In the first of what may become a series, known as 'Interesting places in Chesterfield not normally known', we take a look at some of the lesser known attractions and places of interest in and around Chesterfield.
Today's featured attraction is Westwood, Brimington.
Westwood is an area of woodland situated on the east side of Chesterfield, just south of Brimington and west of Inkersall, running adjacent to Manor Road.
An aerial view of Westwood
It is defined as 'ancient woodland' which legally speaking means that its existence predates the year 1600. Today just 2.5% of the UK's total land space has this designation.
Westwood has a series of interconnecting public footpaths which run through it providing many circuits and trails for people to follow, many of which are popular with local dog walkers.
Fortunately, as we are now in spring the ground underfoot is currently dry, which makes it much more conducive to walking. spring and summer tend to be the best times to visit the wood as during the winter months the footpaths can become wet and boggy.
Bridge over Trough Brook
At the time of writing (April), most of the trees have yet to bear leaves
As is evident in the pictures, leaves have still yet to appear on most of the trees as we are still in mid-spring. Although because of the contrast this creates it can be an interesting place to visit throughout different times of year to see the changes; notably spring, summer and (if you don't mind too much mud) autumn.
The wood is easily accessible from Brimington, Brimington Common and Inkersall; with footpaths located on Westwood Lane in Brimington Common, Bamford Road in Inkersall, Ringwood Road in Brimington and Ringwood Park among other places.
Access to the wood from Westwood Lane, Brimington Common
View of the wood from a footpath off Manor Road
We are fortunate in that the east side of Chesterfield still retains a rural feel to much of it, with green spaces in between the suburbs and villages that comprise it. Westwood is a testament to this and provides an opportunity to visit a local countryside space without having to leave the town. It's definitely worth a visit and is a great place to take children or walk with dogs if you want a change from conventional public parks. It is also great for birdwatching and observing the resident wildlife.
A suggested linear walking route would be to begin at Westwood Road and head North through the wood, leaving via the footpath at Ringwood Road. Although the choice of footpaths allows people to plan out their own routes and a lot of enjoyment can be found in exploring the different trails.