Coton circular walk

This gentle 6-mile walk links six young woodlands in the attractive rolling landscape of the Mease Lowlands.

Along the way, you will witness the distinguishing features and rich history of each woodland, from the remanence of a historical lane at Coton Wood to the remains of a former mineral railway, signs of a medieval ridge and furrow at Top Wood, to the Noon Column in the open glade at Grangewood. If you visit on a sunny day you will witness the rays of sun at true noon each day.


  • Cycle Trails
  • Parking
  • Picnic Area
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets
  • Walking Trails

Location Map

Lullington Road, Coton-in-the-Elms, DE12 8EP Coton in the Elms Derbyshire


Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)
Time: Allow 2.5 hours

OS Grid Ref: SK245148
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Use with map OS Explorer 245 The National Forest
Walk type Medium Walks

Points of Interest

Coton Wood

Coton Wood was planted on former farmland by the Woodland Trust in 1994. The main species you will notice here, are oak, ash, field maple, hawthorn, cherry and other native trees and shrubs, though the most significant feature of the site is the old hedgerows which pre-date the planting of the existing wood. These include the “procession way” which is thought to be the remnant of an historical lane, used as far back as the Black Death for moving plague victims to the nearest church burial ground. Before the Church at Coton was built, the dead from the village were carried to Lullington for burial where they passed under a curve of tree boughs known as the ‘Devil’s Arches’, also known as The Coffin Route.


Grangewood is a 100 acre broad-leaved and conifer woodland, with footpaths defined by mowed trails – a popular place for both horse riders and fisherman.

The woodland is well established and provides a good habitat for a variety of wildlife. Natural regeneration from the adjacent ancient wood and The Ashes ensures the extension of these two valuable woodlands into the new woodland. The woodland is linked by footpaths and bridleways by the neighbouring Top Tree and Longclose woods.


Top Wood was originally made up of a mix of agricultural uses, numerous ponds and some small copses. Look closely and you may find the remains of a former mineral railway line and signs of medieval ridge and furrow. The woodland acts as an important buffer for the surrounding ancient woodland. The planted trees are helping to facilitate the gradual movement of ancient woodland species.

Beehive Woodland Lakes

Behive Woodland lakes lie in the most southerly part of rural Derbyshire and are the perfect way to witness a very special corner of the National Forest. With over 66 acres of woodland and three lakes, the site is a haven for wildlife. An osier bed has been created in a wetland area and ditches and scrapes provide habitat for dragonflies. Since the first plantings in 1995, the site has developed very good wildlife interest on what was arable farmland.