Walk near Nottingham takes you over a spectacular Victorian viaduct

Sunset at Bennerley ViaductSunset at Bennerley Viaduct
Sunset at Bennerley Viaduct | Geograph / Alan Murray-Rust
You can walk all the way across the Victorian-era viaduct!

Unless you’re a seasoned rambler, this time of year isn’t really conducive to going outside for a brisk walk. 

But despite the miserable weather and short days, it’s still important to exercise as much as possible, even if that’s just a 20-minute walk in the evening. 

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With the official start of Spring just over a month away and better weather on the horizon, it’s time to start planning where you’d like to visit for a stretch of your legs. 

Here in Nottinghamshire we’re fortunate to have loads of open spaces and stunning countryside to explore, from Wollaton Park to Clumber Park. 

While these places are perfect for a stroll, it’s always nice to mix things up every now and again. 

The Bennerley Viaduct, just outside Ilkeston, is one of those places you simply have to visit as the weather improves. 

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Bennerley ViaductBennerley Viaduct
Bennerley Viaduct | Matt Pearson

Standing 20 metres high above the valley of the River Erewash, and a quarter of a mile long, the viaduct cuts a dominant figure in the landscape. 

Affectionately known as the Iron Giant, the huge structure was built in 1878 to connect Nottingham and Derby via the Friargate Line. 

One of only two surviving wrought iron viaducts remaining in the UK, the 433-metre-long structure is a marvel of Victorian engineering. 

The viaduct closed to trains in the 1960s as part of the Beeching cuts. 

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In 1974 the structure was designated by Historic England as a Grade II listed building, but over the following four decades it fell into disrepair. 

It wasn’t until January 2022 that the viaduct opened to walkers and cyclists thanks to a £1.7 million project funded by organisations including The Railway Heritage Trust, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.

The structure is now cared for by the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct. 

Walkers and cyclists can use the viaduct to enjoy stunning views of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the surrounding countryside. 

You can find more information here to plan your visit.

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