Why not take a nice stroll through the countryside at the Midland Railway – Butterley. With its wildlife, industrial heritage and views of passing trains, we would definitely recommend it.
35 Acre Country Park
A walk through the Country Park will reveal an area that has remained hidden and unspoilt with glimpses of an industrial past. The remains of old collieries, tramways, reservoirs, the Cromford Canal with its Butterley Tunnel and the abandoned village of Grumblethorpe have merged with the natural landscape and are waiting to be re-discovered.
A Range of Wildlife
Throughout the year you will see changes in the wildlife from bluebells, celandines, trees in full leaf, meadow flowers and birdsong in spring/summer, to autumn leaves, wild fruits, and animals scavenging and fallen leaves in autumn/winter. This is truly a place to relax and unwind.
Our Suggested Route
- The paths lead round the park in various routes. We suggest that you take the lower path over the stream, looking at the culverts under the railway and from the mines that used to be in this area.
- Through the wooded area the path rises slightly over a hump that is the route of a Plateway, a very early railway similar to the Little Eaton line featured in the Matthew Kirtley Building. On to the open grassland look out for butterflies and wildfowl in the nearby pond.
- Carry on alongside the railway past the marshy area, past the oak trees and through the narrow section of path that is next to a long disused colliery tip. Nature has reclaimed this into a very attractive hillside. Where the path opens up you may spot some of the remains of Grumblethorpe Colliery abandoned long before the railway was built in 1875. You may also spot the remains of wooden planks that were used to build up the sides of a reservoir that was built to feed the Cromford Canal.
- The path then follows the course of the plateway that linked Gumblethorpe Colliery with the canal and rises over a reclaimed tip. Taking the left hand path at the top of the hill leads through the Golden Valley Woodland Burial Ground. Here you can cross the new footbridge over the railway and up through a wooded valley that was purchased by the Midland Railway Trust thanks to an award from the Big Lottery Peoples Millions scheme. The Bluebells in spring are a great sight.
- You can walk through the wood to the Newlands Road and then turn round to retrace your route through the Burial Ground down the steps and along the path to the Newlands Inn Station of the Golden Valley Light Railway.
- Walk round the end of the railway and down the path to the Cromford Canal. Here was a wharf where boats were loaded with coal from the local pits and where boats waited for their turn to pass through the Butterley Tunnel. The horses were taken off and walked over the hill on the Coach Road above. The barges were “Legged” through the tunnel by men lying on planks across the boat and walking along the tunnel sides. “Leggers” could be hired from the nearby Newlands Inn.
- You can now retrace your steps through the park or return by narrow gauge train.