Derbyshire Walk: Staunton Harold Reservoir to Calke Abbey


5:55 PM December 21, 2021

Explore the centuries-old Calke oaks and new plantations of the National Forest

It is surely one of the most beautiful walks in the National Forest.

In comparison with the new plantings, Calke Abbey has century-old trees, some of the oldest oaks in the country.

The walk follows part of the National Forest Way and combines a reservoir, estate ponds, parks, forests and rolling farmland with stunning views of the Trent Valley.

Set aside a full day to explore Calke Abbey House and Gardens, the Estate Village of Ticknall and the facilities at the Severn Trent Visitor Center.

At the edge of Ticknall
– Credit: Helen Moat


1. From the parking lot at the north end of the reservoir, head southwest through the woods to join the asphalt road past the sailing club. Look for ducks, grebes, geese, cormorants and terns on the water as you continue to Broadstone Lane.

2. Turn right onto the lane a short distance and follow the sign for “Calke Walks & Oaks and Oaklands Walk”, down into a field. At the bottom of the valley, cross the footbridge over the stream to go up on the other side.

3. At the stone wall, turn left along the perimeter of two fields and to the edge of Calke Park, enjoying the now distant view of the Staunton Harold Reservoir with the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station and the East Midlands Airport control tower beyond.

4. Enter Calke Park through a wooden gate and turn left, then right shortly after to descend through the woods, part of Calke’s deer park with a herd of over a hundred deer and deer. fallow deer.

Follow the edge of Mere Pond to the main car park at Calke Abbey. Here you can take a break for refreshments and, weather permitting, explore Calke Abbey.

Calke Abbey Fishing Pond

Calke Abbey Fishing Pond
– Credit: Helen Moat

The National Trust left the “non-stately home” in the negligent state of buying it from the cash-strapped Harpur family. Towards the end of the parking lot, turn right to continue along Thatch House Pond.

5. Between Thatch House Pond and Betty’s Pond, turn left. Cross the gravel track to continue straight. (A detour to the right will take you to the Old Man of Calke, an old oak tree believed to be around 1,200 years old), then a grassy park – a riot of fall color.

At Lime Avenue, cross the road and take the northbound path along the streetcar to Ticknall, a good spot for a pub lunch.

6. Turn right on Main Street and take the path across a small green (just before the bridge) to a door at an information sign. Cross over and where the path splits, turn right to follow the edge of the woods, crossing a field before entering Vees Wood.

When you reach a forest track, turn right to walk along the north end of Vees Wood, then farmland to the A514.

Water tower at Staunton reservoir

Water tower at Staunton reservoir
– Credit: Helen Moat

Cross the road and continue along the bridle path bordering Nut Wood and other farmland before reaching St Brides. It is believed that an Irish missionary founded a religious house here.

7. Continue straight on the path to the farm entrance to follow the enclosed grassy path downhill, then up to Ridings Bank, emerging at a crossroads – The Common, Cockshut Lane and the B587.

Walk down Robinson’s Hill, signposted the reservoir, then turn right at Shaw House to follow a path between the hedges. Leave the path at the tower windmill and go down to the reservoir parking lot.


Operating system card

Operating system card
– Credit: Ordnance Survey

Starting point: SK3777, 2447

Parking: Staunton Harold Visitor Hub (£ 3 for a day ticket)

Map: OS Explorer map 245, La forêt nationale

Terrain: Gentle climbs and descents through woods, estates and farmland.

Distance: 5.25 miles

Refreshments: The Hub Café, Staunton Harold Reservoir, Calke Abbey and the Ticknall pubs


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