Walks In Nottinghamshire: Walk 71 – Wollaton Park

31 Dec

Wollaton Park is the most popular park in Nottingham with numerous attractions. The impressive edifice of Wollaton Hall at the top of the hill is the dominant feature but there are many acres of lovely parkland to explore including avenues of trees and a lake. This walk takes you around the park visiting the main sights.

Start and Finish: The main car park at the bottom of the hill to the north of the Hall. This can be reached from the park entrance on Wollaton Road, which is also the way to come if using public transport (the number 30 bus service runs frequently to and from Nottingham city centre).

Distance: 4km (2.5 miles)

Map of the Route

The Route

From the car park approach the nearby adventure playground but before reaching it turn right along the road. Where the road turns left towards the park entrance you should turn right along the road under an avenue of trees that takes you back alongside the car park. When you reach the end of the car park turn left off the road onto a path.

The path takes you under more trees in a less formal arrangement than the avenue for 300m. As you leave the trees bear left across an open area of grass going slightly downhill. You soon reach a small patch of trees with a path going through the left hand edge. This takes you into another grass field. Follow the left hand side for 400m until you reach a major track under woodland.

Turn right and follow this straight track, Digby Avenue, for 800m. On your left is a golf course and you may well see the deer which roam around the park. The avenue is flat at first but then climbs quite steeply. You cross a road (the one you walked along earlier) and then bear slightly left along a path that isn’t always very obvious. Soon cross another road, Lime Tree Avenue. The fine main avenue of lime trees is just off to the left here.

After crossing the road continue along a path with a fence on your left. This takes you up to the moat, a ditch on the right of the path next to the formal gardens of the hall. Follow the narrow path next to the moat for 250m as it curves round. You reach the top of a hill with a wide swathe of grass around you. Just behind you to your right is the entrance to the gardens, which also has a Camellia House, the oldest cast-iron-framed glass house in Europe and the only remaining one of its kind in this country.

To continue the walk you should go left downhill following a line of trees with the golf course immediately to your left. Go all the way to the bottom of the hill where you angle right towards the lake. You can follow a track all the way round the lake but views are sometimes restricted by plants. Instead my route stays on the near side of the lake. As you reach the lakeside turn right to follow a straight path that stays next to the lake for 350m. The views of the lake are clear as you walk under trees.

You come to the end of the lake where our path meets the one that has gone around the lake. Turn right and cross a bridge. Go uphill towards the Hall along a properly surfaced hard path. If you prefer you can walk alongside it on the grass. Near the top of this steady climb you see on the left an area of buildings worth exploring. Go through the archway under a large clock, past the visitor centre and shop into a courtyard which now houses a cafe. Going through the next archway you reach the Nottingham Industrial Museum on the left (and toilets on the right).

Return through the archways to the path and go to the top of the hill to meet another wide, well surfaced track. Turn left along it for a short distance and then go right onto the grass and up a slope to take you in front of the main entrance to Wollaton Hall. Alternatively to reach the front of the Hall from the top of the hill you can go straight ahead and then climb some steps.

The Hall is a grand building from which now contains a museum mainly devoted to natural history. It is well worth a visit although now quite expensive.

Coming out of the Hall you get a good view of park. Carry straight on down the hill on a nice grassy slope between lines of trees. Go all the way down until you reach the road at the bottom where you turn right past the adventure playground and return to the car park to finish the walk.


The Robin Hood Way: Kimberley to Bestwood Village

6 Dec

This short stage takes you along good tracks from the small town of Kimberley, past the former Hucknall airfield, across a golf course and then beside the attractive Mill Lakes to reach Bestwood village. There you can continue the Robin Hood Way on the stage I have described previously from Bestwood village to Papplewick Moor.

Start:  Centre of Kimberley

Finish:  Bestwood Village

Distance: 6km (3.75 miles)

Map of the Route

The Route

If starting from the crossroads in the centre of Kimberley go uphill by the right hand side of the Main Street for 150m going past Sainsbury’s (and past where Stage 2 finished).  Just after crossing Broomhill Road go to the other side of the Main Street and continue uphill for a short way.  Look for a green footpath sign pointing to the left and follow this track away from the Main Street.  This takes you by a recreation ground on the left.  At the far end of the track bear left and follow this until you reach a residential street.  Go straight across, though just a fraction to the right, and then straight on along another street.  Go past a school and continue straight ahead to a short path until you come to a wider road (Newdigate Street).  Cross it and turn right along the pavement.

Fields coming out of Kimberley

Follow this as it soon kinks slightly left going over a railway bridge, then past houses for another 300m until you meet the main B600.  Cross this busy road carefully and turn left for a short distance.  Just before a garage turn right along Commons Lane and walk along this past industrial units for 250m.  At the far end bear left and join a track for the next kilometre which takes you out into more rural surroundings between fields.  You will hear the roar of traffic ahead and soon go over a disused railway line.  Continue almost straight ahead and ignore the track into a farm.  Cross a bridge over the M1.  Stay on the track on the other side and continue across a field . At a junction of tracks turn left along a pleasant narrow path between hedges and trees which can be nice and shady in summer sunshine.

The former Hucknall airfield site

Follow this almost straight for 600m to the edge of Bulwell Wood and by a clearing on the right until you reach a T junction of paths where you turn right.  This path takes you past a pond on the right and then through a gate onto a wide driveway near farm buildings.  Keep straight on along this driveway and continue on past the buildings .  On the left you reach a hedge and beyond it see the wide open space of the former Hucknall airfield.  In the distance you can see a housing development.  Follow the track straight on for another 500m to the corner of the airfield (now called Merlin Park), on the left you can see an information board and a new track.  Ignore this side track but after another 80m you do turn left along a narrow path.  This takes you past allotments.

After 200m the path goes left through a gap and you go out to the edge of the airfield and carry on in the same direction as the path you just left .  Follow the edge of this large open space for 300m with first a hedge then an embankment just to your right.  Look for a path starting on the right and leave the airfield area.  This path soon turns to the right and approaches Bulwell Forest golf course.  Stay to this side of the course as the path turns left and becomes a wider track amongst trees.  Follow the main track which turns right along the drive towards the golf course.  On the left you come to a cafe and refreshment area next to the course.

The route becomes slightly tricky to follow here.   Turn left into the car park but after a very short way turn right away from the buildings towards a pathway, looking for green Robin Hood Way markers as you go.  Join this path to reach the corner of a meadow.  Stay in the same direction across the meadow until reaching a path in another area of trees.  You soon reach a wooden bridge looking rather too big for the little stream it crosses.  Don’t cross the bridge, instead turn right along a path in the wood for 250m.  When you leave the wood bear left and soon go rightwards across an old railway line track.  Keep going in the same direction on a track which begins to descend.  After 700m you reach a main road (the A611).  Cross this and turn left for 80m then go right onto a path .  After m you reach the railway.  Go over the railway on a footbridge then back at the bottom turn right to join Moor Road.  Go uphill for 200m to meet the main B683 road.  Turn left for 250m along the road.  Just after you go under a bridge look for steps on the left going onto a path into Mill Lakes park.

Once in the park keep continuing straight on along the path and soon cross a small bridge by the lake on the right.  The path then climbs past a bench with Robin Hood Way (RHW) green waymark on it before bending right.  You can follow the track for the next 400m and can’t go wrong but it’s more interesting to leave the path near another bench with a RHW maker on it to go down to the lakeside.  There are good views across the water.  Return to the main path and follow it to the end of the lake.

Mill Lakes Bestwood

Go onto a track with signs to Hucknall (from where you can get a bus to Kimberley) if you turn left but the Robin Hood Way goes right here. Turn right along the track and follow it, soon crossing a bridge over the River Leen. After another 300m the track reaches the B683 in Bestwood Village. There are bus stops nearby where you can get two buses back to Kimberley if required.

