Archive | December, 2016

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 41 : Upton, Staythorpe and Rolleston

17 Dec

This is a walk which is mainly around arable fields takes in a few different points of interest including the river Trent and Southwell racecourse as you wander between three villages.

Start: The British Horological Institute in the centre of Upton village (about two miles from Southwell on the road from Southwell to Newark). This is merely to serve as a convenient starting point if you are coming by car. There aren’t many good places to park in Upton.  One option is to visit the Horological Institute and use the car park there.  Alternatively you could park at the Cross Keys pub on the right of the main road not far into the village if coming from Southwell if you want to have some refreshment before or after your walk.

There is a bus service hourly from Newark to Southwell through the  village but it only runs in the morning and early afternoon.

Distance: 6.8 miles

Map of the Route

From the Cross Keys walk along the pavement on that side of the road going up the hill towards the Horological Institute.  If you parked at the Institute cross the main road at the corner.  Go around the path on the inside of the sharp bend in the middle of the village.  This goes under a group of apple trees.  The people of Upton don’t appear to be very keen on apples as when I did this walk there were dozens of nice looking red ones lying on the ground underneath.

Continue along the pavement for 300 yards until you see a track going downhill on the right near the site of the former French Horn pub.  Go down this narrow lane, Carr Lane, on your right.  This hardly even looks like a proper road, where almost immediately the metalled road surface becomes a track.  After twenty yards you will see a footpath sign and the road name, Carr Lane.  There are two paths here.  One bears right where you will see a grass track and an information board. The plastic on the board is rather opaque so it is a little difficult to read.but we want to follow the main wide track which goes slightly left.  Soon the track starts to go downhill and we follow it for 300 yards to the bottom of the hill where the track bends sharply to the right.  Here go straight on and you find yourself at the edge of a very large arable field.  The route ahead was not clear when I did the walk.  Look at the two pylons most directly straight ahead which appear to be nearest to you .  Aim for the right hand one of the two.  You may start to see some footprints a little way into the field.  As you make your way across you should notice a slight gap ahead at the end of the field in line with the pylon.  Head towards that and after 400 yards from the start of the field you reach a dyke.  This is Pingley Dyke, and Pingley is a name you become familiar with on this walk.

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Cross over the dyke into a new field and turn right for eighty yards to the first hedge.  Here go left along field edge with the hedge immediately on your right.  Follow the field edge for 300 yards until you reach a yellow-topped post indicating the footpath.  This points left along a grass bank slightly raised from the large fields on either side by a few inches.  Follow this for  400 yards to a pylon and then past some trees on the right.  The path becomes a more obvious track which you follow to another dyke (Pingley Dyke again) which you follow to the right.

Follow the track for a short way. As you reach some trees to the right of the track, which goes on ahead and then turns left, you should turn right off the track to go past the trees.  You keep these just to your left and then enter another field.  There turn left along the field edge for 100 yards until you reach the corner where you should see a gap in the hedge.  Go through this into a new field.  Turn left towards the houses following the field edge.  In the first corner of this field that you reach look to the left where there is a solid wooden fence and you will see a path which goes left then right next to some gardens. Follow this path for a short way until you reach the end of a cul-de-sac which is Pingley Close.  Turn right and walk along this very quiet Close between the driveways of the houses of Staythorpe for 100 yards to reach Pingley Lane . Turn right along this quiet road for 100 yards until you reach the main road.  Turn right along the pavement for 100 yards and look for a footpath signpost on the other side of the road.

Cross to reach a wide track.  Follow the track away from the road between hedges.  The track runs very straight and after 300 yards you reach the Notiingham to Newark railway line.  Carefully cross the railway line before very soon coming to the service road for Staythorpe power station.  This is unlikely to be at all busy.  After crossing that you reach another wide straight track which you follow.  The track here is good and firm with views to the left of the power station.  There are some trees to right of track for a short time then it becomes more open again.  After half a mile you reach the River Trent at the path which was part of an earlier walk of mine (Walk 22).

Where that went left this time we go right through a wooden gate and follow a slightly muddy track alongside the river for fifty yards until you reach a large field on the right after going past a hedge.  The official path here goes along the hedge line away from the river to the right.  If you look along the hedge you will see a yellow topped post which is where you should go.  From there look to the tree line at the far end of the field and you should be able to see a little gap just to the right of the centre of the tree line.  This is the line you should be looking for so set out across the field aiming for the gap about 600 yards away.  In wet weather you go past a large puddle in the field soon after setting off.  There is no obvious path across the field in my experience and it can be hard going across soft and earthy ground.

