Public access to the Bennerley Viaduct for leisure purposes is by permission of the owners, Railway Paths Ltd. The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are keen that the public should have access for recreation purposes in a safe and sensible manner.
The viaduct is a former railway bridge built nearly 150 years ago. Its new deck is 60 feet above the ground and is accessed by a sloping path at one end and steps at the other. There are exposed iron troughs on the deck which should be avoided as they are very slippery when wet.
Cyclists should only use the eastern steps and wheel troughs for access and exit if they are confident in their abilities to do so. People using the viaduct do so entirely at their own risk. No liability can be accepted in these circumstances.
The viaduct is situated between Cotmanhay and Awsworth, near the town of Ilkeston, at Ordnance Survey grid reference SK 473 438. There is now public access on the viaduct itself and it may be viewed from the nearby footpaths and trails.
The viaduct is now a cycling and walking route and is approached on foot or cycle. Details of footpaths and trails around the site can be seen here. Footpaths and trails. You can also find information about cycling and walking trails in the area on the Visit Peak District and Derbyshire website.
There is very limited parking in the immediate area itself, but many ways of walking and cycling to the viaduct and accessing it via public transport.
Please note if you access the viaduct deck by wheelchair, mobility scooter or with a buggy from the Erewash Canal ramp there is at present no way down at the other end of the viaduct, and you have to return the way you came.
Footpaths and trails around Bennerley Viaduct
Coming by train
Ilkeston train station is the closest to Bennerley Viaduct being only 1 mile/1.6km away. The Nottingham Canal path and Erewash Canal towpath (both part of the Erewash valley Trail) are just a short walk or cycle from the station. The walk is described for you here. Langley Mill train station lies 3miles/5km north. From here it’s a pleasant ride south on the Erewash Valley Trail to the Bennerley area. Long Eaton train station lies 8miles/13km to the south from where it’s an excellent ride north along the Erewash Canal towpath to Bennerley.
Visit: www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Coming by bus
For the ramp accessed from the Erewash Canal
From Nottingham catch Trent Barton’s ‘The Two’ to Bridge Street, Cotmanhay from where it is a short walk to the Erewash Canal.
From Derby catch Trent Barton’s ‘Ilkeston Flyer’ to Bridge Street, Cotmanhay from where it is a short walk to the Erewash Canal. Both services pass through Ilkeston town centre, home of the Erewash Museum.
For the steps from the Nottingham Canal
The Trent Barton service 27 between Kimberley and Ilkeston stops in Awsworth. Get off opposite Main Street (Ilkeston to Kimberley direction). Walk along Meadow Road and through the “Pocket Park” to Shilo Way. Cross Shilo Way to the eastern end of the viaduct. Travelling from Kimberley towards Ilkeston get off adjacent to Main Street, cross the road and follow the previous directions. Service 27 also stops at Ilkeston train station.
The Two (Trentbarton)
Ilkeston Flyer (Trentbarton)
Coming by car
You are encouraged to park at Ilkeston train station Car Park (small charge) and enjoy the 20 minute walk to the viaduct described here.
There is on-street parking in Awsworth (cross the bypass carefully) and on Bridge Street and Skeavingtons Lane in Cotmanhay. If parking on the street please be considerate to residents. The Cotmanhay route is best for wheelchairs and mobility scooters as it takes you to the ramp as described here.
There is a very small car park beside the Nottingham Canal off Newton’s Lane at grid reference SK 476 433. Anyone wishing to park here should be aware that it is not a dedicated car park and is used by anglers and other users of the trails in the area. The road through the car park is an access road to houses. Please do NOT park on the road through this car park. Thank you. The Nottingham Canal tow-path and the Erewash Valley Trail also pass this point. You can then reach the viaduct on foot as described here.
The viewing points
The best place to see a panorama of the viaduct is from the viewing point on the Nottingham Canal at grid reference SK 475 438. This can be reached by walking north alongside the canal from Newton’s Lane for about 500 metres. There is also a good vantage point from the footbridge over the railway. To view the viaduct from here, take the footpath, marked with a white fingerpost ‘Bennerley Viaduct’, that branches off the Erewash Canal towpath near the ramp access. Go through the trees and arrive at the steps up to the footbridge over the working railway. There is no access to the deck of the viaduct from here. See map
Places to eat and drink within a mile of the viaduct
We have compiled a list of cafes, pubs and hotels within walking distance of the viaduct. We hope you will feel able to support our local businesses (although FoBV is not recommending them as such). You can also pick up our information leaflet at the listed establishments.