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Hatton Village and the Salt Brook Heritage Trail

This walk passes Marston and Hilton Church, goes through Marston fields and includes the very interesting Salt Brook Heritage Trail. It then goes into Hatton village, and returns through agricultural land over Shotwood Hill and into Rolleston. It is about 6 miles (9 km) long.

Begin your walk at the Lychgate at the entrance to Rolleston Church.

  1. Cross the road and turn right on the pavement. Follow the pavement as it bends left into Brookside. Walk along the left hand side of Brookside until you see a fingerpost on your left marked “Public footpath Marston Lane” (footpath 7).  Go left here. Follow the track to reach a gate. Pass through it and enter a field with farm buildings on the right hand side. The path swings slightly to the left leading to a second gate. Go through this and follow the footpath in the same direction towards a gate on the far side. Go through the gate and exit onto Marston Lane.
  2. Go right and walk down this quiet lane for around one mile (1.6 km). You cross the River Dove, then the Derby to Crew railway line.  Soon you reach some derelict farm buildings on your left. Immediately after these you will see, on your right a sign saying “Dove Bank Farm”. On the opposite side of the road is a stile. Go over the stile and cross the field in the direction of the yellow arrow. This will take you to the far right hand corner of the field next to Marston and Hilton Churchyard, where you will find a stile. The field dips sharply in the middle. This are can be wet and boggy, if it is go right of a clump if trees and then rejoin the path after the dip.
  3. Go over the stile and join a very quiet tarmac country lane. Turn left  and you are now outside Marston and Hilton Church. This is a grade one listed building dating from the 13th century. It was restored between 1927 and 1929. It contains a pipe organ dating from the 17th century and has the oldest bell in Derbyshire dating back to 1366. You will see Nestle Coffee Factory in the distance at the end of this lane. Follow the lane going through a gate alongside a cattle grid. As you near the Nestle Factory you can see the ruins of Tutbury castle just to the left of the Factory. Originally a Norman Castle it was destroyed in 1264 in a rebellion against the crown. it was repaired in the 1300s as a residential castle but finally destroyed at the end of the English civil war in the mid 17th century. Its main claim to fame is that Mary Queen of Scots stayed their during her imprisonment by Elizabeth 1st.  At the end of the lane go through a gate to the left of a cattle grid. Walk approximately 10 paces and then turn right and go through one of two gates: one wooden and one metal. You are now on the Salt Brook Heritage Trail which was first opened in 2018.
  4. This trail traverses around Nestle and has been created with wild life in mind. There is a brook on you right and wildflower area within the Nestle grounds on your left. You soon reach four Information Boards which are well worth stopping to read. You follow this trail for about half a mile. Where it splits, you can take either route. The right-hand side path is more open and, if you take this path, you soon reach a concrete path alongside an open field with new tree plantings.
  5. You soon cross a metal barrier and after about 22 yards (20 m) exit the trail onto a street. Follow the pavement down to the end of the street to a T junction with All Saints Church on the opposite side of the road. Turn left here and follow the pavement through Hatton village first passing shops, then the entrance to the Nestle factory which was first opened in 1901 to produce tinned milk. It now produces enough coffee for four million people on a daily basis. Cross the railway line to reach the Dove bridge where you may wish to cross over, as the pavement is very narrow. Go over the bridge and, on the left, immediately after the “Welcome to Staffordshire” sign, there is a footpath finger post. Take this footpath going over a stile and descending a few steps into a field with the Fire Station on your right and the river Dove on your left.
  6. Your ongoing path is clear here. At first you pass through a small area of wilderness but soon you enter a number of cultivated fields. You swing away from the river and soon cross a track into a second large field. Carry on through this and at the end, go through a gap in the hedge to reach a third field. At the end of this field you reach a metal bridge with gates on either end. Go over this and enter a grassy area. Bear left here and aim for where a fence meets a hedge. Here you will find two stiles which you go over to reach Cornmill Lane. Turn left here and you soon pass Tutbury Old Mill on your left. Mills have stood on this site since medieval times and are mentioned in the Domesday survey. There are remains of a timber framed cottage on site. The corn mill was converted into a tannery in 1914 then a shopping outlet and hotel in 1983. It was made into a residential home in the late 1990s. As the road goes uphill you will see a stile with a finger post footpath sign on you left (footpath 4).  Go over the stile and take the right hand footpath. With a wire fence on your left, climb the hill to a stile in the corner of the field. Go over the stile and continue uphill along the right hand side of the field with the hedge on your right.
  7. At the top of the hill you reach a stile. Go over and continue in the same direction, now with the hedge on your left. this is a wonderful site for meadow brown butterflies which can be seen in abundance at the right time of year. At the bottom of the hill, go over a stile onto a wide track (footpath 3). Follow this track for about 275 yards (250 m) until it bends to the right. Here you will see a stile in the hedge on your left (footpath 2). Go over the stile to enter a field and continue in a straight line with the field’s edge on your left. Exit the field at the far end over a stile onto a tarmac path through Rolleston Caravan Park.  Leave the Caravan Park and join Marston Lane.  Cross the road and go right. Follow Marston Lane as it swings to the right and reach a T junction with Church Road. Turn left here and in a few yards you are back at the Church.