Walk Diary Wednesday 7 February 2018 Weather, 4°C. Great
Elvaston Village Hall Depart 10 a.m. 8 ¼ miles Leaders: Rod & Jean
No. on walk 26
The sun shone throughout, clear blue skies above, cold but not even a hint of a breeze. Good under foot, so no boots to clean nor trousers to wash, such a wonderful walk, I’d do it all again tomorrow.
We had parked in Elvaston’s village hall car park with special permission, such a large number of us that we almost squeezed out the mother and toddlers from their normal Wednesday meetings, in the end we all found space to park.
We set off from the hall, stepping back to the village street and headed towards The Lodge, but turning before it to take a broad way to The Cottage. From here we followed a good firm bridle way, three quarters of the way around Elvaston Castle’s extensive Country Park, kept in good order by Derby County Council, for the pleasure of all. We crossed over the bridge over the lake and left the park at St. Bartholomew’s church heading away from the castle, really a large embellished 19C. Mansion, to pick up the national cycle way and walk on past the Nature reserve.
We joined the Derwent Valley Heritage Way at the weir, stopping by the surging waters for an early morning break, before moving on to follow the ‘way’ all the way and through Ambaston. Shortly after leaving this one street village, we turned and made for the one and only hill on this walk, Bellington Hill, upon which we sat for a lovely lengthy lunch break, soaking up the sun as we ate. We moved off, going through the farm of the same name, crossing over the B5010 and across the fields to walk the path beside the A50, exiting onto the Derby road.
We walked the foot way heading due north into Thulston and the footpath which eventually lead us past the pub called the Harrington Arms, the Earls of Harrington being among of the former families and owners of the castle. The castle and surrounding estate was sold to DCC in 1969. The house still needs a lot of restoration and plans are afoot to to find a company that will be able to turn the building into a leisure facility. The path led us to the Lodge and so we completed the walk with just a few more steps back to the car park. A great day out, good weather for the best walk of the year so far.