River Leen and Mill Lakes

Walks in Nottinghamshire: Walking The Robin Hood Way – Bestwood Village to Papplewick Moor

30 Oct

This stage takes you from Bestwood Village into the attractive woodland of Bestwood Country Park, then along tracks and road to the edge of Papplewick. There it continues onto the stage from Papplewick Moor to Blidworth.

This stage is quite a short one and is easy to convert into a circular walk as it starts and finishes by the B. Unfortunately the walk back to the start along the B isn’t great as there is quite a narrow verge and no pavement for around 800m with the road itself being quite busy. If you can cope with that it is a convenient circuit. Alternatively you can catch the 141 bus (now operated by Stagecoach) from Papplewick to Bestwood which only takes a few minutes. The 141 runs approximately hourly during the day.

Start: Bestwood Village just up from Mill Lakes on the B683

Finish: The northern edge of Papplewick village on the B683 by Papplewick Moor

Distance: 7km (4.4 miles) (if returning to Bestwood on the circular walk it is 6.5km)

Map of the Route

The Walk

Starting from the B683 (Moor Road) at the end of the track from the northern end of Mill Lakes. Cross Moor Road and turn left for 50m to reach the end of a road called The Spinney. Turn right and go up this road for 300m to the end of the cul-de-sac where you follow it round to the right for 30m. Look for a narrow path between houses to the left and turn up this path. Follow the path uphill for 400m going past a school on the left with houses on your right.

At the end of the path you go into a grassy field where the path goes straight on between paddocks containing horses. Go into another grassy field and go straight across this. You come out onto the entrance road to Bestwood Country Park where you turn left. There is no pavement but the road is quiet. Follow it all the way into the park where you enter woodland.

Alexandra Lodge

Keep going along the main track into the woods until you approach the attractive brick and half-timbered building Alexandra Lodge. The main path goes straight under the lodge but just before reaching the building you should leave the main track. Go uphill along a good track to the left that goes under the trees and climbs quite steeply at first. Follow this path for 700m deeper into the woods until you pass an information board and map to emerge from the trees onto a wide track.

Going straight on here takes you in a mile to Redhill which is another possible starting point for this walk in which case you start the circular part of the walk here.

However, our walk along the Robin Hood Way turns left here along a wide hedge-lined track that leaves the woods behind and goes between fields. After 400m you reach a quiet road just as it reaches a sharp bend. Carry straight on along the road which when I walked it had an odd half-and-half look because the right hand side had the surface taken off. On the left by a house was the strange sight of toys in one of the hedges. I think this must have had something to do with the Lawson Modelmakers here. In another 400m come to the entrance to a modern housing development where you bear to the left and soon go down quite a steep road (Squires Drive). At the bottom as you reach trees turn left to join a fairly wide track. There was an unpleasant sewagey smell for a short time but soon you leave the houses behind along the slightly undulating grassy track.

After 250m turn sharp right downhill onto a firm, wide track and follow this for the next mile. It starts as a farm track going through a menagerie of animals in the fields on either side before becoming a properly surfaced track. Go past the entrance to Goosedale with a neat line of trees and note the floodlights of the sports ground on the right.

After 1200m on the track and lane you reach the B683 (Moor Road) where if you want to complete the circular walk back to the start of this stage you turn left for 800m. If you want to follow the Robin Hood Way north you turn right. In either case the verge is quite narrow so take care. If you turn right it is only 300m, going under a railway bridge, until you reach Papplewick Moor where the pavement resumes. 700m after this you reach Papplewick Lane and the end of this stage. Opposite this is where you turn off the road across the fields and follow the route described in the stage from Papplewick Moor to Blidworth.

River Trent Walk: Nottingham to Gunthorpe via Colwick Park, Netherfield Lagoons and Stoke Bardolph

8 Oct

This stage contains a variety of landscapes, not all of them very scenic, as you leave Nottingham via some industrial areas and Colwick Country Park before reaching more pastoral surroundings along the river east of the city. It’s possible that in future there will be a bridge a mile or so downstream where you can cross the river. This will enable you to avoid most of the less pleasant walking through the industrial estates by using the riverside path to the south of the Trent before crossing to the north side.

Note that the Trent Valley Way uses the other side of the river.  Much of that is preferable to the early parts of this walk but it does leave the river Trent for quite a long way.  Keen followers of the river should follow my description here as it generally stays closer to the Trent.

There are countless buses from Nottingham city centre to Trent Bridge. To return to Nottingham by public transport you can catch the Rushcliffe Villager Trent Barton bus from the stop next to the river in Gunthorpe although this service only runs until late afternoon and is infrequent. There are trains and buses from Lowdham (a mile from Gunthorpe) to Nottingham or you can continue 3km along the river and catch the train from Hoveringham station. It’s also possible to get the train from Burton Joyce station which is only 300m off the route on this stage.

Start: Trent Bridge in Nottingham on the city/north side of the river.

Finish: Gunthorpe village, by the moorings and river just to the east of Gunthorpe Bridge.

Distance: 17.5 km (11 miles)

Map of the Route

Description of the Walk

From Trent Bridge go down to the path next to the river and walk eastwards. You soon come to a lock opposite Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on the other side of the river. This lock is where the Nottingham and Beeston canal enters the river. If walking from Nottingham city centre following the canal is quite a good way of reaching the Trent.

The City Ground
Trent Bridge

As you reach an area of new apartments by the river turn away from the river and walk 100m to reach Meadow Lane, quite a busy road, where you turn right. After 800m you reach a large traffic island where you bear right. Follow this road (the A612) for another 500m to a roundabout and turn right along Trent Lane. Then take the first turning left along Little Tennis Street, a much quieter road. Turn left at the end and head towards a garage. This appears to be a dead end but as you approach the garage you should see a blue sign for the cycle path to Colwick Country Park to the right. Go along this path on the right which then turns right for a short distance to reach Racecourse Road which you cross.

Nottingham Racecourse

Nottingham racecourse is just ahead. Turn right along the pavement and follow it round a large sweeping bend. After 300m you see the Trent to your right with the racecourse on your left. You soon come to an entrance to Colwick Country Park across the Racecourse Road on the right. Hopefully you will be able to use this path and follow the river closely. However, when I did this walk in June 2022 the path was fenced off so you must stay by the road a little longer and take the path going to the right just after reaching the end of the bend. This path goes into woods and you follow this main path without taking any side paths.

Colwick Hall
Wooden Kingfisher Sculpture in Colwick Park

After 150m you pass Colwick Hall, on the left but carry straight on until you reach another wide track. Don’t turn right here but continue almost straight on along the edge of a lake to your right along a wide path for 600m. At first you are in woods but after 500m come to an open grassy area where you go up a small hill and then down under trees to the main entrance road to the park with a car park on the left. Bear right along a road with a big lake on your right across open grass. The road goes under trees for a short while. Where the road turns sharp right take a path going off to the left where at last you come to the river again.

Cross a small wooden bridge over a stream and continue along a firm track following the river. After 400m you can go no further by the Trent and have to turn left along the path. You soon go past houses and by following the path all the way you come out onto a road where you turn right for a short distance to the main road. However, you can take a small short cut by going right through a gap in the hedge where the path turns left again. Whichever way you go you will come out on a pavement by a main road in the Colwick industrial estate (the evocatively named Road Number 2). Turn right along this road which takes you past factories, warehouses and other industrial workplaces. Carry straight on at the crossroads after 500m and continue for 200m to a roundabout near a Sainsbury’s petrol station.

At the roundabout bear right along Road Number 3 for 250m where there is a sign to “Stoke”. Turn right along a narrow path between warehouses for m to reach the river again. You will now be able to follow the Trent for the rest of this stage. At the river turn left along a firm track where you will be better rewarded by looking to river and not building, embankment top, under railway, Netherfield Lagoons, lock, path to r off car park, metalled r cows to Stoke. bench, lane, railway stn, cows, straight on or follow river, firm wide track.

