Presented by the www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk website
An enjoyable walk on the northern outskirts of Derby, which soon after the start joins the Derwent Valley and heads for Duffield, before climbing steadily up Bunker’s Hill to Quarndon. The latter section of the walk passes through Big Wood, then along the perimeter of Allestree Golf Course and through the old part of the village.
The parish church of St Alkmund stands in the water-meadows of the River Derwent, a short distance from Duffield close to the busy, main Sheffield, Derby to London Railway Line. The footbridge over the line provides an excellent viewing point for enthusiast and interested spectator.
At the top of Bunker’s Hill, is sited the Topograph, constructed and erected with funds raised by the villagers of Quarndon, in memory of Francis, the third Viscount Scarsdale. This enables even the first time visitor to pick out landmarks in the surrounding countryside with ease.
Allestree Park is the wildest and most scenic of Derby’s parks. A nine-hole course golf was established there in 1948, and extended to 18 holes in 1955. The lake constructed in 1825 for Sir William Evans of Allestree Hall, partly surrounded by tall trees provides a wonderful habitat for wildlife.
Length: 5.25 miles.
Start/Finish: Main Avenue, turn right at the junction of Park Lane and the A6.
Location: Off the A6, Derby to Belper road, four miles north of Derby City Centre.
Terrain: Mostly level walking with one moderate climb up Bunker’s Hill to Quarndon, soon followed by a short road walk. Maybe a little overgrown in places during the summer, on the walk to Duffield. Can be muddy.
1. Leave the A6 at Park Lane and immediately go to the right down Main Avenue, at the bottom turn right and keeping Allestree Park Lake on your left follow the path round.
2. At a ‘T’ junction of paths turn right, then left along Evans Avenue and cross the busy A6, walk down the pavement a few yards before joining a rough track signed for Duffield.
3. When the track ends continue straight ahead to a stile, then angle slightly to the right over two fields towards Fields Farm. Keep close to the fence on your right at the back of the farm, before going over a stile in the far corner into another field.
4. Follow the hedge on the left, before going over a small footbridge on the left and turn sharp right, soon to walk along the banks of the River Derwent.
5. Continue by the Derwent until where it bends to the right, you follow the path in the opposite direction through an area of woodland.
6. The path winds round the perimeter of a large field, before crossing a footbridge and heading straight across the field to the left of Peckwash Mills Chimney. Cross two more small fields, angling slightly to the left to reach a tunnel under the railway line.
7. Turn sharp left after passing through the tunnel, keeping close to the hedge for two fields before heading towards a stile in the centre of the next field boundary.
8. After crossing the stile walk round the right hand edge of the field towards Duffield Church. On reaching the churchyard follow the path to the right hand corner, go over the stile, and turn left.
9. Cross the church access road and the footbridge over the railway line, then turn sharp left and follow a well-trodden path to the right over two fields to reach and cross the busy A6.
10. Follow the footpath sign between house numbers 38 and 40 to enter a field.
11. Carry straight on; to a hedge part way across the field, ensure that you walk on its left hand side, to a stile at the top of the field.
12. Go straight up the next field to a stile, a short distance to the left of a gap in the fence. Head towards the left hand corner of the next field and go through a gap in the fence.
13. After 75 yards cross a stile on the left and follow the well-trodden path straight up the field, past Burleywood Farm, to the top of Bunker’s Hill. Then follow the path behind the houses.
14. On reaching the top of a cul-de-sac, turn left and then within a few yards right and follow the signed path along, turning left at the ‘T’ junction. Turn then left again opposite the Church Hall.
15. Take the first right into Woodlands Lane (Care: there is no pavement, but for the most part the grass verges are quite wide). About 100 yards past the Water Tower, turn left into Big Wood.
16. Turn right through the wood, keeping close to the road. The route takes you through a clearing and then a car park, before reaching the edge of Allestree Golf Course, which you follow round behind a row of houses.
17. Where the houses end, turn right and within a few yards left across an open space and then turn right and walk down to a stile into a car park.
18. Walk through the Evergreen Club Car Park, turn left down Cornhill. Continue in the same direction along Park Lane to reach the A6 and the starting point of the walk.
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A city of considerable character, surrounded by attractive countryside. With the Peak District National Park, the second most visited National Park in the world, only a few miles to the north and the National Forest only a short distance away to the south.
Located near the centre of the country, Derby has excellent communications and is well served by road, rail and air.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE AREA
Wirksworth Heritage Centre: (Tel. 01629 825225) Where the ‘Wirksworth Story’ is told taking you on a fascinating journey through time on three floors of the centre. The special displays are excellent and if you want something different you can always try a computer game.
The National Stone Centre: (Tel. 01629 824833) tells the story of stone, its geological and industrial history. The exhibition inside shows how advanced technology makes use of stone in an incredible number of ways. Outside the visitor centre, the quarry trail takes you back over three hundred million years. Open all year seven days a week.
North End Mills: (Tel. 01629 824731) one of the largest factory shops in the country which sells clothes for all the family. Visitors to the Mills can still see hosiery being made, have a coffee and admire the display of old photographs of Wirksworth. Open seven days a week.
The Red Cow: (Tel. 01332 543911) was probably in existence in the early 17th century, but the present building is somewhat later, the oldest part being late 17th century. Open all day seven days a week. Meals served lunchtime and evenings Monday to Saturday, lunches only served on Sundays.
Darley Park Tearooms: (Tel. 01332 556447) delightfully situated overlooking flower beds and Darley Abbey Park, with distant views of Derby Cathedral. There is plenty of seating outside on the terrace. Normally open from 10-4pm during the week, longer at the weekend, but arrangements may be changed at short notice dependent on weather conditions. Light refreshments served.
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