Archive | November, 2016

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 40: Woodborough

11 Nov

After a walk in the woods it’s time to get out into the open for some good views of the Nottinghamshire countryside. This walk starts and finishes in the pleasant village of Woodborough which is just to the north of Arnold and the main Nottingham area. Even though it is so close to town you would hardly know it from this walk which follows good tracks from the village around fields and uphill from where you can see a long way to the north and south. Then it is past a woodland nature reserve and back down to Woodborough village again.

Start: The centre of Woodborough near the church. If coming by car you should be able to park on the main street near the church. There is also the Four Bells Inn very nearby and you may be able to use their car park if you stop at the pub before or after the walk. The village is quite well served by buses from Nottingham with the number 46 (Skyblue line) bus running hourly and taking thirty minutes.

Distance: 3.4 miles

Route of the Walk

From the Main Street in Woodborough start on the church side of the street.  The church of St.Swithin is an attractive one with an impressive tower and provides an good landmark to guide you to the start and finish of the walk.  From the church walk along the pavement going away from the direction of the Four Bells Inn along the Main Street.  After going past the churchyard when I did the walk was an area of open ground with temporary metal barriers next to the street.  Immediately after this open land look on the right for a street sign saying Church Walk.  Turn right along this walkway which is a narrow pathway with houses to your left and the open ground on the right.  Soon you reach the end of the open ground but still have houses on the left close to the path.  As you start to notice a basketball court a little ahead on the right you appear to be coming to the end of the path.  At this point look for an arrow pointing left on a wall just to the left of the path.  Follow this arrow to go left and then almost immediately right to join a path running between what look a little like allotments.  These are very small patches of gardens and in some cases not that well-maintained and overgrown.  Fortunately the path itself is clear and after 150 yards you come to a gate taking you out onto a playing field.

There is a sign as you go onto the field requesting you to follow the perimeter and this you should do as far as possible.  Stay on the right of the field with basketball and then tennis courts on the right of you.  Pass benches and approach a brick building ahead.  Go just to the left of this across a pitch to the end of the field where there are trees.  At the far end turn left and follow the edge of the field to the left hand corner of the field.  You should see a gap in the corner of the field which you go through.  Cross a small dry ditch under the trees and go out to the edge of a large arable field.

Turn right here and follow the path at the edge of the field with a line of trees on your right and the field sloping up to the left. The path is a good one at first until you come to a metal gate after 200 yards.  Go through the gate where the path becomes quite narrow with the plants on the right in places overhanging or slightly obstructing the path.  It is nothing too awkward but it is still a little unwelcome to have to push your way past.   However, in summer this can become very overgrown and you may prefer to leave the path to walk along the edge of the field next to it.  After 400 yards you reach the end of this section and on the rest of the walk you should have no further problems with paths.

You come to a yellow footpath post pointing you to a large gap on the right which goes through to another field.  Go into this field where you will see another yellow footpath sign on the left.  This directs you to the left following the edge of the field.  If the path here is clear then you should follow it with the trees immediately on your left.  However, when I did this walk the path here was a little overgrown and it was easier to follow the tracks twenty yards into the field made by a tractor.  The tracks here were wide and clear with no crops at any risk of being damaged.  You should only follow them if there are no crops in the way.  Whichever path you take once in the field turn left.  If you are in the tractor tracks follow them until they start to turn right after 200 yards then cut left for twenty yards to rejoin the path at the left hand edge of the field.  This path takes you to a metal gate which goes out onto a road.  Go through the gate but stop on the verge before the road.

This is Lingwood Lane which is relatively quiet although it is on a bus route with a stop nearby.  There is a narrow verge which you should stay on after turning left here.  Immediately you come to a small bridge over a ditch with an interesting willow tree next to the road.  Keep going along the road and look for a metal kissing gate fifty yards further on.  This gate is slightly hidden by the substantial hedge around it so keep you eyes open.  If you start to climb the hill along the road you have gone too far.  Go through the metal gate into a large grassy field and follow the quite distinct track which goes diagonally across the field to the right and starts to ascend the hill.  The grass in the field is quite long but the line of the path has been somewhat trampelled so that it is more easy to walk there.

Looking down to Woodborough

Looking down to Woodborough


Autumn colours near Woodborough


The path rises quite steeply and soon if you look back you will start to have good views of Woodborough to the right and the valley below you.  You also see a line of telegraph poles coming up the hill and these provide a useful guide as you continue.  Follow the poles and path to the top of the field where you go through a metal kissing gate into another field.  This is an arable, earthy field.  As you enter it turn right to follow the field edge as it rises to meet the road.  After 200 yards you come to a wide track almost next to the road.  Turn left away from the road along this track which runs straight along the left hand edge of a large arable field.  This is the highest point of the walk and you can see a long way to the south and east to the various ridges in the distance.  Follow the obvious track along the field edge.  The official map here shows the track going onto the other side of the hedge but it is more straightforward to simply follow the wide track all the way for almost half a mile.

The track is straight nearly all the way with just a small turn to the right and then left so that you are soon going in the same direction again.  After nearly half a mile you reach the end of the field where there is a line of trees.  You may be tempted to turn right here around the field edge but you should look for a footpath sign and a gap in the hedge on the left at the corner.  Go through the gap into another field and follow the path at the right hand side of the field towards a wood.  After 200 yards you reach the wood and an entrance to it which tells you that this is the Notts Wildlife Trust Ploughman Wood Reserve.  You can go into the wood here and have a wander round either returning to this spot to continue the walk here or go to the far left had corner of the wood where there is another entrance to the wood which meets my walk.



Looking north-west from near Ploughman Wood

If you are continuing this walk without entering the wood or have returned to this point you should carry on to a metal kissing gate a little further on with the wood on your right.  Going through the gate takes you out onto the top of the ridge looking down onto Woodborough again with more fine views of the surrounding hills to the north and west.   On the map here the official path goes down the hill but I think it is better to enjoy the view for longer so turn right and walk along the track that runs along the ridge with the wood still just to your right.  Walk along for 300 yards until you reach a hedge at the end of the field which is also where the path emerges from the wood if you have taken that route.  There turn left down the hill and follow the hedge for 300 yards to the bottom of the hill.

At the bottom you reach a junction of paths.  Going straight on here takes you back to the path we were on near the start of the walk but my route here turns right.  Go through a gap next to a wooden gate and along a quite narrow but good path with trees and hedge to the left and fields on your right rising up the ridge.  Follow this path very straight for 200 yards until you start to reach Woodborough again.  You pass some caravans on the left and join a surfaced driveway where you should continue in the same direction as you have been along the previous path.  There is a wide grass verge by the driveway should any vehicles come along but that is unlikely.  Pass houses on the left and then as the driveway bends slightly to the right look for a small metal gate on the left going into a field.  Go through the gate next to a large open shed and carry on almost straight along a path through a pleasant grassy field for 200 yards.  Then go through two gates in quick succession and emerge on a road in the village (Lowdham Lane).  Cross the road to reach the pavement on the other side and turn left.

Follow the road for the next 800 yards as it goes into the centre of Woodborough.  You reach the Nags Head pub on the left and a bend to the right and left at the pub.  Keep following the main road passing an unusual red telephone box which is now used as a book exchange.  Continuing on the road takes you past the post office and back to your starting point.