Archive | December, 2012

Walk 4: Combs Wood

31 Dec

A walk over the fields with great views Farnsfield and surrounding countryside. Returning through Comb’s Wood to Farnsfield.

Start: Farnsfield Co-op in the centre of the village.  The car park now only allows a one hour stay so you may prefer to begin the walk at Parfitt Drive where you can park for longer.

Distance:3.5 miles

This is a walk over fields to the top of a hill which gives some of the best views near Farnsfield.


The Walk

Follow the route of  Walk 1 to reach the Acres playing fields.  The directions from walk 1 are repeated here in italics.

From the car-park walk to the junction of Tippings Lane with the Main Street. From the entrance to the Co-op turn right along the Main Street and walk along the pavement. After 50 yards you will come to Atherley’s bakery. This is very popular with villagers and if you want a snack before or after your walk good quality food can be bought here.

Continue along the pavement past the entrance to the Pot Yard. After 100 yards you reach Quaker Lane. Cross the end of Quaker Lane and walk past the bus stop with The Plough pub on the other side of the road. There is a good size car park at The Plough as well if you wish to start the walk from here. Pass the bottom end of The Ridgeway, also on the opposite side of the road, and walk for another 200 yards and turn into the entrance to Parfitt Drive.

Parfitt Drive is a quite new development of houses with a large grassy area nearby. Walk past the children’s playground and onto the grass. Pass just to the left of a clump of trees and walk straight on until you reach a metal gate (see photo). Go through the gap next to the gate onto a field with the village allotments. Bear slightly to the right until you reach a wooden fence with a gap which enables you to pass through onto a wide track. Walk on this track for thirty yards towards a metal barrier. Just to the left of this barrier is a gap to walk through where a patch of  shale has been added. Recently a wooden fence has been built which requires a jink to the left of five metres or so before you enter onto the Acres.

The Acres is the main football field in Farnsfield with two pitches at right-angles to each other. The nearer pitch isn’t used by the football club. There were swings just to your left as you walk onto the Acres but now only the rubberised surround remains. Walk straight ahead towards a red-brick building which are the changing-rooms for the football club. After 200 yards you are at the far end of the Acres.

Follow the main path almost straight on as it enters an area of woodland. The trees in this plantation were only planted around twenty years ago but have formed a nice little area to walk through. Over the years various other paths have been formed through the trees. these can be explored if you have time. For this walk I am following the widest path which goes almost straight ahead. The path is a good one on short grass passing between the trees with a clearing and bench on the left after one hundred yards. Another hundred yards beyond this the path dips slightly to a ditch and you leave the woodland.

The path enters a field and rises for about two hundred yards. The field can get a little muddy after wet weather but dries quite well, especially when it is breezy as it is quite open. At the top of the field is a bench which you may wish to take advantage of after the short climb. Looking back from the bench you can see the football pitches again.

Where Walk 1 turns right down the track,  this walk (Walk 4) continues straight ahead.

Walk straight on by the field edge with a hedge to your left. After 100 yards the hedge ends and the path carries on ahead downhill. It is nearly always well-defined to the bottom of the hollow.  After wet weather it can be a little muddy at the very bottom.  At the bottom you come to a hedge coming in from the right. Go to the left of the end of this hedge and through a gap into the corner of a new field. Our route keeps roughly straight ahead up a steep little hill by a new hedge.  Keep the new hedge, mainly of trees, to your left and follow the field edge up this sharp rise for 200 yards.

Back towards Farnsfield from the top of the hill

Back towards Farnsfield from the top of the hill

At the top of the climb you come to a fence with a stile by another hedge. Nowadays there is a gap by the stile so there is no need to climb the stile itself.  Go through this gap and turn immediately right with the hedge now on your right.  After 50 yards you reach the corner of the field and must turn left going slightly uphill.  After 30 yards you reach the top of the hill. You can see back the way you came all the way to Farnsfield. Ahead of you are views to another ridge and to the east are extensive views towards Newark. On a clear day you can see for miles. To the west you can see Comb’s Wood along the hill.

Towards Greaves Lane from the top of  the hill

Towards Greaves Lane from the top of the hill

From the top of the hill go quite steeply downhill along the field edge with the hedge to your right.  The field may have crops in it and if you stick to the very edge of the field the ground is slightly uneven in places. The field and path can get a little muddy but is generally not bad.  After 300 yards you reach the bottom of the hill. Look for one of the gaps in the hedge on the right and go through to the other side of the hedge.  Now with the hedge on your left walk for fifty yards until you reach a stream in a ditch. Turn right here along the edge of the field for fifty yards. The ground here can be wet so you may have to look for  a drier line just in from the field edge.  You come to the end of a farm track on your left leading to a wooden gate. Follow this track over the stream to the gate 80 yards away. Occasionally the gate is open but if it isn’t go to the right of the gate and climb over a stile to reach a road (Greaves Lane) opposite a farm.

Looking back up the hill from near Greaves Lane

Looking back up the hill from near Greaves Lane

Turn right here and walk along Greaves Lane.  The road has a few undulations and bends but doesn’t have much traffic. Nevertheless, you should pay attention near the bends as there are no verges in places.  As you reach the next farm on the left after 300 yards, look to the right of the road for a metal gate and path leading into the woods (Combs Wood).  There is a signpost for a ByWay here. Go through the gate and follow the path. Initially it is quite narrow and slightly muddy. After 200 yards it widens and becomes a good firm track. the path starts to ascend the hill with steep banks to either side among the trees.  This path has been greatly improved over the last few years. It used to become very muddy due to the water run-off from the banks but now the path has been widened and resurfaced it is nice to walk on in all conditions.  The path climbs steadily for nearly half a mile through the wood. The woodland is pleasant but the views are limited by the banks next to the path.As you near the top you see another wide track coming in from the left but you carry on straight ahead.

The improved path in Combs Wood

The improved path in Combs Wood

The path continues uphill for a short way before reaching the top of the hill. If you look to your right you can see quite a long way through the gaps in the trees, as the banks you have been walking between up the hill have now disappeared.  The path now starts to go downhill. Pass to the left of a stile and enter an area of thicker woodland. The path descends more steeply with a hollow to your right. Continue downhill for 300 yards to the end of the wood.

In contrast to the good work that has been done on the path you have just walked up, in this part of the wood the path is much worse than it used to be.  Time was that there was a good covering of pine needles on the path which helped with drainage and were lovely and springy to walk on.  Unfortunately some years ago many of the pine trees were felled which left the path open to the elements. Now in places the path can be so muddy that you have to walk off the main path to avoid the worst of it.  There is one patch of mud half-way down the hill and at the bottom of the wood you come to a series of steps which seem to hold the water running down the slope.  This makes the path on the steps very muddy for much of the time. It is such a shame as this path used to be so nice to walk on.  There used to be a sign here warning of adders.  However, be reassured that these are something you will not come across.

The path on the steps gets narrow as you leave the woodland and go near brambles, another hazard when the path is slippery.  This may sound like a good reason to avoid this path and I would much prefer to wait for dry weather to do it. However, if you don’t mind mud the rewards on leaving the wood are worth it.  The view is excellent and with a bench to sit on you can enjoy it while resting.

Looking towards Farnsfield from Combs Wood

Looking towards Farnsfield from Combs Wood

Go quite steeply downhill by the field edge with the hedge next to you on your right.   At the bottom of the hill in wet weather it can be a little muddy. Keep going straight on until you leave the field and emerge onto Combs Lane. Here the lane is unmetalled but is fine to walk on, the surface being firm and in good condition.  Leaving the field turn right and keep following the lane for the next mile into Farnsfield. After 200 yards the surface has a few pot-holes which can after very wet weather be filled with water. You can find a way past most of them but in extremely bad weather one or two will require you to edge past on the verge or walk through.  400 yards from the field you left, by a large tree, you come to a track coming in from the left at the edge of a field. This leads to the Blidworth road. 100 yards further on you meet the route from Walk 1 coming from the right. You can choose to follow that route to the finish.

This is the alternative way along the lane.

Carry on along Combs Lane as the walk 1 route joins you. After 100 yards where you see a bench, walk 1 goes off down the path to the left. Walk 4 continues straight on along the lane. The lane here needs a little care as there is no verge and surrounded by quite tall hedges. It is unlikely that you will meet traffic but sometimes vehicles from the farms do come along. After 200 yards follow  a small bend to the right then left. On the bend is the gated entrance to a house. After the bends follow the lane downhill towards tall newish houses.  200 yards further along is another bend to the right with a barn on the right of the lane.  This barn has become a very  poplar roosting spot for starlings.  Keep following the lane for 50 yards as you head into the village.

The end of the lane meets another road as you reach the village. As you meet the road (actually the junction of Tippings Lane and Quaker Lane) turn left  along Tippings Lane with houses now on both sides of the road. The road starts to bend round. After 50 yards on your left cross a road leading to some new houses (this is Powell Court and The Brambles development).  Continue following the main road around the bend. You come to a little rise and dip just before Beck Lane comes in from the left.  Ignore Beck Lane and carry on ahead as our road straightens. Cross the road Gregory Gardens (named after a man from Farnsfield who explored Australia) on the right and go all the way up Tippings Lane to reach the Co-op car park and the finish of the walk.

Walk 3: Farnsfield and Edingley

2 Dec

Walk 3: Farnsfield and Edingley (2.8 miles)

Introduction: Edingley is the next village to the east of Farnsfield, lying about a mile away along the main road. This walk takes you from Farnsfield to Edingley and back along local footpaths.

