Here I share with you a circular walk of around 10 miles taking you beyond our parish boundaries, including opportunities to enjoy vistas across our local countryside and to sample diverse walking landscapes.
I have included a couple of short cut options.
The walk is quite challenging in places and suitable walking shoes/boots should be worn and waterproofs, food, drink and map be carried.
By Stuart Humphries
So, what did you do during lockdown Grandad? Well, actually I did an awful lot of walking and managed to discover some new and exciting paths.
Having covered every path within 5 miles of home I can fully appreciate how lucky we are to live in this beautiful Derbyshire countryside.
1. Crich Glebe Field Centre notice board Go up Coasthill and left onto Stones Lane. Follow footpaths across fields enjoying views over the valley to Alderwasley and Cromford parishes. Continue over a track and down steep steps. Turn right onto the road and left down the footpath opposite a stone water trough. Follow roads downhill and join Hindersitch Lane. Turn right opposite Middle Lane, through gate and straight on into woods passing allotments on your right.
2. Duke’s Quarry Follow the main path snaking through the quarry and onto Robin Hood road. Cross the road and go down to Cromford Canal, follow the towpath towards Cromford. Go under a small bridge where you enter the parish of Dethick, Lea and Holloway. Go through Gregory Tunnel. After the tunnel turn left at the signpost and then left again to cross over the canal and into Lea Wood by the nature reserve sign. Follow main path through woods with the canal to the left and below you. After passing through gateposts and into a field of bracken and grasses fork left in the centre of this field and carry on meandering down to Aquaduct cottage.
*Short cut option 1: Just before the Gregory tunnel entrance fork to the left and take the path, through a metal gate signed to Holloway. Go across the road and up to Upper Holloway, onto High Lane and rejoin the route at point 6.
3. Aquaduct cottage Turn right, away from the canal and follow the old water course to Lea Wharf and onto Lea Bridge. Cross the road and follow the signs towards the camping site, going behind the garage and Smedley’s Mill, where fine knitwear has been made for over 200 years. At the drive to the camp site, turn left at the footpath sign into Bow Wood.
*Short cut option 2: From Lea Bridge follow the road into Lea and join route at point 5.
4. Bow Wood Carry on uphill on the main path for nearly a mile, steep and slippery in parts. Take a moment at the top to take in great views across to Cromford and Matlock. At a crossroads of paths take the stile up above you to the right. Follow path across fields and down into trees. Enjoy the views across the valley to the churches of Dethick and Holloway. Follow the path over the stepping stones and onto the path leading to the road. Turn left and just before the bridge turn right onto a track into Swinepark Woods. Follow the main path close to the stream and cross the stream at a suitable place, the best of which is further on in the woods. After crossing the stream, follow the main path uphill to join a path crossing yours. Turn right and follow the path and go up the steps onto the road in Lea.
5. Lea Turn left on road and go uphill. Cross the road by the phone box and take the footpath signposted Wakebridge. Follow the path until it drops into a hollow, almost immediately turn left out of the hollow, opposite the Upper Holloway signpost. Follow the footpaths across the fields to High Lane. All of the land to the south of this point as far as the canal is in the parish of Dethick, Lea and Holloway. However, prior to 1897 this was Crich parish land. It was annexed by DLH, chiefly because Crich failed to maintain the Leashaw road adequately. Apparently a significant Crich boundary stone is still in the DLH parish. 6. High Lane Turn left on road and then right onto footpath. Go through path crossroads and then turn right on path to join the road (Shuckstone Lane). This marks your return to Crich Parish. Go right along the road for about 200 yards then turn right onto a footpath. Re-join the road, turn right and at the corner follow the track towards Cliff Farm.
7. Cliff Farm Follow path and then turn left at path junction and go across fields to the road. Go straight over road and follow path again across fields. At path crossroads go right and join the road by Crich church. Go down the road to the cross and turn right into Jeffries Lane and return to your start point.