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Up Hill - Down Dale. Local Walks
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Issue 13 - Alport Heights

Start: Roadside parking at Belper Lane End (SK 3337 4937)
Route:Belper Lane End - Longwalls Lane - Midshires Way - Alport Heights - Chequer Lane - Hillside - Longwalls Lane - Belper LAne End.
Map: Explorer OL 24: The Peak District White Peak Area & Explorer 259: Derby.
Distance: 5.75 miles
Terrain: Fields, quiet lanes and a lot of squeeze stiles. One potentially tricky muddy section.
Refreshments:The Bulls Head at Belper Lane End or nearby on Belper Lane The Hill Top Inn.
Toilets: None
*Please Note - None of the footpath signs on this walk have potential destinations on them so taking a map is strongly advised.

A gentle walk that heads out to the local landmark of Alport Stone. Heading out from Belper Lane End the views are primarily of the Derwent Valley whilst the return route offers views across the Ecclesbourne Valley. Pick the right day and the views from Alport Heights can extend as far as the Wrekin in Shropshire.

Starting at Belper Lane End find the red phone box which is either downhill from The Bulls Head or uphill from St Faiths Church. Take the footpath opposite the phone box, passing some cottages, to enter a field and head uphill, into a wood, via a stone stile.

Before entering the wood take the time to look around and take in the two different views of the Derwent Valley, one looking northeast towards Ambergate and the other southeast across Belper.

Upon entering the wood immediately turn right and follow the path, alongside the wall, to eventually emerge onto Longwalls Lane. Turn right and follow the lane down to a road. Turn left and walk along the road until just before it swings left you find a footpath sign on the right.

This is the one part of the walk where balancing skills may be required. Having entered the field you may need to balance your way across the uneven stepping-stones in order to get across the small area of marshy/muddy ground. A walking pole would definitely be useful here. Having negotiated this area head diagonally left across the field to find a stile, which is wobbly, just in front of the big tree next to the wall.

Turn left and follow the clear path uphill across fields. After the fourth squeeze stile head for the corner of the wall opposite to follow the signed footpath via yet another squeeze stile into a field. Here you should get your first view of Alport Heights straight ahead of you. Looking around you should also be able to pick out Crich Stand, on the other side of the Derwent Valley.

Continuing straight ahead follow the footpath, passing behind Crowtrees Farm, to find a sign by a gate. Head for the right hand corner on the opposite side of the field to find another squeeze stile. Continue straight on following the hedge on the right to eventually reach a metal gate and a track to a lane.

Cross the lane to take the footpath opposite into a field. Head for the gate opposite on the left to find a track where you turn right. The track quickly disappears, but enter the field on the left via the wooden stile. Head uphill to a squeeze stile near the corner of the wall at the top of the field.

Head diagonally left to find another squeeze stile. When you reach the brow of the hill in the next field turn right to the gate between two stone walls. Keeping the wall to your right continue straight ahead to a squeeze stile. Now head for the footpath sign opposite to emerge onto Peat Lane.

Turn right and then immediately left, along Back Lane, keeping Alport Heights on your left. Shortly after passing a footpath sign on the right take the track on the left up to Alport Heights.

Take the gate by the masts and then turn left to find the topograph and hopefully views of the Wrekin. Having worked out what you can, or maybe canít see, take the path to the left of the topograph down to Alport Stone.

Following the track in front of the stone through the gorse bushes to emerge onto a lane. Turn left to head downhill. At the bottom of the hill turn left along Chequer Lane signed Shottle/Belper. Continue along this lane until your reach the sign for Danah Farm.

At this point the road will swing right but continue straight ahead into Bowmans Lane to find a footpath sign, on the right, into a field. Follow the hedge on the right to a wall into a second field. Enter this ploughed/planted field via a missing gate and turn left to the lane.

Turn right along the lane and take the footpath signed on the left. Cross to the stile on the left, at the corner of a wood. Turn left to follow the wall alongside the wood to another stile on the right, into a field.

Head diagonally right across this field to a squeeze stile in the corner, continue straight ahead to a wooden stile. Turn right to find a squeeze stile halfway along the wall. Once through this head diagonally left to find another squeeze stile by trees.

Go through this and turn left, downhill, by the wall. Pass through another squeeze stile then lookout for a gate in the wall with a gap/stone stile to the right of it. Cross this and continue downhill with the wall now on your right.

Cross a broken stile by Handley Farm and continue downhill until you reach Wilder Brook. Cross the brook and head uphill, keeping close to the right-hand boundary of the field.

At the top of the field exit it via a squeeze stile and turn right to join the track to Hillside. Follow the track, away from the house, to the top of the hill to find yourself back on Longwalls Lane.

Turn left along Longwalls Lane and take the footpath sign on the right into the wood. Continue straight ahead to reach the stone stile out of the wood. Head downhill to Belper Lane End.

Note: We have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the walk is safe and achievable by walkers of a realistic level of fitness. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any injuries caused to readers whilst following the walk. Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
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