For that reason you may prefer this alternative route.  Back at the start of the field instead of leaving the riverside continue along the river for yards until you reach the tree line at the far end of the field.  At that point leave the river to turn right and follow a track running alongside the trees.  Follow this track with the trees on you left for yards until you reach a stile on the left of the track.

If you have been trudging across the field you will come to this same stile, which you climb over.  The stile requires a little agility as it is a few wooden rungs without any step to aid you. Go on from the stile to the main track under the tall trees and turn right.  After 100 yards you leave the trees and come to the river again.  Looking across the Trent you can see some houses which are part of Farndon on the other side of the river.

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Carry on along the riverside path with the river on your left.  The path is pretty good here although there are odd bits of rubble mixed in to it.  After 500 yards the river bends away to the left and this is where you leave it.  Don’t go through the white double gates on the embankment and instead follow the track bearing away from the river and embankment.  After fifty yards you reach a small wooden gate that takes you into a car park used by local anglers.  Carry on through this and stay on the wide track ahead.

After 300 yards the main track bears to the right while straight ahead there is a more grassy wide track.  At this point it is possible to carry on along the grass track which takes you to Fiskerton (see my Walk 22 for the reverse direction) and from there you can find paths back to Rolleston and Upton.  However, on this occasion my route takes the more direct route to Rolleston by staying on the firm main wide track.  So bear right along the track and follow it all the way to the road after half a mile.  You meet the road on a bend. You should carry straight on ahead along the road.  There is not much of a verge so take care although there should be little traffic unles it is a race day at Southwell races.  After 300 yards you reach Rolleston village and soon find that a pavement starts on the left hand side of the road.  Cross to reach this and follow it around the bends to the right, left and right again.  On this second right bend you reach Station Road on the left meeting the main road through the village.  Turn left here to go along Station Road and follow this around as it bends left then right.  You then go by the attractive tower of Rolleston church on the left.  At the next bend to the left walk off the road and carry straight on into an open area.

Go straight across this area and then follow the track as it goes to the right.  You arrive at a railway crossing which you should cross with care.  You will see a small waymark with a wavy  arrow on it which indicates that you are on the Trent Valley Way.  After the crossing carry on along the metalled narrow road for about fifty yards.  Almost immediately after a bend to the right look for a footpath sign pointing left at some buildings.  Go left here between the buildings and then bear right onto a golf course.

Tree line on the golf course

Tree line on the golf course

You go onto the course at the back of a green and should go left up the bank behind the green.  This takes you to the top of the bank with the golf course on your right and a dyke containing the River Greet to your left.   Turn right here to follow the bank.  You can’t go wrong here as you are between the dyke and course for 300 yards, though you should keep an eye out for any errant gold balls flying in your direction.  Shortly after going past a short, attractive line of trees on the course running parallel to the bank the dyke bends to the right and you should do the same. Go behind a green for twenty yards where you reach a concrete crossing over the dyke on the left.  Cross that to leave the course and enter a large arable field.  There is a path going straight on here which takes you back towards the earlier part of the walk but ignore that and instead turn left to follow the grassy edge of the field.  This follows the river, now on your left.  After 200 yards you reach a footpath signpost.  Here you turn right away from the dyke to cross the field at its narrow point for fifty yards towards a hedge line.

At this hedge and line of trees you should go to the right of the hedge and follow it for 200 yards with a large field on your right.  As you reach the first large gap in the hedge after 200 yards look for a metal kissing gate in the next hedge ahead on the left.  Go through this gate into a smaller, more enclosed field than many of the surrounding ones.  Bear left diagonally across the field towards the line of trees.  As you near the far side of the field  after 150 yards you will see a post with a yellow top.  Leave the field there and go out onto a wide track under the trees.  This is the track that featured in Walk 26 .  Turn left here to walk along the track.

Almost immediately after this look for a footpath on the right.  Turn right along this path which runs along a field edge towards the church tower at the top of the hill.  After 300 yards the edge of the field starts to turn right.  As it does so our route goes almost straight on towards the church.  We enter another field and make our way uphill aiming directly for the church.  After 200 yards go through a gate into the churchyard.  Go towards the main door of the church and from there a short way forward onto the main path in the churchyard.  Turn left along this path and out of the churchyard through a gate.  Carry straight on along a narrow path over some flagstones and keep going for 100 yards along the cul-de-sac of Church Walk until you meet the main road in Upton again.  If you have parked at the Horological Institute then cross the road, carefully, and return to the start of the walk.  Alternatively, if you have parked at the Cross Keys or if you wish to call in there, turn left for 200 yards along the pavement to reach the pub.