At the roundabout bear right along Road 3 for 250m where there is a sign to Stoke Bardolph.  Turn right along a narrow path between warehouses for 200m to reach the river again.  You will now be able to follow the Trent quite easily for the rest of this stage.  At the river turn left along a firm track where you will be better rewarded by looking to the river and not the building site on your left.  The path follows an embankment along the top. 

After a kilometre the path goes down again under a railway line.  You can carry straight on by the river but I recommend this small diversion.  Immediately after the railway you reach Netherfield Lagoons nature reserve which can be observed if you go up some steps to the left.  From the top of the steps are good views over the lagoons which have a variety of water birds.  Turn right and follow the path for 150m before going down some more steps back to the riverside and a quite narrow path.

After another 900m including a sharp river bend you reach the towpath at Stoke Lock and straight after that bear left by a car park to join a quiet tree-lined road for a short distance.  This soon leaves the trees to become a quiet, straight metalled farm road through the middle of fields of cows.  After 800m this brings you to Stoke Bardolph where you can stop for refreshment at the Ferry Boat Inn next to the river.  As the name suggests this was where a passenger ferry used to cross the Trent.   There is also a bench by the river which is handy for a rest.

From the Inn carry on along the lane close to the river for 600m until you approach Burton Joyce. Where the lane kinks sharply to the left away from the river take the path off to the right through a small clump of trees.

Note: If you carry on along the road you reach Burton Joyce station in 300m.

Trent near Burton Joyce

Leaving the trees takes you into a grassy field by the river bank. The field may well have cows in it. The river soon makes a sweeping turn to the right. After about 600m in the fields you meet a wide track (Trent Lane) just as you leave this wider grass field. Following this track straight on cuts out the next bend of the river but it’s more scenic to stay alongside the river. If you are staying by the river the path gets narrow for a short distance but then is easy to follow along the more grassy river bank. The Trent meanders in a pleasing curve for a mile and then meets Trent Lane again.

The final kilometre of this stage is pretty straight along a firm path next to the river under more tree cover than you have had for a while. By now you will be hearing the roar of traffic ahead as you approach the A6097 and Gunthorpe Bridge. Fortunately there is a tunnel for pedestrians under the bridge and immediately on the other side you find yourself in the pleasant surroundings of the moorings in Gunthorpe village with several establishments for eating and drinking close by.

The River Trent Walk continues with the stage described earlier from Gunthorpe to Rolleston.

Nottinghamshire Walks – Walk 70: Southwell and Brackenhurst

30 Aug

This walk takes you from the centre of Southwell up to the ridge south-east of the town, then around the fields and tracks of the Brackenhurst Campus and back to Southwell. It is possible to cut out a mile each way to and from Southwell if you start from the bus stop near Halloughton. In that case you will be joining my route halfway round at point 5 on the Brackenhurst Campus Trails map.

Start: Church Street near Southwell Minster

Distance: 8km (5 miles)

Map of the Route

The walk

From the bus stops on Church Street by the Minster on the same side of the road as the Minster.  Turn so that you have the Minster on your right hand side and walk along the pavement going slightly downhill on Church Street away from the main junction in Southwell.  After 200m the road bends to the right and then left before it crosses the Potwell Dyke.  Immediately after this you should see a sign on the right for Harvey’s Field where there is a narrow path going from Church Road.  Take this path which runs alongside the Potwell Dyke, under trees for 100m before coming to a large grassy field.  Here you should bear left away from the dyke aiming for the obvious exit from the field about 100m away on the left (not the one at the far end of the field).  The path from the field takes you between houses and out to a road (Farthingate).  Cross this road and turn right then almost immediately left up the next road (Farthingate Close).  After fifty metres this starts to bend to the left.  As it does so you should cross the road and look for a narrow alley going off to the right.

Take this short path between the houses which soon comes to a grassy field.  Enter the field and keep to the right alongside the fence as the path starts to rise slightly.  After fifty metres go through a gate in the fence to the right and go into a large arable field.  You should aim diagonally across the field up the hill towards a stile about 200m away by a wood.  The path across the field may be well-defined but depending on the time of year the field could be ploughed or have crops in it making the route less clear.  At the top of the path go over a stile into the wood.  Carry on through the wood in roughly the same direction as the path across the field.  The path twists and turns a little through the trees but should be quite easy to follow.  The only slight problem could be in autumn if fallen leaves cover the path.  In any case keeping in the same direction up the hill should bring you to the far end of the wood not far from the right spot.  The wood can be a little muddy after wet weather.  The path flattens out towards the top of the wood and you emerge at the far end through a gate.

Take care as you leave the wood as the gate leads straight onto Crink Lane.  There isn’t much traffic but you are coming out at a sharp bend in the road.  On the other side of the lane to the right is a house. Turn right along the road. Soon the road turns left and after a straight 300m it bends right again. At this bend leave the road to follow a path going left into an arable field (beware the brambles at the field entrance) and cross the field diagonally right towards a small clump of trees. Go just to the right of these into another field which you cross continuing in the same direction. There are good views here looking east. You are now on the campus of Brackenhurst, the agricultural college which is part of Nottingham Trent University.

At the time of writing this field had just been harvested and was a bit uneven. After 250m at the far side of the field go through to another field and turn left downhill along the field edge with a hedge to your left using a reasonable path. Leave this field and continue in almost the same direction near the left hand side through two smaller fields. Go through a hedge and cross a footbridge into another field. Bear right in this grassy field and go into another field aiming right of the farm buildings ahead.

Turn sharp right and follow the hedge until you reach a wide track under thicker tree cover where there is also an information board with a map of the Brackenhurst trails which is a useful guide (this is point 12 on that map) . Turn left downhill under the trees and keep going for 200m until you reach a footbridge. Go up onto this bridge over Halloughton Dumble, one of several examples of a dumble, a tree-lined narrow stream in a small cutting, that are features of this part of Nottinghamshire.

Halloughton Dumble

Don’t cross the bridge but come back to the the bottom of the path you just descended and turn left to follow a path near the line of the stream and dumble amongst trees. After 600m you go close to a pond hidden by trees and meet another track coming from the left. Carry straight on alongside the dumble for another 500m, ignoring a footbridge on the right after 300m, until you come to another track from the left.

Again continue straight on where the path goes on into the wood and follow a clear pleasant path in the trees.  Just to your left here is the stream which you keep close to.  The path stays straight for 300m in the wood before we turn ninety degrees to the right where the stream itself turns to the right.  This next little section is the only part of the walk which may be muddy but even then it shouldn’t be too bad unless it has been very wet.  Follow the path in the wood for 200m until you leave the wood and come out onto a wide track near the information board at point 6.  Turn left and go downhill on the track for a short way to cross the stream.

At this point turn right off the track and follow the edge of a field.  The path isn’t very clear but just walk in the grass at the edge of the field going nearly straight all the way. You will hear the traffic on the main road ahead and after 400m just before the end of the field take a path going off to the right over a footbridge (Point 5 – this is where you join the route if starting from the Halloughton bus stop). This takes you into a large field where you follow the hedge on the left climbing quite steeply. After 400m you reach the top of the field and turn right with a grass field on your left and beyond that the campus buildings about 200m away.

Follow this track for 600m until reaching a junction of tracks at point 14 on the campus trail. Turn left here along a wide track for 200m. At the next junction turn right and very soon after go left along the next track you come to. After 200m you reach the main crossroads in the centre of the Brackenhurst campus where you go straight on along a road under trees with football and cricket pitches on the left for 200m, then go past a car park to reach a junction with a road from the left by some more buildings.

On the right there is a grassy track and a signpost with a green Robin Hood Way marker.  Turn along this track where you soon have to negotiate two metal gates with a farmyard on the left.  Carry straight on across a small grassy area to a wooden gate.  Go through this and onto a quiet, narrow road.  Go straight on along this for 50m to the next bend in the road where you leave the road to go into a large field. 

If you are not going into Southwell then carry on along the road (Crink Lane) for 200m until reaching the next right-angled bend to the left. There you should take the path to the right across a field which meets the main route again on the downhill path after 300m.

