Do not be put off by the approach to Shipley Park through Heanor Gate Industrial Estate: the park offers 600 acres of attractive and varied parkland and 18 miles of footpaths and bridleways.
Developed during the 18th century, as a country estate and coal mining area, it has been sympathetically reclaimed by Derbyshire County Council and in 1976, re-opened as a country park. Apart from walking, you can hire a cycle to ride round, go fishing, spot wildlife, join a wayfaring course or just sit and relax. If you have any energy left after the walk just pop into the Visitor Centre and see what is on offer.
From the Visitor Centre the walk takes you past Osborne’s Pond and follows a former railway embankment for a short distance, before passing Shipley Hall Cricket Ground. It is difficult to see the cricket ground at this point because of the trees, but if you look round at the top of the hill, you will be able to review the state of play, if your visit coincides with match day.
After walking round Mapperley Reservoir, and through John Wood, you return along Bell Lane and by Flatmeadow Farm to the Visitor Centre.
Length: 4 miles.
Start/finish: Shipley Park Visitor Centre Car Park.
Location: Off A608 Derby to Heanor road. Turn right at the sign for Heanor Gate Industrial Estate and Shipley Park.
Terrain: Easy walking along well-defined paths. No steep gradients.
1. From the car park head past the Information Board and walk along a surfaced path angling to the left. On reaching an intersection of paths, continue straight on.
2. Where the path forks and Osborne’s Pond comes into view, keep to the right to walk alongside the pond.
3. At the far side of the pond turn left along the road that leads to a former railway embankment, which you ascend and walk to the right along the tarmac track.
4. After walking past the Lakeside Business Centre, turn right by a Nutbrook Trail sign and follow the path round to the left.
5. Ignore the second Nutbrook Trail sign and climb gently up Shipley Hill, as the path bends to the right.
6. At the top of the hill, take the path on the left and follow the wall round, passing Nottingham Lodge, before turning right at the end, signed ‘Beech Walk’.
7. After a short distance, turn to the right through a gap into an area of woodland and take the path on the left.
8. Continue keeping to the path on the left hand side of the wood until it reaches a road. Here you turn left and walk down a fenced path alongside the road to Mapperley Reservoir.
9. Follow the path along the embankment to the other side and turn right along the southern side of the reservoir.
10. Keep to the path on the left until it reaches a dead end and starts to bend back to the right.
11. Take the first path you come to on the left and walk through John Wood, before turning right into Bell Lane.
12. After about 250 yards go over a stile by the entrance to Flatmeadow Farm and walk up the road with the farm on your left. Continue by the farm and follow the winding road back to the Visitor Centre and the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Shipley Country Park (Tel 01773 719961) contains over 600 acres of attractive parkland with lakes, woodlands and miles of footpaths and bridleways. There is a Visitor Centre with a countryside gift shop and café.
Crich Tramway Village (Tel. 01773 852565) boasts a large array of vintage trams from all over the world. Unlimited rides through a period street to stunning views over the Derwent Valley. For further information see the special feature
Great Northern Basin, Langley Mill (Tel 0115 9328042) was originally built over 200 years ago. The basin has been restored and extended during the last few years, linking the area with the southern canal system. Open all year.
The Country Park Tavern (Tel 01773 762856) large pleasant pub just outside Shipley Park, on Thorpe Hill Drive, 200 yards to the east of the Visitor Centre. Bar snacks are served and restaurant meals, there is also seating outside.
D. H. Lawrence Café (Tel 01773 531181) (tel 01773 531181)at Heanor Antiques Centre, where hot and cold light meals are served on the third floor. You can sit outside in the summer and enjoy a rooftop view of Eastwood D. H. Lawrence’s birthplace. Open daily.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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Heanor is a small hilltop town clustered around its attractive parish church of St Lawrence, high above the Erewash Valley. It sits face to face across the valley with Eastwood the Nottinghamshire town made famous by the writing of D H Lawrence. The location of the site, which would have given early warning of unwelcome visitors, probably attracted ancient Britons, and there is evidence of the Romans visiting the area.
It remained very much an agricultural village until the Industrial Revolution, when coal and iron ore deposits in the area began to be worked. The availability of employment brought more people into the area and consequently more houses were built to house the incomers.
Visitors to the area are surprised to find attractive Shipley Park sandwiched between Heanor and Ilkeston. Suddenly Shipley Park is entered, the noise of industry is silenced and an area of wooded parkland, hills, lakes, trails and an abundance of wildlife stretches out in front of you.
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