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Ashover and Cocking Tor

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Altitude Information
Start Point
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Tea Shops
Parking
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Ashover
3.50 Miles (5.60 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Ashover Parish Hall
S54 0BA  (SK 3510 6320)
 
 
623 feet   (190 meters)
442 feet   (135 meters)
846 feet   (258 meters)
 
 
None
Ashover Parish Hall Car Park
Aug 6th 2012  Duration 2h 15m
Ashover Parking
Map For
This Walk.

Walk Altitude Profile:
 


 
All Saints Church, Ashover, Derbyshire

All Saints, Ashover

A circular walk through varying landscapes and views back over Ashover from the side of Cocking Tor. While not exactly a flat walk there is only one real ascent on this route, but the views make it worth the effort. This walk also has to different possible routes towards the end as the path for the intended route seemed to vanish halfway down a hillside! While it is still possible to walk the route documented I have provided a shorter and easier (3 rather than 3.5 miles) alternative just in case.

Getting There:

Ashover is just off of the A632 Matlock to Chesterfield Road. At Kelstedge (about three and a half miles from the junction with the A6 in the center of Matlock) take the B6036 sign posted Ashover and follow the road for three-quarters of a mile into the village. At the T-junction opposite The Old Poets Inn turn left into Church Street, continue up the hill past the Church and follow the car park signs (turn right in front of the Black Swan). The car park is to be found on the right just beyond the Black Swan public house. Parking is free, but spaces are limited.

Public transport access to Ashover is via the number 63 bus service; this service runs every two hours Monday to Saturday from Matlock and Chesterfield, please keep in mind there is no bus service on Sunday's or Bank Holiday's. A copy of the timetable for the No:63 bus service is available from the Derby Bus Info web site.

The Walk:
From the car park at the parish hall turn left and walk back along the road to the junction, turn left once more and Walk down the hill towards the Church and the Crispin Inn. Opposite the Crispin Inn are The Bassett Rooms, a former girls school now used by the parish. (There is a link with a famous brand Liquorice Allsorts, as this building is named after the Bassett family who were village benefactors.) Walk down the drive at the side of the Bassett Rooms then onto a footpath between a wall and a hedge. Follow this path until you reach a stone squeeze stile, go through the stile then follow the path between a hedge and a fence along side Ashover show-grounds. Stay on the path as it passes between way marked gateposts then on to across the next piece of land to a squeeze stile type gap between two tall metal posts. Beyond the posts keep the hedge to you left and cross two fields to a stone squeeze stile that looks as if it has seen a few centuries, continue to follow the path to a metal gate after which the hedge is to the right of the path. Stay on the path along this next section as there are disused quarry's and settling pits nearby, follow the well defined path to a squeeze stile type gap in a fence ahead.
Stay with the path to a rusted get the with a wall to the left pass behind houses with the flooded Fallhill Quarry immediately to the right. Beyond the quarry keep the hedgerow to you right across a field then descend some stone steps onto the B6036. There is no pavement at this point and the road has a 40mph limit so be aware that traffic my be travelling quite quickly. Turn left and cross the road a few yards ahead on the left is a house (Greenbank), go down the drive on the far side of the house, it may not look like it but it is a public footpath. At the end of the drive keeping the Leylandii hedge to the right follow the path forward, after a while the path leads out onto a junction hear the end of Jetting Street. At the junction and turn right, and walk along the pavement with the River Amber to your right, continue alongside the river for about 150 yards (140m) to a rather overgrown bridge across the river. Once over the river turn left and walk downstream until the path forks, here keep to the right and head away from the river.

Follow the path to a wide track, then go up the steps on the far side and stay on the path to a squeeze stile, then on to a broken squeeze stile. Walk between a fence and hedge, the continue along the footpath until it exits out onto a country lane. Walk up the lane continuing in the same general direction as before. The lane gradually becomes rougher and reaches a fork, keep left walking past some farm buildings on the right along the way then on up to Ravensnest Cottaces on the left at the end of the lane. The footpath for the next section is not really clear, but the one I took is opposite the cottages into the woodland, you probably have to look for it as it may well be obscured by parked cars. From this point the one and only real ascent of this walk begins, follow the path up through the woodland toward Cocking Tor.

