Archive | February, 2014

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 13: Farnsfield to Blidworth

27 Feb

A walk across the fields from Farnsfield to Blidworth Woods and into the village.

This walk is to the village of Blidworth nearly four miles to the west of Farnsfield.  There are buses between Farnsfield and Blidworth every hour (number 28) so you can return to your starting point easily. The walk can be done in either direction. For this walk I recommend doing it in this direction because when you cross the A614 you can see the traffic more easily.  The walk itself isn’t the most inspiring one but the fields are pleasant enough and it provides a decent link between the two villages.  The walk can also be used to link with the Haywood Oaks Walk that I have described earlier.

Distance: 3.7 miles

Start: Farnsfield Co-op.

From the Co-op at the end of Tippings Lane turn left along the Main Street across Tippings Lane and walk along this side of the Main Street for 200 yards as far as the church. Walk a little further past a slight leftward bend to The Green. This is no longer much of a village green but a small island with a tree on it . On the other side of the Main Street here is The Lion pub (formerly The Red Lion). On the near side of the street by the Green is the main village bus stop from where buses go to Mansfield, Nottingham and Worksop.  From here you can go left directly up the Blidworth Road going away from The Lion. However, there is no pavement up the hill and there is a fair amount of traffic.

I prefer an alternative route.  From the bus stop cross to the island and go straight across from there to the houses beyond. At this point you should still be on the other side of the Main Street from The Lion but now directly opposite.  Carry on along the pavement by the Main Street on the opposite side  from the Lion for 15o yards until you reach another bus stop opposite the end of Chapel Lane which meets the main road on the right. On the other side of the road here you can see a small red-brick building. This was the village jail. It is so small that it seems Farnsfield must have been quite a law-abiding place.

Just past the bus-stop go through a wooden gate into a field. This field often has horses in it and occasionally sheep, although they may be kept off the path by a temporary fence.  Cross this field going initially downhill slightly but then uphill for 200 yards until you reach another wooden gate at the far end, the corner of Blidworth Road.

Go through the gate at the top of the field and turn immediately to your right away from the main road. Walk straight along this track (Vicarage Lane) for 200 yards. The track initially passes some houses on the left with a hedge to your right. It changes from a lane to a track and then grass until you reach a small grassy area with a bench. Go through the gate in the left hand corner ahead of you still going in the same direction as before. Follow the path straight on with a hedge now immediately to your left.  Go through another gate and emerge into  a very large field. Initially you have  a hedge on each side but after fifty yards these disappear and you are in an open expanse of arable field.

Keep going straight on following the well-defined path across the field for 300 yards aiming for a tree almost straight ahead.   Go just to the left of the tree passing under the branches. You now find yourself in a smaller field. Walk straight on along the field edge, which can be a little narrow after ploughing, with a hedge next to you on your left. After 100 yards go down steps into another field. The route now proceeds roughly straight on, bearing slightly to the right, through a series of fields which are each between 100 and 200 yards across.   The path is usually well defined, though occasionally ploughing may make the route less obvious. Look for posts with waymarks or yellow tops ahead of you. The crops in these fields vary from year to year.  If maize has been planted it can become rather tall.

Looking back towards Farnsfield from fields going towards the A614.

Looking back towards Farnsfield from fields going towards the A614.

After crossing three fields you come to the final field before the A614. The A614 ahead is obvious because of the almost constant flow of traffic. The path on this final field is not as clear as in the others but as you enter the field you should be close to the right hand side of it. If there is no path across just walk ten yards to the right and follow the hedge straight on towards the A614.  The proper way out of the field is over a stile but there is now a gap in the hedge right in the corner which you may be able to go through.  This takes you to the verge of the A614.  The road is very busy and extreme care should be taken in crossing.  Going in this direction at least you have a clear view of the road but if walking from Blidworth to Farnsfield you can’t see clearly because of the bend.  If you are coming from Blidworth then the best thing to do is to go down to the roundabout at the White Post and use the crossing.  

