Friday, November 30, 2007

Stanton to Willington

  • Walked: 25 November 2007
  • Distance: 12.5m
  • Terrain: mostly flat, mostly good paths, some road.
  • Summary: Starting from Stanton, walk alongside Swarkestone causeway, .
  • Time: 5.5 hours start to finish
  • Notable views: Askew Hill, just through Repton.

The night before, with the Met office promising sunshine, I'd been keen to make an early start. However, the best laid plans often go awry, or "Gang aft a-gley" as some Scotsman would have it. The best laid plans most aft gang a-gley when I wake up on a very grey morning and can't get out of bed.

So no sunshine, and I didn't make an early start. Stanton-by-Bridge is a great place to start walking, though. There's a footpath which runs alongside the causeway,and gives you this fantastic view of the monument. You can't see it properly as you drive over it. Footpath is a bit generous - public right of way is more accurate. Like lots of the legal rights of way around the Trent, this is flood plain and so can be boggy in the driest weather, and impassable when it's been wet. This path also simply ends in the middle of a field with no right of way out. That means a walk across a field, over a gate and along the private road (belonging to the sailing and angling club) to the bridge.

At this end of the causeway is the bridge over the Trent. The building facing us is the Crewe and Harpur, a wonderful pub with accommodation, which is friendly to bikers and walkers.

Continuing in a more or less straight line takes us across a couple of fields and a railway line, up to the Trent and Mersey Canal. I love canal towpaths because they're flat and passable, and most of the time look idyllic.

After a few very pleasant miles, the rural atmosphere gives way to the traffic noise from the A50, power lines and pylons, a railway line and Willington Power Station. At this point, we leave the canal and find the right of way which takes us back over the railway line and through Willington.

There aren't many places to cross the Trent and so I often use this road bridge. The views to the East and West are wonderful. In fact, note to self: the view over to the east, which is opposite to the way that this walk starts to head back, looks as if it might yield a very scenic walk.

Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of road to walk here. It does take you through historic Repton, though, with its famous market cross (now in the middle of a roundabout).

How amazed I was to see these fellows. I thought at first they might be peacocks in some kind of winter plumage, or albino, but they don't have pink eyes. I've since looked up 'white peacock' and discovered that it is a stunning variety of peacock in its own right.

Askew Hill is a little bit of a climb. (About 40m above the level of the river.) I was pleased to find the trig point, and also a wonderful view. Once again, not looking anything like as spectacular on the photo as in real life.

There's an unpleasant sewage works to walk past but Anchor Church to look forward to. I've photographed the caves several times before, so this is the view from just beyond. The caves known as Anchor Church are just hidden by those trees in the middle of the picture and Willington Power Station is now on the horizon. This is a great spot for lunch, if a little bit too frequented by dog walkers. If I hear "it's alright, he won't hurt you" one more time, I'll lose it. I'd just rather the brute didn't bound up and snuffle my sandwiches in the first place.

Ingleby and the edge of Robin Wood lead back to Stanton.

Click the map below, and then each image icon in turn to see more of the photos from today's walk.

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.


dive said...

Brr … That looks cold, Pea!
The river views are beautiful, though, and the white peacocks stunning.
Do you remember Eddie Izzard's skit on "The best laid plans of mice and men aft gang agley?"
If not, remind me to play it next time we meet. It's a doozy!

peahen said...

yes! What are these plans that mice are busy making? And it's only the best laid plans that go awry, never any problems with slightly less well-laid plans!

dive said...

Hee hee hee.

CAM Creations said...

Sound like another great walk, would love to see the white peacocks. Will have to give it a go in the summer.