Derwent Valley Heritage Way. Day5 Milford to Derby.


Well I am on the way home today and I have to remind myself that I have another day to go to move onto Shardlow the next day. The area now is very familiar too me but I still see things previously overlooked. The road here well driven, but rarely seen. How many of you have stopped and starred when on the road to or from Derby?

Ducks and anglers, taking time to sit and stare,

As you will know from day4, the Derwent Valley Heritage Way does not actually go through Milford but I had deviated from the Way! I spent a very convivial evening at the King William (pedigree from the jug) and an excellent meal at  Angelo’s at the New Inn and suggest that a detour to Milford is worth the while.

Having said that, following the way does bring you out at Makeney, home to the Hollybush Inn, another pub worth a visit. It is now 9.30 am however so I save a visit for another day.

At this stage I have rejoined the Way which follows a minor road, with very little traffic,up on the side of the valley, to Duffield Bridge.

Here, the path leaves the road for a while, initially passing through fields before turning down a path

towards what was a paper mill, Peckwash Mill.

Apparently some pesky environmentalist objected to the smoke coming out of this chimney in 1906, obtained an injunction and closed the factory down….

Back on the road and I miss the short detour into Rigga quarry and find myself in Little Eaton. This village is home to the great butcher’s shop Barry Fitch , the deli, Brown and Green and soon,

this pub, the Queen’s Head will be reopened by the Derby Brewing Company. Good news all round.

Along the road, down to the A38

and into meadows adjoining the river,

with the mainline railway passing on the left,

a reminder of the continued importance of this valley. The river loops and meanders and it is possible to follow some of these.

We are now nearing Darley Abbey and its park and at last, a stretch of the river where canoeing and kayaking is positively encouraged.

I have to mention Oink the water buffalo I suppose…..

He received quite a bit of publicity a few years back but is now allowed to eat away in peace.

The path goes over the river at Darley Bridge,

through Darley Park and on into the city of Derby. I pause for a pint at the Abbey Inn I again wander off the way- which takes you over the top of the park- so that I can meander along the river.

This deviation from the path is easy to follow and clearly rejoins the main path.

At this stage my batteries run out and I can’t just now complete this walk photographically for you! Being so close to home I can of course easily go back and retrace these last steps, which I will do in the next few weeks.

We are lucky in Derby to have so many beautiful parks, something which is easy to forget. We are just about beginning to recall that there is a river running through the city; this walk has reminded me vividly that this city is only one of the landscapes this river runs through. Unfortunately, the development of the river side in Derby largely involves the privatisation of the banks with luxury flats and shopping developments.

Catch up on days 1-4 here.

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