Go straight across the A614 and then find a small metal step stile on the right of the gateway to the house.  Cross the stile and turn immediately left to walk alongside the fence guarding the house.  The last time I went this way I was slightly startled to just about hear above the traffic a recorded announcement warning me that  CCTV was guarding the property.  Don’t worry about this, the footpath doesn’t enter the property. After fifty yards you reach the driveway coming up the hill. At this point turn left for ten yards and then go right over or round a stile.  This takes you onto a decent track which goes straight for 200 yards down a small hill.   The track then rises for fifty yards and then turns at ninety degrees to the left.  Follow the track round for another fifty yards until the thin hedge on the right disappears.  At this point turn to the right where you will find yourself at the top of a field with a long hedge going straight ahead down the hill. Walk down the hill keeping the hedge to your right.  The grass can be a little rough and long but it isn’t too bad. After 300 yards you reach the end of the field and come to a wide farm track.

Go straight over the track but just slightly to the right so that you are by the field edge of the next field beyond the track.  Walk past a small concrete hut-type construction on your right.  Keep walking in the same direction along the field edge.  If there are no crops in the field you may prefer to walk just off the grass which can be slightly overgrown at times.  On your right there is a hedge which initially separates you from some rather unappealing looking waste ground but that then gives way to a caravan park with a nicer grassy area at about the point that you enter a  new field.   Carry on along the field edge until you have come about 500 yards from the farm track and “hut”.  As you reach the end of the field look for a fairly narrow gap by a signpost in the hedge at the end which drops down  a few feet into a new field (see photo).

Field on the way to Blidworth

Field on the way to Blidworth

This next field is around 300 yards wide. The path goes roughly straight across although it bears slightly to the left.  The path is often well-defined but if it isn’t your first target is the telegraph pole almost straight ahead in the middle of the field.  Pass just to the right of that and keep going straight on until you reach the end of the field.  You should come to a signposted gate and stile.  Go up and over the stile onto another farm track running straight across.  Go right along the track for a few yards and then turn left to walk alongside the hedge in the next field, keeping the hedge immediately to your left.  The path is next to and about two feet above the main area of the field.  If the path is in good condition you should follow it. If it is too overgrown, which it can occasionally be, drop down to walk at the very edge of the field itself.  After 100 yards you cross a little ditch on a plank, or if you are in the field you will notice a small accumulation of stones which seem to have washed down from the slope which has started to develop to your left.  After another 200 yards you reach the end of the field.  Look for a sturdy wooden plank on the left which takes you over the ditch and to the corner of the woods.

Path near Blidworth Woods

Path near Blidworth Woods

By the woods follow the wide and rather nice grassy path ahead.  On the left is thick woodland and on the right a substantial hedge with trees which make this path rather secluded and a nice contrast to the open fields you have crossed.  Once walking along here I came across a fox  crossing the path.  Keep along this path for 300 yards until you reach the junction with the wide woodland track which is part of my Haywood Oaks walk. (Here you are around 400 yards from the start and finish of that walk).  You can either turn left  along the track almost going back on yourself to follow that walk or carry on ahead aiming  for Blidworth.

Here if you carry straight on you reach the main road after another two hundred yards and turn right to go into Blidworth.   However, my preferred route instead turns right going slightly uphill between two areas of woodland.  After fifty yards turn left along the track at the edge of the wood which has a wide grassy area alongside it.   The Jolly Friar pub has now been demolished, which until fairly recently occupied this site .  You can either go all the way along this track until it comes to the main road, or take the path that appears on the right after 200 yards near the pub which winds through the trees and reaches the road a little further down.  I prefer the latter route amongst the pine trees.  If taking this route the path is fairly clear.  After initially going to the right slightly uphill bear to the left towards the road which you should be able to see or hear.

Whichever way you go you will have arrived at the main road at the end of Blidworth village. Turn right and walk into the village following the main road (Dale Lane).  You can carry straight on for half a mile to reach the centre of Blidworth with plenty of shops.  On the way you will notice several bus stops from where you can catch buses going either back to Farnsfield or, on the other side of the road, going to Rainworth and Mansfield.  This walk finishes in the centre of Blidworth but as I mentioned earlier you can link this walk to the Haywood Oaks one.