Derby & South Derbyshire Ramblers

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Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk

Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk

A waymarked route from Ashbourne to Derby to celebrate the 60th anniversary(1995) of the formation of the Ramblers' Association.  This route follows the general direction of Prince Charles Edward Stuart's march from Ashbourne to Derby in 1745, two  hundred and fifty years ago.

This walk was originally published as a leaflet. It was produced with assistance from: .

South Derbyshire District Council, Derbyshire County Council, and Countryside Commission.

A printable version (Adobe PDF) to download right click with your mouse.




A contemporary Ashbourne resident wrote "On Tuesday 3rd December 1745, at night, the vanguard of the rebels came from Leek to Ashbourne. They were in number 2000, horse and foot. On Wednesday morning they proclaimed their Prince at the Market Cross, and then proceeded to Derby."

For complete coverage and to add to the enjoyment of the walk you need three Ordnance Survey Pathfinder maps, 810 ( Ashbourne/ Churnet Valley), 811 (Belper), and 832 (Derby/Etwall). The walk starts in the Derbyshire Dales, goes into South Derbyshire, Amber Valley and finishes in the City of Derby.



The walk starts at the Market Cross in Ashbourne (point 1 on the map), goes downhill to the right into St John's Street. Turn right through the traffic lights into Church Street and go towards the church. Before the church turn left down Station Road, past the swimming pool to the T-junction. Here turn left and almost immediately opposite is a finger post at North Leys which you follow up the steps in front. After crossing the first stile aim for the radio mast and then take the track to the road opposite Peak View Drive.

Take the right fork towards Wyaston as far as Willow Meadow Road where you turn left into the housing estate down to Chestnut Drive. The path goes between no's 23 and 25, over a bridge and up the field to the new Ashbourne by-pass. Cross to the caravan park and go straight across to a cattle grid leading to a wide track through the field. At the edge of the wood bear right over a stile and a stream, and follow the edge of the wood to another stile. Cross the track leading to Blake House and climb over an obvious ladder stile into the field. Keep the hedge on your left until you enter a small plantation. Once out of the wood, aim for the left edge of the wood ahead, then at the corner keep the wood on your right until you come to a stile. Turn right onto the road, and walk towards Osmaston Church, past the Shoulder of Mutton.

At the village pond (point 2, notice the unusual horse-shoe bench), bear left and take the centre track marked "Bridle Path To  Shirley". This is a delightful walk past the pool and the old sawmill to Shirley. Here there is another public house, the Saracen's Head, opposite the church.

From Shirley (point 3), continue ahead and take the right fork marked to Rodsley and Yeaveley. After 300 metres, turn left onto a wide track immediately opposite the Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1855. This track becomes a bridleway, easy to follow, through some gates for 3.3kms to a track leading to Longford Church. Here, turn left down the track to South Lodge, on Long Lane, to Longford.



From Longford (point 4) go straight across, over the bridge, until you see another bridge on your left. The path takes you across two fields to the Ostrich, a welcome rest after three hours of walking.

Retrace your steps back across the bridge, and turn left to rejoin the original route. Walk in the field past the front of Blackwater Cottage and aim for the gate at the comer of Longford Lane. Once on the lane turn off left at the finger post into the field and make for the hedge on your left, along a hard track up to a gate. Keep left of the hedge and soon a stile appears in the hedge on your right. Step over it, and you are in a very large field where some of the field boundaries have disappeared. Aim straight ahead for a gap in the distant hedge, and then up the next field to the road by Crowtrees Farm.

Cross the road, and go through the gate to the left of the tall fir trees. Then bear right to the gap in the hedge and turn left. Follow the hedge for 400 metres, then walk diagonally across the field to the comer of the lane.

Now, go through the gate and turn left down the side of the hedge to a stile, and then to the finger-post on the sky-line at Thurvaston Lane. Cross the lane, climb over the stile in front into a field with more missing hedgerows. Aim for the tree in the middle of the field and continue on this line to the stile in the hedge in front of you. Keep the farm on your right and look for the finger post at Back Lane, Osleston.