To go down into Southwell bear left diagonally across the arable field on a clear path for 300m.  At the next field bear right on a clear path for another 250m to the corner of the field by a hedge where you turn sharp left to follow another hedge.

This soon starts to go downhill quite steeply and reaches a fence next to school playing fields on the left.  The path is squeezed between this fence and the hedge and is quite narrow.  After 300m you reach the bottom of the hill and the end of the playing fields.  Go under trees to reach a wide path and turn right for a short distance to reach a surfaced road.  This is a private road and won’t be busy.  Turn left along the road across a stream, the Potwell Dyke, which when you see it will probably find hard to believe caused so much chaos when flooding a few years ago.

Carry on along the road on an avenue of lime trees going past a playground on the right, bowling green and tennis courts on the left for 250m to the corner of the park and the arches of the War Memorial.

Southwell Minster

Southwell Minster


Turn right out of the park, along a short section of road and then along a path past houses on your left and into the grounds of Southwell Minster.  Fifty yards further on turn right towards the main entrance of the Minster.  If you have never been to the Minster before you really should take this opportunity to go inside and look round.  If you don’t wish to go inside then walk along the path  around the outside of the minster, turning right and then take the first path on the left which takes you out onto Church Street where the main bus stop is very close.  This side of the road is for buses to Mansfield or Nottingham and over the road you can go to Newark.

Nottinghamshire Walks – Walk 69: Southwell,the Westhorpe, Halloughton Wood and Halam Circular Walk

22 Aug

This circular walk from Southwell takes some of the less well-used paths in the town, then fields, quiet roads and tracks to the west. It uses parts of previous walks and tells you how to link them using a few new sections.

Start and Finish: The main bus stops on Church Street in the centre of Southwell

Distance: 12.5km (7.8 miles)

Map of Route

From Church Street go into the grounds of Southwell Minster.  and the main entrance to the building. If you don’t wish to go inside then walk along the path  around the outside of the minster, turning right and then left. Go past the west door and straight on out of the grounds. Go past houses on the right and carry straight on along a short section of road. Ahead you will see some stone arches marking the War Memorial. Go through these in the corner of a park to a nice avenue of lime trees.

Southwell Minster

Aim for the far corner of the park going downhill to the right of tennis courts and bowling green and across a wide grassy area towards some adventure playground equipment. Leaving at the far corner takes you to a small bridge over a stream,The Potwell Dyke.  Looking at the stream it is hard to believe this caused widespread flooding in July 2013 after a torrential downpour. Cross the bridge and turn right along a hard path. This path takes you past sports pitches on your left and then past the Southwell Leisure Centre entrance leading to the car park. Cross the car park to the road entrance to the Minster School and Southwell Leisure centre by the bridge over the stream.

Turn left for a short distance to use the crossing to reach the other side of the busy Nottingham Road and go on onto a new road (Becketts Field) going uphill for 100m until you reach the end of a cul-de-sac where you join a path. Follow the narrow path as it meanders around the houses.  However, you can’t really go wrong as there are no alternatives for 300m. You come out at the end of a cul-de-sac and continue until you arrive at a quiet residential street (Halloughton Road).  Cross the road and turn right down a small hill for fifty metres.

Look for a footpath to the left and turn along it a very nice tree covered path alongside the stream (Potwell Dyke).  The path can be a little slippery after rain so take care. After 200m you reach the corner of a large field. Go along the bottom of the field for 400m. The path bends left but when it turns right again you see a path going up the hill on the left. Don’t take this but instead turn right down steps on a path that takes you into a narrow wooded “dumble”. Cross a footbridge over a stream and then go up again out of the dumble into a smallish grass field. Go straight on along the right side of the field for 150m and then leave it to join a narrow path between houses. In 80m this comes to a road where you turn left. Follow the road for 400m, which initially is among houses before soon going beneath trees, in the Westhorpe area of Southwell past a road coming from the left to reach a junction at the bottom of a steep hill going up to the right and almost immediately after that a road going off to the left.

From the road junction in Westhorpe follow the wide track going straight on westwards as indicated by the footpath sign. This is going directly away from the houses of Southwell. You have tall trees on either side providing shade and shelter. After 300m the trees on the left of the track open out for a little way. The track goes straight and after 600m from the start you come to a very large field rising to your left and ahead. Keep going straight on keeping the hedge and a ditch immediately to your right.

The path rises gently but steadily for the next 500m. It is no longer the proper track we started on but is still a very decent path to walk on with a good margin at the edge of the field itself. After 500m you reach the end of this field and go straight on through a gap in the hedge ahead to reach another field. Carry on uphill in this new field keeping the hedge just to your right close to trees.  After 200m comes the first complication of the walk after such a straightforward start.  Look for a yellow post just to the right of the path.  This is slightly obscured by plants but is a footpath indicator.  On the post you will see a waymark directing you right.  Follow this through a small bit of undergrowth and across a wooden plank bridge over a ditch.  This takes you out to a small patch of grass near fields.  Just ahead of you is a finger post with indicating path directions.  You can cut a short bit of the walk here by going up the bank to the left onto a track.

At the track turn left and follow the track for 100m until, as the track turns left, on the right you see a footpath sign going into a field.  Go through a gate into the field.  Follow the edge of the field to your left next to a tall hedge.  You soon turn right along a long section of hedge which you should keep following for the next 400m.  The field is grassy but quite easy to walk on.  Eventually the hedge turns left again and you come to a metal farm gate.  This is chained shut but thirty metres along is another metal farm gate which you can open, although it is slightly stiff.  This takes you into a large grassy field.  There are no waymarks on the gate so it is a little uncertain where you should go.  You should go roughly straight on from the gate along the length of this very long field.  If you stay about halfway between the two sides of the field as you walk you should come to a sort of path which has been worn by a tractor.  This is easier to walk on than the rather long grass in the field and following this path takes you in the right direction.  Go all the way to the other end of the field about 600m away passing close to a field entrance next to a tree on your right after 300m.  The field goes slightly downhill towards the far end where you reach another metal farm gate.  The latch on this is stiff and it may be easier to climb over if you can.

Leaving the large field takes you into another field with a track running across you.  Ignore this track and carry straight on.  You go under the electricity wires to the right of a pylon 200m ahead and out of this field into another one.  Turn right and follow the field edge towards a wood and then alongside the wood until you come to the corner of the field.  Leave the field via a gate and go on another few yards to reach a shale track in Halloughton Wood.

Halloughton Wood

Turn right for 500m and cross the quite busy road you come to carefully. Turn left for 80m then turn right along the first road you reach (Radley Lane). This road descends steeply at first and turns right at the bottom. You find yourself on a long, wide, straight road along the valley which you should follow for the next mile. The road is usually quiet and there is a wide verge should any traffic come along. I have to admit that I find long straight sections of any route quite boring and this does stretch quite a way ahead. In mitigation the view to the fields sloping up to the right is quite pleasant although you won’t see much to the left because of a tall hedge and trees.

This road goes all the way to the village of Halam and you can stick with it if you want and rejoin my preferred route in the village which reduces the length of the walk by 800m. However, if like me you’ve had enough of the road after a mile you can add a short diversion. To do this you should look for a small Severn Trent water station on the right a mile along the road. Just before this on the left of the road you will see a small triangular island of grass between two wide farm tracks going down from the road. Turn left to take this track, cross a bridge over a stream and follow the track uphill for 300m.

Look for a footpath sign on the right, climb over a stile into a field and for 200m follow the hedge just to your right going downhill.  At the end of the hedge continue going straight on downhill across the field to the bottom of a dip where you reach a wooden bridge.  The bridge crosses a stream bed which depending on the weather may or may not have some water in it.  On the other side of the bridge you reach a field which may well have cows in it and is often muddy by the bridge.

