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Autumn Footprints 2016 - Week Two
w/e 25 September 2016
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The Walking Festival continued over the middle weekend but my first walk in the second week was not until Tuesday. I then joined various groups on successive days through to Saturday to complete five more guided walks during the week.

Loscoe to Codnor Castle

The Tuesday walk was from Loscoe to Codnor Castle and was labelled a "Historical walk" led by the Heanor and District Local History Society. There were frequent pauses in the walking to hear about the areas mainly industrial heritage as we walked close to and over several coal mining sites. We passed Loscoe Dam and then walked up Hogbarn Lane to Woodlinkin.

Ordmonde Fields Golf Club

A recurring theme of walks in the first week was golf courses and this Tuesday walk continued the theme as we followed a path across Ordmonde Fields Golf Club which again had ties with the former mining industry..

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Ordmonde Fields Golf Club" below.
Codnor Castle

Our initial destination was the ruins of Codnor Castle where we enjoyed a picnic lunch on the grass. We had been warned at the start of the walk that the route was over open countryside and there were no seats anywhere along the way so we were fortunate that the sun came out whilst we ate our food.

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Codnor Castle" below.

Codnor Castle to Loscoe

From the castle ruins we descended the hillside to pass through the woods at Codnor Park and over the so-called Monkey Bridge over the railway. This led to the route of the former Cromford Canal and through the Erewash Meadows Nature Reserve before returning to our starting point at Loscoe via Aldercar to complete the 7.5 mile walk.
Route Map
Towards Horsley

It was a dull start to Wednesday when I met up with the Horsley Woodhouse Walking For Health group as this view towards Horsley from early in the walk shows.

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Towards Horsley" below.

Smalley to Morley Hayes

We met at the Smalley Tennis Club and as usual followed footpaths, farm tracks and quiet lanes to pass the Sitwell Arms, climb up towards Cloves Wood giving us a view of Cloves Hill from an unfamiliar angle before reaching the entrance to Morley Hayes Golf Course just as the sun came out again.
Morley Hayes to Morley Church

Yes, yet another golf course and the route from here was one I had walked on several previous occasions over the ploughed field and on past the Victorian Water Tower to end at Morley Church.

Wild Flowers

I've walked across this field in all conditions both wet and dry but it's the first time I've seen wild flowers there. The water tower can be seen in the distance. As this was a linear walk it was just a few steps up Church Lane to the main road to catch a bus back to Smalley.
Route Map

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Wild Flowers" below.
Holbrook to Belper Parks

In his poem "To Autumn" John Keats wrote of the "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!" and whilst there had been some misty mornings during the Walking Festival, Thursday was bright and clear when I joined the Holbrook Parish Council led walk for the 6 mile wander to Belper Parks and back. We left Holbrook along Blackbird Row and headed for High Wood, a private wood but open to the public. A notice at the entrance warned of a forthcoming wedding in October to be held in the wood and asked walkers to keep to a certain footpath. I hope the weather is fine for them! Reaching Belper we climbed Sandbed Lane and entered Belper Parks.

Fishing Lake

We had a brief drinks break in the park but before we move on from there, here's a view over the fishing lake that has been created in recent years from High Wood where that wedding is to be held.

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Fishing Lake" below.
Belper Parks to Holbrook

Leaving Belper Parks we returned to Holbrook on the Derwent Valley side of the ridge picking up the Heritage Way at appropriately named Dark Lane as it is shrouded by trees before emerging to climb up the valley side and back into Holbrook.

Wildersley Road

Our route back took us along Wildersley Road, a long straight narrow lane reminiscent of something the Romans built although apparently there is no evidence to confirm the Roman road theory.

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Wildersley Road" below.

Derwent Valley Panorama

If the Romans had been here though I'm sure they would have admired the panoramic view of Derbyshire across the Derwent Valley from the edge of Holbrook.
Route Map
South Wingfield

Another day (Friday) and another walk and it was into the Derbyshire countryside for this exploration of South Wingfield. I say "exploration" as this was unfamiliar territory for me as I have never walked in this particular area previously so it was a good job the the walk was led by the Amber Valley Ramblers. This walk took us through fields of livestock, along Boggy Brook, close up to the ruins of Wingfield Manor and then along the tree lined footpath that is Manor Lane. This path seemed extremely long but that was only because of my unfamiliarity with the area as it was not much more than half a mile.


As we turned to walk by the side of the railway line and then head off across the fields, I had lost all sense of whereabouts and was unable to pick out any significant landmarks. This is why I like these guided walks so much as they introduce you to new places that are still fairly close to home.

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Farmland" below.
Around South Wingfield

We continued through the fields, passed isolated buildings and the remains of an old post mill and saw more of the livestock on the farmland.

Wingfield Manor

It was when we had almost completed the four and a half miles though that we saw the best views of Wingfield Manor although we had earlier walked close to its ruined ramparts. Standing out above the treetops, even in its ruined state, it's still an imposing feature in the landscape.
Route Map

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Wingfield Manor" below.
Butterley Works

The Festival concluded on Sunday but my final walk in this year's event was on Saturday afternoon at Ripley. In actual fact this was more talk than walk but that was expected as the description of the walk was to investigate the history of the Butterley Company. An easy two mile, two hour stroll around Butterley was interspersed with some fascinating facts from our knowledgeable leader that really brought the semi-derelict site to life. The octagonal gatehouse and Post Office is one of two listed buildings on the site.

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Butterley Works" below.
Burrterley, Ripley

The Butterley Company was founded in 1790 and at its height employed 10,000 people from the Ripley area. That was in the 1950s and its iron and steel constructions can be seen all over the world including in the restored St Pancras Station and the Falkirk Wheel. A road on the housing estate now built on part of the site is named Falkirk Avenue and during our walk we passed several older houses that were once occupied by the works' managers. Even when we passed through Carr Wood, evidence of the company could be seen in iron railings and as we made our way to Hammersmith Meadows, we passed a wall built of slag from the blast furnaces.

Butterley Reservoir

Our return to the car park at the Midland Railway Centre from where we had started was on both sides of the railway line that crosses the Butterley Reservoir.The reservoir was constructed to supply water to the Cromford Canal which passes directly under the site of the Butterley Works in a tunnel. Access to the canal was gained via a shaft in the works which allowed easy transportation of goods - just another of those interesting facts on this easy "Walk Through Industrial History" that brought to an end my participation in this year's Autumn Footprints Walking Festival. Thanks must once more go to all the organisers and walk leaders who have contributed to the success of another enjoyable fortnight of guided walks.
Route Map

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Butterley Reservoir" below.

Autumn Footprints Index for previous festivals.

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