Archive | January, 2014

Walk 12:Haywood Oaks and Blidworth

19 Jan

This is a walk which is quite good when the weather has been wet. Much of it is either on proper firm tracks in woodland or on pavements. Other parts are in sandy woodland which tend to drain quite well although after particularly wet weather the odd patch may be slightly muddy.  One other thing to bear in mind is that there have been cases where dogs have been taken ill after walking  in Haywood Oaks.  This seems to have occurred in late summer or early autumn. No conclusive reason has been found for this as yet but it may be something that grows at that time of year.

Start: Haywood Oaks Car Park just to the south-east of Blidworth on Baulker Lane, the road to the A614 from Blidworth.  If coming by public transport start from Dale Lane near the end of Blidworth village about half a mile from the car park.

Distance: 4 miles

From the car park go back to reach the main track which continues from the car park entrance. This is a good, wide, firm track which is fine to walk on in all conditions. Follow the track downhill away from Baulker Lane. After 500 yards straight it bends to the right and then to the left over the next 300 yards. When the track starts to straighten again and you can see a long straight section ahead we turn right off the main track to go onto a narrower path. The path you want is the one with a field immediately to the right of it. This field often contains pigs. The path goes quite sharply uphill alongside the field before levelling out after 300 yards. Keep going straight on along the path until you come to a house after another 300 yards.

Just before you reach the house bear left along the track taking you to a road. Cross the road and turn left to walk along the verge. The road has more traffic than you would expect for a country road so take care. After  200 yards you reach another area of woodland on your right. Take the first path on the right that you come to, going through a small hedge. The path is narrow and not very obvious through the hedge but soon becomes much wider. Go downhill on a wide track at the edge of the public part of the wood keeping next to a wire fence on your right. The path drops quite steeply downhill along a sandy track. After 400 yards you reach the bottom of the dip and start to climb again along another sandy path bearing slightly to the right to keep to the edge of the wood.

After 600 yards the edge of the wood turns almost at ninety degrees to the right. Where it does so we carry straight on going further into the the wood. After 200 yards we reach the other side of the wood. Now the open farmland is to our left with a lane a few hundred yards away. Continue along a narrower path going almost straight on along the edge of the wood with the views of the farmland to the left. After 400 yards the path turns to the right then soon to the left. Keep following it along the edge of the wood until you come to two rows of short wooden stumps marking the end of the wood. Go between these posts onto a wide track.

This is part of the Robin Hood Way. Turn right and go along the wide track which soon starts to climb fairly steeply.  The track surface is good in all but the worst weather. After 200 yards you leave the wood behind and the track starts curving slightly to the left. After 600 yards you reach the edge of Blidworth. As you near the top of the hill turn round and look behind you.  The view is slightly obscured by the hedge but is still a good one. You can see to the south towards Blidworth Bottoms which is now well below you.  Houses start to appear on either side of you as you crest the top of the hill. The track ends and becomes a road. Follow the road straight on going downhill for 200 yards until you reach a small war memorial on the right of the road. go down the steps to the side of the memorial to reach the pavement next to the main road through Blidworth. Turn right along the pavement going down the hill. At the bottom of the hill you reach the main junction in Blidworth where our road meets the other major roads in the village.

Cross the forecourt of the garage on the right of the junction and take the main road ahead of you bearing slightly to the right.  Follow this road, Dale Lane,  for 800 yards. At a convenient point along Dale Lane cross the main road so that you are walking along the pavement on the left hand side. While walking along Dale Lane you will cross several side roads and will notice bus stops at regular intervals. There are regular buses from Mansfield and hourly buses that go on to Farnsfield and Newark. You can start and finish this walk from here if you are using public transport to reach Blidworth.

Path through the trees near Blidworth

Path through the trees near Blidworth

As you reach the end of the village immediately after the last house on the left side of the road take a footpath going into the wood. The path through the trees is a pleasant one. Follow the most obvious path through the wood which bears slightly to the left and winds it way through the pine trees. The path is a good one but keep your eyes open for the odd tree root which reaches the path. The path turns a little to the right after two hundred yards and after another hundred yards takes you back out to the edge of the wood near the site of the now demolished Jolly Friar pub.  At this point turn left. You can either follow the narrow path along the edge of the wood or move ten yards further out to follow a broad grassy ride which runs parallel to the edge of the wood. After two hundred yards you reach a track coming across you. Turn right along this track downhill for fifty yards and then turn left keeping to the wide track.

After 200 yards the track turns uphill to the right with the trees now closer to you on either side. Follow the track which goes quite sharply uphill and is sandy in small patches. After 400 yards you come to the road at the top of the hill.   Not far to the left on the opposite side of the road is the entrance to the car park from which the walk began. Return to the car park to complete your walk taking care as you cross the road as cars can come along quite quickly.