Monday, 10 January 2011

Chellaston circular walk - Swarkestone

Chellaston Circular Walk
January 2010

As  I said yesterday, in these ice bound times one has to take ones waterways fix wherever you can.

I was out and about with Tilly at the weekend and with the temperature hovering at a benign plus two we decided to take a walk, followed by cinema, followed by a meal out. The question was where? Having explored the Cromford Canal followed by the Nottingham Canal I have been itching to have a look at the Derby Canal and the associated Nutbrook Canal. The trouble is that the line fro Swarkestone looks a little dull and I don't want to bore Tilly too much.

My on line research brought me to the Discover Derby website and its pages on the Chellaston Walk. This is a 4.5 mile walk which takes in the southern end of the Derby Canal, then west along the Trent and Mersey for a mile or so before crossing over to Barrow upon Trent and then following the river path to the A514 road bridge and finally back to Chellaston.

Line of the Derby Canal

This proved to be a very varied walk, full of interest and rarely out of sight of a waterway past or present. Its one to savour so I will take a few days to roll out my account of this waterway based path.

Swarkstone moorings

The start is next to Chellaston School, down a path and out to an estate at the far end, diagonally crossing a meadow as you approach the busy A50. Here you cross a stream on a wooden bridge before passing under the A50 in an oversize culvert, presumably built to accommodate a reconstructed Derby Canal using a step down lock.

Swarkestone Lock

The line of the empty Derby Canal between Swarkestone Lock and the A50 appears in perfect condition - just needing a bit of weeding and a drop of water. The towpath has been developed into a cycleway and having seen its great condition it is clear that the best way to explore the full length is on two wheels. After a few hundred metres you come to a classic canal bridge which contains an earth bund followed by water and the boats of the Swarkestone Boat Club - the ice bound Trent and Mersey. 

No comments: