Archive | April, 2017

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 45: Circuit to the West of Eakring including the Robin Hood Way

26 Apr

 

This walk returns to the proper Central Notts area after last month’s excursion to the north of the county.  In fact we are only a few miles from the heart of the area of the blog in Farnsfield.  This walk is only a relatively short one but has good views for much of it around the village of Eakring.  Some of it is across fields but much of it is along quiet roads and tracks which are decent walking in all but the wettest weather.  One thing that I did notice when doing the walk is that one of the tracks may not be open in winter but there should be no problems at other times.

Start: The centre of Eakring near the church.  If coming by car you should be able to find somewhere to park on the road close to the church.  The street in Eakring (Kirklington Road) coming south from the central junction of the village near the church is fairly quiet and wide.  If coming by bus there is the 28B from Mansfield hourly during the day from Monday to Saturday and other very infrequent ones from smaller villages.

Distance: 5.2 miles

Map of the Route

 

From Eakring church cross the road (Kirklington Road) and walk along the very quiet lane coming off it directly opposite the church for 300 yards until it turns right.  At the bend leave the road and turn left up a shale track.  Step over the lowest part of the barrier you soon reach and continue straight along the track. Follow the track which turns sharply right then left after 100 yards. The track now becomes more firm underfoot and as you turn away from the village hedges form a barrier on either side of you.  You reach a gap in the hedge to the right after 200 yards where there is a short track to Mompesson Cross, which I have mentioned in previous walks around Eakring (see Walk 18), which you may wish to visit.  Staying on the main track you are going slightly uphill away from Eakring.  Follow this track for another 300 yards where first it bends a little to the right then left.  As you start to reach more open country you see wind turbines close by the right in a field.

Look a little to the right of the path for a yellow footpath waymark on a wooden post by the hedge between the fields with turbines in them.  Turn right off the main wide track towards the footpath post and continue down a track in the hollow sheltered by the hedge next to field.  This is quite a nice little path as it is just a few feet below the level of the fields and sheltered by a good covering of trees and bushes.  The path descends steadily for 400 yards until you leave the sheltered hollow to come out at the service track for the turbines.  if you’ve ever wanted to have a really close look at a wind turbine this is an ideal opportunity as here you are very near indeed to one.  After the track you have a choice of routes. My official route follows the proper footpath which continues on downhill to the left of the next hedge you see just across the service track.  This path follows the edge of field next to the hedge then bears left near bottom across the field to a gap at the far corner of field not far from a wood.  On my last visit this path was very obvious and well-maintained through the crops.  It may not always be quite as clear but you should still aim for that far corner gap at the bottom of the field.  At that gap don’t go across the next field towards the wood, instead turn right to follow the wide track at the edge of field at bottom with a dyke on your left.  After 200 yards this takes you to the bottom of the hedge line you followed down the hill.

 Eakring wind turbine

You may feel that this extra little diversion across the field isn’t really necessary and instead when you first reach the service track you could go down the hill following the service track until you reach the bottom of the hill near the hedge line.  Whichever route you have taken to get here we now depart from the bottom of the hedge line by going along the wide track built for the turbines at the bottom of the hill.  We are heading back towards Eakring now with the turbines on the hill to your right and flatter fields on the left.  Follow the wide track almost straight for 400 yards until the road ahead is about 200 yards away at a red barrier.  A track comes from the fields on the left to meet ours but we take a footpath bearing across the field to the right.   This was obvious when I walked it with crops growing to either side.  If it isn’t clear you should head across the field towards the sharp corner at the bottom of the hill on the road to Eakring.  Near this corner the footpath comes very close to the road but stays in the field and goes up the slope steeply for a short way. At the brow of the hill the path starts to flatten out and you should bear left until you see a wooden post with a yellow top near the bushes as you near the road again.  Not far away you will see some large sheds ahead.  At the yellow post go through the bushes taking the line of least resistance for 20 yards to reach a grass verge next to road.  Stay on this verge until you reach the access road for Eakring Farms.  Here cross the main road going into Eakring, which can have a fair amount of traffic, to reach the pavement opposite.

