Archive | July, 2017

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 47: Duke’s Wood and Dilliner Wood

27 Jul

Apologies for the long gap between posts but the walk I had planned to write about last month was affected by overgrown crops which made it impossible to do.

This walk largely avoids arable fields so should be easy enough all year round although parts of the wood near Mansey Common can get muddy in wet weather.  It can be done as a walk in its own right or it connects with Walks 18,37 and 45 at Eakring and with Walks 16 and 25 near Roe Wood where you can take a short detour for some very good views.

Start: Duke’s Wood car park about a mile south of Eakring just off the minor road running from the A617 near Kirklington to Eakring.  If you are using public transport you can start the walk in Eakring which lies on bus routes and can join this walk at Mansey Common by following my Walk 18 (in reverse).

Distance:4 miles

Map of the Route

From the car park go into the Duke’s Wood nature reserve passing an information board.  Walk straight along the wide track for 200 yards until you reach the oil museum and visitor centre.  On the right you will pass a pond.  On my last visit this was looking rather sad as most of the water had gone.  However, this was after a long dry period and it may well be that when we have some rain the pond will be restored.  In the past I have had very close views of dragonflies there.
Next to the information centre on the left is a wooden art work in the form of a wall.  Duke’s wood is a nature reserve and has a nature trail which you can incorporate into this walk.  The trail is a little over a mile long and has numbered posts at intervals around it to guide you.  To follow my direct route you should carry straight on along the wide track passing an open area on your right near the museum.  Soon you come to another open area on the right which is the location of a statue of an oil worker, the Oil Patch Warrior.  The original was damaged when someone tried to steal it.  A replacement was installed in autumn 2014.
Officially at this point you have been in Pudding Poke Wood but carrying on straight along the wide track takes you almost imperceptibly into Duke’s Wood.  Keep to the main track as it bends to the left and ignore the little paths coming in from the side.  After 300 yards you reach the far end of the wood by nature trail post number 12.  Here you should turn left and follow the path along the edge of the wood with a large field outside the wood beyond the hedge to your right.  After 250 yards you will see on your left a post marked with number 13.  This is the last official part of the Duke’s Wood reserve and there is a path by the post turning left back into the wood.  However, my walk continues straight on along the wider track ahead between hedges to either side.  You leave Duke’s Wood but after 300 yards you approach another area of woodland.

Duke’s Wood

As you arrive at the end of the track you will see metal gate and fences to your left and straight ahead.  There is also a sign informing you of cattle grazing nearby.  Don’t try and go over the fence or gate.  Instead look just to the right of the fence at the end of the track and you should be able to see a narrow path going into the woodland ahead.  Go into the wood and follow the path.  This isn’t an official footpath but it has clearly been used extensively as the path is very obvious.  It twists and turns a little but runs roughly straight ahead through the trees.  You should be a little careful here as there are several tree roots along this path and after wet weather it will be slightly slippery.  After about 300 yards you meet a proper path just as you come to a metal gate.

At this point my Walk 18 turned left through the gate to Mansey Common but on this walk we turn right to follow the main track. This track is usually good and drier than the one across Mansey Common although after heavy rain it can be a little muddy. Go along this reasonably wide track which is surrounded by tall trees. This is Dilliner Wood. Here we are on the Robin Hood Way. The path runs very straight through the wood, rising slightly at first before a more noticeable, though not steep, descent. Although the trees are tall it is deciduous woodland and never feels claustrophobic. The path is easy for 500 yards almost until you leave the wood. You have to go right over a fallen log and ditch where the path is a little overgrown and narrows. Then almost immediately left again back over the ditch. These aren’t major obstacles however. Now you are right at the edge of the wood and you should leave the wood here to follow the path straight downhill across an arable field.
At the bottom of the field go through a metal kissing gate into another field. This next field is a large grassy one used for grazing animals. Go uphill with the hedge just to your left all the way. It is quite a steady climb for 300 yards. At the top of the hill you see farm buildings ahead. Keep going by the hedge for another 100 yards to a yellow-topped post in the corner of the field. Leave the field staying to the left of the buildings. You reach a kissing gate and go through that. Cross the drive going to the farm (Orchard Wood Farm) and keep going straight on with a hedge to your right, aiming for another yellow topped post under an oak tree ahead of you.

At this post look to the hedge on the left a little way ahead and you should see a metal kissing gate. Aim across the field to the gate. Go through the gate, it is slightly overgrown on the other side, into another field. The path goes straight on in this next field until you approach Holywell Farm, where you reach a tall metal barrier fence. You can’t get past that so have to go right through a hedge into another field. Follow the hedge on your right downhill in this new field until you reach the corner of the field then turn sharp left.  Keep following the edge of the field until you meet a wider track. Turn down this towards a brick bridge over a dyke. Keep going towards the corner of the wood ahead of you. At the bottom by the wood there is a junction of tracks. You may have found in this last field that you are following a path through crops which takes you on slightly different route.  You should look for the brick bridge near the wood when you reach a clear track and aim for that and the wood to join the main route.

At the junction of tracks near the wood turn right and join a footpath along the edge of a field.  We are now separated from Roe Wood by a ditch.  Go up hill along the field edge with the wood on your left until after 400 yards you turn left again to enter another field.  Carry on uphill along this field edge next to Roe Wood until you reach the top.  Step over a low metal gate to leave the field where a line of trees goes off to the right.
Leaving the field you will see ahead of you a ditch which is crossed by a wooden plank bridge.  That path takes you back to the A617 .  We don’t cross the ditch.  Instead our route turns right and follows the line of trees.  This is a narrow track which runs straight along the line of trees.  While taking a generally straight course it twists and turns slightly as it runs between the trees.  Considering it is such a narrow line of trees it is surprisingly well covered and is a nice walk.  The only slight concern is to watch for tree roots.  After about 500 yards look for a gap in the hedge on the left where you will see a post indicating a footpath and also a waymark for the Robin Hood Way.  That way takes you to the village of the Kirklington but we stay along this narrow path in the line of trees.  The path remains good but keep an eye out for the occasional low branch as you go.

After 400 yards the path gets much wider as you leave the line of trees and reach a track with Duke’s Wood on your right.  The path rises steadily for the next 600 yards at first as a grassy one and then a firm track.  Ignore all the side tracks that go into the wood and go straight on along the main one.  There are signs warning of private areas and alarms which also encourage you to stay to the main path. Eventually you reach a green metal barrier as you come to the entrance to the Duke’s Wood reserve where we started  the walk.