The Monks Way

Information and guidance relating to The Monks Way trail.

Trail Information

Trail Information
Information Type Details
Route Type

Circular Walk


7 Miles

Surface and Gradients

Path surfaces a generally in a good condition and only have gentle gradients.

Parking Nearby


On Bus Routes


Wheelchair Friendly



View The Monks Way Map (.pdf) (809KB) (Opens in a New Window)

Extra Information

Walkers should expect to share sections of the route with cyclists and horse riders.

Trail Description

Monks Way, Monks Path, Monks Steps, and Pilgrims Path are all terms used locally to describe the traces of stone paving or causeway which can be found in Cossall, Strelley, Ilkeston and beyond. The term 'Monks Way' is a general term frequently used to describe the network of ancient tracks which often linked monasteries and settlements to facilitate trade and communication.

The monastic connection for the paths around Cossall, Strelley, and Ilkeston is not clear but it is known that the monks of Dale Abbey, Newstead Priory, Lenton Abbey, Felly Priory, and Beauvale Priory had land and mining interests in the areas around the Erewash Valley as early as the 14th Century. It is therefore possible that the stones are all that is left of the routeways that perhaps linked the monasteries and provided access to Nottingham and the River Trent. 

Legend has it that the stones were laid by monks who brought a slab on the back of a mule each time they used the path. This may be true but equally there are theories that the stones are more recent having been laid for the transport of coal by packhorses during the 18th Century. 

No one knows for sure the origins of the Monks Way, although the stone paths almost certainly pre-date the canal era (the Nottingham Canal was built in 1796) and may well be laid over an ancient route.

Parks and Environment
tel: 0115 917 7777