BAKEWELL TREE TRAIL : SPRING

'Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light'

Bathed in the light and energy of Spring, Bakewell and the surrounding landscape come alive with blossom, bird song and new life, a powerful time of year, as days grow longer and the cycle of growth and renewal is positively tangible. The Spring tree trail takes you to surprising parts of the town - look out for street names - they tell you much of the origins, history and spirit of Bakewell.

Tourist Information Centre - from here progress to the Square - notice the elegant weeping ash on the right, beside the Royal Bank of Scotland. Go to the large fastigiate hornbeam, the main focus of the Square in its Spring livery. Turn right into BATH GARDENS, now festooned with tree blossom, tulips, pansies and primulas. Keep your eyes open in these gardens - there are many interesting old and new features, quite apart from the plant life. At all times of year these gardens are beautiful and inspiring - thanks to the dedication of the gardeners. Proceed along the main path towards the large copper beech. Enjoy the sound of water in the Garden of Remembrance. At the end of the path, is the Infants School. Notice the lofty birch tree - guardian of the playground!

Turn left onto BATH STREET and walk up to the busy BUXTON ROAD - and go straight across. Go up THE CHIMNEY - the alleyway facing you - with its exotic vegetation. At the top is one of the town's majestic horse chestnut trees lit with Spring candles.

Turn left onto BAGSHAW HILL - you skirt round the beautiful stone walls of Bagshaw Hall, one of the town's historic buildings, with mature specimens of laurel and box fringing the wall and pavement. Keep going up this hill to the top and turn right and then right again onto FLY HILL towards the Youth Hostel. There is a beautiful clematis draping itself on the gable end of the houses here. After passing the Youth Hostel, look for the narrow path off to the left which leads to UNDERCLIFFE, a quiet road passing private houses and gardens - if you look to the far left here you will see the rock faces. Keep going to the end and in front of you is a group of cherry, lime and pine trees and a block of houses called THE ROCK. Follow the road down to the right back onto Buxton Road.

Cross Buxton Road with caution and turn right, past the Fire Station, to VICTORIA MILL. Go left here. At the bridge stop to appreciate the distant view of the greening Manners Woods and hillside. The sound of traffic fades to the burble of running water. Take the narrow squeeze to the left of Milford House gates and pleasure in a tranquil stroll along the curving stream-side path of MILFORD, keeping a look out for trout. At the humped back bridge the water flows to the River Wye in a secluded wooded meeting. Turn left, over the bridge, a short distance to the idyllic vista across the parkland pasture of SCOTTS GARDENS. The rush of the water over the weir, the bees, the trees reflected in the ruffled water, freshly unfurled leaves on the tall mature poplars - all the sights and sounds of Spring.

Go back over the bridge and head straight on along CASTLE STREET. The Georgian terrace is awakened by the budding climbing roses, flowering chaenomeles and the promise of blue wisteria. But as you walk, you become aware of one presence, the horse chestnut on the corner of the street, 'guardian' of the eastern entrance to Bakewell. Salute and acknowledge this very special tree.

Cross over the road, to the southern side of the bridge. You now have the alternative of going right, back to the information office, or turning left and walking by the RIVER WYE. The flowering and sprouting trees are mirrored in the water as ducks, coots, barnacle geese and swans build nests under their protective canopy on the island. Follow the route along GRANBY ROAD and turn right towards the swimming pool. Greet the weeping ash, one of the last to come into leaf in the Spring, before walking through the alleyway back into RUTLAND SQUARE.

From the Bakewell Tree Trail website : www.bakewell-trees.org