Walk Diary Sunday 6 January 2019 Weather, 9°C. Fine.
Ilkeston (Straws Bridge) Depart 10 a.m. 10 miles Leader: Jane H.
No. on walk 21
.. and the sun shone, it did too, it was very pleasant to be out walking, with good conditions underfoot and the orb above, spreading warmth and happiness throughout our column, even though we are still in the depths of winter. We were walking in Erewash territory and it was noticeable how much work their team had put into the infrastructure of the paths in this area. Way marking and yellow topped way mark posts were evident and even some sponsored signs (pictured) along the way. Great also to have another good attendance for a Sunday walk, it really does give leaders a good feeling to be well supported and a kind of thank you for all the hard work done in the planning and reconnaissance stages.
We set off from the free car park at Straws Bridge community park and adjacent nature reserve, quickly picking up the National Cycle Way, to head north along it. We turned alongside the Pewit Reserve to follow the Centenary Way into and through West Hallam. We paused for our first break in a field just before Hill Top Farm and whilst there we were told that we were disturbing the her horses in the next field, apparently the horses were used to people walking by, but shied at us sitting down! In due time we moved on to continue along the ‘Way’, until just after Hill Top Farm, we turned south to follow the path into Stanley, passing by St. Andrews Church. Here we met another group of CHA Ramblers, who were making their way to Dale Abbey and lunch in a pub, no less! We had a brief chat with several of them as many were known to our group, we then pushed on ahead to Quarry farm
Mid Shires way next, following this a short way before turning off to take lunch at Hollies Farm. There is rather a nice café here, with lots of picnic style seating outside and our leader, enquired within, if we might take our lunch break there. Having a favourable reply and a few coffees purchased, we sat in sunshine and comfort for our midday break.
With the break over, we crossed over the main road at Flourish Farm and continued ahead into Dale Abbey, exiting via the field in which the remains of the abbey are located. We joined the road above and walked it as far as we could, continuing ahead to Bassett Farm. We paused for a while at a lovely fishing pond at Furnace Farm and then made our way to Grove Farm. North East now to New Stanton, turning right onto the road and then sharp left, making our way to Stanton Bridge, a brief pause by the Nutbrook Canal, observing a couple of fishermen enjoying the day.
For the next mile and a half, we followed the line of the Nutbrook Canal that for most of the way was waterless and overgrown. We rounded Kirk Hallam and so back to the car park, which was extremely busy, the sun obviously bringing many folk and their children out before their return to school or work after the Christmas break.