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Grassmoor, Williamthorp Ponds And The Five Pits Trail

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Tea Shops
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Grassmoor
6.00 Miles (9.70 Km)
Explorer 269  1:25000
Chesterfield and Alfreton
Grassmoor Country Park
(SK 4117 6718)
 
 
364 feet   (111 meters)
364 feet   (111 meters)
518 feet   (158 meters)
 
 
None
Free Off-Road
Jan 7th 2013  Duration 2h 20m
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This Walk.

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A very easy and interesting walk of six miles along disused rail bed, although it must be said sections of this route may not be considered visually appealing. One of the big bonuses for this route is that is effectively mud free, hard surfaced paths throughout, you will probably spend more time avoiding piles of horse manure than dealing with mud. While not a truly circular walk, more an inverted speech bubble, you do end up back where you started from, passing beside and through numerous wildlife habitats along the way. Despite it's length this walk is both friendly to both dogs and children throughout it's length, to be honest I would go as far as saying it is pushchair friendly too.

Getting There:

Grassmoor Country Park is located between Temple Normanton and Grassmoor to the south of Chesterfield in North East Derbyshire. From the north take the A61 south from Chesterfield, a little under three miles after leaving the ring-road turn left at a road traffic island signposted Grassmoor. Follow the road for just over a mile through the outskirts of Tupton to a white painted lump traffic island. Here can be seen a brown sign to Grassmoor Country Park, although this sign seems to suggest turning right, turn left to a second white painted lump traffic island, at this second island turn right. The entrance to the Country Park is on the left just under half a mile down the lane. Although there is a sign on the approach to the car park the entrance it's self can easily be missed, so slow down at the sigh the car park entrance is on the left just past the white house on the right.
Five Pits Trail Start Point
Travelling from the south take the A61 north from Alfreton or Clay Cross. From Alfreton drive north around five miles to Clay Cross. From Clay Cross head north on the A61 for around one and three-quarter miles to a road traffic island signposted Grassmoor, then follow the directions outlined in the previous paragraph.

The car park at Grassmoor Country park is in two parts, neither of which is overly large so please park carefully, additionally be mindful of the spaces reserved for horse boxes.

The Walk:

Walk toward the car-park entrance but rather than going left out onto the onto the road keep ahead and enter into the grounds of Grassmoor Country Park. Follow the path that runs parallel to the road signed "Five Pits Trail", and pass under the road to join the trackbed of the old railway line that now forms the trail. If like me you tend to be an early morning walker, the sign's of Fox (smell) around this bridge are quite obvious. Continue to follow the trackbed for a little over half a mile passing a bench overlooking a small pond until it reaches a junction with another path of similar construction near an electricity pylon. Turn left, immediately ahead the path splits to the left and right, at this second junction keep left (both the left and right paths here are the "Five Pits Trail" which makes the signage at this point a little confusing.

After a short distance Wolfie Pond becomes visible to the right, here there are benches and a picnic table to enjoy the view. Continue along the trail through an area of woodland and under the B6039, then walk on through an industrial area to a point where the path splits, here keep right. Follow the trail again this time with factory units to the right and woodland to the left, eventually the trail leaves the industrial units behind and Williamthorp Ponds come into view to the right. Stay on the trail continue to until a "Steep Slope" Warning is reached. I don't think it is all that steep but take care as you walk down the slope around a wooden barrier to a wide wooden bridge over a run-off stream from the ponds. At the junction of paths on the far side of the bridge turn right and take the track signed "Holmwood Wheelchair Route".
Wolfie Pond On The Five Pits Trail

Wolfie Pond

The track now follows the banks of Williamthorp Ponds until a large factory unit looms ahead seemingly blocking the way. Here the track turns left and effectively doubles back on itself and climbs away from the ponds. Continue up the slope through the woodland until the Five Pits trail crosses the wheelchair route, at this the path ahead becomes grassed rather than hard paved. Turn right and rejoin the Five Pits Trail signed Holmwood. The trail soon leaves the woodland of Willamthorp Nature Reserve to pass behind some houses, then bears left at the end of the final house to exit onto a road side. Turn right and cross both the road and the bridge ahead. On the far side of the bridge turn left to rejoin the trail which is now far narrower but still easy to walk. Continue along the path until it crosses another far busier road at the site of the former Heath Station, cross this road and continue along the trail on the far side of the road through Holmwood Woodlands. Follow this section of the route for around half a mile past plying fields and a smallholding until it exits onto a third road at a pair of wooden gates and a low stile.
Follow this this section of the route for around half a mile past plying fields and a smallholding until it exits onto a third road at a pair of wooden gates and a low stile.Cross the road and again continue along the trail on the other side of the road, the route soon comes to another "Steep Slope" warning sign beyond which there is a path off to the right just before the trail dips to cross a stream. Take the path to the right (effectively cutting of the corner of where the route swings back towards Grassmoor), this section is quite short and soon rejoins the main Trail near some picnic tables.

Turn right at the picnic tables and follow the Five Pits Trail once more for a little over half a mile until it reaches a fourth and final road. Cross the road and pick up the trail once more, continue along the path for further half a mile until Wolfie Pool reappears on the right. Just beyond Wolfie Pool the trail arrives again at the staggered junction of paths walked near the beginning of the route. Turn left then right to pick up the section of the Five Pits Trail back to Grasmoor Country Park.

From here it is a simple matter of following the trail for around three quarters of a mile, passing under the road bridge back to the car park and the end of the walk.
Picnic Area On The Five Pits Trail

Picnic Area

Junction Of Paths On The Five Pits Trail

The Way Back

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