|2. This is the footpath beside Grangewood Road viewed from photograph/location 1. It is following the line of what was once the Nottingham Canal.|
|3. In a couple of places along Grangewood Road there is what I can only describe as 'street sculpture'. It all very attractive in its way. If I had my way I would have a lot more public sculpture in our streets and parks.|
4. Where Grangewood Road meets Latimer Drive you can look across and see this sign. It is the eastern entrance Nottingham Canal Local Nature Reserve and is right on the border between Nottingham City Council and Broxtowe Borough Council.
|5. As you can see there is an excellent footpath which follows the line of the abandoned canal through what is now woodland.|
|6. The footpath follows the line of the canal and this is the first point where there was any water to be seen. Here it passed under the railway line which runs between the Trowell and Radford junctions. In the late-1988s the then British Railways proposed closing the line. Susan and me were part of a successful campaign by Transport 2000 (now the Better Transport campaign) to save the line.|
|7. At the western side of the Nature Reserve you have to cross Coventry Lane to continue following the line of the abandoned canal.|
|8. One of a number of Erewash Valley Trail information boards there are along the walk.|
|9. For a short distance sections of the old Nottingham Canal have water in them. Most of the walk though, the old canal in no more than a depression beside the footpath.|
|10. In places the footpath is slowly becoming a tunnel of greenery.|
|11. This was the first sitting place I came across. I rather like how stone blocks from the canal have been used to create more seating.|
12. The first of two old canal bridges still in situ. It may have once led to a farm marked on a old map as Swancar Farm.
|13. The canal bridge is no longer in use and offers views of the surrounding countryside.|
|14. The branch railway I mentioned under photograph 6 runs to the south of the footpath and just one train trundled by as I walk along. I caught this glimpse of it.|
|15. The first people I met were Millie the dog walking her friend. She had dropped her ball down the bank and I caught them as they struggled back onto the footpath after a unsuccessful search.|
|17. Just by the sign in photograph 16 above, there is this gate to the footpath which wraps around the garden centre.|
|18. On the far side of the garden centre, you come to a footpath crossroads with just two signs, although there are four routes.|
|20. Not far along the footpath there is this sign.|
|21. A few yards further on you come to this pool (or is it a pond?). It is the largest expanse of water you will see on the walk and there is a bench overlooking the pool, which I was sitting on when I took this photograph.|
|23. This section of the footpath runs in a shallow loop between two points on the Nottingham Road and is probably the longest stretch where a clear imprint of the old Nottingham Canal remains.|
|23 extra. Peeping out from among the brambles, across from the footpath, is this warning!|
|25. A rather grubby sign marks the beginning of this section of the footpath on the north side of the Nottingham Road.|
|26. This sign close by is altogether cleaner, although there is evidence to suggest that at least one bird has had a close look.|
|30. The 'Shortcut' footpath leads to a lane, with this railway footbridge opposite.|
|31. As you walk over the footbridge you get this view of the railway heading north towards Chesterfield and Sheffield from Long Eaton to the south. It is a kind of historic railway 'bypass' of sorts, as the main passenger line between these points runs via Derby to the west.|
|31 extra. The footbridge brings you out onto the Ilkeston Road, a few hundred yards away from where the walk ends and, by chance, a Trent-Barton TWO heading towards Wollaton and Nottingham's Victoria Centre Bus Station was coming towards me. Trent-Barton 'brand' many of their bus routes instead of using numbers, although the other two buses I could catch back to Lenton and Nottingham from here both have numbers — the 20 on Sunday and 21 Monday–Saturday (both hourly).|
|32. A couple of hundred yards on the River Erewash is where the Ilkeston Road becomes the Nottingham Road (and vice-versa). The Erewash through Trowell also marks the county boundary between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.|
|33. My walk ended with a real canal — the Erewash Canal. With the amount of debris just visible in the lock it is obvious the gates have not been opened for some time. It is only in recent years that I have walked (and blogged) about this wonderful canal. A forgotten historic gem, at the heart of our industrial past.|
|I suspect that this is the perfect ending for any walk — a good old fashion English pub with real people and real ales. In other places this scene would be full of folk enjoying a chat and a pint in the sunshine, but not this Good Friday afternoon.|
There are walks and places which appear to the unknowing passer-by to be 'nowhere in particular' and this walk could be described as one of those walks. Walking the Erewash Canal is another, but they are my England, the one I love.
Good English local history is like a British postage stamp. I remember asking as a kid why our postage stamps do not bear the name of our country, like other nations' postage stamps? The answers I got was a retort of sorts. "You know who you are don't you? It is an inborn confidence which comes from knowing who and what you are.
On this walk I met one dog and her companion, exchanged greetings with two unknown cyclists and saw a man taking photographs of his daughter in her buggy near Coventry Lane. Otherwise I was in my own world, one full of clues as to what once was and, at times, these feelings were palpable. No walker can ask for more.