Archive | May, 2016

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 36: Bleasby and Hoveringham

25 May

A walk from the village of Bleasby along quiet roads, lanes and fields to Hoveringham.  Then down to the river Trent and along the river in nice fields before returning to Bleasby.

Start: The church at Bleasby.  There is an area just off the road by the church which could be used for parking or if you want to go to the Waggon and Horses pub just along the road you could park there.  Alternatively you may be able to find a quiet spot on the road.  The bus service to Bleasby is somewhat patchy, running from Southwell and Newark through the centre of the village.  There is also a railway station, with quite a regular service, a little over half a mile from the start of the walk.

Distance: 6 miles

Route of the walk

From the church side of the main road walk alongside the road on a good pavement.  Leave the village and continue to follow the main road for 500 yards.  Just after a bus shelter the road turns sharply to the left and there is a crossroads with minor roads.  Cross the main road and turn right to where there is a sign reading “Gibsmere”.  Follow this very quiet road,which is straight, past houses with hedges on either side of you.  The road becomes a track, still running straight, with a lake visible through the hedge on the right.

You reach the last house, on the left of the track after half a mile, and go slightly to the left off the track as you pass it.  There is a gate to a grassy field which the main track turns towards but you should stay close to the hedge on the right on a wide grass strip. Soon there is a small wooden gate.  Go through this, which may take some effort as it can be stiff, and follow the hedge immediately to your right in the next field.  Head for  a gap between two posts under a tree and then just afterwards a track in the right corner of the field.  The path goes over a narrow bridge and metal gate but you may well find that the gate next to the bridge is open and you can follow the track and won’t have to use the bridge.  Follow the obvious track which runs pretty straight for almost half a mile.  Eventually this track takes you over a bridge across a dyke into another field with a small lake on the right.  The main track here takes you towards the lake and you may want to have a quick look to see if anything interesting is on the lake.  However, there is a sign telling you to keep to the proper bridlepath which stays away from the lake and follows the left hand side of the field.  Look for a post with a yellow top near the hedge next to the field and walk to that then along the edge of the grassy field.  Follow the field edge round to the right a little through a small wooden gate into another field.  Keep to the left of this field near the hedge.

Leave the field after 300 yards and go through a metal gate across a small bridge to reach a track.  On your left is the entrance to a large sailing lake to which the track goes.  We carry on straight across the track into another field.  Follow the obvious path at the edge of the field on a small bank near to trees on the left until you reach a wooden footbridge.  Here you have a choice.  You can go over the bridge and follow a footpath that twists and turns a little into Hoveringham and on reflection this may be a good choice, cutting off half a mile’s walking, but my route doesn’t go over the bridge.  Instead turn right and follow the edge of the field along a wide field margin.  On your left here is a stream.  Follow the edge of the field for yards until on your left you see a short tree-lined track taking you out onto a road.

Turn left and follow the pavement  for quarter of a mile into the village of Hoveringham.  Stay on this road, passing the end of the footpath from the bridge, through the main part of the village.  In the middle of the village on the right is the Reindeer pub, which also does good meals.  After 500 yards of walking in the village you come to the main junction in Hoveringham.  Turn left along Boat Lane where you should cross to the other side of the lane where there is a pavement.  Follow this road out of the village going straight along for 500 yards until you come to a small group of houses and soon the river Trent.  As you reach the river the road turns sharply to the right but at this point look to the left of the road where there is a metal gate.  Take the footpath through the gate and follow it alongside the river.  This is nice walking along short grass in a field with good views along the river and before long across to the wooded escarpment on the other side of the Trent.  This is part of the Trent Valley Way.  The path follows the river closely here so it is hard to go wrong.  You will probably see cows here.  Follow the river going through or round a wooden gate after 600 yards and a metal gate a little later. In summer look for sand martins flying low over the water.

Continue along by the river with the sailing lake now appearing to your left.  The lake comes closer to you for a short time a little further along before the grassy area widens again.

Sailing Lake near Hoveringham

Sailing Lake near Hoveringham

The walking here is flat along the grass with very little mud to worry about.  A few more trees begin to appear on the river bank and the lake on the left comes closer. In fact this isn’t the main lake but a smaller adjoining one.  After half a mile you leave the lakes behind and go through a metal gate. Then you come to the first of the distinctive white double gates that are a feature of this part of the river.  Go onto a much narrower path than the wide fields we have been following. Soon the river bank is almost completely obscured by trees and bushes close to you on your right and there are trees on your left as well.  After a short while you come to a half broken white gate and the path opens up a little again.

Looking across the Trent

Looking across the Trent

Keep alongside the river for half a miluntil you come to the weir at Hazelford Ferry.  The weir is quite a sight here with the water rushing down a series of small steps and the smell of ozone hitting you.  There is a cottage on the island in the river near the weir and hedge on the bank to your left.  There is mooring here as well and several boats.The path narrows again as you pass the weir, going through more double gates.   and then as you come through a gate to reach the end of a lane you see a larger building which is residential home.  This used to be the Hazelford Ferry pub named for the ferry which used to cross the river at this point.

The path near Hazelford Ferry.

The path near Hazelford Ferry.

Turn left along the very quiet lane and follow it straight for 300 yards before it makes a sharp left turn.  After just a short way the lane turns sharp right and you follow it for another 200 yards until you come to the crossroads by the bus shelter which you came to near the start of the walk.  Go straight over to the pavement by the shelter and follow it back to Bleasby church by retracing your route to the start of the walk.