Carry straight on in the same direction now going uphill for 100m.  Go into another field and go straight across this for 100m.  Leaving this field you reach a small copse and carry straight on for a short distance where you reach an orchard.  You are at the bottom of the slope with lines of apple trees extending uphill  to your left.  Keep going straight on with a hedge to your right but not far into the orchard, just past the third line of apple trees, you should look on the right for a stile.  If you reach the large wooden gate on your right you have gone a little too far.  Leave the orchard and go into a field where you are at the top of the slope.  Walk along the top of the field with the orchard and hedge immediately to your left.  After 100m you cross a driveway track and then reach a well cultivated grassy area with well-ordered trees spaced regularly to your right.

Go as far as you can straight on until you reach a tall hedge, with a house just to your left.  Turn right to go down the hill with the hedge to your left.  At the bottom of the hill leave the field and follow a narrow path for a short way until you come to a small bridge over a stream.  Cross the bridge and go out onto a grassy area which you go straight across.  Go through a gate onto a driveway and go almost straight on to follow the drive until you are on Church Lane in Halam.  Turn right and follow the road which very soon turns sharply left and then right again.  Take care here as there is no pavement although the road is quite wide and you can keep well to the side.  As the road straightens out again to leave the village you should look to the left for a footpath. 

If you have been following the road all the way from Halloughton Wood this is where you rejoin my main route.

Turn along this path which goes away from the road rising steadily.  The path is narrow and runs between tall hedges.  Occasionally it is a little overgrown but generally is in reasonable condition.  The path curves to the left and after 150m reaches a kissing gate at the bottom of a large field rising quite steeply up a hill.  The field often contains cows.  Go into the field and go up the hill bearing slightly to the right aiming for the far corner at the top of the hill and keeping a fence across the field immediately to your right.

From the top of the field turn to see the fine view and go through a gate go up into an old orchard now occupied by fruit being grown in polytunnels.  Go straight on through the field keeping the tunnels to your left and tree-lined hedge to your right.  After 200m leave the field in the corner and go into a well-manicured area of grass which is actually the large garden of a house.  Keep straight on along the edge of the grass and pass a rather lonely looking bit of fence.  You are now alongside the driveway to the house and should follow the grass next to it all the way to the drive entrance. 

Leave the driveway and go onto a narrow road (Saversick Lane). In previous walks I have turned right here but for a change this time we’ll turn left. In 50m you reach the main road from Halam to Southwell which you cross to a pavement where you turn right. Follow this for 600m and then look for a path going across the field on the right of the road at the point where a path also comes through the hedge on your left.

Cross the road again and follow the path which goes straight across the field going uphill. Just before reaching the top of the field take a path going off to the left keeping the row of houses on your right. After 200m you reach Allenby Road which you go straight across. This takes you onto a pathway that goes straight on between houses and fences. Follow this path which has a variety of surfaces, at times being grass, dirt, hard shale and tarmac. At different points it becomes narrow between high fencing and in other places opens out. As you progress the cover from trees generally increases. The path climbs steadily with occasional opportunities to turn off onto cul-de-sacs which you should ignore. After 600m you reach the highest point of the path by a school playing field.

The path then goes quite steeply downhill by a fence and playing field making a sharp turn to the left. Continue all the way down past the school itself and then reach the car park of the Saracen’s Head Hotel. Turn right in the car park and go under the half-timbered archway where the entrance to the hotel is found. If you aren’t going into the hotel continue under the arch to reach the central junction in Southwell. Crossing straight over takes you to the main bus stops on Church Street where the walk began.

Walking the River Trent: Farndon to Newark Using Paths On Both Sides of the River

30 Jun

For anyone wanting to walk the length of the River Trent following the river as closely as possible the area around Newark presents both opportunities and frustrations. At Staythorpe power station, about three kilometres west of Newark, the Trent splits into two branches. The more westerly of the branches initially heads north, going close to Averham and under Kelham bridge before turning east under Muskham bridge and rejoining the other branch of the Trent just north of Newark. This branch is only intermittently accessible by public footpaths. You can follow the river from Staythorpe to Averham (see my Mansfield to Newark Stage 6) but then have to leave the river for a kilometre before you can meet again for a short distance in the grounds of Kelham Hall (see Walk 27) as far as Kelham Bridge. There is a 500m long footpath near Muskham Bridge but thereafter you can’t follow this branch.

The Newark branch is more promising as in theory you can follow almost every yard of the river from Farndon to Newark. Unfortunately, in order to do this you have to cross to the opposite bank of the Trent just outside Newark. In the absence of ferries this is somewhat impractical and you will have to go into Newark to cross the river. Therefore I have split this description into two walks.

First part: Farndon (4 km)

Second Part: Newark near the Navigation (2.6km)

Map of the Route

For the first part make your way to Farndon Marina to commence the walk. My Walk 58 describes the riverside walk on the Farndon side of the Trent but in the opposite direction. As the part of the walk next to the river is easy to follow I think you will be able to use your initiative to reverse my original instructions and follow the Trent past Staythorpe power station round until you reach the old windmill.

Trent near Farndon
Staythorpe Power Station

At this point you will need the further instructions below.

From the windmill continue ahead along the path and go under the flyover carrying the A46. Keep straight on until the path goes between gardens and the river. After 300m the path turns away from the river and you reach a road (Dorner Avenue) which you can follow to the B6166 where you can catch a bus to Newark. The riverside path should pick up on the opposite side of the Trent but to continue following the river you will have to go into Newark and out again on the other bank. I have devised a walk to take you along the other bank.

A short walk taking in the missing link by the Trent near Newark

In Newark make your way to the main junction and roundabout on Castle Gate near the castle. At the corner is the entrance to the castle grounds and Newark castle. Go into the grounds and explore for as long as you want.

Leave the castle gardens by returning to Castle Gate at the opposite end from where you entered the gardens. Almost immediately turn right downhill away from the road along a path which takes you down to the waterside (this is the Trent Navigation). Turn left for about 100m as far as Newark Town Lock. Cross to the central island then cross the lock using the path across the top of the lock gates and turn left. You may have to wait for a boat to go through.

Follow the path next to the Navigation past boatyards. Carry on until you reach a narrow stone bridge over a weir where you meet the Trent again. To go as far as you can upstream towards the point where you left the river near Farndon you should continue straight on from the end of the bridge towards a white gate. At time of writing the first of this pair of double clapper gates was partly broken. Go through the gate into a grassy field which will quite probably contain cows. As you follow the river bank further into the field the grass becomes rough and worn away in patches.

After 300m you reach the entrance to Newark Marina on the opposite side of the river and many boats visible in the marina. Walking another 100m takes you to a fence at the end of the field. You should be able to carry on into the next field and for another 500m taking you opposite to where you left the river by houses near Farndon. However, the fence has barbed wire on it and you won’t be able to proceed further. This is as far as you can go and you will have to retrace your steps as far as the stone bridge.

Just before the bridge you will see on the left a step taking you down into a grassy field. Go into the field and down the slope alongside the river. This area is popular with anglers. Looking back you bet a good view of the weir and the stone bridge which you won’t have realised is constructed on a series of arches. Follow the river round for 250m to the end of the field which approaches a road (Tolney Lane). You may have to slide through a gap in a white gate to leave the field. Turn right along the lane but just after the clump of trees return to the riverside keeping to the right of a small playground. Stay close to the river which is partly obscured by the trees until you come to a bridge on the right coming from the Navigation.

Walk along a firm path next to the river as you come alongside the castle.  The path reaches a road bridge just past the castle. Go up to the road and turn right to cross the river. Carry on uphill to the roundabout where this walk started.

Trent Weir Near the Navigation
Trent Near Newark Marina

You can continue along the Trent from Newark to Collingham using the route I have described in a previous post.

Nottinghamshire Walks: River Trent Walk and The Trent Valley Way From Gunthorpe to Rolleston

6 Jun

This stage of the walk along the Trent and Trent Valley Way is quite short and follows the river closely through grassy fields opposite tree-covered escarpment on the other bank. If following the Trent downstream it continues from the stage Nottingham to Gunthorpe.

