While looking through some ideas for routes to add to this site I found the draft for a route I’ve walked many times. I first wrote this up nearly 3 years ago, but I last walked it in May. The only bit of the route I had to change was where a ‘ramshackle old barn’ on the hill between Awsworth and Kimberley is now completely gone!
Eastwood is one of those towns on the edge – too rural to be seen as part of any city, but far too urban to be seen as rural. The second of these two is the most unfair. Despite expanding in the last 100 years, the town is (almost) fully encircled by some gorgeous countryside.
It’s great walking territory too (but I would say that, as it’s my home town), taking in a wide variety of landscapes. Especially considering you are never more than a mile from the town. There are green fields aplenty, with paths crossing lovely low hillsides with great views. There’s parkland at the start/finish, and dotted along the route. There’s no shortage of waterside walking, with nature reserves following the ‘flashes’ (large ponds created by open cast working) at Brinsley (great for wildife); three canals (in various states of repair!) and two rivers/streams. There’s also woodland at various points along the route. Despite it’s length it’s an easy walk too – with much of it along the canals being flat, and low gradients to the hills.
This area of the world isn’t lacking in heritage interest either. The town of Eastwood is very closely associated with DH Lawrence. The writer hated the town, but loved the countryside around it, with many of the locations around the walk being recognisable in Lawrence’s writing. The route also passes through the sites of at least eight old collieries too – but you would almost never know. The only remains are either deliberate reminders, like coal-trucks at Collier’s Wood or the headstocks at Brinsley, and hints in the landscape, like the stone remnants of a viaduct crossing the canal at Eastwood Lock. The rest has almost completely returned to green.
The one part I was never quite happy with was the small urban section through Langley Mill. Nothing against Langley Mill, but a busy road isn’t
what I wanted in the walk. But the return for under a mile of road walking is the views over the Erewash Valley from Aldercar. And you can at least use the road section to stock up on food and drink in the shops along the high street. Or have a MaccyDs. No-ones judging here.
There’s a map of the route below. But you can also:
- Access an interactive, zoomable version of the Eastwood Round through Viewranger.
- Download the PDF version, with full route instructions and information about the points of interest on the route via this Eastwood Round PDF link – or click the cover image above!
- Download a GPX file – click the Viewranger link above, and download it from the sharing options on there (in the ‘menu’ section – you may need to sign up with Viewranger to access the GPX).