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LDPs Regional Summary

East Central England

Walking Routes & Trail-miles: 99 main routes / 8479 miles - 40 waymarked / 3769 miles

Areas: Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire

National Parks: Peak District

Principal AONBs: Lincolnshire Wolds

World Heritage Sites: Derwent Valley Mills

European Long Distance Paths (E-Routes): E2 variant: Middleton in Teesdale to Dover, E2 variant: Middleton in Teesdale to Harwich

National Walking Trails: Pennine Way (part), Pennine Bridleway (part)

Resident population: 3 million

Regional Trails Summary - East Central England

For walkers this area's highlight is the Peak District National Park, with the landscapes of the northern gritstone Dark Peak - peat-covered hills reaching 2000ft on Kinder Scout with narrow 'cloughs' (valleys) - contrasting with the rolling southern limestone White Peak, cut by steep dales. Reservoirs are a feature of the Dark Peak, which is drained by the Derwent and its tributaries south into the River Trent. The Trent itself then flows northwards across Nottinghamshire and along the Lincolnshire borders. These lowlands are fertile agricultural lands. Here coal measures were the original basis for the prosperity of the now densely populated, gently undulating areas in and around the Trent valley, forming the basis for past industries. North of Nottingham are the forests of Sherwood with conifer plantations. Towards the Lincolnshire coast are the rolling chalk Lincolnshire Wolds, falling away to the flat, cultivated coastal plain that offers fine wetland habitats for wildfowl. The south of Lincolnshire comprises the often-wooded limestone-based Kesteven Plateau, while around The Wash are the fenlands, flat, low-lying terrain, rich agriculturally, with many straight, canalised drainage channels, but with sparse woodlands. The Wash itself is the UK's largest estuarine system, with extensive sandflats supporting migrating wildfowl. The Welland, Glen and Witham rivers drain into The Wash from Lincolnshire.

Two related National Trails start in Derbyshire. From the Dark Peak the Pennine Way National Trail, heads north onto Kinder on its long journey along the central upland spine of England, while its new sister route, the multi-user Pennine Bridleway National Trail, designed specifically for horse riders and mountain bikers, runs parallel. The Trespass Trail follows in the footsteps of the 1932 Kinder Scout mass trespassers, up onto Kinder Scout.

Routes following landscape features include the Limestone Way, a White Peak route through the heart of the Derbyshire limestone dales. One of Britain's main charity routes, Macmillan Way - Boston to Abbotsbury, raises funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and traces the oolitic limestone belt that soon starts to outcrop in Rockingham Forest (in Northamptonshire). The Nev Cole Way passes from the Jurassic scarp overlooking the River Trent and visits the Lincolnshire Wolds. The Wanderlust Way is another Lincolnshire Wolds circuit. Tops of the North (Three Shire Heads to Carlisle) is based on the county tops (old and new) of northern England. The long Inn the Peak District heads through the Peak District, taking in many 'edges' and passing 53 traditional country pubs.

Easy Canal towpath walking is available on the Derby Canal Ring on the Derby, Erewash and Trent & Mersey canals. The Cuckoo Walk is on the 220-year-old Chesterfield Canal, the 'Cuckoo Dyke'. Grantham Canal provides walks along this towpath. Other easy walking opportunities on former railway lines include the White Peak Trails that include the Monsal Trail.

There are heritage routes and numerous routes around boroughs and towns. The Robin Hood Way features areas of Nottingham associated with this legendary figure. The Danelaw Way links the two 'burghs' of the ancient Viking Danelaw: Lincoln and Stamford. The Viking Way crosses an area once occupied by Norse invaders. The now disbanded Derbyshire Footpaths Preservation Society established the Centenary Way (Derbyshire) for their centenary. The Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk celebrates the Ramblers' Diamond Jubilee and the Prince's 1745 walk. The Chesterfield Round Walk tours the town's outskirts. Dronfield's 2000 Rotary Walk was this town's Millennium walking project. The Sheffield Country Walk tours around the outskirts of the city. The Lindsey Loop links six market towns, visiting the hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The South Kesteven Round route circles around this district, while Spires and Steeples Arts & Heritage Trail crosses North Kesteven discovering its artistic and historical heritage.

The Derwent Valley Heritage Way takes in a World Heritage Site in the Derwent Valley, birthplace of the water-powered system for making textiles.

There are many Anytime Challenges with just a small selection listed here. Ken Jones supplies seven: Dam Long Walk, Dark Peak Snake, Dark Peak Stones, Derwent Valley Skyline, Kinder Dozen Challenge, Kinder Killer, and Round the Reservoirs. Martyn Bishop has the Bourne Blunder and Tennyson Twenty. Also represented are Keith Bown with the three Three Feathers Walks, Vic Cox with the Bell Walk Major, Bob Garlick has the Derbyshire Dawdle, Dave Irons provides the Dark Peak Boundary Walk, the LDWA Vermuyden Group offer the Vermuyden Way, Brian Smailes has the Derbyshire Top Ten.

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