New Venue A.G.M. Preliminary Notice.

November 16, 2017 by

The A.G.M. will be held on Saturday, February 24th 2018 as given in the walk programme.

Contrary to the venue given in the walk programme it will be held at The Elms Social & Ex Service Club, Bushloe End, Wigston Magna, who will also supply a buffet lunch.

Formal Agenda, lunch booking forms and reports will be sent to everyone nearer the time, as usual.



Makeney Hall Hotel – weekend

October 30, 2017 by

This can only be a snapshot of the weekend because I didn’t fully participate only joining the group to lead a walk on Saturday.

I did pop over on Friday evening to announce my walk which was planned to be the  middle distance of the three on offer. I invite the other leaders or a participant to submit a report from their walk.

Perhaps influenced by the filling meal the group had just taken the majority opted for the shortest walk so I’m grateful to those who agreed to join me on an adventurous bus walk.

On Saturday morning we set off to Milford and the bus stop, being a little early gave an opportunity to for a brief history tour of Milford. Today we could only see the building that houses the wonderful 1937 hydro electric generator (read more) but here’s what we missed.

MIlford Hydo-electric plant

We caught the bus to Belper the original plan being to stock up with lunch but all were fully provisioned so we used the bus to take us high above Belper then walked down Long Row to the East Mill having looked down on it over the rooftops. We also popped into the pleasant Riverside Gardens. Hundreds of birds were on the river and discussion took place as to their name. (Chris provided the answer – Black Headed Gull see RSPB website)

While waiting at the next bus stop who should we spy approaching but the long walk group. Well, when I say group it was leader and one follower. They had already done 4 miles and we were yet to start.

Waiting for the bus

Waiting for the bus

Our walk started at Cowers Lane half way along the Ecclesbourne Way a walk from Duffield to Wirksworth of 11 miles. It follows the river of that name and the Ecclesboure Valley Railway.  It was pretty wet underfoot but the rain held off as we headed up the valley. Late coffee or early lunch was taken at Idridgehay station where there is a seat. We were also pleased to see a passing train.


Idridgehay station

Idridgehay station

Because of heavy going and low cloud it was voted that we miss Alport Height. Little point in climbing to a viewpoint when we knew the views were hidden. Closer views were very much appreciated so no great loss. At Wirksworth station a loop around town paths was on offer but a tea shop and earlier return bus gained most votes. I believe that a beer festival at The Holly Bush in Makeney may also have been an influence.


Wednesday 15/11/17 short walk: Change of start point

October 26, 2017 by

This walk will now start from The Three Crowns Pub, Main St, Barrow On Soar.

Pete & Robert

Wednesday, Rambles Organisers


Dog attack on member of our Association

October 18, 2017 by

On Sunday 15th October, a female member of our Association was attacked by a husky dog on footpath V35.  This right of way leaves the Sapcote Road and crosses a camp site before entering Freeholt wood at grid reference SP462939.

Using her mobile phone to contact emergency services an ambulance arrived and she was taken to hospital.  Two pints of blood had been lost from a flesh wound on her left calf.

The police attended hospital and took details of the attack.  The police helicopter assisted in the search for the dog.  No trace of the dog was found on the camp site or in the surrounding area.

Best wishes are extended to our member and for a full recovery from this unfortunate and distressing incident.

Wanted -New Walks Co-ordinator

October 13, 2017 by

A Fun Advert

Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Station Road, Rearsby.

October 10, 2017 by

On page 24 of the new “Leicestershire Round” guide book, a map of Rearsby shows the convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  I have walked many times along the section of footpath from Rearsby (packhorse bridge) to Rearsby Road.  I was always intrigued as to what lay behind the high wall protecting the convent. The picture below now reveals the hidden convent building.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace were founded in 1884 in Nottingham, a religious congregation of women to promote the peace of the church both by work and word.

For your information it is now the former home of the religious order.  I read in the “Leicester Mercury”, (Saturday edition 7th October), planning permission has been secured for the conversion of the main building into eight dwellings, together with the erection of three new bungalows and five houses.  This type of development follows many others in Leicestershire and neighbouring counties, where large residences are bought up and become multiple apartments.