The Trent Valley Way diverges from the River Trent surprisingly often and as such can’t strictly be interpreted as a source to sea walk (even if the Trent actually reached the sea rather than enter the Humber). Therefore my descriptions of the Way and of the River Walk frequently have to be two different routes. Fortunately this is not so for the relatively short section between Gunthorpe and Fiskerton where the two walks coincide exactly along the river.

The intention of the stages is to try and make the start and finish accessible by public transport and if possible to return to the start point easily. This stage is slightly awkward in that respect as the bus services at either end use different companies (Trent Barton in Gunthorpe and Stagecoach in Fiskerton and Rolleston) and need a few connections. The simplest way of returning to Gunthorpe is to use the Newark to Nottingham train line from either Fiskerton or Rolleston to Lowdham and walk from there the mile or so to Gunthorpe.

Start: Gunthorpe village by the moorings near to Gunthorpe Bridge

Finish: Rolleston

Distance: 12.5km (7.7 miles) to Rolleston. (11km to Fiskerton)

Map of the Route

Description of the Walk

The area by the river next to the major road bridge over the Trent in Gunthorpe village is notable for its pubs and restaurants. There is a bus stop near the river from where you can catch a bus to Nottingham until mid-afternoon (the Rushcliffe Villager). Near it you come to moorings and the acclaimed Tom Browns restaurant just back from the river next to the Unicorn Hotel.

From the bus stop area go to the moorings and on reaching the river turn left. You will follow the Trent for 3km to reach the village of Hoveringham.  At first you stay near to the quiet road by the river going past restaurants and houses in Gunthorpe. The road becomes a path and there may well be good numbers of people around as you reach Gunthorpe Lock with a variety of boats on the river. Just past the lock go through a gate and you are in wide grassy fields which may have cows grazing in them.  The far bank has steep tree-covered slopes.

These flat fields are easy walking on short grass. Occasionally you reach the distinctive white double gates that mark this part of the river. Follow the path next to the river until you come to a road as you reach Hoveringham. Continue along the road near the river for 500m by houses until you reach a very sharp left hand bend. On the bend there is a path on the right leaving the road and continuing alongside the river.

Take the footpath through a metal gate and follow it alongside the river.  This is again nice walking along short grass in a field with good views along the river and before long across to the wooded escarpment on the other side of the Trent.  The path follows the river closely here so it is hard to go wrong.  You will probably see cows here.  Follow the river going through or round a wooden gate after 600m and a metal gate a little later. In summer look for sand martins flying low over the water.

Continue along by the river with the sailing lake now appearing to your left.  The lake comes closer to you for a short time a little further along before the grassy area widens again.

Sailing Lake near Hoveringham

The walking here is flat along the grass with very little mud to worry about.  A few more trees begin to appear on the river bank and the lake on the left comes closer. In fact this isn’t the main lake but a smaller adjoining one.  After half a mile you leave the lakes behind and go through a metal gate. Then you come to the first of the distinctive white double gates that are a feature of this part of the river.  Go onto a much narrower path than the wide fields we have been following. Soon the river bank is almost completely obscured by trees and bushes close to you on your right and there are trees on your left as well.  After a short while you come to a half broken white gate and the path opens up a little again.

Looking across the Trent

Keep alongside the river for half a mile until you come to Hazelford Ferry. On the left as the path narrows are lodges. There are moorings here as well and several boats. As you come through a gate to reach the end of a lane you see a larger building which is residential home.  This used to be the Hazelford Ferry pub named for the ferry which used to cross the river at this point.

The path near Hazelford Ferry.

Turning left along this lane takes you to Bleasby (as seen in my Walk 36) but to carry on to Fiskerton cross the lane and continue alongside the river.

Go through a car park area and rejoin the path by the river in a field. After 300m enter another field and in another 500m you reach Hazelford Lock and weir. The weir is quite a sight here with the water rushing down a series of small steps and the smell of ozone hitting you.  There is a cottage on the island in the river near the weir and hedge on the bank to your left. The path narrows again as you pass the weir, going through more double gates.  

There are more trees around at this point but as the river makes a sweeping bend to the left things open up again. A kilometre after the lock the Trent bends to the right. 500m further on you reach the houses of Fiskerton and the newly renamed and revamped pub by the river “The Bromley at Fiskerton“.  There is a beer garden by the river which is a great place to sit if the weather is good.  If you are lucky you can see all four of Britain’s  hirundine bird species here (swallow, swift, house martin and sand martin) together with other ducks and gulls.  

Carrying on past the Bromley  you will see a few small flights of steps on your left going into gardens which leads into Fiskerton. If you wish to stop here see the instructions in italics.

 About 150m past the pub one of these flights of steps takes you onto a wide grassy track between houses with a path that you can follow straight on for fifty metres to the road. If you wish to finish your walk here take this route.   You come to the road just at the main T junction in the village.  Carefully cross the road to reach a bus shelter.  The buses from this side of the road go on to Newark.  Almost opposite on the other side of the road is the stop for buses back to Southwell. Carrying on along the road for 1km takes you to Fiskerton railway station.

To continue the walk to Rolleston from the steps walk along the riverside path for 200m until you reach the end of the houses on your left. You skirt the edge of a small car park and carry on alongside the river near metal fencing which is a popular resting place for black-headed gulls in winter. The river comes closer to the road and you actually walk along the road, which is generally quiet, for a short way as you approach a lone house ahead.

This is where the routes of the Trent Valley Way and the River Walk separate.

For the Trent Valley Way

The brick bridge on the main road north of Fiskerton is where the River Greet goes into the Trent. This bridge is close to a large red-brick building just a little further north on the right of the road. To continue the walk head north along the road for 150m and then turn left at a signpost to follow a footpath. This path is obvious on a slight embankment and meanders a little to left then right.

After 300m you near Fiskerton Mill. The path is quite straight and initially goes by trees then reaches fields. Continue across these for 400m until coming to more sheltered paths as you approach the village of Rolleston. After 200m you reach the main road again in Rolleston where you turn left to the centre of the village where you can catch buses to Newark and Southwell.

To get to the railway station. After 50m as the main road turns sharply to the right you should turn left along Station Road. This soon turns left and then right as you approach the church which has an impressive tower. Go past the church on the left and follow the road for 600m when you will reach the station.

For the River Walk

As you reach the house you go to the right taking a narrow path between the house and the river. To continue towards Newark follow my Fiskerton to Averham walk route which stays with the river for another 6km before turning to Averham with buses to Newark and Southwell.

Walks in Nottinghamshire: Walk 68 – Newark Town and River Trent Walk

14 May

Earlier in the year I described a walk along the Trent Valley Way from Newark to Collingham. It’s a long walk which also requires you to make your own way back to Newark. I thought that I should do a shorter, circular walk around Newark which includes the first part of the longer walk by the Trent. This walk starts in Newark’s impressive market place and takes in many of the town’s main attractions including the castle, church and Civil War Centre as well as a nice stretch along the river.

Start and Finish: Newark Market Place.

Distance: 4.2 km (2.7 miles)

Map of the Route

Walk Description

In Newark market place turn to face the town hall so that the church is on your right.  Walk towards the town hall which is the prominent building ahead of you but go a little to the right where you will see a narrow tunnel between buildings known as Chain Lane.  Leave the market place and walk down Chain Lane to the end where it meets Middle Gate.  Cross this road, turn right and then almost immediately left along a quiet lane called Boar Lane.  After 150m you reach Castle Gate opposite the castle.  Cross this busy road at the nearby crossing and go a little to the right and the entrance to the castle grounds and Newark castle. Go into the grounds and explore for as long as you want.

Leave the castle gardens by returning to Castle Gate at the opposite end from where you entered the gardens. Almost immediately turn right downhill away from the road along a path which takes you down to the waterside (this isn’t actually the river but the Trent Navigation – an artificial cut through on the Trent) . Turn left for about 100m as far as Newark Town Lock. Cross to the central island then cross the lock using the path across the top of the lock gates and turn right. You may have to wait for a boat to go through.

