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Three lovely villages set among pleasant rolling countryside in South Derbyshire, parkland and a stroll along former railway line make up this fascinating walk. 

In the early stages of the walk a short detour is made to view the Holy Well, which was once an important source of drinking water for Kings Newton. The arch over the top of the well and the surrounds were restored in 1985 by the Civic Society. 

The walk continues across Newton Park, before linking up with the former Derby to Ashby Railway, opened in 1867 and closed in 1982. It is now part of the Sustrans Cycle Trail.   

Wilson, an attractive roadside village, is passed through, on the way to the walk through Melbourne Park and the fascinating little town of Melbourne. It has a wealth of historic buildings, a famous country house with formal gardens, one of the finest Norman churches in the country, a lovely 20 acre Pool where you can feed the ducks, or just rest awhile and admire the scenery.


Length:     4.5 miles. 

Start/Finish:     Castle Square, Melbourne.      

Location:     On the B587 just off the A514 Derby to Swadlincote road.      

Terrain:     An easy walk with very little ascent or descent. The farmland can be muddy.      



1.      Walk up Castle Street in an easterly direction; at a ‘T’ junction of roads, by a triangle of grass, turn left and a few yards later, right along Pack Horse Road.

2.      Opposite Queensway, turn right signed for Kings Newton down an enclosed path. When the path bends to the right, you turn left to walk across the bottom of a cemetery.

3.      The path continues through bushes, before at a fork in the path you go to the left. Continue straight on to reach Kings Newton.

4.      Turn left and walk towards The Pack Horse Public House; at the ‘mini-roundabout’ go to the right down Ward’s Lane, signed ‘Holy Well’.

5.      After viewing the well, turn round and walk back up the lane for 20 yards and cross a stile on the left into a field. Head straight across the field, to an intersection of paths.

6.      Take the path heading diagonally downhill towards a house, but before reaching it, go over a stile on the right by a metal gate.

7.      Cross the next field keeping close to the hedge on the left, go over a stile in the bottom corner of the field into a lane. 

8.      Walk down the lane for 25yards, before turning left down an access path. At the bottom, turn right along a tarmac trail, for the use of cyclists and walkers.

9.       Follow the trail for about one and a half miles, and then at a sign for the Bulls Head, turn right up an access road onto a bridge.

10.  Turn right at the top and walk up a rough track to reach the Melbourne to Wilson road.

11.  Go left and follow the road round through the village. Thirty yards after passing the Bulls Head, turn right at a sign for Breedon Priory Golf Centre. Immediately turn right through a gateway, by a Park Farm sign.

12.  Walk up a wide field aiming about 15 yards to the right of a line of trees in the middle of the field.

13.  Maintain direction to the top of the field, where you will find the stile in a gap in the hedge, approximately at the mid-way point of the field boundary.

14.  Go straight down the next field, keeping close to the hedge, to join the farm access track through another field.

15.  Continue straight on and after leaving the field, follow the road round between Melbourne Hall and the church.

16.  At a road junction, cross the road and walk up Castle Street back to the start of the walk. 



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Melbourne is a fascinating little town. It has a wealth of historic buildings, a famous country house with formal gardens, one of the finest Norman churches in the country, a lovely 20 acre Pool where you can feed the ducks, or just rest awhile and admire the scenery. Melbourne Hall and Gardens, once the home of Victorian Prime Minister, William Lamb, are open to the public on a limited basis during the summer. For more information please ring 01332 862502.


Calke Abbey and Grounds (Tel. 01332 863822) ‘The place where time stood still,’ was the phrase used to describe this property when The National Trust opened it to the public in 1989. One of the most unusual of English country houses with large collections of birds, ornaments, paintings and photographs. For opening details please ring or visit website.


Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts, located in the Georgian Stable Block of Staunton Harold Hall, where a wide range of goods can be obtained. The centre is open all year Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.  Teas are available at the centre and also at the adjacent garden centre complex. In the grounds of the hall is the ancient Holy Trinity Church. 



The Packhorse Inn (Tel. 01332 862767) stands on a route that was once used by packhorses, travelling from London to Derby and beyond. It has the date of 1727 carved above the door and probably succeeds an earlier medieval hostelry. Open lunchtimes and evenings. Food served lunchtimes and evenings. Real ales.

Melbourne Hall Tea Rooms (Tel. 01332 864224) situated in what used to be the washrooms and bake house of the hall. One of the old baking ovens still remains in these delightful old tea rooms that have built up an enviable reputation for light meals and teas. Open during the summer Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays. Reduced winter opening.





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The main road through the small village of Kings Newton was described by Nicholas Pevsner as, ‘one of the most attractive main streets in Derbyshire.’ It is a gem of an old English village, with a great variety of well cared for old houses covering a wide age range, that all blend superbly together as a whole.

A cottage with three crucks, one of which is visible from the outside, is considered to have been ancient when Elizabeth I came to the throne. Many of the other houses date back to the 18th century and there are a few of recent origin down Trent Lane and a small new development behind the Hardinge Arms.

 Kings Newton Feature


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