Makeney Hall weekend – preview

October 3, 2017 by

The LFA away weekend at Makeney Hall Hotel is fast approaching so we offer a preview of one the walks that will be on offer.

The Ecclesboure Way has recently been created following, as the name suggests, the river Ecclesboure between Duffield and Wirksworth. At eleven miles it’s an ideal day walk with links by heritage railway or hourly bus providing a return for this linear walk. The only downside is the lack of refreshment opportunities along the way.

Duffield bridge over the River Ecclesbourne

Duffield bridge over the River Ecclesbourne

The route starts at Duffields railway stations. One on the Derby – Matlock line. The other serving the heritage line to Wirksworth this shares the valley so with luck we will see a tourist train sometime during the journey.

We initially share paths used by the Centenary Way keeping close and often crossing the river which on our visit was flowing fast after heavy rain over night. The ground was soft but rich pasture ensured our boots stayed clean.

Windleyhill Farm on the Ecclesbourne Way

Windleyhill Farm on the Ecclesbourne Way

After a couple of miles the route climbs to Windleyhill Farm where a confusing layout of paths meet among the disused farm buildings. From here the views across and down the valley provide a change of scene and show how delightful this neglected area can be.

Crossing the Ecclesbourne approaching Turnditch

Crossing the Ecclesbourne approaching Turnditch

After the tiny village of Windley we drop back to the river meeting the railway near Shottle Station. The hamlet of that name is two miles distant while Turnditch and it’s Inn is just 300 metres to the left along the Asbourne road.

A heritage railcar approaches Idridgehay station

A heritage railcar approaches Idridgehay station

We considered sitting by the river for our lunch. Wet grass and older legs encouraged us to press on to Idridgehay where a bench on the station platform offered a comfortable stop. Our pause was enhanced by the arrival of the 13.30 heritage railcar to Duffield which had to pause while the third man operated the crossing gates.

A Peak and Northern Footpath Society sign shows the low route avoiding Alport Height

A Peak and Northern Footpath Society sign shows the low route avoiding Alport Height

Over half way, but, it’s now a climb of nearly seven hundred feet to Alport Height but wow was it worth it. It is said that the Shropshire Wrekin can be seen from here so we scanned around as we headed for the eight masts which mark the hill top. Ratcliffe on Soar power station was clear in the sunshine and, not so clear, five cooling towers, all that remains of the former Willington site . It is said that a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons saved the towers from demolition in 1999. New plans were passed for demolition of these landmarks early this year…….but they are still there late September 2017.

Alport Height

Alport Height

We anticipated downhill from here and so it was to the outskirts of Wirksworth at Gorsey Bank. A sigh from weary walkers as the route turned right, uphill so close to the end. This deviation rewards the traveller with a fine view over our destination so route planners were forgiven. The walk ends at Wirksworth station but with a bus in five minutes half of the party gave that a miss.

The view over Wirksworth near the end of the walk

The view over Wirksworth near the end of the walk

A surprisingly good walk and excellent weather when the days either side were both wet. It was good to see that a number of new gates had been installed along the route, some by volunteers from the local RA group. Well done to all for opening up a very pleasant valley that has been long neglected by walkers.

Walk end - Wirksworth station.

Walk end – Wirksworth station.

Thanks to  Walking John’s Blog for some of the pictures used here..



Long Walk Wednesday 18th October

September 30, 2017 by

The new start location for this walk is The Coach And Horses at Lubenham and not Foxton as stated in the printed programme

Wednesday Rambles Organiser

September 29, 2017 by

Please note that the phone number for Pete Chaplin shown in the Winter Programme of Walks 2017 -2018 is incorrect.

The correct numbers are: home: 01455 284985, mobile: 07484801340

Tuesday Walk August 8th

August 4, 2017 by


Because of closed roads approach Ashby Folville from South Croxton .

Note: no direct access from Twyford or Gaddesby.