Average Time: 60 minutes
Type of Walking: Forest Tracks and public footpaths, very short section of lane. Muddy after wet weather, appropriate footwear advised
Refreshments Available: No
Starting Point: The walk starts from the car park at the entrance to Jackson's Bank which is accessed Brackenhurst Road, just off the A515 and close to Hoar Cross. The postcode for sat nav users is DE13 8RG.
Published date: 27th June 2018
Needwood and South Derbyshire Claylands Noon Column
Leave the car park via a small wooden gate by the metal barrier leading onto a wide track into the forest. On your right is the picnic area, the noon column is on your left.
Walk straight ahead down the main track ignoring any small paths that lead off into the woodland. After a while you will arrive at a fork in the track - bear left. Your path drops downhill and, shortly after it starts to level out, you need to bear left onto a narrow path going through a gap in the hedgerow to come out beside a small building. Here you join the end of the access road for a dwelling on your right. Follow this access road down to a ford with a footbridge on either side.
Take either of the bridges across the stream onto the lane on the far side. Turn right and walk along the lane for about 200 yards until you see a wooden footpath arrow leading off to your right. Follow this arrow through a small wooden gate and over another bridge, taking you back across the same stream and into a field.
When I went this field had been recently grazed and was deeply rutted where the cattle had been - expect it to be muddy after wet weather. The path goes through the gateway immediately ahead of you and then continues straight up the field. Once you get to the far end of the field you will find the next footpath marker, telling you that you are now on the Kissing Gate walk. Go through the small gate next to the marker, back into the woodland.
On your left you will see a pond - bear left to reach it and then bear right so that you are walking around the right bank to the far end where water flows in. At this point turn right and go up a wide set of steps set into the slope.
At the top of the steps is a junction of paths - turn left and walk a short way up towards a metal gate at the woodland edge. Just before reaching the gate there is a narrow track leading off to your right into the woodland. Take this track and follow it as it meanders along, always fairly close to the edge of the woodland, with fields visible through the trees on your left. Once you start to glimpse the picnic area ahead of you bear right and drop down to rejoin the main forest track from the start of your walk. Turn left on this track to pass back by the Noon Column and return to the car park.