Duffield Castle - Bring Your Imagination
15 people attending
5 places left
Duffield Castle was once one of England's largest castles, dominating Derwent Valley. The site is now an unremarkable National Trust property, but fear not, there is so much more to this walk within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, only 8 km (5 miles) north of Derby. The market town of Belper is located nearby.
The area is full of heritage from the Industrial Revolution: factory mills, a colour works, brick yard, and period cottages from a bygone age. Two local corn mills are listed in the Doomsday Book of 1086.
We walk part of the Derbyshire Portway, an ancient trackway that runs for over 40 miles through the Peak District, and past a firing range used during the Napoleonic Wars.
The once mighty Midland Railway carved its way through the valley in 1840, and the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway still steams its way on a heritage line between Duffield and Wirksworth.
Distance 12.5 km (7.8 miles). Total ascent 292 m (958 feet). Approximately 5.5 hours.
Well-controlled dogs are welcome but please keep dogs under control at all times.
All images taken by the event leader with permission for ODL use.
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Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who has recently tested positive for Covid-19, is asked not to attend.
What to bring
Suitable well-fitted walking footwear is most important to keep you safe and comfortable. Sturdy trainers with cushioned soles and a good grip are often suitable but proper walking boots or shoes in wet conditions or on uneven ground are preferable. Smooth soles with no grip are not suitable. Thick, well-fitted socks cushion your feet, help to keep you dry, and prevent blisters.
Layers of clothing you can easily put on and take off according to changing temperature and weather conditions help to keep you warm and comfortable. Choose a base layer (vest or t-shirt), a mid layer (micro-fleece or long-sleeved shirt), and in cooler weather add an outer layer (windproof jacket or thick fleece). Breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry more quickly. Synthetic trousers are lighter and dry quicker than denim. Large pockets are useful. Avoid jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, and take ages to dry out. On warm days shorts may be suitable, but consider rough foliage such as brambles or nettles on some routes. Check for ticks when walking through long grass, etc. with bare legs. A hat or cap keeps your head and eyes shaded in direct sun. Sunglasses protect your eyes from glare and make it easier to see where you are going. Sun block is advisable during prolonged exposure. In colder weather or a biting wind, a hat, scarf and gloves are essential.
Bring waterproofs to stay dry in wet weather. Water resistant fabric loses effectiveness over time. It will need to be re-proofed or replaced periodically. Bring a towel and a set of dry clothes to change into if possible. A backpack rain cover helps to keep belongings dry. Gaiters are optional and help to keep lower legs and feet dry. An umbrella is impractical while walking.
A comfortable backpack of 20 to 30-litre capacity, allowing you to use your arms freely, is suitable for most day walks.
Walking sticks are optional and may assist when climbing or descending, or on uneven ground.
Bring any essential medicine you may need during the day for hay-fever, diabetes, or any on-going ailments or conditions.
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch. Bring at least one litre of water and any preferred drinks, food and snacks to keep you going during the day.
We have the option to stop at a pub in Milford about half way through the walk.