Tea for 2 @ Markeaton via Mackworth

Tea for two sounds wonderful, you just have to walk for 5 minutes from the main carpark ( situated across Mcdonalds roundabout ) and you come across the Organery Cafe.

Always nice in there and sometimes used to shelter people who come out for strolls around the park and not expect rain. Come on folks, don’t forget we live in the UK.

First off all lets get to the more serious question in hand, ” who’s paying ??” for the coffee. Silent but deadly, never mind.

Ok, enough goofing around, lets get back to this wonderful park. Located a short 10 minute drive from the centre of Derby. So, you could do some shopping at the INTU and leave a few hours for this relaxing walk. The main car park cost me £3.80 for 2-4 hours, which is perfect for this walk.

So lets begin, after you have paid and displayed, head towards the main recreational area of the park. You past the crazy golf and the tennis courts which are on your left.

A little further down you pass the Organery Cafe, pop in for coffee if you like. We will also be passing this on our final leg. Head towards the small bridge and turn left from there, remember your not crossing the bridge.

On your left will be public toilets, so go now unless you bought a roll with you and I don’t mean a bagel. On your right you will see kids feeding the ducks and running away from the swans , who look beautiful and elegant but have that ‘don’t mess with me look about them’.

Staying on this path and on your left will be the Craft Market entrance, another great place to visit, but not today.

A little further ahead you come to the official ( my official ) point number 1 of this walk.

I will be helping you along this wonderful walk with photos for each point, so use them for reference and hopefully get through to the final point. If not I hope you bought along the roll, I mentioned earlier.

Welcome to Markeaton Park, from the other side.

Walk through the gap and head towards the exit or a some would say ‘ the other entrance to the park’.

There is parking available here but I am not sure if its free or pay and display. A little further along you come across a bend to your left and right. If you still need a coffee or want to grab a couple of water bottles then on your left you will have the Parlour Tearooms. I did have a scone and a cup of tea in there once, it was delicious.

If you all good to continue then head to your right, your on a busy road so be careful when crossing over.

2. Lets get back to the walk, with the tearoom on your left, stay on the right hand bend and cross the road. This can a get a little busy sometimes so be careful when crossing . Unfortunately the footpaths are not the widest so you will be walking behind each other if you haven’t come alone, unlike like me😔.

Staying on the left you will be passing the Scarsdale Vets and the sign for Mundy Play Centre. A little further along you will come across to point number 3.

Point 3 is a sign for Markeaton Stone’s Farm, turn left from here and walk along a semi tarmac path and stop and admire the beautiful horse’s on the field. Just like I did, so here’s a photo.

This is where you leave behind the park and arrive into nature itself. The track becomes a little stony and you have your first gentle climb. My first experience of this walk would have been just before harvest time when the crops on your left were a few feet high.

A few yards ahead you come to a junction from here turn left onto a tarmac path and climbing towards the buildings of Vicarwood Farm.

On this path I came across hundreds, ( perhaps slightly exaggerated ) of birds, I believe they were swallows, ( please email Sir David Attenborough for confirmation, if you come across them). It was a amazing sight, though I was a little hesitant stopping and trying to take a photo. Have you seen, Hitchcocks, The Birds.

After a short stroll you come to the buildings off Vicarwood Farm, on the right side I believe is the main residents but please don’t quote me on that.

‘ I wasn’t too sure if I had to bow down or something if somebody came out. It truly does look amazing ‘.

At the bottom of the lane you come to a gate which is on the left hand side of the stable block, jump over this, joking. Open and walk along another semi grassy, stony track until you reach a second gate and junction. From here take a left and walk along the road, with a gentle climb. I did encounter a few cars, so be careful.

4.Reaching the top you come to a bend on the road with a sign on the left for Meynell Langley Gardens , pay this a place a visit the next time you have time and you won’t be disappointed. Immediately after the sign you come to a gate, enter through this and head down field staying on your right.

Staying on your right, go down towards and under a tree branch arch ( only way to describe it ) and through another small gate, or what’s left of it. I think, I saw it covered under some bushes. So where it does say, ‘ please close the gate ‘, ignore that.

Heading down the field, look across to the left and you will see Vicarwood Farm in the distance.

A little further down, head through another gate and across the field over a wooden footbridge. Just be careful and watch where you are stepping. There are lots of cute lambs to photograph, but don’t get to close Mamma won’t be too happy.

These two were giving me that, ‘ go away look ‘. As I was heading towards the mentioned footbridge, I politely said to one of the Mamma’s, ‘ Hello and I kid you not she stopped, kneeled or nobbled if that is even a word and she relieved herself. Charming Mrs Sheep.

5.Once your over the foot bridge you are onto a second field and parallel to two open gaps/gates on the far side. I have been going through the one on the far left and onto yet another field and through a closed gate straight ahead.

Staying to the right, continue forward and you will see or partly see, its slightly hidden on your right Bowbridge Fields Farm. Your onto a tarmac path, now head down ( left ) towards the end of the path onto the busy A52.

6.Welcome to the A52, stay left and stay safe. This is a busy road, every day of the year so be careful. After a few hundred yards you will walk pass a former diner, which now is a busy hand carwash, stroke car sales showroom.

After around 600 yds, you will see a sign post for Mackworth Village on the opposite side of the road, pointing down towards Jarveys Lane. Go down and up this winding road and enjoy the ruins or remains of Mackworth Castle.

I could only imagine back in the days ( 1495 ) to be precise, thank you Mr google, this being a magnificent home for the Mackworth family.

As you walk down the village lane you will notice the beautifully quaint little cottage’s, which soon disappear and you have a few beautiful modern and stylish detached houses.

7. Towards the bottom of the lane and point 7, the lane turns sharp to the right. Stay left and down a drive towards the church.

Swing past the churchyard gate and cross a stile to follow a field path towards Markeaton.

This leads to another road and with this particular church route you would have already passed Markeaton Crematorium. Perfect.

I’m just going to rewind a little and take you back to the start of point 7(The sharp turn to the right ). Ok, here goes nothing. The two time’s, I have done this walk on both occasions I kid you not, I went straight. Yes straight, no round to the right or sharp left. Just straight over a gate and onto a corn field, where I eventually reached the road mentioned earlier.

This route gives you the experience of walking past the Crematorium. I apologise to the farmer, who’s crops I might have trod on with my size eleven’s. Sorry sir !!

The bit about the church is the actual correct route which I found out after the second time. Hence no lovely close up church photo’s.

I did manage to take one snap from my made up wrong route and I’m quite happy with it.

8. Once onto the road, carefully crossover and head a little further down. Our aim is to get back to the main Markeaton park carpark ( if you parked there ). Walk down until you come across the sign for Orchard campsite. Just before this sign on your right, you will see a gap in the trees. Go through here and you will walk over a small foot bridge.

A little further along this path you will see the entrance to Markeaton gardens, with the Organery cafe a little further on the left. This is a lovely area, it was just after 12.30pm and by now a lot more people were around. Well it was sunny and most are on furlough what else can we do. I spent a good 5 minutes here and took some photo’s of the wonderful carvings and sentimental benches dotted around.

The main carpark is only a short 5 minutes walk from here and I even contemplated having a cuppa for one, but in my experience its always better having ‘ Tea for two ‘.

Take care and keep safe.

Walked 22nd July 2020.

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