- Walked: 17 November 2007
- Distance: 14m
- Terrain: some inclines
- Summary: Starting from the Severn Trent car park close to Dimminsdale, head for Breedon Church (first viewpoint). Via Melbourne through Robin Wood to Foremark Reservoir. Pause where the wicker Jack and Jill used to be and the abandoned car park at the South of Foremark Reservoir (second viewpoint). Back via Pistern Hill.
- Time: 5.5 hours start to finish
- Notable views: See above - plus the view back over South Derbyshire from the trig point just before Robin Wood.
I devised this walk a couple of years ago as a 'mystery walk' for friends. I've since walked it several times.
Today I tried a slightly different start and finish. I've never liked walking through Calke park because of the number of people. I started at the Severn Trent car park close to Dimminsdale Nature Reserve. That meant that I could finish via South Wood and the Ivanhoe Way. Much better.
The walk starts with a little bit of road, but the new start point means that there's less walking on the road. After about a mile you get your first view of Breedon Church. It looks a long way away at first, but it's surprising how quickly you arrive at the top of the hill. There's a golf course to cross before arriving in Breedon and the foot of the hill.
I've taken this picture lots of times before, but it really is a lovely church, and the view is good, although still a little hazy when I was there today. It's only 2.5 miles into the walk, but a lovely place to stop for coffee and cake.
After the church you have to walk across another golf course. I do feel out of place walking past the golfers, just as I suppose they would if they were walking across a ploughed field in their golf shoes with their golf club trolleys. There's a little bit of a climb before looking back to see this wonderful view. The church is in silhouette and the golf course I've just crossed is in the middle distance.
The town in the distance is Melbourne. I took this same picture last time I did this walk; there was a tractor ploughing the field ahead, and I had to walk around the edge. This time there is a path pressed diagonally across the middle, following the right of way.
This is Melbourne Hall, patriotically flying the St George cross.
After St Brides (some very old buildings) and Robin Wood, this track approaching Seven Spouts Farm was looking beautiful today.
There are some lovely views in this area. This is close to Hangman's Stone.
I've taken this picture several times before too. Lamont Wood (no doubt named after an ex-chancellor) is a favourite spot for lunch. The view over the Trent Valley is great today while the sun's out. This was around Midday, and the length of the shadows shows how low the sun is in the sky at this time of year. While I was eating, the sun decided to go in, and the temperature dropped. The rest of the day was grey, but this is well over half way now.
Another favourite viewpoint, looking over Foremark Reservoir from the southern point.
This is where my new part of the walk really starts. Instead of heading for Ticknall and Calke, I went south towards Daniel Hayes. There are some spectacular views from the top of Daniel Hayes, and so extending the walk a little bit could add another viewpoint! Today I just followed the track by the side of the hill. I'm baffled about why this part of the National Forest is called 'The Oaklands' when the trees are obviously conifers!
After Pistern Hill Farm, this is a track I'd not used before, and the view looks as if it could be very nice when the sun's out.
This is Dimminsdale Nature Reserve. This very scruffy bit of ground is where the most spectacular carpet of snowdrops appears in February.
This is the view from the southern point of Staunton Harold reservoir, close to the end of the walk.
Click the map below to see lots more photographs from today's walk (exported for web by the soon-to-be-released Meander v2).
The route and stats above were generated using Meander.
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.