Walk Diary Wednesday 31 January 2018, Weather 8°c. Cool.
Allestree Park Depart 10 a.m. 8 miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 25
The last day of the month turned out to be quite a good one, there was a good breeze, which made it feel a lot colder than it actually was, the sun shone for most of the way and we had a couple of hail showers during our lunch break, all very pretty.
The walk from Allestree Park to Kedleston Park, you would think, should be quite straight forward, but, there’s always a but, to avoid many of the more notorious muddy spots, then the way became quite contorted at times. It was the unexpected wetness of the grazing pastures, which we found a lot more soggy, the ground absolutely saturated, many tried to avoid the obvious, but in the end it was easier just to plough straight on, regardless and put everything in the wash later.
From the car park we walked west, passing by the front of the substantial Allestree Hall, built in the 19c. On the site of a previous building, it was acquired, when vacant in 1928, by the local authority, much of the land was used for building purposes, leaving the hall and three hundred acres of park land for future use. The park land is a great recreational area including a Golf course, but no use could be found for the hall itself and still stands empty. It is on the ancient buildings at risk register.
We left the park via Woodlands Road entrance, walking up into Quarndon and along Common Road, turning onto field paths to Cumberhills and taking the path below the Cottages. Our first break was by the side of the road, just near to the Ireton Rough. We walked further along the road to Cocks-hut-hill and then took the path through the farmyard, south west to Blindbrook Bridge, here we entered into Kedleston Park and once inside immediately crossed over the brook. We followed it course for a short way and then strode on through the sparsely populated Hay Wood. We note that many of the dead or dying Oak tress are now being replaced by new plantings.
After passing above the Saw Mill we stopped on a small rise quite close to the Kedleston Road for lunch. After lunch and the hail, the sun shone again as we made our way to the exit, walking through the gate house onto Kedleston Road. After a good stride along the road we took the first path on the left and made for Quarndon Village, once back on to tarmac we carried on passing by St. Peter’s church, retracing some of our outward path, but this time turning to walk the path next to the water tower, back through the woods, over the golf course and so back to the car park. It must have been a fair pace as we had completed the eight miles with still ten minutes to spare of our normal informal finishing time.