This is an easy, level walk mainly along surfaced tracks and footpaths, through gently undulating countryside with views across Shipley Park and visiting the picturesque village of Mapperley.
The walk starts from Straw’s Bridge Nature Reserve, a local beauty spot, and then joins the nine mile long Nutbrook Trail. Completed in sections, the trail now runs from Long Eaton in the south to the edge of the Borough at Shipley Park.
After leaving the trail, the walk heads across fields before joining an access road leading to the village of Mapperley. This part of the route offers good views of Shipley Country Park developed during the 18th century by the Miller Mundy family.
The former mining village of Mapperley, dates back a long way and was awarded a market charter in 1267 to hold a fair and a market. In 1966, the church was largely rebuilt, following damage from mining subsidence.
On the return journey, follow the track past Brook Cottage through a wood and then along a raised track. An opencast coalmine used to operate here during and after the Second World War.
After a short walk through fields, the Nutbrook Trail is rejoined.
Length: 4.25 miles.
Start/finish: Straw’s Bridge Car Park, on the western edge of Ilkeston.
Location: On A609, between West Hallam and Ilkeston town centre.
Terrain: Easy level walking, but can be wet in places.
1. Leave Straw’s Bridge Car Park to the right of the pool, follow the surfaced path round and turn left up the Nutbrook Trail.
2. Follow the trail for nearly one mile, before where the trail bends sharply to the right you go through a gap in the fence.
3. Turn right along a short track to cross a stile by a field bridge, where you turn left, walking straight across a field along a grassed track to a stile.
4. Cross the stile and continue keeping close to the hedge on the left.
5. Go over a cart track and in the next field aim for the stile in the centre of the hedge opposite to reach a farm access road.
6. Turn right and walk in front of Head House Farm, and continue in the same direction until arriving at a ‘T’ junction of roads. Here you turn left and walk to Mapperley.
7. At the crossroads in the village, turn left and walk down the road under the old railway bridge, and after 250 yards turn left at Brook Farm along the Bridle Road and Footpath.
8. Continue in the same direction through the wood, before eventually going through a stile gateway and over an access road to some cottages that you can see on your left.
9. After only a few yards go to the left by a UK Coal Mining sign, ‘No Tipping’.
10. The walk then continues in the same direction before bending to the left and going over a disused railway line, where you take the stile in the far right hand corner into a field.
11. Angle to the left across the field towards a gateway and go over a stile by a farm bridge over a stream.
12. At this point, you turn immediately to the right to cross another stile and after a short distance turn left through the gap onto the Nutbrook Trail and return to the start of the walk.
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The third largest town in Derbyshire stands on top of a hill above the Erewash Valley, close to the eastern border of Derbyshire. It owes its development mainly to industry, with coal, iron and hosiery all having played important roles at different times.
A century ago it was on the way to establishing itself as a spa town when a spring was discovered whose properties had curative effects on some ailments. Alas, the spring went dry and all that remains to remember it by is the name of the main street, Bath Street!
There is evidence that well before the Romans visited the area people lived hereabouts, but the Saxons were probably the first to settle where Ilkeston is now situated.
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