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This easy relaxing walk for the much of the route follows the banks of the River Trent, the Trent and Mersey Canal and the now defunct Derby Canal.
After leaving Chellaston behind, Swarkestone Lock is soon reached, and the walk joins the Trent and Mersey Canal. James Brindley, who could neither read nor write, was responsible for the construction of the canal. At one time ridiculed by his contemporaries, this Derbyshire born genius, is remembered all over England for the 365 miles of inland waterways for which he was responsible.
The well-kept village of Barrow-on-Trent, with its 18th century parish cottages and pretty lane down to the River Trent is visited, as is Swarkestone with its famous bridge and causeway. The most unusual building in the village is the Summer House, sometimes called ‘The Grandstand’. It has a grass covered rectangular enclosure in front. No one is quite sure what its use was; bull baiting and jousting are suggestions. More likely, the much gentler pursuit of bowling took place there. It is now in the hands of Landmark Trust and is available for holiday accommodation.
The walk continues up a further stretch of the canal from Cuttle Bridge to Swarkestone Lock before returning to Chellaston.
Length: 4.5 miles.
Start/Finish: Bus stop outside Chellaston School.
Location: On main A514 about five miles from Derby City Centre.
Terrain: Easy, level walking, about half alongside - the River Trent or the Trent and Mersey Canal. The river may flood after heavy and prolonged rainfall.
1. Walk down the enclosed path to the left of Chellaston School, at the end turn right down an estate road.
2. Cross the road just before a traffic island and walk diagonally across a field, to go over a footbridge and along a rough track close to the A50.
3. Go through a gate stile and then turn left under a road bridge, to follow a former branch canal path to Swarkestone Lock, where you turn right and walk along the canal towpath.
4. After going under a road bridge and walking along the canal bank, with a road opposite, for about 300 yards turn left at Deep Dale Bridge Number 17. The number indicator is on the western side of the bridge.
5. Continue along an enclosed track, over a railway bridge and at the end take the stile by the left of two metal field gates.
6. Turn sharp right, keeping close to the hedge on your right and follow the field round to go over another stile.
7. Continue by the field boundary for a short distance before going to the right, at a marker post, through a field gate. Walk down the middle of a narrow field; go straight across a road and down a narrow path opposite into Barrow-on-Trent.
8. Turn left up the street and at the end go to the right, before turning left along Church Lane.
9. At the end of the road, follow the footpath by the River Trent, go over a footbridge, and continue along the riverbank to Meadow Farm.
10. On leaving Meadow Farm, turn right into Woodshop Lane passing in front of the Crewe and Harpur Arms and cross the road to reach the riverbank.
11. After a few yards take the left hand fork in the path, follow it round the back of a row of houses and over an access road to the church.
12. Opposite the Church, turn left and then right immediately once past the wall to the churchyard. Go over a stile in the corner into a field.
13. Head diagonally across the field to a point where a farm access road meets the A5132.
14. Turn right and walk along the footpath by the road for 100 yards, before taking a sign for Chellaston and Derby leading down to the canal bank.
14. Walk under Cuttle Bridge and on reaching Swarkestone Lock; turn to the right to re-trace your steps back to the start 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.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Melbourne Hall: (Tel 01332 862502) was once the home of Victorian Prime Minister William Lamb (Lord Melbourne). Contact for opening details.
The Donington Grand Prix Collection: (Tel 01332 811027) the world’s largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars. Exhibits are on display from 1900 to today detailing the history of motor racing. Open daily.
Elvaston Castle Country Park: (Tel 01332 571342) set in 200 acres of parkland with an ornamental lake, extensive gardens, stony grottoes, rock archways and other interesting features. Open daily
Rose and Crown: (Tel 01332 700269) a large comfortable modern pub, with an attractive beer garden at the rear. There are a number of interesting prints round the walls, some depicting local sports personalities. Bar meals are available Monday to Saturday from 12-9pm and on Sunday from 12-8pm. Open from 11am Monday to Saturday and from 12 noon on Sunday.
Melbourne Hall Tea Rooms: (Tel 01332 864224) situated in what used to be the washrooms and bath house of the hall. One of the old baking ovens still remains in these delightful old tea rooms that have built up an enviable reputation for light meals and teas. Open from 11-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays from mid March to the end of October. Weekends only in winter from 11-4pm.
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