Archive | July, 2014

Mansfield to Newark Walk Stage 2: Rainworth to Blidworth

8 Jul

Rainworth to Blidworth

Distance: 3.5 miles

This is the second stage of my Mansfield to Newark walk and continues from Stage 1: Mansfield to Rainworth.  It follows the route I took from Rainworth to Blidworth in walk 15 so I am not counting this as a new walk.

Start: The bus stop in the centre of Rainworth near the main junction of roads where there is a Tesco store.

On the Co-op side of Southwell Road walk away from the junction towards Mansfield.  After 100 yards cross a road on the left  (Lake Farm Road) and continue on the main road going slightly uphill.  After 100 yards turn left along a footpath.  This is almost opposite the end of Churchill Drive on the other side of the main road, which you walked along if you did Stage 1.  After 50 yards you reach a quiet metalled road alongside a wood.  This runs straight for around 200 yards until it enters the car park of an angling club.  Go into the car park which is next to a large angling lake.

Rainworth Water Angling Lake

Leave the car park by going left alongside the lake under the trees.  You are likely to pass a few anglers as you walk past the ponds so take care not to get caught by a fish hook as they cast their lines.  After 100 yards you leave the trees and cross a stream over a little footbridge.  The stream, Rainworth Water,  goes all the way to Rufford Lake eventually.  After the footbridge turn right along the path near the lake.  From here you can see that the lake is quite extensive.  After 300 yards you come to another area of woodland and the end of the main lake of the fishery.  Turn right at the end of the lake and walk along the path between the main lake and another smaller lake on your left.  After 100 yards this path leaves the fishery and enters a field.  Turn left and walk beside a hedge with the small fishery lake now on the other side of the hedge.

After 200 yards you reach a long straight road.  The road is a little busier than you might expect and the traffic can be quite fast so take care when crossing.  Almost directly opposite is the next footpath.  Go away from the road through a little patch of trees and then join a path at the edge a large field.  Go straight along the edge of the field away from the road.  This path runs uninterrupted for almost half a mile.  On your right all this time is a field with a slope that gradually increases and a view of  wind turbines while on your left is woodland and, at the right time of year, some nice flowers.  The path is generally a good one although after rainy periods in places can get a bit wet.  In any case you should be able to find a route past the worst of it.  You may come across interesting wildlife along here.  I once saw a stoat not far from the road.

  

After 300 yards you leave the trees and bushes behind. Half a mile from the road look for a path coming down the hill from the right and a waymark indicating a turn to the left.  Here we join the Robin Hood Way for a short while.  Go into the woodland on the left and cross a small bridge over a stream.  Leave the woodland going uphill through a gate onto a wide track.  After 100 yards as you pass a house on your left  go through a gate on the track.  Just past this gateway jink to the left as you pass the house to go onto a wide farm track still going up the hill.  This is a steady climb but the path is pretty good despite a few stones.  The track passes between fields on left and right.  As the path starts to flatten out trees appear on the right of the track.  At the end of the track half a mile from the bottom of the hill you reach a quiet road.

At this point the Robin Hood Way goes down the road and along a track into Blidworth.  The way is quite easy to follow and is an alternative route into Blidworth. 

For my route almost immediately opposite you will see a footpath signpost.  Cross the road and follow the sign along the wide track ahead.  This goes slightly downhill on a good track with a line of grass in the centre.  After 300 yards the path gets  quite narrow.  Take a little care not to get scratched by the hawthorn next to the path.  At the end of the path go through a metal kissing gate into a field and bear right uphill towards another kissing gate at the other side of the field about 100 yards away.  Go through this second kissing gate and then a third at the end of the next field, again bearing right and uphill.  Once through the third gate you are in an open field much larger than the previous ones and quite high up.  My recent walk through here in early April coincided with the  lapwing breeding season and they were rather animated as I walked along the path near to their territory.  Try to pass through quickly if there are nesting birds in order to keep any disturbance to a  minimum.  This field is as high as the path gets and there are decent views.

The small pond

The small pond

After 300 yards you leave this rather bare field past a small pond and enter a smaller field next to a much larger pond.  This pond is home to geese, ducks,  moorhen and coot.  Keep going straight on leaving the pond behind and descending into a pleasant valley with grassy fields rising to your right.  Keep straight on along the valley initially in the field and then along a narrower path.  A footpath comes in from the left but ignore that and continue straight on until you reach the corner of a wood.  Follow the path straight on at the bottom of the wood for 200 yards until you reach a crossroads of paths at the end of the wood.

Valley on the way to Blidworth

Valley on the way to Blidworth

There are various options that take you into Blidworth from here.  On this walk we turn left to follow the side of the wood going uphill for 200 yards.  At the top of the path you reach a road.  There is also a bench for anyone wanting a rest.  Turn right along the road and follow it for 500 yards as it enters Blidworth.  Keep going along the road all the way until you come to the main road in Blidworth.

There are plenty of shops here and the main bus stop is just down the hill at the junction near a garage.  To catch the bus to Rainworth and Mansfield stay on this side of the main road.  If you want to catch a bus to Farnsfield and beyond or want to continue the Mansfield to Newark walk cross the main road here and turn down the hill to reach the junction.

I will publish the directions for Stage 3 soon but the route is simply the reverse of my Walk 13 from Farnsfield to Blidworth.