Archive | August, 2015

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 28: Circuit of Halam

17 Aug

This is a relatively short walk starting from the centre of Halam and going up to the higher ground near the village before returning to your start point.  There is the option of a small additional loop up another hill.

Start: Church Lane, which is the main street in Halam. Try to park near the main crossroads in the centre of the village if coming by car but it doesn’t matter if you are a little further along Church Lane. Church Lane is quite wide and you should be able to find somewhere to park easily enough. If you are coming by bus then get off at the main stop in the village near the village school and pub, The Waggon and Horses, now known as The Waggon.

Distance: 3.5 miles

Map of the Route

If you have parked on Church Lane then walk to the crossroads with the main Southwell road and turn left. This takes you to the bus stop where walkers coming by bus can pick up the route. Just past The Waggon pub the pavement runs out and you should cross over the main road to the school side of the road where there is some pavement. Follow the pavement for nearly 100 yards, passing the village hall, until you just round the bend. On your right is a footpath at a gate but you are going back across the main road to join another path.

Back on the other side of the road you will see a hedge with a metal kissing gate in it. Go through the kissing gate into a grassy field and go straight across the field for about eighty yards. Go through another metal kissing gate in the hedge at the end which takes you into a second field. On my last visit the grass in this field was quite long but had been trampled enough so that the route across it was reasonably obvious. Follow either the trampled grass or the left edge of the field next to the hedge going roughly straight on for 100 yards.

At the end of this field you come to an area of mown grass.  Carry on for a short way before bearing right to go over a wooden stile into what seems to be a garden. Carry on to the end of the garden to the hedge near a hut and at the hedge turn left to go along a narrow path between a brick building and a stream. Go through a metal kissing gate onto what can be a rather overgrown bit of path. This is only very short and you soon come to a very quiet road, Gray Lane, at a bridge over the stream.

Turn right to cross the bridge and carry on along the road going uphill on a straight course away from the village. As you pass a house on the left after 500 yards the road becomes a track.  The track is narrower than the road but is wide enough and in good enough condition to make walking easy unless it has been very wet when it can become muddy.  The way has been rising steadily since leaving Halam but after half a mile on the track starts to climb more steeply until you reach the end of the track where it meets a lane.  Here the views which have been largely restricted by the hedges on either side of the track become better and you can see for miles to the east and south in particular.

At the lane turn left and follow it for 300 yards until you arrive at a crossroads of tracks which I have described in previous walks.  Here there is a wide track to the right and to the left a path along the edge of a field which takes you back into Halam.  However, this time our route carries straight on along the lane which now descends quite sharply.  As you reach the bottom the lane which has become a little rougher turns sharply to the right and then left before climbing steeply again for 500 yards until you reach the top of the hill.  Here  you reach a junction with a wide track on the left and a narrower one to the right.  Take the track to the left and follow it for 500 yards with fields to either side, between tall hedges.

After a slight rightward bend in the track look for a wooden signpost on the left of the track indicating a footpath.  Go over a stile into a field and for 200 yards follow the hedge just to your right going downhill.  At the end of the hedge continue going straight on downhill across the field to the bottom of a dip where you reach a wooden bridge.  The bridge crosses a stream bed which depending on the weather may or may not have some water in it.  On the other side of the bridge you reach a field which may well have cows in it and is often muddy by the bridge.

Carry straight on in the same direction now going uphill for 100 yards.  Go into another field and go straight across this for 100 yards.  Leaving this field you reach a small copse and carry straight on for a short distance where you reach an orchard.  You are at the bottom of the slope with lines of apple trees extending uphill  to your left.  Keep going straight on with a hedge to your right but not far into the orchard, just past the third line of apple trees, you should look on the right for a stile.  If you reach the large wooden gate on your right you have gone a little too far.  Leave the orchard and go into a field where you are at the top of the slope.  Walk along the top of the field with the orchard and hedge immediately to your left.  After 100 yards you cross a driveway track and then reach a well cultivated grassy area with well-ordered trees spaced regularly to your right.

Go as far as you can straight on until you reach a tall hedge, with a house just to your left.  Turn right to go down the hill with the hedge to your left.  At the bottom of the hill leave the field and follow a narrow path for a short way until you come to a small bridge over a stream.  Cross the bridge and go out onto a grassy area which you go straight across.  Go through a gate onto a driveway and go almost straight on to follow the drive until you are back on Church Lane in Halam.  Here if you wish you can turn left and return to the starting point of the walk.  For those interested in walking a little further I will describe an extra loop to the walk which adds around half a mile to the walk but has good views from the top of the hill.

For those doing the extra section, as you reach the main street cross the road, turn right and follow the road which very soon turns sharply left and then right again.  Take care here as there is no pavement although the road is quite wide and you can keep well to the side.  As the road straightens out again to leave the village you should look to the left for a footpath.  Turn along this path which goes away from the road rising steadily.  The path is narrow and runs between tall hedges.  Occasionally it is a little overgrown but generally is in reasonable condition.  The path curves to the left and after 150 yards reaches a kissing gate at the bottom of a large field rising quite steeply up a hill.  The field often contains cows.  Go into the field and go up the hill bearing slightly to the right aiming for the far corner at the top of the hill and keeping a fence across the field immediately to your right.

If you don’t like crossing fields where cows are in your way then at the bottom of the field you can leave by a different footpath.  Do this by walking just a few yards on from where you entered the field and then leaving through another gate on your left before going down a wide track which takes you straight down to the Church Lane again.

Looking West to Halam and our route beyond.

If you have climbed the hill leave the field at the top and look round to admire a fine view of the hill on the other side of Halam which you walked up earlier (see the picture).  Turn left and follow a narrow path between the hedge on your left and trees on your right. This soon starts descending and turns to the left in a small wood where the slope is steeper.  At the bottom of this wood you reach the entrance to a grassy field. Head diagonally across this field downhill aiming just to the right of the church. You leave the field and enter the churchyard. Go through the churchyard on a firm path going straight on down to the main street in Halam (Church Lane) where you turn right to return to your starting point.