January Church Walk – Tapton
The walk started from Tapton Lock Visitors Centre. It was a bright sunny day, ideal for a winter walk. We stolled along the Canal tow path towards Chesterfield where the River Rother runs parallel with the canal until the canal finally ends. We continued at the side of the river until we reached Holbeck Close, near where the Trebor sweet factory used to be, and which eventually will be the site of the Canal Basin Development.
We crossed Brimington Road and walked along the road, through the area known as Eastwood flats – the former site of Eastwood wagon works, up to the railway footbridge. We crossed the footbridge into Tapton Park and rambled through a wood-side track adjacent to the railway line until we reached Tapton House at the top of the park. The house was once occupied by railway pioneer George Stephenson in the 1830’s and latterly by the Markham family, who bequeathed the house and grounds to the people of Chesterfield. The grounds now comprise of the park and Tapton Golf course.
We continued through the grounds and emerged at the peace gardens adjacent to the golf course, from where we could clearly see that Chesterfield is built on a hill in a valley.
We went through woods, then followed country lanes with hedgerows on either side with many old trees, oak, sycamore and beech embedded in the hedgerows. We then followed a footpath between two hawthorn hedges up an incline to emerge on Grove Road, which had we followed it would have led to Brimington Common.
We turned back towards Tapton down a bridle path, which is part of the Transpennine Trail, noticing a fast flowing stream as we emerged in the area known locally as Tapton City, which consists of a few detached houses which for the most part are surrounded by countryside. Eventually we arrived at Tapton Park and as it wasn’t too muddy, decided to explore that area rather than continuing to walk on hard tarmac. After negotiating a small copse we were back on the canal towpath and arrived at the cars. This was a very enjoyable and varied walk.
Eric & Helen
The next walk on Sunday 5th February will be led by Steve and Julie. Depending on the weather the route will be decided nearer the day, but will be either Bakewell or Baslow. Everyone meets at 12 noon at the church gates with suitable walking equipment and a packed lunch. Any new walkers are most welcome. For more information please contact Steve Franks.