A Walk Through Pleasley Pit Country Park
Admire the engineering wonder of Pleasley Pit and the beautiful Hardwick Hall
This walk passes through Pleasley Pit Country Park before heading west to Hardwick Hall Country Park, following the Oak Walk through woodland then two stretches of converted railway lines back to Pleasley. This route will take around 3 hours, and is 6 miles / 9.7kms. It is just over the Yorkshire border, in Derbyshire – but it’s such a lovely walk we want to include it.
Best for: Anyone with a real interest in the mining history of the region as Pleasley boasts one of the few remaining working winding engines – a truly amazing piece of engineering.
You’ll be surprised: To learn that the historic Pleasley Pit was awarded an English Heritage Angel Award in November 2011, highlighting the Derbyshire site as the finest restored industrial building in the country.
Why you should visit: This walk takes in the engineering wonder of Pleasley Pit, boasting one of the few remaining working winding engines, before heading on to Hardwick Hall – one of the finest Elizabethan country houses in England.
1. Starting at Pleasley Colliery car park, turn right along the road behind the car park, pass through the A-frame in the corner and head for the information panel beside the wood. Enter Pleasley Pit Country Park through the kissing gate and ascend the grassy path alongside the trees. Turn left at the top, from where you should stop for a moment to take in the great view across the area.
2. Turn right along the improved path through the kissing gate and continue alongside the fence on your right, passing the lake. Go straight on at the junction through another kissing gate and follow the path left. Pass between the redundant gateposts and bear right alongside the trees to a kissing gate. Branch left at the seat between hedges and descend the enclosed path. Leave the Country Park, cross over the track and go straight on along the concessionary bridleway waymarked Hardwick Hall. Continue along Dale Lane and turn left at the end into the hamlet of Rowthorne.
3. Turn right through the gate just past Haven Hill on the path signed to Ault Hucknall. The line, which may not be visible, is marked by kissing gates and a solitary tree, beyond which head for the field corner and the next kissing gate. Follow the hedge on your right to the road and turn left.
4. Turn right at the next junction and enter the Hardwick estate, turning left after 200m through the kissing gate, to join the Oak Walk. Head towards the trees, pass to the right of the waymark post and seat and enter the wood.
5. Leave the wood through a kissing gate, turn right and cross the stream to another kissing gate. Continue up the steps and along the edge of the field. Pass through the gate, cross the track and bear slightly left through two avenues of trees, in between which you have a fine view of the Hardwick Hall. Continue to the next kissing gate and enter more woodland. The path is again easy to follow. Turn left at the junction and make the steady climb to the exit. Go left along the track, which then becomes a tarmac lane.
6. Turn left at the footpath sign beside Norwood Barn, cross the field and enter the wood. Leave this at the far end over a footbridge and cross the field on the same line. Pass through the gap and turn right at the far end of the strip of woodland on the Rowthorne Trail, one of the old railway lines serving the pit. After an easy mile, turn right at the sign and join the Teversal Trail and follow this left over the road and at the junction go straight on into Pleasley Pit Country Park.
Approximately 3 hours at a leisurely pace.
Opening hours: All year round
Car parking: Free, onsite at the Pit
Toilets: At the Pit
Café: At the Pit, open 10am – 2pm every day
Dogs: Must be kept on a lead at all times
Accessibility: No footpaths. Access to wheelchairs/prams may be difficult due to the nature of the site. Site assistance available.
Walk courtesy of The Land Trust – follow them on Twitter or Facebook