Archive | January, 2015

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 22 Fiskerton to Averham (Stage 6 of the Mansfield to Newark walk)

31 Jan

This walk is mainly along or close to the River Trent. It runs between two small villages that are on the number 28 bus route from Mansfield to Newark so you can return to your starting point by bus or on foot. This is Stage 6 of my Mansfield to Newark walk and continues from Stage 5

Map of My Route

Start: Bus stop in Fiskerton on Station Road at the junction with Main Street.  If coming by car there is a small car park by the river at the north end of the village.

Distance: 4.2 miles

If starting from the bus shelter or the bus stop on Station Road you should cross the Main Street to reach the grassy track between houses directly opposite the end of Station Road. Go straight on along this track for 80 yards and go up and down the steps at the end to reach the path next to the river Trent. At this point you join the route from Stage 5 of my Mansfield to Newark walk.

Turn left to walk along the riverside path for 200 yards until you reach the end of the houses on your left. You skirt the edge of a small car park and carry on alongside the river near metal fencing which is a popular resting place for black-headed gulls in winter. The river comes closer to the road and you actually walk along the road, which is generally quiet, for a short way as you approach a lone house ahead. As you reach the house you go to the right taking a narrow path between the house and the river. The path goes past a landing stage at the back of the house and once past the house you emerge on a wider path next to the river.

Take this path bearing to the right still alongside the river as it bends away from the road. You pass a bench after 200 yards and soon go up a small bank. At this point the main path carries on by the river and if you wish you can keep on along this path. However, this does make quite a large loop which adds nearly a mile to the walk. Instead, my route goes sharp left down the bank into a field and alongside a hedge for 100 yards.  At the end of the hedge you come to a heavy gate which you should go through onto a wide farm track.

Turn right and follow this track which is pretty good underfoot, though after wet weather there are a few puddles.  After 300 yards the main farm track turns right into a field but we carry straight on as the track becomes grassy between hedges on either side.  The track is reasonable at first but as you reach a section where the trees enclose the track a little more the ruts become a little deeper and muddier.  You may have to use a little agility to step around the worst of it but it shouldn’t be a major problem unless the weather has been very wet.  After the section of path with tree cover the track becomes more open again and is in better condition.  Carry on between the hedges until just after passing a very large tree stump on the right you reach a new firm track.  This is the track leading to the car park for local anglers.

Carry on in the same direction you have been going for the last mile along this track and follow it for 400 yards to the car park.  There can be quite large puddles all the way to the Trent but there is enough dry land on the track around them so that you can avoid getting your feet wet.  Go on to the end of the car park and then through a gate where a firm track continues with the river now appearing again to your right.  This track can again be puddle affected and you can if you wish go onto the embankment to follow the path right next to the river.  However, the path is a little rough and you still have a good view of the river from the firm track.

Follow the track for another half mile as the river bends to the right until on the opposite bank of the river you start to see the moorings and gardens of Farndon.  At this point the track we have been following goes very close to the river. You may be tempted to try and find a path alongside the river as the main track appears to be going into an industrial boatyard.  However, you should stick to the main track as it goes under a wide avenue of trees towards the yard. Keep your eyes on the left hand side of the track and after 100 yards you will see a stile with yellow footpath waymarks.  Leave the track and go over the stile into a very large field.

If there is a clear path across the field then you should follow it.  However, on my last visit this was just a ploughed field with no crops growing and no indication of the way across.  If this is the situation when you arrive then my advice is to look across just to the right of the far end of the field  where you will see the tall towers of Staythorpe power station about a mile away.  Aim straight towards the towers across the field for 800 yards until you arrive back at the river and then turn left to follow the riverside path where after 100 yards you reach the hedge at the far corner of the field.  The official path across the field aims slightly to the left of the towers and as you get towards the far end of the field you will see a yellow marked post indicating the path by a gap in the hedge.  If you wish, you can go to this gap and from there turn right alongside the hedge for a short way until this path comes to the river at the corner of the field. 

Whichever way you arrive at the far corner of the field you should then walk along the path with the river just to your right.  There are trees alongside the river here and you are not far above river level.  On my last trip the river was high and coming quite close to the path.  It may be that after very wet weather this path becomes flooded.  Follow the path for 400 yards until you come to Staythorpe power station.  The footpath bears right to go between the power station and the river.  Much of the path is along concrete walkways with a high fence to your left.  You walk for 500 yards past the power station and surrounds.  It isn’t the most beautiful part of the walk but you are very close to the river with great views of the water below and local wildlife.  It was here that I once saw two oystercatchers. It is also quite an interesting contrast with the fields and tracks you have been following for miles.

As you reach the end of the power station complex the river reaches a lively weir.  At this point the path turns left through the trees down a bank and into a field.  Follow the path at the edge of the field alongside the river, taking care as there is some tangly stuff including brambles hidden in the long grass.  At the end of the field go under the railway bridge and continue by the river for 400 yards approaching Averham church.  Go as far as you can until you reach a large beck (Rundell Dyke) flowing into the Trent near the churchyard.  Turn left and walk alongside the beck for 200 yards where you come to a bridge over it.  Turn right to cross the bridge and go on for 100 yards until you come to the road in Averham (Church Road).  Turn left and walk along the road for 300 yards until you reach the main road in the village (Staythorpe Road).  There turn right for fifty yards to reach another road by the village school.  Turn right here and follow the road around the bend.  The bus stop for buses going back towards Fiskerton is on this side of the road and for buses to Newark you should cross to the bus shelter next to the school.  There are few amenities in Averham, although it does have the Robin Hood Theatre, a surprising feature for such a small village.

If you are making your way back to Fiskerton on foot, if you don’t want to retrace your steps you will have to walk along Staythorpe Road for part of the return journey.  The road isn’t the busiest and there are verges but I never particularly like road walking. Alternatively, if you have the energy you may want to do the last few miles into Newark which I will describe in my next post.