River Trent
Newark Castle

Shortly after turning right from the lock there is a bridge across where you meet the river itself on the left. Cross the bridge, turn right and walk along a firm path next to the river as you come alongside the castle.  The path reaches a road bridge just past the castle.  The riverside path goes under this bridge and so do we. After going under the bridge we continue ahead and soon join a wide path with the river to your right and apartments on your left.

The track soon approaches a marina on the left where a bridge crosses the river. Continue on this side of the river and don’t take the bridge. Instead the path goes under the bridge. Go past the marina, crossing a bridge over the entrance from the river, and rejoin the path alongside the river. So far the path has been firm and in good condition but now it can become muddier in places as you go under a bridge and into a grassy field where things have a much more rural feel.

At the end of this field you reach a distinctive bridge with a very marked hump which is known as Fiddler’s Elbow Bridge. Cross this bridge. The other bank is where the Trent Valley Way and the River Path diverge.

Fiddler’s Elbow Bridge

After crossing the bridge turn right and follow the wide, firm riverside path back the way you came for 800m. You firstly go uphill and past an area of new houses, then through a short section of trees going down to river level again. You stay by the river until reaching the marina entrance and the bridge over the river. Just after the bridge turn left to go along the lane (Cow Lane) past the Aldi supermarket and the car park to reach the main road (North Gate).

Turn right and follow the main road for 100m where there is a junction. On your right here is the Malt Shovel pub. Immediately after the pub turn right down a narrow lane (Water Lane) for 50m and where the lane ends continue straight on along a narrow tree- covered path. After another 50m you return to the riverside and turn left along a path. After 150m go past Pizza Express and when you reach the Castle Barge pub on the river turn left. Cross the car park and turn right to follow the road (The Wharf) up to the main road opposite the castle. Turn left here to go up to the roundabout. At the corner you meet North Gate again and go straight on across a zebra crossing. Turn left and then after 20m turn right to go along Kirk Gate.

Follow Kirk Gate for 150m until you reach the gotic-style church of St Mary Magdalene with St Leonard. This is the main parish church in Newark which towers over the Market Place and is one of the largest and finest parish churches in England. It is well worth having a look inside the church if you have time.

To continue the walk carry almost straight on from Kirk Gate along Church Walk with the church just to your right. Follow this for 100m to reach Appleton Gate but before doing this you may wish to have a short stroll around the nice gardens and paths on your left.

On reaching Appleton Gate you find yourself opposite the National Civil War Centre Museum which tells you about the 17th century conflict between the Royalists and Parliamentarians. Newark was besieged in a crucial part of the War and King Charles I was captured not far away.

If not visiting the Civil War Centre turn right along Appleton Gate for 50m and then turn right again along Bridge Street which soon brings you to the Market place again and the end of the walk.

Nottinghamshire Walk 67 : Following The Course Of The River Greet (Almost) To Its Source

31 Mar


The River Greet, which is about 14 kilometres long, is a tributary of the Trent , flowing through Southwell and surrounding villages before entering the Trent near Fiskerton. This walk follows the River Greet upstream and can be treated in a number of ways. The river can only be followed closely for about 6 km of its course and that will be the central part of this description. However you can try and stick with the river to be reacquainted at various points both downstream and upstream of the central walk. I’ll include a guide to following it the rest of the way for those wanting to do this with the description in italics.

Most descriptions of river walks tend to go downstream. There is a logic to this because you see the river’s journey as it progresses from small beginnings and becomes ever larger. However, in this case I’m being contrary by starting where the Greet enters the Trent and heading upstream. The Greet doesn’t really fit the pattern of many rivers as it doesn’t get any wider as you go downstream and actually gets narrower as you approach the Trent.

Complete Walk

Start: Entry of the Greet to the Trent near Fiskerton

Finish: The large pond near Moor Farm south of Kirklington

Central part of the walk

Start: Rolleston Village. There are bus stops in the village on the Stagecoach 28 bus route which runs approximately every two hours during the week. This also serves Fiskerton and runs between Southwell and Newark.

Finish: Maythorne

Distance: 14km for the complete walk, 6km for the main part of the walk from Rolleston to Maythorne.

Map of the Route

Description of the Walk

Extra Downstream Section Start: Where the Greet enters the River Trent about 500m north of Fiskerton. There is a bus stop by the main junction in the centre of the village and a car park about 200m from the start of the walk next to the Trent.

The Greet just before entering the Trent

The walk starts at the brick bridge on the main road north of Fiskerton which the Greet goes underneath and straight into the Trent. It must be said that the Greet at this point isn’t very impressive as it really has become just a dyke. This bridge is close to a large red-brick building just a little further north on the right of the road. To continue the walk head north along the road for 150m and then turn left at a signpost to follow a footpath. This path is obvious on a slight embankment and meanders a little to left then right.

After 300m you can turn along another footpath to the left which takes you over a dyke then after 100m reaches Fiskerton Mill where you can have another look at the Greet. Retrace your steps to the first footpath and turn left. The path is quite straight and initially goes by trees then reaches fields. Continue across these for 400m until coming to more sheltered paths as you approach the village of Rolleston. After 200m you reach the main road again in Rolleston where you turn left. This is where the main part of the River Greet walk begins.

Central Section

After 50m as the main road turns sharply to the right you should turn left along Station Road. This soon turns left and then right as you approach the church which has an impressive tower. Go past the church on the left and follow the road for 150m where you reach another bridge over the Greet.  After this glimpse of the river return towards Rolleston. In 50m you reach the Rolleston village sign and immediately after that a track on the left. Turn off the road here and follow the track. Soon it goes to the right.  You arrive at a railway crossing which you should cross with care.  You will see a small waymark with a wavy  arrow on it which indicates that you are on the Trent Valley Way.  After the crossing turn left along a narrow, surfaced track for about fifty metres then turn right onto a track leading to a golf course. After 100m go up an embankment and past a small bridge keeping on this side of the river.

You find yourself almost on the racecourse to your left with the Greet just to your right. You can now follow the river for the next 2km. At first you have the racecourse on your left and golf course just over the river to the right. The path is easy to follow and you just stay with the river. The path soon goes further away from the racecourse and leaves the golf course behind for farmland.

You start to head west and in 400m reach one end of a line of tall trees which extends to the racecourse which you again come close to. The Ordnance Survey map here suggests the path isn’t continuous but it is and 400m after that you see a house on the other side of the Greet. This is Upton Mill which is now a B & B. A little further on a bridge crosses the river but remain on this side in grassy fields for about 600m further.  The built-up banking is sometimes too high for you to see the river as you stay next to wooden fence posts on your left. The river follows a rather wiggly course but is easy to follow as you just stay along side it.  At end of the grassy field you have been in since going past the bridge you leave the posts behind, pass a hedge and go into an arable field.  The opposite bank of the river here is worn away where sheep go down to drink. 

This is the point where you turn away from the river for over a kilometre. Go left and follow the edge of the field to a corner. Then turn sharp right along the field edge for 200m until another hedge corner where you turn left following the hedge to another field corner after 100m.  This is next to the road that goes to the racecourse.  Just past this corner you can step over a low bit of fence to go up the bank to join the road to the racecourse or you can stay at the field edge parallel to road.  This path can be a little uneven in places but is easy to follow next to the bank until the path goes up the bank onto the road after 500m.  If you have already gone onto the road take care as although there isn’t much traffic outside race days it can be fast moving as the road is straight. 

Follow the racecourse road absolutely straight for 800m then turn left for 100m and right for 100m. This takes you out onto the main road at the eastern edge of Southwell. Cross this road and turn right along the pavement for 100m then turn left away from the road going through a gate onto a good path where you meet the Greet again.

