This lovely relaxing walk starts on the edge of a heavy industrial area, but all the hustle and bustle of industry seems a million miles away as you stroll through gently undulating countryside.
After leaving Stanton-by-Dale behind, Furnace Pond is soon reached. It takes its name from the 18th century blast furnaces that were sited there. Bellows using waterpower from the pond drove them.
The route continues through fields and along farm lanes, before reaching Dale Road and the charming village of Dale Abbey, where little remains of the former Abbey. The village church is very unusual, it is semi-detached and at one time shared the premises with the Bluebell Inn, when the connecting door was said to lead from ‘salvation to damnation’.
Hermitage Wood is ancient woodland containing many fine trees and an abundance of wildlife and a Hermit’s Cave. The cave is now designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and well worth inspection.
From the wood, the path descends to Boyah Grange and then turns eastwards to follow a route through fields and woodland before reaching the road back to Stanton.
Start/finish: Roadside parking in main street.
Location: Between A6096 Derby to Ilkeston road and the B5010 Borrowash to Sandiacre road.
Terrain: Easy walking over undulating countryside with one short climb in Hermitage Wood. Some short stretches of road do not have any pavement.
1. Go down the main street and walk up the church drive, turning left by the churchyard gates along an enclosed path to a field.
2. Turn left and walk across the field, then without leaving the field, turn right and continue alongside the hedge to a stile in the corner, by a children’s playground.
3. Keep close to the hedge on the left, until just before the field boundary bends to the right, where you go over a wooden fence stile. Now keep close to the hedge on the right for a few yards before following an obvious path across the field.
4. Maintain direction across the next field to cross a stile 25 yards in from the bottom corner.
5. Walk past a pond on the right and angle to the right across the field, cross a narrow field and at a ‘T’ junction of paths turn left, to walk alongside a high wire fence.
6. A few yards after the wire fence bends sharply to the right, a grass cart track is joined, leading to a stile on the right. After walking a short distance to the left to comply with the Ordnance Survey footpath instructions, cross the field heading towards the far corner of a small wood on your right.
8. Continue along the road until, immediately after crossing a stile, with some horse stables in front; turn left along a short fenced path towards another stile.
9. Angle to the right hand corner of the field and go up a short enclosed path. At the end of the path turn left, onto a lane and follow it to a ‘T’ junction.
10. Turn right and walk towards Dale Abbey, take the stile on the left by the school sign and immediately turn to the right to go over a second stile. Head towards the Abbey ruins and follow the path round to the road.
11. Turn left going passed the church and buildings used to stable horses, turning left into Hermitage Wood. Take the second right* turn up a long flight of winding steps that lead to the top of the wood (*Detour - The Hermit’s Cave can be visited a little further along the main path).
12. Leave the wood by a stile, angle to the left across a field to go through a gap in the hedge.
13. Walk down the next field aiming towards a stile by a field gate.
14. Continue walking towards Boyah Grange Farm, but do not cross the stile into the farmyard - instead turn sharp left back across the field, to a stile in the centre of the hedge opposite.
15. Cross the road to a stile opposite and follow the hedge round the field to go over a stile. Turn right across the corner of the next field.
16. Cross the next field to a stile, facing Danesmoor Farm and turn left down the lane next to the farm.
17. After 120 yards, take the stile on the right and after going through a gap on the left, head towards a stile close to a large oak tree.
18. Maintain the same direction to go over another stile by a metal gate and walk down a track on the edge of a wood.
19. Keep straight on after leaving the wood, round a bracken-clad hillside, turning left a short distance before the end of the field down to a stile. Cross the next field diagonally to the road.
20. Turn right along the road and take the second footpath on the left, just before the village 30mph zone. After walking up a cart track turn right towards the church and re-trace your steps back to the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
The Bottle Kiln (Tel 0115 9329442) an art gallery, craft and gift shops, tea rooms and a beautiful Japanese Garden await at this restored site at West Hallam. Open all day Tuesday to Sunday throughout the year.
Erewash Museum (Tel 0115 9071141) artefacts that cover a period of over 10,000 years are displayed in this splendid little museum. Displays are changed regularly and every effort is made to ensure children as well as adults enjoy their visit. Please telephone for details or visit website.
Shipley Country Park (Tel 01773 719961) contains over 600 acres of attractive parkland with lakes, woodlands and miles of footpaths and bridleways. There is a Visitor Centre with a countryside gift shop and café.
Stanhope Arms (Tel 0115 9322603) the bar is in a large beamed room, that has been tastefully converted from what used to be several rooms. Meals are available at lunchtime and in the evening.
The Bottle Kiln Tea Rooms (Tel 0115 9329442) at this restored site at West Hallam, where the tea rooms combine with an art gallery, craft and gift shops and a beautiful Japanese Garden. Open all day Tuesday to Sunday throughout the year.
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The village of Stanton–by-Dale retains its unspoilt charm and peace and quiet of days gone by, despite being only a short distance from a major industrialised area, and with the M1 motorway passing through the parish.
Industrialisation first began when several attempts were made to set up blast furnaces in the area, but real progress only came when iron pipes rapidly replaced wooden and earthenware ones.
Encouraged by the Earl of Stanhope, who owned the estate which included the village, Stanton Ironworks was eventually successfully established, joining with Staveley Ironworks in 1960 and being known throughout the world for cast iron products.
In 1912, the Stanton Company bought Earl Stanhope’s estate and maintained the buildings in the village in a diligent manner. The policy was one of repair rather than alteration.
Very little building took place other than the six semi-detached houses on Quarry Hill for foremen from the ironworks. Today much of the village remains the same as it was in the early part of the 20th century.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.