When Country Images magazine was first launched in 1994 we were pleased to be able to include walks from ‘not so’ Old Perce. Over the following months he traversed the Amber valley and provided delightful walks that, as all walks should, start and finish at the local pub. With many village pubs closing that has become harder to do but in true style for 2019 ‘a little older and wider!’ Old Perce is back. Yes, he’s still around and walks incessantly around Amber Valley which is great news for us. So this month he shares with us one of his favourite walks.
1. From The Dog Inn Pentrich go up the main road towards Swanwick, then turn left onto Riley Lane, signposted Fritchley and Crich.
2. At the bottom of Riley Lane cross Chesterfield Road onto Park Lane to Wingfield Park, past Weir Mill farm and eventually turn left onto Lynam Road signposted Fritchley and through the hamlet of Boden.
3. Go past Boden House and Boden Farm and straight up the steep lane that veers to the right. A short walk up the lane gives fine views of Wingfield Manor to the right.
4. Go to the top of the lane and follow the beaten path through the woods. At the stile follow the directions on the yellow arrow left as it marks a pathway through the second part of the woodland.
5. Eventually you will reach a stone stile to cross. Turn immediately left and go through the second stile. Turn right and walk to the end of the lane
6. At the end of the lane turn right. Fifty yards before the hat factory follow the footpath sign to the right and through the woodland for just a short distance and then cross the stile on the left marked by a yellow arrow. Keep to the right hand side of the field by the hedgerow via a stile and metal gate. Follow the pathway and keep the woodland to your left.
7. Keeping the woodland to your immediate left cross over the gated stile and continue a short distance on and cross another stile. Turn left and immediately right over a metal gated stile and continue onto the top of the lane and into Crich Market Place.
8. Cross over the Market Place and up by the Baptist Chapel and onto Sandy Lane . After 100 yards turn left up by the pathway marked Derwent Valley. Walk as indicated by the yellow arrow on the post. Follow the metal sign marked Chadwick Nick and continue on this pathway for approximately half a mile. The views to the right show spectacular views of the Derwent Valley. The pathway via a set of stone steps leads to the tarmac road of Chadwick Nick where we turn right.
9. After 200 yards turn left at the signpost with the orange sticker on it. At the end of the pathway turn left.
10. Continue on the pathway ahead, don’t be tempted to veer off to the right or left. This pathway slowly meanders through some beautiful woodland for about a mile and leads to a stone bridge that crosses the Cromford Canal. Go over the bridge and cross back under it as though heading for Ambergate
11. Follow the towpath all the way to the end and cross a white painted bridge. Follow the path ahead keeping close to a wired fence all the way until it goes through a canopy of trees then follow the path inclined upwards.
12. After 3/4 of a mile or so the path will lead to a stone stile with barred wooden gate . Cross onto the lane which leads to Chadwick Nick and turn left up the lane.
13. Follow the lane to the top up the stone steps on the right and turn right on the pathway which leads us back into Crich.
(At this point I recommend a pint or two in the Black Swan or coffee and cake in The Loaf and then wander our way back).
14. Turn left out of the Black Swan or straight out of The Loaf and walk down Dimple Lane and follow it to the end where it forks left and then turn left.
15. After half a mile or so ahead cross the stile on the right, marked Buckland Hollow and cross the field through the gate to the stone wall on the left. Cross here and turn right.
16. Follow the lane through the farmyard and left down the hill. At this point the pathway becomes ill defined, so at the property marked The Hall Gardens cut left over the fields and follow closely the contour of the river
17. At the end of the path, cross a small bridge and turn right onto a busy road. A few yards ahead on the left is a signpost and a path to Pentrich which we take.
18. A gated stile needs to be crossed ahead at the right hand side on the top of the field. Continue on by the side of the hedge and cross the next gated stile. At the very end of the hedgerow turn right and follow the footpath veering left through cemetary yard and back to the Dog Inn.
10 miles (16km): Moderate trails, field-paths and country lanes. With some muddy sections.
RECOMMENDED MAP: Ordnance Survey 1:25000 scale OS Explorer, Chesterfield & Alfreton.
CAR PARKING: Parking on the main road in Pentrich .
REFRESHMENTS: Various pubs, cafes and shops along the route.