Follow this firm path almost straight along for the next 400m in a nice area with many trees, going near to the community orchard which has a good variety of different apples.  At first there is no sign of the river Greet but soon the path approaches the river which is on the right. On your left a little way off are some houses.  The path twists and turns a little before coming to the road by a tall mill building.  Take the path up to the road (Station Road) and you are now opposite a car park.

At the road cross, turn right and pass the tall mill building overlooking the River Greet and pond. Immediately after the mill turn left along a footpath. This crosses a short patch of gravel before becoming a narrow path with the river Greet on your left and Reg Taylor’s garden centre on your right.  You are separated from the garden centre by a fence but can see through that. Shortly you can see a pond in the garden centre which can be worth having a look at to see the birds.

The path itself can be rather muddy at this point as it seems to get a fair amount of use and is narrow. The river here is about six feet wide. Carry on straight along the path as you reach the end of the garden centre. You now reach fields on your right with the river still at your left as it starts to make small meanders. The walk continues straight along the path. The fields on the right can be quite varied in character depending on the time of year you walk. In recent years these fields have often had maize in them. In the spring you may be able to see across the fields but as the year goes on the maize grows higher and higher until it really is “as high an elephant’s eye” before harvesting in the late autumn. On my most recent visit it had been left over the winter and looked quite strange. If the maize is tall I think it gives a rather exotic feel to the area. You walk along and can imagine being in a tropical country with the vegetation towering above you. It also gives a sense of isolation. Someone could be twenty yards away and have no idea you were walking there hidden by the maize.

Maize field near Southwell

Maize field near Southwell

Eventually you have to make a sharp right turn at the end of a field. Ignore the temptation to carry on into the clump of trees. There is a path going into the trees but that has been caused by people thinking that is the correct path, me included. It comes to a dead end at the river and you will have to turn around. Having taken the sharp right turn follow the field edge for about 200m before taking a left turn through a gap in the hedge.

River Greet near Maythorne

The river Greet appears again on your left as you emerge from the hedge. It is slightly wider than before and is flowing more quickly. Walk alongside the river for 200m before you have to divert your course slightly as you reach the hamlet of Maythorne where the river comes tumbling down a short, steep section.  You cross a wooden footbridge and walk a few yards towards the tall mill building in Maythorne to reach a narrow footbridge over the river as it sweeps down from the mill.  This is the end of the main part of the River Greet walk as you can’t follow the river continuously any further. If you wish to return to Southwell from here you can easily do so by walking through the “courtyard” area of Maythorne past the few buildings. Then go up the road for 100 yards to the old railway track and turn left along that.   You can follow the track all the way back to Southwell.

You can choose to continue the additional part of the walk towards the river’s source and will come to the Greet again in about 2km.(see the section in italics below).

Near the Mill at Maythorne

Following the Greet (almost) to its source

To continue the walk towards the source go back to the first footbridge you came to near Maythorne. Go slightly downhill under some trees towards a stile. Cross the stile. The area around the stile can be rather muddy at times and you may have to step carefully around to reach the field beyond the mud. This field can be a little wet underfoot after heavy rain but otherwise is a pleasant grassy meadow. The path across the field can usually be seen quite clearly. You are aiming to the right of a few trees in the middle of the field towards the hedge on your right as you cross the field and then for the far right hand corner of the field.  Go to the right out of the field across a stile being careful of the thorns in the hedge on your left, then immediately turn left over a wooden plank bridge and another stile. You enter a new field, dryer than the last. Aim diagonally across this field towards the hedge corner on your right. On reaching this corner turn right uphill, walking in the middle of this narrower part of the field towards a telegraph pole. Go to the right of the telegraph pole towards the corner of the field where there is a stile by a gate. Cross the stile and go downhill for 10m onto a road. This is Corkhill Road.

Turn left along the road going quite steeply for a short way downhill. You emerge from the trees at the bottom of this little hill. On your right is a long, quite steep ridge whilst on your left are flat fields.  Follow Corkhill Road for about a mile. The road isn’t very busy but you will probably encounter a few vehicles as you walk along. Fortunately the verge is wide all the way along. I chose this way because the views here are better than if you walk along the railway track. There is nothing very remarkable but you can see quite a long way on your left hand side across the farmland towards small clumps of trees. You may see buzzards as you walk along. On your right you pass a few farms at regular intervals. The verge looks nice in springtime with yellow celandines in many places.

Eventually you reach the village of Kirklington where Corkhill Road meets the busy A617 coming down the hill. Carry straight on along the A617.  This road isn’t very nice to walk beside but there is a pavement and we are only alongside for a short time. After 150m look for a footpath sign on the left as you reach the entrance to a farm and barn area. Turn left and walk straight down the track entrance with the barn to your right. Carry straight on across the field for eighty metres until you reach a wooden bridge over the river.

The bridge is about ten feet above the river which at this point has high, muddy banks as it meanders through. This bridge is a good point to pause for a short while. I have stood quietly here watching a good variety of birds in the nearby trees which were seemingly unaware of my presence.  On leaving the bridge you have to find your way through a small but quite dense patch of woodland. There are a few paths through the wood and you may have to look  a little carefully to spot the way. Take the path on your right as you leave the bridge. You reach the corner of the wood which has a yellow waymarked post after 150m.

From this corner cross the thirty metres of the field in front of you and then go for a short way with the hedge on your right until you come to a gateway into a large, grassy field. Turn left and walk between the hedge on your left and a fence  on your right for fifty metres. The fence then disappears and you enter a wider expanse of the same field. Ahead of you down the small slope you can see a pond. Head just to the right of this pond down the hill.

Smaller Pond near Kirlkington

On reaching the pond you come to a solid, wooden footbridge over a stream, in fact this is the River Greet again. Crossing this bridge you reach a metal kissing gate. Turn right to follow the path with the Greet on our right. After 300m you come out by a road next to large mill building and a kind of pond where the Greet comes through. There is a pedestrian bridge over the river by the mill. From the bridge turn around and walk out to the road and turn left along the pavement. Soon you see the drive to a  farm, Moor Farm, on the opposite side of the road which has a wooden footpath finger-post pointing along it. Cross the road and turn into the driveway.

Walk along this drive, a roadway between hedges, for 300m. As you near the entrance to the farm property look on your right for a path between trees. Walk down this path. After 50m you reach a large pond (or small lake) which the Greet flows through. This is a lovely spot and home to a good selection of water birds. You will often see mallards, coots, moorhens, swans, geese, tufted ducks and little grebes. I have also seen herons, cormorant and gadwall here along with grey wagtails in the area to the right where the water from the pond drops into the pool and river.

Officially the source of the Greet is just beyond the far end of the pond on private farmland. However, this is the last place where there is public access to the River Greet and is a fine place to complete the walk. Well done if you have come all the way from Fiskerton along the river.

Pool near the pond

The next challenge is to make your way from Kirklington. If you are relying on public transport there are only a few buses each day and the best place to go is to the main junction in the village where the A617 meets the road you left before coming to the pond. Alternatively head across the fields to reach Edingley or Farnsfield where the buses are more frequent. (see the end of my Walk 6 for the route).

There is another option you can take if you really are a River Greet completist who wants to trace it to its furthest extent. There are two tributaries of the Greet, Edingley Beck and Cotton Mill Dyke which can be followed quite closely for two kilometres taking you to Edingley and Farnsfield. I won’t give a detailed description here unless requested but to follow Edingley Beck you should return from the large pond to the road in Kirklington and turn right. Just out of the village take the first road right and then go to the car park at the old Kirklington station. Turn left off the railway track and follow Edingley Beck through fields to Edingley village. From there turn left along the main road towards Farnsfield. 300m after leaving the village turn left along Allesford Lane. After 150m turn right onto a footpath which follows the Cotton Mill Dyke in fields leading to Cotton Mill Farm. At the farm turn right and after 50m left into a field. At the end of this field is the entrance area to a cricket field. Go left to the gate to the cricket field and look to your left where there is a small ditch which in wet weather has water in it which flows into the Cotton Mill Dyke and eventually the Trent.