Daniel Hays

A short 3.5 mile circular walk around the hill of Daniel Hays in South Derbyshire.


This lovely and interesting short walk takes you in an anti-clockwise direction around the hill of Daniel Hays in South Derbyshire.  It traverses under the hill via an ancient farm road that dates back to the 13c’, from this farm track you descend down into the beautiful old mixed  woodlands of Sharps Bottom, to eventually climb back up to your car past the old picturesque farm
Of Daniel Hays.

Daniel Hays hill and farm have a pedigree going back some 8000 years to the Mesolithic period, on through to the Romans, the Middle Ages and up to the present day.

This is a super walk and is one of my favourite walks in the Region.

The walk starts from the lay-by/parking area at the top of the Ticknal Pistern Hills. There’s limited parking so take care not to block gateways.

Map OS Explorer 245. The National Forest. SK 208 346

In the text you will see YFPM, this is short for yellow footpath marker.

Please close all gates and make sure that they are securely fastened.

Obey the signs to keep all dogs on the lead !


All dogs mean all dogs not just the badly behaved ones

Food and Drink

The  Smisby Arms pub in the village of Smisby does food and there are three pubs in Ticknal that also does food.  The Staff of Life, the Wheel and the Checkers Inn.  In addition, the four-star village shop in Ticknal serves tea, sandwiches and light meals.

The Walk


Leave the parking area and pass through the wicket gate to the right of the barrier across the entrance to Green Lane.
Walk down this lovely tree-lined and shady lane in a northerly direction for a good half mile or so with good views through the hedge to your right over North West Leicestershire towards Breedon Hill and Charnwood Forest.  


When you arrive at a second metal barrier walk around this and to its left in the hedgerow you will see a post marking the start of a footpath, YFPM’ on the five-bar gate next to it.


Take the footpath between the hedges, {this section can be very overgrown with nettles etc and it may be better to wait until the end of July when the path has normally been mown}.  Keep going as the path bends first to the left and then back to the right between the hedges, to descend steeply downhill until you arrive at a large gate in the deer fence, marked with a dog on the lead sign.  Pass through the gate into the field noting to the left down by your feet an old metal Badger gate in the rabbit-proof fence.  If you look you’ll see that the Badgers have chosen to ignore it and made their own way through by the side of it. 

On entering the large open meadow that lies on the flank of Daniel Hays hill, walk straight ahead keeping the hedge to your right towards a group of large old Oaks and Sycamores, with some smaller more recently planted Oak saplings nearby, walk to the right of these sticking close to the hedge line.

It’s here that you will join the start of the 13th c’ road that skirts the bottom of Daniel Hays hill.  Follow the ride for 100m or so until you see a metal footpath gate in the deer fence to your right and a brass information plaque set in the bank to your left.


It’s worth lingering here and contemplating on the history and uses that
Daniel Hayes has been put to over the last 8000 years 

Ignoring the metal gate, keep walking along the ancient roadway below the Gorse covered hillside for 80m or so to pass through a metal farm gate crossing the track.  {overgrown stile to its left}  Continue for 1/4 of a mile until you arrive at a wooden five-bar gate, go through this to pass through a second one immediately opposite.
Walk on for about 1/8th of a mile, ignoring two gates on the right until you see a stile in the hedgerow to your right.  Yellow sign warning you to keep dogs on the lead.  Leave the track, cross the stile and enter the meadow.

The next part of the walk is a really pleasant section.  leading you, through the lovely shady and sun-dappled rides under the old woodland canopy of Sharps Bottoms.

Walk down the field towards the woodlands and keeping the hedge line to your left, pass by a gateway to arrive at the meadows far left-hand corner.


There you will find a five-bar gate with a stile to its left YFPM’ and a small circular sign telling you that you are on part of the South Derbyshire Circular route.

Cross over the stile and walk down into the woodland passing a small pond on your left, follow the ride as it bends to the right until you see a YFPM’ on the left.
 Walkthrough the now mature woodland to the boggy bottom of the wood to cross over a bridge/walkway, the ride rises from this point to take you beneath some fine mature Sweet Chestnut trees.  Walk on under the Chestnuts as the ride gently bends to the left skirting Sharps Bottom to pass by an old lorry container, this is presumably used as a woodland hut/store by the gamekeepers.  Eventually, you will come to a fork in the ride, from here you take the left-hand branch, down then up passing a five/bar gate to re-join the ancient stone roadway that you left earlier.
A very pleasant section of the walk.


Turn right and follow the stone track uphill to a left-hand bend.  On the bend and to your right you will see a five/bar gate with a YFPS sign on it.  If you look over the gate and to your left, sticking above the hedge you can see the roof of a wooden gazebo, this sits by the pond in the garden of Daniel Hays farm.
Pass through the gate, stick close to the hedge and after about 30m on your left you will see a wicket gate.  Go through this and walk around the perimeter of the garden keeping close to the hedge line with views of the pond and garden over the hedge.  Soon you will arrive at a five/bar gate with a wicket gate to its left, go through this on to the farm drive.

Turn right and walk along the drive to a large five/bar gate across the track.  Hidden in the hedge/wooden fence to its right is a metal footpath gate, pass through it to re-join the drive, walk the remaining few yards to the road turn left and in 50m you will arrive back at your car.    










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