Walk 3: Sycamores,
Hillside, Belper Lane End and Wilderbrook Lane.
Distance: Approx. 2 ½ miles
Time: Approx. 1 ½ hours
Description: A pleasant and varied walk, short enough to fill a morning or afternoon or even an evening in the summer. Great views of Shottle after a short, but steep, ascent. Wet underfoot in places, also involves crossing a stream via stepping stones, therefore we strongly advise that sturdy waterproof footwear be worn, some paths are rather over grown in summer so long trousers would be advisable. The Bulls Head pub is located half way round at Belper Lane End if you wish to stop for refreshments. It is open lunchtime, evenings and all day Sunday. The notes in Italics suggest what you may see on the way.
Turn right out of the drive, at the bend go through the gap in the stone wall into the field on the left. A. Follow the edge of the field round to the right. Sky Lark
At the end of the field there will be a stone wall in front of you. B Turn to your left and follow this wall until you come to a gap stile. Go over the stile and head diagonally left across the next field towards the wooden stile in the distance. Go over this stile onto
Turn left and walk up the lane towards the wood. On the right, next to a metal gate is a public footpath sign with a wooden stile. D Go over this stile and head for the wooden stile across the field to the left of the gateway. Sheep, lambs
Go over the stile and turn to the left keeping the wood on your left and Sycamores Farm on your right. Walk down to the bottom of the long thin field. Views of Ecclesbourne valley to right.
Go over the wooden stile in the wire fence at the bottom. Head diagonally right across the field heading for the gateway in the wall at the corner. (Wet under foot). Follow the yellow marker pointing straight on.
Follow the stone wall on your right and go through the next gap stile.
There are three trees diagonally to the right on the edge of the field, head to the right of these where you will find a gap stile, go through this.
Cross the next field diagonally left to the bottom corner, go through the gap stile with the way marker. E Turn to the left and follow the line of the stone wall straight on. The wood away to the right is Handley Wood.
Ahead is a small tree behind which is the next stone gap stile. Go through this keep ing the wall to your left.
Continue until you come to a gap stile in the wall on the left, go slowly or you could miss it! Go though this, the wall should now be on your right. Continue straight on keeping the wall to the right.
You will come to a wire fence, go over the stile and into the farmyard. Continue straight on through the gap in the stone wall. (V. muddy). The farm is Handley Farm.
Continue straight on, down hill passing under a large sycamore tree. Molehills, gorse, brambles.
The track now curves slightly to the left and down to the stream (The Wilderbrook). Cross the stream using the stepping stones. Take care as they are not very large and some are rather uneven. F
Once across, climb up the bank and bear to the right. Holly, brambles, gorse
At the top right hand corner is a stone gap stile.
Once through the stile continue straight on with the stone wall on your right and head for the cottage with the white conservatory. Go through the gap stile and onto the grassy track. This is
Turn to the left go over the stile with the yellow way marker. G Ponies
Turn to the right and go up the field following the garden hedge on the right, (very muddy). The stile is partly hidden in the corner of the field to the right of an old stone barn.
Once over the stile, cross over the track and climb up the steep slope to the top. Behind you are panoramic views of Shottle and the Ecclesbourne valley. Sheep
Go through the gap stile and turn to the right, follow the wall on the left until you reach a set of metal gates. Go over the stile to the right of these gates and onto the lane. H
Directly over the lane are a footpath sign and a stile, go over this, across the field towards the stile on the edge of the wood.
Once in the wood, follow the track down through the trees and over the stile in the wall at the bottom. Bluebells. Trees are beech, oak, chestnut, sycamore
Follow the feint track that runs down the field to the cottages at the bottom. The village is Belper Lane End. The views in the middle distance are Belper to the right, Ambergate to the left and Ripley in the far distance.
Once over the stile at the bottom of the field, follow the lane down the side of the cottages on to the main lane. Turn left. The Bulls Head pub is on the left. Stop here for refreshment or carry on up the lane.
After the last cottage on the left there is an entrance to a yard with free-range poultry. Go up through this yard and bear right up the track behind the farm buildings. I Keep following this track up to the top. It becomes steeper and narrower the further you proceed. It may be rather muddy in the winter and rather over grown in the summer. The trees are mostly hawthorn with some holly and oak. Plants include bluebell, wood sorrel, cow parsley, wild garlic
The path comes out on