Archive | April, 2015

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 25: Maplebeck and Winkburn

28 Apr

This walk route forms a rough figure of 8 shape and starts from the top of the hill near the small village of Maplebeck.  It visits the even smaller hamlet of Winkburn before crossing fields back to Maplebeck and returning to the top of the hill.

Map of the Route

Start: The top of the hill on the road from Maplebeck to Winkburn. There is a small car park next to an area of picnic tables. Unfortunately doing this walk if relying on public transport is difficult. The bus service to Maplebeck and Winkburn could best be described as “infrequent” if you are feeling very generous. As far as I could see there are only two buses a week! The best option for those using public transport is probably to walk from Eakring, more than two miles from Maplebeck.

Distance: 4.5 miles

The Walk: Leaving the car park pass the picnic tables and proceed to the small stone pillar just along the road. On top of this is a topograph showing the direction of some of the sights visible (and some invisible) from this excellent viewpoint.  On a good day it is possible to clearly see Lincoln Cathedral on the horizon even without binoculars and you may just be able to see Belvoir Castle.

View from the top of the hill above Maplebeck

View from the top of the hill above Maplebeck

Carrying on our walk we leave the viewpoint behind and continue for 100 yards along the road.  Here the road turns sharply to the left and we follow it but you can cut the corner across the very wide grass verge.  For the next mile and a half we follow the road, initially at the top of the hill with good views all round.  I don’t usually favour road walking but this is a very quiet road with good verges.  Continue along the road which is mostly made up of reasonably long straight sections with few bends.  The road bends to the right and goes downhill before turning left and rising again as you come to the very small village of Winkburn.  As you reach the village keep along the main metalled road as it turns right near a bus shelter.

Winkburn

Winkburn

One hundred yards after the bus shelter turn right along Roe Wood Lane, which is signed.  Follow the road straight on past several houses.  As you pass the last house the road becomes a firm track and carries straight on downhill.  At the bottom of the dip you meet the route of a previous walk, Walk 16  and keep going straight on along the wide track.

From the dip the track rises gently to come towards a wood, Roe Wood.  It then follows Roe Wood on the left with fields on your right.  The track is always in good condition being firm and wide with hedges a few feet away on either side.  After half a mile from the dip where the footpath turns left at a sort of corner our route turns to the right.  Here there are two different paths and you should make sure of taking the correct one.  Almost straight ahead you will see two short red brick walls close together.  That path goes up to Holywell Farm but we don’t want that one.  Instead look further to the right and follow a path which goes just to the right of a hedge from where we are.  At the gap follow a path, usually quite easy to spot, going slightly uphill across the next field for 200 yards.

At the end of the field you reach a narrow farm road at a Byway sign pointing across the field you have just crossed.  Our route continues on the other side of the farm road but unfortunately there is no sign on that side showing which direction to go.  Cross the road and look carefully at the next field.  Hopefully you should be able to discern a path, I could do so when I did this route in April 2015 but you may not be so lucky.  If you can’t see a path you should aim quite far to the right down the slope across the field.  At the bottom of the field look for a wooden footbridge or just to the right of that a small waymark on a post.  Cross the footbridge, which goes over the Wink burn that gives the village its name, into a much larger field where you are at the bottom of quite a steep climb.

If anything the path is less well-defined in this field than the previous one and you may have to look very closely to spot it.  In the absence of a clear path just aim straight up the hill.  You should see a group of trees at the top of the hill ahead and a useful guide is to head towards the tree on the right of this group.  The climb is quite a testing one but after 500 yards it becomes less steep and the path on the ground a little clearer.  Keep aiming almost straight on just to the right of the trees ahead where you will see a gap in the hedge.  Going through this gap takes you back out onto the Maplebeck to Winkburn road at the corner near the viewpoint we visited earlier.

If you wish you can finish the walk here but to do an extra section taking you into Maplebeck here is my route.

At the corner of the road turn left along a path through a small area of trees.  This takes you to the corner of a very large field.  Carry on with the hedge immediately to your left for 400 yards.  The hedge obscures your view to the left but the views to the north from the top of this ridge are good.  You come to a junction of paths with signposts showing you where they go.  Here we turn right to the north going downhill across the large field.  The path was straightforward to follow when I walked it but if not you should aim directly for the electricity pylon 300 yards away in the middle of the field.  Pass right next to the pylon and then look for a single tree 300 yards away and head towards that.  Pass that and then go just to the right of a telegraph pole.  Keep going straight on in this direction until you leave the main field area and join a track for fifty yards which goes out onto a farm drive immediately next to the corner of a road. Turn right out of this drive to Brecks Farm and onto the road.

You are now in Maplebeck. Carry on in the same direction past houses.  Go down quite a steep hill on a narrow road with no footway, although there should be little traffic.  At the bottom of the hill on the right is the Beehive pub.  The Beehive is notable for being the smallest pub in Nottinghamshire.  The pub has slightly limited opening hours which is something you may wish to consider when planning your walk.  It is only open in the evenings on weekdays. However, at weekends it is also open at lunchtime   There is quite a stiff climb to come so you may wish to refresh yourself first.  Alternatively you may decide to make use of the picnic tables near the start of the walk if you have your own provisions.

Maplebeck and the Beehive pub

Maplebeck and the Beehive pub

Just past the Beehive on the left is a bus shelter although you may have a long wait for a bus!   Opposite the bus shelter turn right and start going uphill along a road.  The climb is quite a steep one but again there should be little traffic to bother you.  You leave Maplebeck behind and the road passes between hedges with fields on either side.  The road goes virtually straight all the way for 600 yards until we see some familiar picnic tables and return to our starting point.