This lovely relaxing walk takes you through peaceful rolling South Derbyshire countryside, includes a close up view of Calke Abbey and an opportunity to explore one of the county’s prettiest villages.
Ticknall’s industrial past is revealed near the beginning of the walk with the mouth of the old tramway tunnel and during the last mile, where the old clay pits have long since become a home for wildlife.
But, for many the highlight of the walk is the discovery of Calke Abbey. Hidden away as it is in a hollow, you come across it quite suddenly. It was for many years home to the reclusive Harpur-Crewe family.
When the National Trust took over the house in 1985, they found what they described as a time capsule. Furniture, natural history collections and other relics of bygone days had remained untouched for more than half a century.
Length: 4.5 miles.
Start/Finish: Ticknall Village Hall Car Park.
Location: On the A514 between Derby and Swadlincote.
Terrain: Easy walking. No steep inclines.
1. Leave the car park, walk back to the A514, and turn left, before in about 50 yards, turning right down Banton’s Lane.
2. At the end of the lane, go through a kissing gate to walk alongside an area of woodland on the left and then through a short and narrow field to a stile.
3. Continue with the hedge on the right, past a pond, to follow a clear track which swings to the left after passing a footpath coming in from the right.
4. Before reaching the road through the park, the path bends to the right to a stile by a metal gateway.
5. The walk continues alongside a wood and then a wall, before entering and leaving a copse, and following a long stretch of woodland on the left.
6. At the end of the woodland cross a stile on the left by a gateway and immediately turn right. Walk at an angle of about 25 degrees from the hedge on your right across the field to a stile onto a minor road.
7. Walk along the road to the left and at a right hand bend, take the stile on the left by a metal gate and walk down a surfaced lane, which joins the drive to Calke Abbey.
8. Go past the Abbey to enter the car park and continue through the overflow car park to descend a flight of steps to Mere Pond.
9. Turn right by the pond and then left across the dam and walk up the slope, with the deer fence on your right.
10. At the top of the slope go to the left for about 40 yards before going right through a stile and then immediately left to another stile.
11. Cross the next field to the right of a cottage and go over an access lane, follow the path to the left over the next field to the boundary.
12. Then follow the field boundary round to the right at first before it bends sharply to the left. Where the fence ends go through a gap and continue with the hedgerow in front of you on your right hand side.
13. The path bends first to the left round a wood and then to the right, where a track is joined that winds its way back to the A514 through Ticknall.
14. Here you turn left and walk along the footpath before turning right opposite the entrance to Calke Abbey. Cross the Green, turn left up Chapel Lane, and retrace your steps back to the start o f the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Foremark Reservoir, a 230 acre reservoir, provides footpaths, picnic facilities, sailing and good trout fishing. A recent addition is an area of woodland planted with 10,000 trees. Visitor Centre and children’s play area. Good parking.
Calke Abbey and grounds. (Tel. 01332 863822) ‘The place where time stood still’ was the phrase used to describe this property when the National Trust opened it to the public in 1989. One of the most unusual of English country houses with large collections of birds, ornaments, paintings and photographs. For further information website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts, located in the Georgian Stable Block of Staunton Harold Hall, where a wide range of goods can be obtained. Teas are available here or at the adjacent garden centre complex. In the grounds of the hall is the ancient Holy Trinity Church. Open all year Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.
The Staff of Life public house (Tel. 01332 862479) as the name indicates bread was once baked here and in the 1800s it was known as ‘The Loaf and Cheese.’ It now concentrates on serving food and drink seven days a week. Meals available lunchtime and evenings. Outside seating.
Calke Abbey Tea Rooms: (Tel. 0870 458 4000) pleasant National Trust Tea Rooms open from 10.30-5pm, when the house is open to the public. For winter opening details of restaurant and shop please call.
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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The old village of Ticknall surrounded by beautiful parkland, in attractive well-wooded countryside is one of South Derbyshire’s prettiest villages. Originally, the Harpur-Crewe family built the estate village to Calke Abbey.
Ticknall had its hey-day in the late 18th and 19th centuries, when lime yards and brick making, tile and pottery operations were in full swing. Lime, was used to fertilise crops, and to produce mortar for local building. Bricks manufactured in the village were put to use not only in Ticknall and Calke, but also in other villages on the Harpur-Crewe estate. Earthenware pottery was also another long established industry in the village.
The Harpur-Crewes were a reclusive family and although Calke had been in their ownership since 1622, it remained a little known and little visited house.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.