There you will see a wide straight track ahead and on the right of that a footpath sign pointing down the track. Walk along this track which initially is the end of a driveway that soon passes houses and then becomes a firm track between hedges and fields.  After 500 yards as the hedge on the right runs out you reach a crossroads of paths.  Take the one bearing left slightly uphill across a field towards a clump of trees.  Keep aiming just to the left of them on what is usually a clear track in this arable field.  As you reach the brow of the hill you start to get good views of Sherwood Forest and the surrounding countryside going all the way to Derbyshire.  Go downhill along the path aiming for a stile at the end of the field.  As you reach it you see that you can go to the left of the stile rather than climb over it. Here go into a grass field.  Here you will also see the green waymarks for the Robin Hood Way which we will follow for the next mile.  In this grassy field, sometimes containing sheep, go down quite a steep slope bearing just to the left.  You come to another obsolete stile at the bottom of the field which you can go round.

This takes you to a bridge which goes over a short section of a disused, now grass-covered railway line.  This comes as a bit of a surprise in when all around you are fields.  Cross the bridge to reach another field.

Bridge over the old railway line

 

Going straight on from the bridge there is a strip of quite short grass forming a sort of path across middle of the field.  At the other side of the field you reach a hedge and trees with a wooden footbridge going over a stream.  Cross the bridge and go out of the other side of the hedge into a slightly uneven arable field.  The field is about 400 yards across and often will have a defined path to follow.  If it hasn’t, aim for about the third tree from right near a gap in the row of trees at the far end of the field.  As you cross the field you can look back to take a direct straight line bearing from the bridge which will also give a good guide.  At the far end of the field you reach a good wide track.  Turn right along it and follow it as it bends right then crosses a stream after 200 yards.  You will see a large pond on the right of the track which often has ducks, geese and other birds on it.  Carry on along the track soon passing a smaller pond on the left of the path. Stay on the track heading towards a redbrick house with solar panels on the right of the track.  Staying on the track past this house you reach a pleasant avenue of trees.  Follow the track along this avenue until you reach a junction with another wide track.

Turning left here takes you to Rufford Park on the Robin Hood Way after another two miles but we leave the Way and go right here along the wide track.  We soon reach a farmyard. As you go through the farmyard there are various buildings around but you should look to your left where there is a very impressive dovecote made of red brick at the top of one of them.  Go straight across to leave the farmyard uphill along a well-surfaced farm road.  This takes you quite straight, gradually climbing under another nice avenue of trees with a good grassy verge, then an open area where you can see across to the earlier part of the walk . 600 yards from the farmyard you reach a road and turn right.  There is no verge although the road isn’t very busy.  After 100 yards you reach the entrance to a farm track on the right.  This is a permissive path with a gate preventing vehicles entering.  On my latest visit there was a sign saying that the path was closed for winter, although walkers can fit through a gap in the gate easily enough.  You may not want to use the path if it says that it is closed and if this is the case you should continue up the road into Eakring for half a mile.  However, the path is a good one and unless it is very muddy I don’t think you should have any problems using the permissive path.

Taking the permissive path takes you away from the road on an obvious grassy track going uphill towards a  clump of trees.  Go to the left of these and carry straight on along the track which becomes firmer, still climbing.  After 500 yards on the track you return to the crossroads of paths we left earlier in the walk.  Having now been along three of these paths it makes sense to take the fourth one which is the one bearing left down across a field.  After 200 yards you reach a metal gate which takes you into a very narrow field and then through another gate into a small grassy field, sometimes containing horses.  This field is a little uneven as you go down almost straight ahead to the bottom of the field, which can be muddy in wet weather.  To the right of the gate at the bottom there is a stile, which is quite a high one but which you can now avoid climbing.  Leaving this field takes you onto the road we left a little earlier near the permissive path sign.  Turn right to follow the road up a short hill into the village. Unfortunately there is no verge so cross as soon as you can to the other side when a pavement appears there.  Stay on this pavement for 200 yards until you reach a junction with the main road through the village, near the Saville Arms pub on the right.

At the junction you should turn left to follow the main road using the pavement for 300 yards until you reach the main junction near the church.  Cross the road here and return to the church where we started the walk.