Archive | October, 2016

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 39: Blidworth Wood

7 Oct

There was too much road walking for my liking in the previous walk so I now present a walk entirely off roads. This walk is in the Blidworth Bottoms area of woodland a little south of Blidworth. The tracks are all good to walk on, some are wide firm tracks in the heart of the woods while others are narrower but still good to walk on, often being sandy and well-draining. There should be no problems with mud anywhere on the walk.  I have tried to keep to the edge of the wood for some of the walk as it can be a little claustrophobic and disorienting to be in the middle of woods for the entire walk.

Start: The car park at the north end of the woodland just off Blidworth Lane, not far from the Horse and Hounds pub. There is also a car park at the southern end of the woods off Longdale Lane and you can join the walk about half way round if you park here.  The walk isn’t very convenient for public transport with the nearest bus links at Blidworth about a mile away to the north.  About half a mile from the start of the walk along Blidworth Lane is the Fox and Hounds pub.

Distance: 3.6 miles

Map of The Route

From the car park go to the information board about the woods which is at the end of the car park away from the road.  Walk along the narrow path through the trees to the right of this board for thirty yards until you reach a wide, firm track coming across.  Turn left along this track and follow it for half a mile as it follows a very straight course.  The trees are a little way from the track at this point so that it feels a little more open than might be expected in such  woodland.  Soon the track starts to rise quite sharply upwards.  After you have been on this track for about 800 yards you reach the first major junction of paths with another wide track coming in from the right.  Here you should look instead for a narrower path to the left and take this one.

Follow this path which runs quite straight among trees on either side.  After 200 yards you find yourself at the edge of the wood on the left so that you have quite good views over the fields.  Ignore paths coming from the sides and follow the path along the edge of the wood.  You come to a wooden bench looking out of the wood over the fields to the north and east.  Continue along the path at the edge of the wood.  Soon you reach more paths just inside the edge of the wood although they all run in the same direction.  It doesn’t matter which you take at this point but start to make your way to the most distinct path which is about 20 yards in from the edge of the wood.  Carry on following the edge of the wood about twenty yards in.  The path begins to descend and becomes a little more sandy.  The path briefly leaves the edge of the wood near a small plantation on the left but you will hardly notice this before you are back with fields to your left.

From time to time you will see signs for various tracks and but you should just continue along the perimeter of the wood, ignoring tracks taking you further in.  The path has by now turned south and begins to turn go over some more undulating ground.  The path is still a good, distinct one though keep an eye out for tree roots.  There is a corner where the path turns to the right and then after a steep little descent you reach another corner where the temptation is to carry on along the track further into the wood.  However, turn left and stay at the edge of the wood with the fields still to your left.  By now you may well start to hear the roar of the traffic on the A614 which is only 300 yards away.  The path gradually descends for 500 yards until you reach a pylon on the right.   Turn right here and go right underneath the pylon away from the edge of the wood.

Follow the path in a direct line under the wires between the pylons.  The line of pylons makes navigation easy.   After 500 yards the narrower path you have been following meets a wide track.  Looking to your left here you will see the car park at the Longdale Lane entrance to the woods.  You will also see the green waymarks here showing that you are now on the Robin Hood Way.  Turn right here along the main wide track which is part of the Way.  After less than 100 yards look for a small wooden post with a blue line round it near the top on the left of the path.  This is the first of a series of such “blue” wooden posts that we will follow for the next part of the walk.  They occur quite regularly but with some distance between them so you may have to look a little way ahead to spot them and in some cases just follow the clear path until you reach the next one.

Turn left at the post to leave the main track and go onto a narrower one.  The path is still distinct and easy to follow.  You pass a small plantation, Price’s Piece, that you may enter, on the right of the path which commemorates one of the people who helped to establish the Robin Hood Way. Follow the path, which is now going north-west, as it goes through quite dense woodland with the trees closer to the path.  The path has been easy to follow but soon you come to a junction of paths at the bottom of a slope on the right.  Here it would be quite easy to start following one of these paths going straight on or to the right.  Instead you should look to the left and about fifty yards away along the path you will see a wooden barrier.  Walk to the barrier and make your way around it to the right and join another clear path going roughly north-westerly.

Follow this path, which although quite narrow, is clear with no other paths to confuse you.  Keep an eye out for the “blue” marker posts to reassure you.  You soon come to another wooden barrier which you go through and continue along the path until you meet a much wider track.  Turn right along this track as it climbs quite steeply uphill.  At the top another wide track comes in from the left but you should continue along our track which bears right.  Ignore all minor tracks coming off our main one and walk along this wide one as it goes into more tree cover.  I was lucky enough to see a deer crossing the track at this point of the walk.  Around 500 yards from reaching the top of the hill you come to a junction of paths and tracks.  This was the one which we came to near the start of the walk where we turned left to the edge of the wood.  This time you should turn left along the main track downhill (this is the Robin Hood Way again) and retrace your steps to the car park at the start of the walk.

If you wish to follow the Robin Hood Way or want to link up with my earlier walk around Blidworth and Haywood Oaks (Walk 12) instead of going into the car park you should follow this main track all the way to the road (Blidworth Lane) and turn left.  Follow the lane, taking care as there is no proper verge, for 500 yards.  As you reach a riding stables look for a track on the right which is the Robin Hood Way.  Take this track which climbs and after 300 yards meets my earlier walk.