Start/Parking: Ticknall Village Hall.
Distance: 10 km.
Refreshments: Village Shop Ticknall.
Pubs: Ticknall (3), and Milton (1).
Public transport: Derby to Swadlincote Bus Service 69.
Maps: Landranger 128 - Derby and Burton; Explorer 245 – National Forest.
This walk is from a forthcoming publication "South Derbyshire Walks" by Melbourne Civic Society (2011). Feel free to print it out (using the 'print' icon at top right) and use it and let me know if I have missed anything out or have made routing mistakes. The numbers in the text refer to the accompanying map which I will upload as soon as possible.
Park at theTicknall Village Hall (1) car park and take the path from the gate opposite the toilet block. Follow the path around the back of church and Cricket Club pavillion. Go through a gate by Cricket Club and turn right. If you reach the Milton Road you have gone too far. A hedge is on your left and a field to your right. Go through a metal gate and pass a scraped out pond on your right. Soon you reach National Forest plantings. There are lots of elderberries and blackberries in the hedgerows in season. Before long the countryside opens out with views over Trent Valley including Willington Power Station and you pass through a new metal gate into a large field. The hedge is still on your left with a wide open field on your right. There are fine views of Heath Wood ahead (which you will pass through later).
Passing through a wooden gate you are at Hangman's Stone (2) marked on the map with a path off to right which you ignore. The soil is sandy and dusty with the hedge now on your right. It soon becomes a track heading north with views of Willington, the Toyota car plant and the tall water tower at Markeaton as well as traffic on A50.
When a track comes in on the left, ignore it and head straight on towards the towers of Willington Power Station. The path has another very large open field on your right.
You can also see Bendalls Clump on your right. Just before entering a small oak wood you reach a marker post with three arrows by a pine tree. Once out of the wood head straight on ignoring the path on the right down to Home Farm, Foremark. Keep the hedge on the left until the path swings right and passes between hedges on both sides. Just before reaching the main road at Milton you see an old saw mill shed (3) on your right.
Turn right and pass by the village green with its new bench. There are refreshments at the Swan Inn but it is closed mid-week. Just beyond the telephone box turn right (before Brook Farm). The path follows a wall on the left then a hedge; avoid a track on your left. There is a stile in the hedge when you are almost level with Mill House on your right. The path goes through a wood, via a bridge and stile, into a big open field with an electricity pylon. After a stile cross a large field that skirts a copse. You reach a track that goes right to the church and left to the main Milton to Ingleby road. You turn left unless you wish to visit the Church which is slightly uphill (4).
Before the track reaches the main road you will see a sign for the HGV Entrance.
Walk down this road to the Hall. Don’t be put off by any signs mentioning a private road as this is a public footpath. The route threads its way past Foremarke Hall (5) and several teaching blocks until you meet a notice board. Head straight up the track that passes an old walled garden on your right and some new detached houses on your left. The path pulls uphill through Heath Wood and eventually meets Ingleby Lane. There are more good views over the Trent Valley at the top.
Back to Ticknall
The next section has some road walking (1km). (To avoid this see the Seven Spouts diversion below.) Turn right on the road and walk gently uphill. You pass a footpath (from Hangman’s Stone) and a track to Knowle Hill Farm on your right. Opposite a footpath marker on your left is an entrance to the National Forest plantation called Windmill Wood. Enter it and make in the direction of the spire of Ticknall church. At the end of the enclosure head through a gap in the hedge and you will see a footpath coming in from the left. Follow this right back to Ticknall Cricket Ground and the Parish Church. Close to the Church there are several footpaths which will lead you to the Cemetery and back to the car park.
Seven Spouts diversion
When reaching Ingleby Lane cross the road and follow the track to Seven Spouts Farm (6) which mainly consists of barn conversions. Head down a lane that can be rather muddy in the wetter months and when you see a small pool on your right follow the footpath that runs by the side of it. Pass through a gate and follow a path from which you have a view of Knowle Hill House on your left (a Landmark Trust property). At the end of the path turn half left looking for a path that comes up from Knowle Hill house. The bridlepath heads due south at this point. After an open stretch of country you enter a small wooded area. Take the bridleway on your right into Stantons Wood which leads you to the entrance to Windmill Wood mentioned above.