Saturday, 19 August 2017

Great Northern Greenway

 The last of my jaunts last weekend was the closest to home, but the most strenuous - a walk, about 4 miles in total, to and along the Great Northern Greenway, just outside Derby.
From the name if not the pictures you can guess that this was once a railway and has now been surfaced as a route for cyclists, joggers, dog-walkers etc.

We live in a suburb on Derby's northern edge, and the old railway arcs round us a little further out into the countryside, so it's always seemed like it ought to be a good place to go walking, but it's a bit tricky to reach, and somehow I'd never got round to walking along it.

We started by cutting through the housing, crossing the A608, and heading steeply downhill to meet the old tracks by Breadsall village. This point is probably halfway along the length, and from there we headed out of town, uphill back to the A road - yes, uphill, despite the fact that railway lines are generally flat!  We'd joined the route at a point where a bridge had either collapsed or been demolished for safety, so the path was lower than the original railway line and gradually rose to reach it. Then the track rose even further to the point where it crosses the A road, rather than risk the old tunnel under it.
On the far side of the main road, the route stays up above the old line for quite a while before re-joining it briefly then climbing out again as the original track enters a cutting,then stops short at a road. For now the Greenway stops there too, and we had to make our way home down small, but not quiet, roads.

To be honest it wasn't a very interesting walk. A lot was down in cuttings with no view, it was nothing like as flat as I expected, there was a tricky A road to cross twice to make a circular walk, and the noise from the road seemed to follow us most of the way. It's possibly a better route for a bike ride than a walk, and eventually it will extend to join Derby to Ilkeston which might make it useful for enthusiastic cycling commuters, but I don't think I'll bother again. Still, it's something I've intended doing for a while so I can mark  it off my 'bucket list', and it all adds up to getting out, about and taking more exercise.

We DID find two interesting things - firstly this rather nice bridge seeming to merely lead from one field to another ...

.. and (by the roadside, not on the old railway) this intriguing gate which we've driven past hundreds of times without noticing at all!

Adventures from earlier in the weekend; - Haddon Hall;house and garden, Haddon Hall exhibition, Shipley Park, Darley Park Hydrangeas

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