Fallhill Quarry, Ashover, Derbyshire

Fallhill Quarry

River Amber Crossing, Derbyshire

This Way To Cocking Tor

Cocking Tor Pony Hop Barrier, Ashover, Derbyshire

Cocking Tor "Pony Hop"

After a while the woodland opens out onto a piece of rough ground on the side of the Tor that looks a bit like a moonscape with scrub and grass! Make you way up through this landscape trying to keep the woodland in view to the right to a wood and metal mountain bike obstacle I have heard described as a "Pony Hop". Although this is not the prettiest spot on the walks there are some really nice views back over the River Amber to Ashover. Pass through the .Pony-Hop. and follow the clear path through the woodland until it joins the old hack-horse route, this is where the path is partially paved with large stone slabs to prevent erosion by the pack animals as they travelled along the path. Continue along the path until it comes out onto Gin Lane with Overton Hall and Overton Cottages off to the right.
Cross Gin Lane and walk down the tree lined avenue opposite, follow the avenue until it reaches a junction with a wide track with a stock gate directly ahead, now it's time to make a choice! As stated at the start of this walk description I had an issue with a vanishing path and have provided an alternate way back to Ashover. The Blue Route described below is the planned route with disappearing path, the Red Route is the shorter more well defined alternate route back into the village. From here the choice of path is yours!
Blue Route:

With the stock gate ahead turn left and follow the edge of the field with it's unusual vertical slab wall to your right and a traditional drystone wall to the left. Follow this to the end of the field and go right over the "Pony Hop" barrier and Walk down the side of the field, look for a footpath marker post with yellow way marker on the left. Cross the stone step through the gap in the wall and follow the path ahead to a stock gate, go through the gate on the far side the path is a bit rough with large rocks and could be slippery if wet. Follow the path across the hillside to a yellow topped path marker post, there are some fine views down over Ashover to the right along this stretch. From the marker post the path descends down across the hill in the direction of a solitary tree in at the bottom, this tree is a good marked as halfway down the hill the path seems to vanish! When the path does it's disappearing trick continue in the general direction of the lone tree. The tree is not the true way marker it's just in the right direction, what you need to look for is another yellow topped marker post beside the remains of a wall to the right.

Cross the remains of the wall at this point then continue along the path to a stock gate beside a metal farm gate go through the gate and cross the River Amber then walk up the lane to a point here it swings left with a track beside a wall going ahead. Follow either the lane or the path until it brings you out onto the B6036 Butts Road on the edge of Ashover. Turn right and walk into the village noting the architecture along the way. At the road junction opposite the Old Poets Corner turn left and walk up Church Street towards All Saints to rejoin the main route.

Red Route:

Go through the stock gate ahead then follow the obvious path across the field, noting as you go that it is paved, although in places the paving is overgrown. Such paving was often put in place to allow the pack animals better grip and reduce erosion. As the path nears the end of the field the ground falls away sharply into a hollow, the paving turns into a set of steps. Descend the steps and exit the field into the hollow. Follow the path down towards the River Amber, it is worth noting that where the ancient paving is absent there is quite noticeable erosion. After a short distance the path meets a disused railway line, the path now bears left along the old trackbed before going to the right and resuming it's course down to the river.
Slab Field Boundary, Ashover, Derbyshire

Vertical Slab Wall

Alternate route Map, Ashover, Derbyshire

Alternate Routes

Remnants of the paving are less evident along this stretch, follow the path to a s bridge over the River Amber. Once across the river continue up the path towards Ashover entering the village along side Old Poets Corner, cross the road and walk up Church Street towards All Saints to rejoin the main route.

The Final Section:

From All Saints continue up the hill towards the Crispin Inn beside the church yard. Take a moment to read the large plaque on the front of the Inn telling of it's history and how soldiers returning from the Battle Of Agincourt in 1646 drank the place dry! Walk on up the hill to the Black Swan then turn right to retrace your steps back to the car-park and the end of the walk.
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