This walk takes you through lovely peaceful countryside along well defined tracks and quiet lanes only two miles to the south of the centre of Chesterfield. There are good views of Derbyshire lowland agricultural scenery to the south and west.
Your walk starts at Smithy Pond, a popular haunt for fishermen. Soon leaving Wingerworth behind to walk along the side of, and then through, Hardwick Wood.
The site of Bole Hill Quarry is then passed, where in the 18th century ironstone was mined. A ‘bole’ being the name used for a site where iron-ore and lead was smelted.
A short walk across fields brings you to Salem Chapel, founded in 1849 by Joseph Fletcher. He was a colliery steward at the local ironworks and built the chapel against the wishes of the catholic Hunloke family of Wingerworth Hall. Opposition was so strong that permission to use stone from local quarries was withheld and money had to be borrowed to bring stone in from outside the area.
The walk continues along the edge of Stubbing Great Pond constructed as an ornamental and fishing pond by the Hunlokes, before returning to the start passed Wingerworth Garden Centre.
Start/Finish: Nethermoor Road, close to Smithy Pond.
Location: Turn off A61 at roundabout signed for Wingerworth, south of Chesterfield.
Terrain: Mainly clear paths and quiet lanes. Some steady ascents and one long steep descent.
1. From Smithy Pond walk back down Nethermoor Road towards the A61, passing Deerlands Road on the left and just round a sharp bend turn right by a bus stop into the farm drive to Nethermoor Farm.
2. Continue past the farm and buildings on your right, along a farm track that gradually descends to a concrete footbridge over Tricket Brook.
3. After about half a mile at a crossroad of paths, turn right towards Hardwick Wood and in about 150 yards; enter it by a stone stile.
4. Take the track on the left – throughout the walk through the wood, and a small area of grassland, keep to the track closest to the wall and the edge of the wood on your left.
5. On reaching the western extremity of the wood, where you will have views of open fields, turn right and keep within the wood and follow the track and keep close to the wall on your left as it bends round and eventually reaches a country lane.
6. Walk straight ahead up Bole Hill Lane, before descending steeply past Bole Hill Quarry and continue along the lane to a ‘T’ junction, where it joins Birkin Lane.
7. Cross Birkin Lane and ascend a series of steps to a stile into a field. Angle to the left across a hilly field dropping down to a stile by a metal gate.
8. Cross the next field keeping close to the hedge on the right to reach a minor road, close to Salem Chapel and turn right and then right again along the side of the Great Pond of Stubbing.
9. At the far side of the pond turn right along Pearce Lane, keeping straight on at the next road intersection and then bearing left when the road forks, into Birkin Lane.
10. Continue past Wingerworth Garden Centre on the left and at the end of the road turn right into Nethermoor Road and the starting point of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Revolution House, (Tel. 01246 453554/345727) situated in the village of Old Whittington three miles north of Chesterfield. It takes its name from the 1688 Revolution, when it was an alehouse. It was where three noblemen met to plot the overthrow of King James II in favour of William and Mary of Orange. The house now provides an interesting exhibition of that period. Please telephone for opening details or visit website.
Bolsover Castle, (Tel. 01246 822844) an award winning attraction that provides a romantic example of a Cavalier’s pleasure palace. Under the control of English Heritage, there is a shop a spacious café. For further information website: www.english-heritage.org.uk
Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery, (Tel. 01246 345727) tells the fascinating ‘Story of Chesterfield.’ Here you can find out how the Parish Church was built and what went wrong to make the spire lean! Open all year on Mondays, Tuesdays and from Thursday to Saturday.
Smithy Pond (Tel. 01246 557177) is a comparatively new modern style pub overlooking a large pond from which it gets its name. There is a good selection of food available all day. Seating outside facing across the pond.
Wingerworth Garden Centre (Tel. 01246 204214) on Birkin Lane is a pleasant well-stocked little garden centre. Plans are in hand to open a teashop early in 2003.The Garden Centre is open daily throughout the year and is passed on the walk.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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A busy redbrick town, with more than 250 stalls doing a lively trade on market days, a delightful cricket ground at Queens Park and an unusual church spire.
Second only to Derby in population in the county, it is quite different in style and character to any of its neighbours in the Peak District.
It is the crooked spire, that does most to make Chesterfield famous and the first thing newcomers usually look for on arrival in the town. The spire to St Mary and All Saints church, started its life straight, but is now 9 feet 5 inches out of line and leans a tiny bit further every year.
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