Exploring ancient trackways through farmland between Holmesfield and Barlow
We parked at the side of the road by the telephone exchange in Cartledge, a small hamlet just south of Holmesfield.
We headed southwest through the hamlet before entering the old gravelled lane heading downhill.
This lane now serves as access to the farm fields on each side, as well as a bridleway, but clearly was once the main route across the valley towards Barlow and the north side of Chesterfield, judging by how it has sunken below the surrounding fields.
Having said that, as we approached Great Brind Wood the lane turned into a narrow path through the centre of what is now the hedgerow, although looking hard signs of former glory remain.
At the end of the track we then turned left onto a footpath that took us down past a very nice house, behind their garage and up the bank to the minor road.
Crossing the road, we entered another lane before entering a footpath on the right that continued us on our way downhill towards Barlow.
As the path levelled out we came across a series of fishing ponds along the valley bottom, and we walked parallel to these before passing through a small stand of trees and then entering a field edge footpath. Bit muddy, as we were forced to stay on the path by a fence.
We left the footpath by a collection of agricultural buildings and then started to walk uphill along the private driveway to Monkwood Farm, which has public right of way on it.
Passing the farm we passed into a very pleasant mixed wood which runs alongside the Unstone Bypass - the main A61 route between Sheffield and Chesterfield.
The track took us close to the footbridge that gives acess to the paths on the other side of the bypass, but we veered towads the north east leaving the wood on another drive which took us down to the minor road.
We then went behind Greenfield Farm on a network of well marked footpaths to Cowley Hall, and then across the fields back to Cartledge and the ca, arriving back at the same time as the rain!
Date Walked: 18Nov13
Distance: 5.6 miles