path behind the farmhouse was enough to
give me a first sight of the the ruins of the Abbey at Dale and
can be seen near the middle of this image. The yellow mark in
the hedgeline is actually on a stile which leads to another path
across the fields.
I opted to keep to the Midshires Way as it dropped and then rose
again along the edge of the escarpment to the trees that marked
the start of Ockbrook Wood.
From the gate seen in the previous image, another view of the
village at Dale Abbey revealed the iconic building that has a
church in one half and a farmhouse in the other. The farmhouse
side of the building was formerly an inn and a connecting door
from the church was said to lead from salvation to damnation
or vice versa.
As I approached the wood the views of the village became more
intermittent and the open landscape I had enjoyed so far was
replaced by a more enclosed feeling with the slope of Dale Hills
coming closer on the right and trees and bushes on the left more
The hedgerow continues through and marks the boundary of wood
which in a few weeks time will be awash with bluebells so much
so in fact, that although officially named Ockbrook Wood it is
often referred to locally as Bluebell Wood.
Leaving the wood I could have carried on along the Midshires
Way through Hermit's Wood but turned off instead to follow this
track by Church Farm that I had seen earlier and on into the
village at Dale Abbey where my lift was waiting - and I know
better than to keep the wife waiting!