Start: At the Farnsfield Co-op in the centre of the village as with walks 1 and 2.

From the Co-op car park walk away from the Main Street down Tippings Lane. Immediately after the end of the car park turn left along a little path called Sunnyside. This has recently been resurfaced with tarmac. Walk straight along this path for 150 yards all the way to the end ignoring the turn-off to the right half-way along. You pass between hedges,  gardens and houses.  At the end of Sunnyside you reach Quaker Lane. Turn right for 10 yards then cross Quaker Lane and join another path between houses opposite. After 20 yards this surfaced path becomes rougher and turns into an ordinary footpath.

After 100 yards you come to a junction of paths.  Take the firm path bearing slightly to your right (not the grassy path). This path has houses to your right and a hedge to the left. Carry on along this path for 200 hundred yards, crossing a road which goes to the cul-de-sac of houses on the right, continuing straight on.  The path then meets the corner of a wide track which leads to the Acres playing fields (described in walk 1).  Follow this track almost straight on towards the playing fields with swings 50 yards ahead.

Just before reaching the playing fields turn left along a wide grassy track passing the swings (with the fence between you and the swings). After 100 yards this reaches a gate. Go through a gap to the left of the gate and immediately afterwards go over a stile into a large field. This field sometimes contains cows. Walk all the way to the far end of the field keeping the hedge just to your left. You will notice that you are on a little ridge about two feet higher than the rest of the field.  After 300 yards you come to a gate. The area around the gate can be rather muddy due to the cows entering and leaving the field. The gate itself is rather flimsy. For some reason the previous, sturdy one has disappeared.

Closing the gate behind you enter Cotton Mill Farm. You may encounter a three-legged dog in the farm!  Turn right along the track through the farm but after twenty yards go through a gate on your left into another field. Again this can be muddy by the entrance as this is used by cows. There are a few paths from the farm so make sure that you are following the path with a ditch and tree-lined stream, Cotton Mill Dyke, just to your right.  Walk alongside the stream for 400 yards turning slightly to the left as you near Allesford Lane, leaving the field by another gate and crossing a small footbridge to reach the lane. Go straight over the lane into another field.

Looking back towards Allesford Lane

Looking back towards Allesford Lane

In 2012 this field had head-high maize in it but the path through was clear. If there are smaller crops you can see the way across which is straight on for 200 yards towards tall trees  separating the path from a garden. On reaching the far side of the field keep going straight as the path becomes a track which is the drive to the house. Walk straight on along the track and go through a gate into a nice grassy field next to an equestrian arena. Cross this field to another gate in the next hedge 100 yards further on.  Once after extreme rainfall this gate was surrounded by a large puddle and I had to find a gap in the hedge further along. However, this was exceptional and you should have no problems here.

Go through the gate and cross the next grass field to a taller hedge which has another gate in it which you pass through.  In the following field bear slightly left to a footbridge over a stream.  Cross this and continue slightly leftwards across a field to another gate.  You are now in Edingley near the church.  Going through this gate takes you onto a drive. Turn left and walk for fifty yards to the road.  Cross the road and turn left along the pavement. Follow the pavement for 300 yards passing the Reindeer pub on the way.  As the road bends to the left look for a footpath sign on the right of the pavement near some allotments.

Turn down this path past the allotments and across a bridge over a stream (the Cotton Mill Dyke again). The path now goes along the edge of a field for  50 yards before going straight across the field past a big tree. Follow this footpath to a gap in the hedge opposite and over a little bridge in the hedge. The other side of the hedge is a large field. The path goes at about 45 degrees to your left for 100 yards to another hedge. From the hedge turn right and follow the field edge for 200 yards to the end of the field.

Here you almost reach the disused railway track. Stop just before that and take the wide grassy path to your left running parallel to the railway track . After thirty yards you join with the route of walk 2 of this series. Follow that route all the way to the Co-op in the village as described here.

Walk  along this track through a slightly muddy section and keep going straight all the way back into Farnsfield. After 100 yards the track leaves the grass behind as you reach a house on the left. The path becomes gradually firmer. Near the pumping station and the first houses on your right the track becomes a metalled road (Brickyard Lane). Just past the turning to the pumping station the road passes between hedges with no verge. In the unusual event of a vehicle coming down the lane take care here.

You soon reach the main part of the village with houses on either side. Carry on all the way to the end of Brickyard Lane where it turns sharply right to meet The Ridgeway very near to the junction with the Main Street.  At this point you can join Walk 1 from this site by crossing the Main Street and turning left. The two walks combined make a circuit of just over five miles.  On the north side of the street near The Ridgeway is The Plough pub. If you are just doing walk 2 turn right along the Main Street. You can proceed on either side of the street but need to cross it at some point to return to the Co-op.  After 300 yards you return to your starting point.