You are now close to Osleston Hall. At the lane turn left, and almost immediately turn right over a stile. Fork left down the field - the site of the mediaeval village of Osleston is marked by the presence of earth mounds - to a bridge over the stream. Cross the bridge, fork left to a fence, turn right, and walk slightly to the right of Grange Fields farm. In the field after the farm bear right to a bridge over Nunsclough Brook, and continue straight ahead to the Green at Lees. On the other side of the Green is the Black Cow - another welcome resting point, two hours from Longford.

Leave the Green (point 5) along Radbourne Road, and enter the field at the stile after the last house on the right. Follow the hedge on your left and walk downhill to a gate at the bottom of the field. Bear right, parallel to the stream, go through the gate and across a wooden footbridge. The route now crosses several fields with stiles, the first one near a pylon. Continue in a straight line to reach the road near the village of Radbourne. Here turn left, and then right, at the T junction, as far as the track leading to Radbourne church. The walk now divides. Those who wish to restrict the walk to 22kms may take the track to the church and carry on to the square at Mickleover. See "Radbourne - The Square, Mickleover (3kms)" for directions.


The main walk continues from Radbourne (point 6) to Derby by staying on the road over a little bridge until you reach the finger post pointing diagonally across the field. Then walk uphill to the left of Silverhill Farm buildings. Go over the stile in the hedge behind the oak tree and continue on the diagonal towards the gap in the hedge opposite. Now go to the left of the power line and follow it to the gate. Continue on this line to the stile in the corner by walking parallel to the hedge on the right. Cross this stile and keep the hedge on your left until you come to a bridge. After crossing, bear slightly left and go across two fields to the road, where you turn right and walk on the road as far as Station Road. Just beyond the junction turn left over a stile towards Mackworth Fields Farm and aim for the water tower in a copse and continue on this line down to the A52. Here turn right and almost immediately left at the Mackworth Hotel. Go down through a swing gate to the minor road where you turn right to Mackworth Church. The path leaves the churchyard on its eastern side and over the next three fields is clear to the road. Cross the road and take the walkway opposite leading to the garden centre and the entrance to Markeaton Park.

Walk across the park with the lake on your left and head for the footbridge crossing the busy A38 trunk road. Cross and continue straight ahead, shortly afterwards reaching Markeaton Street. Continue to the junction with Mackworth Road. Turn left, and at the bridge over Markeaton Brook turn right and follow the signposted Markeaton Brook Walkway. At a sheltered housing estate, temporarily part company with the brook, turn sharp left and then right onto Mundy Street. At its junction with Nuns Street turn right and then left onto Mill Street. At the head of Mill Street is St John's church. Walk around the church onto Bridge Street and on the opposite side of the road a signpost will direct you once again beside the brook towards the city centre.

Cross the inner ring road at the traffic lights, past the clinic and the Queen's Leisure Centre and head towards the cathedral. At the traffic lights turn right into Irongate and down to the Market Place (point 7). This is the end of the walk, and well deserved refreshments are available at many nearby hostelries, some 8 hours, allowing for rests, after leaving Ashbourne!

Radbourne - The Square, Mickleover (3kms)

Leave the churchyard at Radbourne (point 6) by the gate, and climb over the stile into Radbourne Park. Follow the drive for a short distance, climb the hill bearing left, and passing in front of a coppice, to a stile and footbridge and onto the road. Opposite you, a stile leads into a field. Cross this field and the next three fields, to the dismantled railway line,  and you will eventually emerge in Greenside Court. Turn right, and follow Ladybank Road to the roundabout, where you turn left for a short distance to the Square at Mickleover (point 8). Public transport is available to return to Derby.

Distance / Time - Walking time only

Time, hours 1 1.75 3 4.25 4.75 7 5.5
Distance, km. 4 7 12 17 19 28 22
Distance, miles 2.5 4.4 7.5 10.6 11.8 17.7 13.7

The Ramblers' Association cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or injury sustained by persons taking part in this walk.

Illustrations by Geoff Lightbown
Friday, January 18, 2019