What’s so different about these walks?

Most published pub walks cover circular routes set in relatively remote rural areas, such as the Peak National Park and the Lake District. The scenery may be spectacular, but you often have to drive miles to get to the start/finish point which is usually the car park of the one pub featured in the walk. What’s more, you’re often unlikely to encounter other pubs en-route.

The walks described here are different. They’re more flexible and accessible because you can get to alternative start and finish points using cheap and frequent public transport (free for those of a certain age!) and, if you don’t want to walk the entire length, you can return home by bus at one of a number of intermediate points en-route. On each walk, you’ll encounter several good pubs, reasonably evenly spaced, to allow you to enjoy several pints along the way, allowing the calories to be ‘burnt-off’ and helping you arrive home none the worse for wear. What’s more, because of the history and geography of this part of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, on each walk you’ll be able to explore and enjoy a mixture of scenic wildlife areas and important industrial heritage sites.

What’s so special about the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border?

The valleys of the Derwent, Amber, Erewash, Leen and Trent, played an important part in the birth of the industrial revolution. Rich in iron ore, limestone, coal, streams and rivers, these areas of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire saw a rapid increase in the number of blast furnaces, collieries and mills in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The local villages grew in size, and the need to transport workers and goods accelerated the development of canals, railways and tramways.

Most of these old industrial sites have been reclaimed, many as public amenities in the form of parks, wildlife reserves, and walking routes, but many reminders of our industrial heritage, and earlier history, remain. Today, the excellent local bus services, and a network of interconnecting footpaths and cycle routes, ensure that open countryside and wildlife are never far away from the old mining and mill towns. Add in a thriving brewing trade, and the many real-ale pubs that exist today, it’s not surprising that the area provides so much for those who enjoy combining a good walk with a few good pints.

How can you describe these walks as ‘calorie neutral and carbon neutral’?

The ‘carbon neutral’ bit is easy: leave the car at home and go by a combination of walking and public service transport. The ‘calorie neutral’ bit is more complicated, but it’s not rocket science. The number of calories burnt when you walk depends mainly upon how heavy you are, how fast you walk, and the type of ground covered. If you were a man of average weight, walking reasonably briskly, say three miles an hour, over undulating ground, you’d burn about 110 calories every mile. But, because of your basal metabolic rate (BMR), you’d burn about 70 calories an hour just sitting still and relaxing. Taking the BMR into account, the number of calories the actual walking would burn, would be less than 110 calories per mile, something more like 85 calories a mile. The equivalent for a woman of average weight would be approximately 70 calories a mile.

Taking the BMR into account, a man walking briskly would need to cover just over two miles to ‘burn off’ the 180 calories contained in a pint of 4% ABV beer. The equivalent for a woman would be just over two and a half miles. Bearing these figures in mind, and the length of the routes and the number of pubs available, each of the walks featured here is described as either a two, three or four pint walk.