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 Dale Abbey 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 the village.


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.
Waterlog Farm

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.
Columbine Farm

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.
Abbey Ruins

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.
Midshires Way

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.
Iconic Building

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.
Dale Hills

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 abundant.
Ockbrook Wood

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.
Church Farm

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!

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