Archive | January, 2018

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire Walk 51: Epperstone

26 Jan

This is a walk starting at the small, attractive village of Epperstone.  It climbs out of the village across fields and then some surprisingly testing undulations before reaching a track at the top of a ridge with good views across the Trent Valley.  After a walk along the ridge it returns to Epperstone along another track.  Most of the walk is on good paths and tracks however, there is a short section which is quite boggy and I wouldn’t recommend that after wet weather unless you have good boots.

Start:  The centre of Epperstone on the quiet main street through the village.  There should be space to park along the street if making your own way there.  If coming by public transport there is the 747 bus every hour or so until around 2pm from Monday to Saturday from Lowdham and Calverton. Then a long wait for the next one.  The walk starts next to the bus shelter in the centre of the village.

Distance: 5.75 miles

Map of the Route

From the bus shelter turn left off the main road through the village, Main Street, to follow a quiet road, Chapel Lane.  There are a few houses near the road but you soon find yourself leaving the village behind.  After 200 yards turn right off the road at a wooden gate with a footpath sign next to it. Go through the gate and along a nice strip of short grass between fences. This takes you to a footbridge over a stream which you cross into a large arable field. Here you are at the bottom corner and turn left to follow the edge of the field going gently uphill along a mainly grassy path. After 300 yards there is a path and bridge going to the left which you ignore. Continue up the hill in the field as it starts to climb more steeply than before for another 300 yards.

The path has been straight along the field edge all the way so far but now you come to the corner of the field by a hedge and a yellow-topped post indicating the footpath. Turn right and follow the hedge for 100 yards to another yellow post. Go left up a few steps through the hedge into another field pausing to look back at the increasingly expansive view. In the next field you follow a hedge on your right and a good grassy path which climbs quite steeply for 500 yards. At the top it is a good idea to pause not only to recover your breath but to turn and admire the view which now extends for miles. Keep going to the corner of the field where there is a pond just through the hedge. Turn left to follow the field edge and go to the right of two small pine trees to reach a yellow post.

View towards Epperstone

There turn right to follow another hedge on your right in a flat field.  Keep going in this direction straight ahead.  After 300 yards the path starts to descend quite steeply towards a wood at the bottom of the slope.  At the bottom of the field drop down into the wood and cross the narrow stream in this dumble.  Very soon you come up out of the dumble and wood and find yourself at the bottom of another grassy field.  The waymark here directs you to the right and you should follow that arrow along the bottom of the field by the wood for 200 yards until you reach another yellow post.  This points up the hill with a hedge now on your left.  Go up the hill with a grassy field on your right.  Again this is quite a testing little climb for 400 yards to the top.  Almost immediately you start to descend again and go for 300 yards to the bottom passing to the right of a house and a small line of trees by the driveway. At the bottom you go a little to the right and then turn left to go through another narrow area of trees.  You find yourself facing yet another climb, fortunately the last one of the walk.  This is quite a sharp one again on grass for 300 yards towards a farmhouse.  Aim just to the right of the house towards the trees where you should see a footpath post.  Bear right to go through the gap in the trees onto the rough driveway and follow that out to a wide track.

Turn left along this wide track until after 200 yards you reach a large farmyard area (Bankwood Farm).  There are buildings on most sides of the yard but if you bear a little to the right, although still going roughly straight on you see that the track continues.  Follow this track out of the yard.  It is a properly surfaced road at this point although only open to farm traffic.  After 300 yards you reach a barrier which you can go to the right of to continue the walk.  This track is at the top of a ridge and if you turn round there are good views to the south towards the Trent Valley.  Continuing again on our walk the track runs almost straight between hedges before bending a little to the right near Thurgarton Quarters Farm, which is on the left of the track beyond the hedge.  800 yards from the barrier you reach a red-brick farmhouse on the right of the track just before it reaches Hollybeck Garden Centre.  Opposite the house look for a track in the wood to the left although I couldn’t see any signpost here.

The track is reasonable at first but after 100 yards you turn left and come to the start of a quite boggy area.  The path is mainly grassy but it is wet underfoot and it seems that horses have been ridden along here because there are hoofprints evident.  This has caused sections to become very muddy and because the track is quite narrow in places it is hard to avoid all the muddy patches.  I came along this way after one wet day but otherwise dryish weather so it will be pretty unpleasant after wet weather and would need waterproof boots.  Having said that the worst of the mud is only for about 400 yards as you go along what would be a nice grassy track in dry conditions.  The way is obvious along the hedgeline even though it takes a few twists and turns.  After 400 yards of muddiness you reach some trees and turn right.  Leaving the trees takes you out into a field and the rest of the walk is almost mud-free.

Stay on the left of the field next to a hedge for 100 yards then turn left over a footbridge.  This takes you into another large field.  Turn left along the grassy margin next to the arable field and walk for 100 yards to the corner of the field near a wood.  This corner may be a little muddy but you can cut off the corner before the last and muddiest bit.  Here you turn right and follow the edge of the field with the wood on your left.  At then end of the wood turn left to reach a proper track after 200 yards.

The track is a good one and well signposted through the farm area by wooden fingerposts.  Follow the track towards the farmhouse for 300 yards.  50 yards before the farm buildings turn left along another good track at a fingerpost.  After 200 yards you reach a hedge and fingerpost where you turn right and follow another track alongside the hedge.  This track is mainly grassy but there may be a few puddles and small mud patches.  The track goes straight for 500 yards to the corner of the field where you come to a footbridge on the left  that crosses a small stream in a narrow wood and then comes to another field.  There is another wood to your left as you follow the edge of the field for 150 yards until reaching another proper track.  Turn left along this good, firm track next to the wood.  As you leave the wood behind you reach a hedge by the next field.  Keep straight on beside this hedge going downhill.  You soon arrive at more trees on your left but keep straight on going downhill following the tree line.

Woods overlooking Epperstone

On your right all this time has been a large field and beyond that views to a wood.  As you reach the corner of the field the path takes you out of the field and into the trees on a decent path.  Follow this path downhill through the edge of this wood for a short distance with views over fields to the left.  After 150 yards you leave the wood and come to a lovely grassy track between hedges which takes you down to a farm.  At the time I did this walk there was some building work going on here but it is straightforward as you keep going straight on past the house then turn sharply to the left and make a steep descent for fifty yards to reach a farm road.  Turn right along this and follow it straight for a just over half a mile into Epperstone, where it becomes Chapel Lane again, until you reach your starting point.

There is a very well-regarded pub, The Cross Keys, just along from the bus shelter.  This is well worth a visit, especially if you have missed the 2 o’ clock bus and have to wait for several  hours until the next one arrives.