An excellent town walk, as for most of the route you really feel as if you are deep in the heart of the countryside, yet never far from housing and commercial development.
After leaving the centre of Burton, you arrive in surprisingly quick time in the Washlands, which since 1841 have been used for public recreation. There is an abundance of flora and fauna and wildlife along the pretty river bank walks.
The highest point of the walk is the water tower, built in 1904 to improve the low pressure of water in Winshill. Today it is bedecked with radio and aerial communications that serve the needs of the present generation.
In front of the water tower the area of woodland is known as Waterloo Clump. The trees were planted in 1815, to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. Below, Tower Woods have been planted within the last ten years, out of a grant made by the National Forest Company as part of the expansion of the National Forest, linking Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
The final stage of the walk takes you over Burton Bridge; the first bridge had 36 arches and was maintained by the monks of Burton Abbey.
Length: 4.25 miles.
Start/Finish: Burton Market Place.
Location: Off A38 between Derby and Lichfield.
Terrain: Mostly along good easy to follow paths with only gentle gradients.
Note: The route can easily be reduced in length, by following the river bank north after entering Stapenhill Gardens to reach Point 17 detailed below.
1. Leave the market place to the left of the church and walk the diagonal path to Andressey Bridge.
2. Cross the bridge and turn right along a tarmac path leading to a small bridge and a finger post sign, where you turn left signed for ‘Stapenhill Gardens’. Continue in the same direction until you reach the river.
3. Turn right by the riverbank and follow the path round when it bends to the right. Cross another small bridge on your left and within a few yards go left again along a raised walkway, leading down to the river bridge.
4. Cross the bridge and turn left into Stapenhill Gardens. Keep close to the wall on the right, and follow the path round up the slope to reach Main Street.
5. Cross the road by the pedestrian crossing, turn left and then right into St Peter’s Street.
6. After a few yards go over the pedestrian crossing to the other side of St Peter’s Street and continue straight ahead along Woods Lane.
7. After 100 yards turn right up Holme Farm Avenue, continue straight on along a pathway, over an estate road and up another short pathway.
8. At the top where the path divides go to the left. Continue to the left after ascending a short flight of steps and on reaching a road, go down the hill.
9. Turn right at a mini roundabout and walk a few yards up Grafton Road.
10. At the entrance to Harrison Pine Interiors, turn right and then immediately left and walk in front of two cottages along a rough track.
11. Where the track bears to the right, carry straight on along an obvious path, keeping close to the hedge on your left.
12. Eventually the path swings to the left through two kissing gates, with a group of houses a short distance in front.
13. From this point walk up a tarmac path between houses and cross the road at the top. Continue in the same direction up another path to reach the Water Tower, where you turn left down Tower Road.
14. Where the road narrows to a path, go through a gap on the left, turn right immediately and walk down a narrow field.
15. Bear to the right after walking round a children’s play area.
16. Walk through a picnic site and follow the path all the way round to the right.
17. Turn left at a ‘T’ junction of paths and walk down to join Elms Road; the cemetery is on your right.
18. Turn left at the bottom for 20 yards, cross the road and walk to the right along the lower path, which leads you to the bridge across the River Trent.
19. Cross the bridge and continue to the cross roads, where you turn left down High Street. After a short distance turn left again into Meadowside Drive and follow the road round.
20. Keep to the left of Burton Library and a few yards further on you will see the diagonal path you used at the start of the walk, enabling you to retrace your steps to the market place.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Coors Visitor Centre (Tel. 01283 511000) formerly the Bass Museum of Brewing, including the Coors Shires. There are excellent restaurant facilities. Café facilities are also available. Open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Tutbury Castle (Tel. 01283 812129) is a picturesque castle with stunning views, once the prison-home of Mary, Queen of Scots. There is a full programme of events. Please telephone for opening details or visit website.
Sharpe’s Pottery Visitor Centre (Tel. 01283 222600) the exhibits tell the story of the South Derbyshire Pottery industry from the 16th to the 21st century. The centre is equipped with interactive technology, a Coffee Shop, Conference suite and range of goods for sale. Open Monday to Saturday throughout the year.
Burton Bridge Inn (Tel. 01283 536596) situated at the front of the Burton Bridge Brewery, is the town’s second oldest remaining pub. As the name suggests, the inn is located by Burton Bridge, which originally had 36 arches and was maintained by the monks of Burton Abbey. Open daily, food served Monday to Saturday.
Bothy Tea Rooms and Restaurant (Tel. 01283 703355) located at the popular Bretby Garden Centre. The Tea Rooms are particularly spacious and offer good food at very competitive prices. There is also seating outside on the patio. Apart from meeting the needs of most gardeners, there is an excellent gift shop and aquatics centre on site.
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Burton nurses a picturesque secret right in the heart of its town centre. Behind the busy shopping streets are the delightfully unspoilt meadows of the washlands through which the River Trent slowly meanders on its journey downstream. The town itself is renowned throughout the world as the capital of British brewing. Situated on the Staffordshire border with Derbyshire it shares close links with its neighbour, the A38 providing a fast link for both shoppers and workers.
Brewing though, no longer dominates the local economy. Food, engineering and distribution all are of growing importance. The town is well served by a good communication network, which provides relatively easy access to motorways and other major road routes. Traffic free shopping precincts and low cost parking attract visitors from a wide area.
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