Golden Valley and Codnor Castle Walk

The sun was shining and I have a new leg (so to speak), so it was time to test it out and try out a walk that will be a local walk when we move to the barns. 

It's a very historical walk which sort of goes back in time from the industrial revolution back to medieval times. We started with the industrial revolution by walking along the remains of the Cromford canal at Golden Valley. We have spent many a happy time with the kids over the years visiting the Cromford canal at Cromford near Matlock, but have never really investigated the canal on our doorstep. We parked near the Newlands Inn which is a sad shell of a grade 2 listed building destroyed by fire in 2011 with no sign for years of it being rebuilt.

Across the road from the Newlands is the footpath along Cromford Canal towards Codnor Reservoir. This is quite overgrown in places but is a pleasant walk and well used by walkers and birders. We saw a kingfisher which was very exciting - apparantly there are a pair seen regularly.

We continued along the canal past the reservoir until we reached the start of  Erewash Meadows Country Reserve where we turned off to cross the railway line. The nature reserve will have to be a walk for another day! Across the railway line we walked through the woods until we reached a farm track and fields near to Codnor Castle. Fortunately for us the castle was open as they have open/maintenance days on the 2nd Sunday of every month. There is an excellent web site with lots of information about the castle here, and we were really quite shocked at our lamentable knowledge of our only local castle. It was featured on a Time Team program which we watched on YouTube when we got home.

After a little photography break at the castle we headed back towards the start of the walk, but first we took a little detour to see the  Codnor Park Monunment, another local landmark which we can actually see from the barns. It was a tower and hall built in the memory of William Jessop Jnr 1784-1852, a local industrialist active in the Butterley Company, founded by his father. It was actually a bit of disappointment because it's on private land and you can't get near it. Bah. The photo below shows the view across Golden Valley and you can just see our barns (with the help of the arrow!)

To finish off our walk we retraced our steps back to the track and walked back to the main road. We crossed the road and carried on along the footpath opting to walk on a high bank under the electricity cables after walking through the woods to a) see the view and b) it was easier walking because all the vegetation had been cleared underneath the wires.

All in all it was an unexpected lovely walk and one that we will do again. If you have enjoyed this post or would like to make a comment, please click on the buttons below.

Cromford Canal Walk

Cromford Canal Wharf

Beautiful sunshine and the need for some fresh air took us to Cromford Canal; one of our favourite places since the children were small. Cromford is a world heritage site and it still surprises me that the canal at Cromford was once joined up with the underground canal tunnel in the valley overlooked by our barns, even though I've grown up in the area. Anyway, Cromford is a lovely place to visit as there are tea rooms and shops in the old Arkwright mills and nice gentle walk along the canal suitable for anyone. We opted to walk along the canal and then cross over and head up the High Peak Trail towards Black Rocks. The walk was originally a steam pump driven railway used for transporting millstone from the quarries to the barges on the canal. It's a steep walk that really gets your heart pumping. There are fewer people on this stretch as well although there is always someone who runs past you when you are huffing and puffing just walking. We stopped at the top for a picnic of cheese scones and fruit, taking in the glorious view. You can see for miles across the valley. The weather closed in a bit after lunch so we hot footed down through the fields and into Cromford village and back to the car park. A nice brisk walk to clear away the cobwebs.