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The Brinsley steeple chase

 Route type

 walk (circular)

 Distance

 5.5 miles

 Number of stiles

6 or more

 Surface and gradients

 mixed surfaces and moderate gradients

 Parking nearby

 yes

 On bus routes

 yes - plan a journey

 Starting point

 Picnic area/car park south of Brinsley on A608

 OS map number

 Explorer 260 and 269

Plenty of stiles to climb on this walk around Brinsley!

Directions

  1. From the car park, walk south along the main road for about 50 yards until you see a footpath on your left. Follow this down through a gap between two houses and over a stile. The path climbs gradually up the field to a stile in the top right hand corner. Turn right after crossing the stile and head towards Coneygrey Farm. Just before the farm, swing round to the left and follow the track to the edge of the field to go through a gateway.

  2. From here a broad track stretches ahead of you, climbing slightly with views to the left over Brinsley and beyond. Behind you is Eastwood. The track drops down slightly towards Willey Wood Farm. Go through the wide double gates on your right. A few yards up this track a footpath leads off to the left, heading initially for the farm buildings then swinging away to the right, passing beyond the barns to a stile. Cross this and walk down the right hand side of the field. Walk into the next field and head just to the left of a pair of houses. Cross the stile and the line of the former railway, then follow the drive down to the main road (Cordy Lane), opposite the Yew Tree pub.

  3. Cross Cordy Lane and turn right. A few metres up the road take a path on your left, which passes through a stretch of private garden before entering a field. Cross the stile at the top of this field and walk up an enclosed path between a scrap yard and a haulage depot. This path emerges onto a surfaced track, which you cross diagonally right to go over a stile opposite. Follow the path as it winds through a pasture, crossing a stream twice. After passing the former pit heap of Pye Hill colliery carry straight on at the side of the field to join a track which eventually arrives at Underwood Hill corner.

  4. Turn left here and follow the road as it curves right and downhill. At the next road junction turn left down Plain Spot Road as far as the primitive Methodist Chapel on the right. Take the path at the side of the chapel down an alley then out into the open again. Follow the path down to a stile out onto Main Street. Cross over and take the right hand of the two paths ahead of you through a kissing gate. This leads down toa stile then over a concrete bridge across a stream. Follow the far bank through a hedgerow and on for a short way, then bear right across the field to a stile. Walk across the open space to pass the white buildings of Gin Farm on your right, keeping the stream on your left. Cross the stile here and walk down the track onto the road.

  5. Go straight ahead, along a broad track past an electricity sub station on the left, and cross the route of an old railway to a gate. Go through this and carry on along the track to another gate in the meadowland alongside the River Erewash. The path leads to a footbridge over the Erewash in to Derbyshire, which you should cross before turning left and staying fairly close to the fence on your right.

    This part of the route follows the route of the Cromford Canal, of which only a few traces remain since it was abandoned in 1944.

    After a while the path meets an isolated brick bridge over the river. Do not cross it but continue alongside the river, passing another bridge made of large concrete pipes, before eventually reaching a steel and wood footbridge which you should cross.

  6. Follow the path to the stile in the field boundary opposite, then head across the field to a gateway in the top hedge. Follow the track ahead until you reach a gateway on your right. Go through this and down the edge of the field to the bottom. A stile on the left leads you through some trees until the path swings right over a ditch and a stile. Walk along the right hand side of the field until the bend in the hedge, where a stile brings you onto a cart track. Turn left and follow the track onto Hall Lane. Turn right here to pass the pleasant buildings of Old Brinsley.

  7. Continue along this road to reach the main road (A608). Turn left and after a few metres cross the stile on your right and follow the path along the left hand edge of the field. Go over another stile and through a gate into the hilly Brinsley picnic area. From here turn right to follow the old railway line back to the picnic area.

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