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Towns and villages
Duffield Castle (left) was one of England's largest medieval castles, destroyed in 1266, now just a few foundations remain, (National Trust, free, always open). Not much to see, but interesting for a short visit. There are plans for some minor enhancements, to provide information boards. To get there from the village (junction of Town Street / Tamworth Street), walk North along Milford Road for 600 yards, pass Castle Hill on the left and then turn up inconspicuous steps on the left (easily missed), if you reach Avenue Road then you have gone too far!
The grand Kedleston Hall, home of the Curzon family for 800 years, is just two miles away (National Trust).
There are a few cafés, pubs and shops along and just off Town Street before setting off. The Weston Centre on the right off Tamworth Street (and adjacent to the Viceroy Restaurant), is a day centre for elderly people and also serves as a village hall, where coffee is available 10.00 am to 12.00 noon Mondays to Fridays, everyone welcome, and ideal for a quick drink before setting off.
A quiet and pretty village. No facilities.
The route passes between, and a short distance from, Cowers Lane (East along the A517) and Turnditch (West along the A517). Cowers Lane is little more than a road junction where the A517 and B5023 cross, and where you can catch the bus to Duffield or Wirksworth; the adjacent Railway Inn serves meals (carvery) at lunchtime. Turnditch is a village strung out along the A517; there are two pubs, the Cross Keys near to the route and the Tiger at the far end of the village. Shottle Station is also on the A517; (note: entrance is on the SOUTH side of the road although the station is on the North side; coming from Duffield turn right off the path onto the A517, then after 100 yards right again down steps to go under the road).
This is just over halfway along the route. The walk does not pass through the village, but it is just a short detour. There is a small village shop, no pub or café. The walk goes very close to the railway station; continue past the station to the main road for the village and buses.
If you get this far you have finished the walk!
Wirksworth is the oldest recorded town in the Peak District, with a charter dating back to 835. Probably a Roman settlement originally, it developed as a major centre for mining and stone quarries. St Mary's Church dates from around 650.
Try to allow some time to explore the backstreets, also the Heritage Centre (open in Summer). The railway station, base of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, is worth visiting (even if you are not catching the train). There is a market on Tuesdays; the market charter was granted in 1306. And there are numerous cafés, pubs and restaurants.
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