Archive | October, 2014

Walk 19 and Stage 5 of the Mansfield to Newark walk: Southwell to Fiskerton

24 Oct

This is the next stage of the Mansfield to Newark walk but is also a brand new walk so I have also included it as such.  The walk takes you out of Southwell and up to get a good view east over the Trent Valley before using paths across fields and along quiet roads to take you to the river Trent at Fiskerton.  From Fiskerton you can get a bus back to Southwell or on to Newark.

Start: Bus stop on Church Street in Southwell Continues from Stage 4 of the Mansfield to Newark Walk

Distance: 3.8 miles

From the bus stops on Church Street by the Minster make sure you are 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 200 yards 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 100 yards 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 100 yards 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 yards 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 yards 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 200 yards 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 but we want to go into the field of allotments just to the left of us.  Cross the road carefully and enter the field which has a wide entrance.  Follow the track for twenty yards but look for a path on the right in the hedge.  Take this  path, which can be a little overgrown, and come out a few yards later in an open grassy field.  There is a line of short posts across the field which provides quite a good guide for our route.  Follow them for 200 yards across the field until you see a gate in a hedge at the far end of the field.  Go through the gate onto a small lane (Pollard’s Lane).  Again the gate comes straight onto the lane so take care, although this is even less busy than Crink Lane.

Turn right along the lane . The road runs relatively straight for four hundred yards and the surface becomes shale.   Follow it past some houses on the right.  On the left you will be able to have your first view of the Trent Valley and if you are doing the full Mansfield to Newark walk the first thoughts of the final destination.   Then there is a sharp bend to the left and another soon after to the right before another straight section for 200 yards past a few houses on the right.  Another very sharp bend to the left is followed by a right turn 200 yards later as the lane follows the edges of the fields.  One hundred yards after this right turn look on the left of the lane for a footpath sign and a rather large lump of concrete by the field entrance.

Turn left to go into the field and walk straight ahead down the hill.  The field is a large one used for growing crops but the bridleway we are following is a wide one and there should be no difficulty with the path being overgrown.  After 400 yards at the end of the field turn left and cross a small bridge.  The path then almost immediately turns right.  In the field you have now reached go down the hill for 200 yards until you reach the bottom of the hill.  Turn right alongside the hedge and after thirty yards turn left at a bridge which crosses a tree-lined stream.

Stream at the bottom of the hill

Stream at the bottom of the hill

Cross the bridge and then immediately start a steady climb along the bridleway going straight ahead up the hill.  After 300 yards you reach the top of the rise.  In fact this is the last climb of any significance if you are going all the way to Newark on my route so it is all downhill from here, almost.  Continue straight ahead as the bridleway becomes a wide track between hedges going downhill.  In a little while the path starts to change from grass to concrete and after a little right bend it becomes a road.  Keep going straight on along the very quiet road for 400 yards and cross the railway at a level crossing.  After this another straight 200 yards a slight right bend takes you into the village of Morton.   As you reach the village the road forms a three-way junction.  Bear left here so that you are still going in almost the same direction that you have followed for the last half mile.

You are now walking down a quiet village street in Morton (Middle Lane) which you should follow for the next 200 yards until you come to the junction with another road.  Turn left here and turn along this road (Main Street).  Soon you pass the Full Moon pub on your left which is a good place for a stop if you feel the need for refreshment.  If you wish to continue you should carry on along the road on the opposite side from the Full Moon.  Fifty yards or so after the pub look for a footpath leaving the road to the right, just before another road and the church ahead of you on the left.

Take the path on the right which starts off between houses but soon leaves them behind and goes alongside a large field at the back of a house.  After 100 yards you reach a small wood where the path turns  for a short way before leaving the wood and emerging at the end of a very large arable field.  Follow the path straight ahead along the edge of the field for over 100 yards and then go through a gap in the hedge to another field and follow the same direction but on the other side of the hedge.  Carry on in this direction through four more small fields encountering the odd quite tall stile.  You will see to the left some houses which are part of the village of Fiskerton.  Leaving the fourth field takes you onto a wide track that comes out onto a road.

Here if you wish you can follow the road to the left which takes you into the centre of Fiskerton but my preference is to take a different route which adds about 400 yards to the journey.   My route turns right along the road for 200 yards where it meets another road coming in from the left.  At this point cross the road you have been walking along and look for a footpath which goes away from the road bearing to the left .  Take this footpath which is quite narrow and largely enclosed by tall hedges and trees which form a sort of tunnel.  The path approaches the backs of houses and starts to bend a little to the right.  About 400 yards from the road you appear to be coming to a dead-end but when you get there you will see a way out to the right which takes you out to an embankment overlooking the river Trent.

The River Trent at Fiskerton looking south

The River Trent at Fiskerton looking south

The Trent at Fiskerton

The Trent at Fiskerton

Go down from the bank to the main path running alongside the river.  Turn left and walk along the path for 200 yards as 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.  About 150 yards 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 yards 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.

My Mansfield to Newark walk continues alongside the river and I will be describing the next stage before too long.