Ilkeston - Merlin's Magic Snow
w/e 20 January 2013
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

At various times over the years we must have walked most of the ten or eleven miles of the Nutbrook Trail but there was at least one section of the route that we had not followed before until this walk in the snow. We can now cross this section between Quarry Hill Road in Ilkeston and Hallam Fields off the list. From the north the Nutbrook Trail starts in Heanor at Shipley Country Park and runs down the western edge of Ilkeston as far as Kirk Hallam where it skirts Ilkeston's southern boundary before turning southwards again towards Long Eaton. We started our walk at Hallam Fields and followed the path to Quarry Hill Road where we turned and retraced our steps back to Hallam Fields. All these images come from the return walk.

Off Quarry Hill Road

Access to the Nutbrook Trail can be gained from Quarry Hill Road near its junction with Merlin Way and a footpath runs alongside Quarry Hill Road as it rises to cross over the Nut Brook and the old railway bridge where it changes to become Ilkeston Road.
Over The Nut Brook

The footpath is also bridged over the Nut Brook shortly before it reaches the Nutbrook Trail.
This Way To Heanor

A signpost at the junction of the path with the Nutbrook Trail points under the road bridge to Heanor and Shipley Park (3½ miles) and in the other direction to Sandiacre (4½ miles) and Long Eaton. It also shows that the Trail is part of the National Cycle Route No. 67.
To Long Eaton

Although the Nutbrook Trail is a north/south route this section is closer to an west/east direction and follows the line of a former railway track. Turning towards the east then the Trail immediately crosses the Nut Brook again.
Nut Brook

The section we are walking is something under a mile in length and for about the first half of it, the Nut Brook is on the right hand side.
Halfway Point

The sun came out during our walk and it was quite pleasant walking along the Trail but not really warm enough to take advantage of the seat which was also about half way along the section. The brick buttresses either side of the Trail just after the seat are the remains of a bridge that originally carried another railway line from the former Stanton Ironworks to the right. It is just beyond that point too that the Nut Brook once again crosses the Trail to continue on the left hand side.
Stanton Site

The Trail runs between the former Stanton site on one side and an industrial estate along Merlin Way on the other. Only a few buildings remain on the Stanton site compared to when it was in its heyday and Merlin of course in Arthurian legend was a sorcerer. Love it or loathe it, the covering of snow magically transforms the derelict site into something that looks a lot more pleasant. The site is ripe for redevelopment but the powers-that-be and developers don't seem able to get their act together preferring instead to proffer green field sites which would be less expensive to develop.
Cycle Route 67

So far the Trail from Quarry Hill Road although not parallel to it, has roughly followed the same direction as Merlin Way but near the eastern end it turns through ninety degrees to head for the end of Merlin Way. Another National Cycle Way sign points the way.
St Bartholomew's

And at the end of Merlin Way - the Trail can be accessed here - there is a view up Crompton Road to the former St Bartholomew's Church at Hallam Fields.
Crompton Rd Site

The Nutbrook Trail however continues a little further to the Crompton Road Industrial Site and carries on through the site to the Erewash Canal. For images of that section of the Trail there are a few in Parts 5 and 6 of the Hallam Fields Industrial Trail that we followed in 2005/06.

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