The Ecclesbourne Way
The Ecclesbourne Way is a new walking route, following the course of the River Ecclesbourne in Derbyshire. The walk starts in Duffield, a few miles north of Derby, and runs for 11 miles to Wirksworth.
The walk starts in Duffield, and finishes in Wirksworth, following the full length of the Ecclesbourne River upstream. Or you can of course do this in reverse.
The highest point of the route is 768 feet and there are panoramic views from 'Hilltop' at 650 feet.
There is also an optional extension on to Alport Height, at 1,034 feet.
The length of the walk is approximately 11 miles, or 12 miles if including Alport Height.
The route is along footpaths and a few minor roads. Some of the walk is alongside the river, other parts follow and climb up from the valley and away from the river, which allows you to see the spread of the valley from above.
The last section from Idridgehay to Wirksworth is the hilliest.
Overall, please don't expect a flat walk!
At the end, return to Duffield, or Wirksworth (depending on where you started!) by Ecclesbourne Valley Railway heritage train.
Cafés and pubs in Duffield and Wirksworth provide refreshment.
How to walk it
The route can be walked in either direction but it was planned on the basis of going from Duffield to Wirksworth
You can do the whole route as a full day walk. Or you can break it into smaller sections.
Cowers Lane (Shottle) and Idridgehay both have access to EVR trains, so are convenient start/finish points for a section.
Of these, Idridgehay, is a little over halfway, so suitable if you want to break the walk into two sections of similar length; but note that Idridgehay to Wirksworth, although shorter, has more hills.
Take food and drink with you. There are pubs, after five miles, at Cowers Lane and Turnditch; these are the only possibilities for catering, other than the start and finish.
Ensure you have appropriate footwear and clothing, plus adequate sun and rain protection.
Enjoy the walk!