The Tramway Trail
Starting at Calke Explore, enjoy a leisurely walk or cycle through woodland, farmland and pasture, and discover some of the old horse-drawn tramway that linked Ticknall to Ashby. With a recently extended figure-of-eight route suitable for cyclists and walkers of all ages, you can make your adventure as long as you like.
Please note that from Jan 2021, we will be undertaking tree felling works along the Tramway Trail as part of our management of Ash Dieback. A section of the path will be closed for a short time between points A and B on the map, and we anticipate further works in other areas of the trail this year. We recommend taking the northern loop of the Tramway Trail (towards Ticknall village) to avoid path closures; alternatively, a short diversion may be possible by walking a short distance along the road, although this may not be suitable for all visitors. To find out more about this work, follow the link at the bottom of this page.
Calke Explore car park
At Calke Explore, join the Tramway Trail just beyond the main car park, and then turn left onto the hard path. Here, you’ll find the Tramway Trail map situated to the right of the path.
When you reach the trail map, turn left to follow the path through the woodland. Continue along this path to the end of the woodland, and then up a slight incline towards a gate at Hogg’s Close corner.
A stunning display
In spring, look out for a carpet of stunning bluebells in the woodland. Although we're very familiar with bluebells in Britain, in the rest of Europe they're very rare and not found anywhere else in the world. It's thought that it can take up to 200 years for a continuous carpet of bluebells to develop on undisturbed ground. This slow spread means they are often an indicator of ancient woodland sites. Trampling by animals and people can damage the leaves and seeds of the bluebells, so please stick to the paths on your walk.
At Hogg’s Close corner, pass through the gate and bear left towards the driveway (be aware of cars approaching from the left). Take the track on the right, away from the driveway, with the dry stone wall to your right.
The carriage drive
The track you're now walking along was part of the original driveway, which offered a spectacular view of the house as visitors arrived by carriage. Follow the bend to the left to see the spectacular view. On your right, you'll notice what remains of the deer shelter. It was built here so the deer could be seen from the house, and provided a feeding point for the red and fallow deer. You'll need to retrace your steps back up to the bend in the historic drive - known as Lady's Close Corner - to continue this walk.
Continue until you reach a bend in the track, then look for a gate to your right. Pass through the gate and follow the path until you reach two pedestrian gates near a brick barn. Pass through the gates and continue along the path through farmland and woodland.
When you reach a squeezer stile on your left, do not cross the road but continue along the Tramway Trail to the right, which runs parallel to the road. Eventually, you’ll reach a road crossing. Cross the road and continue along the trail under a small bridge. Please note – this section of the Tramway Trail may be closed for your safety as we undertake vital tree felling works. Please follow the signage in place, and be aware that you may need to turn back at this point.
A single track road
The whole of the tramway was a single track so various passing places were required along the route. This is the most obvious one that remains.
When you reach a sharp bend in the path, continue to your right along the Tramway Trail.
Pass under another small bridge and continue along the trail until you reach a gravel track with some cottages on your right.
For a shorter route, turn right down the gravel track past the cottages, cross the road and pick up the Tramway Trail on the other side of the road. Follow the path until you reach Calke Explore.
Continue along the path until you come to a road crossing. Cross over, then pick up the Tramway trail and continue until you reach a small tunnel. Pass under the tunnel, then continue to follow the path through another gate.
Tunnels and arches
Tunnels and arches were built to help conceal the tramway or allow access to farms. The most important is the cut and cover tunnel under the main drive. This ensured that it was well hidden from those using the carriage to drive to the house.
When you reach another tunnel, take the right-hand pathway up to the trail (do not go under the tunnel this time). Turn right at the top, and pass a pond on your left.
Continue to follow the trail alongside the main driveway until you reach Middle Lodge, where you will find two gates. Pass through the right-hand gate and continue along the hard track until you reach Calke Explore.
Calke Explore car park
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