Walk Diary Wednesday 5 April 2017 Weather, 13° fair.
Ecclesbourne Garden Centre Depart 10 a.m. 7 ¾ miles Leader: Michael P.
No. on walk 30
In the sunshine it was quite warm, but anywhere in the light breeze it was distinctly a coat colder, at least it was dry and very good underfoot. Another good turn out and now Wednesday's seem to be the most popular day. A good local walk for most of us and although I've walked this area many a time, Michael still found one that I hadn't been on, leastways one that I can't remember.
We left the immaculate car park at the garden centre to walk across the sheep pastures towards the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, we then walked on field paths beside it towards Duffield. We turned away from the rail and headed for the Ecclesbourne River to where it passes under Ecclesbourne Reach, a newish housing development, but formerly quite close to the old dye works for those who have local knowledge. We roughly followed the line of the river to the centre of the village to where it passes under the A6. Here we left it and followed the A6 along the High Street, turning into the Hall fields to walk towards Duffield church, stopping near Makney Lane for our first break.
With the break over we proceeded along the lane taking the quite steep path up Duffield Bank, the only real climb of the day. Eventually we came to Great Farley's wood, a commercial woodland that now seems to be in the process of being harvested. You will see from the picture that a great bank of stumps now forms one side boundary of the path. We then hung a right, as they say, and made our way across the fields to Eatonpark Wood, turning here to follow the Centenary Way back to the main church in Duffield. We sat near to the entrance of St. Aulkmunds' parish church for our lunch, observing several people with cameras on the nearby rail footbridge. We soon found out why, as, no sooner had we settled a steam train passed beneath them, The Duchess of Sutherland no less. Unfortunately I was too slow to get a picture for you, but I've put one on of the rails on which it ran!!!
With lunch over, we passed over the rail on that same footbridge, making our way back and to cross over the A6. Continuing westwards for about a quarter of a mile and then northwards to join the Wirksworth Road. Turning off this we rejoined our outward course at the weir on the River Ecclesbourne, walking the Centenary Way across Duffield Meadows. We returned to the Garden Centre, where many of us settled in the cafe for some refreshment after what turned out to be quite a brisk walk. You will see from some of the pictures that more colour, the colours of spring, are now delighting our visual senses, so when the sun shines as it did today it's just a pleasure to be out enjoying the sights and sounds of this wonderful season.