Archive | May, 2018

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire: Walk 53 – Newstead Abbey, Nomanshill Wood and Harlow Wood, Ravenshead

31 May

This walk takes in a variety of scenery including the famous estate of Newstead Abbey, coniferous and deciduous woodland of Nomanshill and Harlow Woods, a small lake and the large village of Ravenshead.  Some of it follows the Robin Hood Way but the rest is along good tracks or quiet roads and should be suitable for walking in all conditions.

Start:  There is a choice depending on whether you are coming by public transport or making your own way.  I recommend using the bus to get to the start of my route at Newstead Abbey Gates as there are very frequent buses between Nottingham and Mansfield which stop there.  There is space for cars nearby but you may not be very welcome if your car is there for any length of time.  There is a public car park at Nomanshill Wood with plenty of room.

Distance: 5.5 miles

Click here for a Map of the Route


From the bus stop on the by the gates to Newstead Abbey walk for fifty yards away from the main A60 road past a large tree and go into the Abbey grounds past the quite imposing  gates.

Newstead Abbey Gates

Stay alongside the road on the left hand side.  This is the main public entrance road to the Abbey but is quiet.   As you reach the second driveway on the left of the road go to left for 30 yards along it but don’t go into the property as you will see a sign for the Woodland Walk on the wall ahead.  Follow the arrow for the walk and go into the woods to the right of the driveway.   This takes you down into trees and bushes about 30 yards from the road.  The path follows the road closely but always a little way from it along a shady pleasant path.  The path is quite steep for a short way but then descends more gradually until it comes out again to the road after 300 yards.  Turn left here to follow the grass verge alongside the road for the next 500 yards.  This is another very nice walk along Swinecote Dale on a lovely well-maintained grass verge with tall trees on either side.  It is generally straight but with a few gentle bends.

Swinecotte Dale

After around 500 yards near a 20 mph circle on the road look for where a footpath crosses the road.  There is nothing on the road itself but there is a yellow footpath waymark to the left and a footpath sign to the right.  Cross the road and follow the path to the right uphill into woods.  This is now the Robin Hood Way along a nice track under trees on a decent earth surface.  The track is easy to follow and is mainly straight as you climb steadily.  From the highest point after 500 yards you descend still on this good path which soon goes down some long, shallow steps to reach an open field on left as you get to the bottom of them.

Undulating field

Stay going straight on with the attractive undulating field surrounded by woodland on your left.  Go up for a short way then down again until you go under trees again and uphill on a track with low stone wall on the right and wooden fences by houses on the left. There is quite a steep climb for 150 yards to the top and a small gate.  Carry on ahead towards some large telegraph poles where you turn left.  Pay attention here as you then take a narrow path to the right almost immediately that goes off the main track and out of the wood.

Follow a narrow path down to road with a small open area to the left at first.   After 100 yards you emerge next to a fairly busy road. There are also bus stops here.   Go left for a short way then cross the road.  On the other side of the road keep going left until you soon reach a junction.  Turn right along this road going downhill along a wide verge for 100 yards.  At the bottom of the hill there is a wood to the right where there is a “No Tipping” sign and a narrow path through the hedge on the right which you should take.  Just through the hedge go down a small dip then up a little then take a path to the left which soon comes to a car park which is the alternative start point for the walk I mentioned earlier. Bear right in the car park going away from the road and leave the car park at the far end.  You soon come to a large information board with a map of the woods showing the local trails here in Nomanshill Wood and Thieves Wood. Follow a large footpath sign for the White Trail which goes to the right a little.  This leaves the Robin Hood Way until the next junction.

Follow a wide, firm light-coloured track with trees on either side.   The track is mainly straight but bends gradually to the left and is a little undulating.  After 500 yards you reach a major junction of tracks.   The main wide track bears left but you should take the right hand track uphill going into the woods.  This is along a slightly less open and more earthy track.  Go straight along for 150 yards where the path kinks a little to the left but stay on the path for 200 yards until on the left you see Fountaindale school.  Continue for another 150 yards all the way to the A60 then turn right to follow the pavement alongside it for 150 yards.

Carefully cross the A60 here where on the opposite side you should see a footpath sign.  A very short distance to the right along the A60 here is the Sheppard Stone which commemorates an unfortunate girl who was murdered here.  From the footpath sign go straight into the wood (Harlow Wood) on an indistinct path for 80 yards to meet  a wider track. On that track go just to the right and follow the main track that goes straight on.  Follow this good wide track which is quite straight but goes into a small dip around a patch that can be a little muddy. Then soon the track becomes very straight in more open coniferous forest.  After 400 yards the path bends to the right and after another 300 yards you can see a small lake through the trees on the right as you reach more deciduous areas. Soon you come to a major junction of paths in the wood with a signpost pointing to several different tracks.  We now follow my Walk 34 but in the opposite direction.  Turn right at the junction of paths going down a dip to cross a stream (Rainworth Water) where tree felling has recently taken place.  Go uphill and bear left into the woods along a clear path.  Soon you leave the wood and reach a straight sandy path going quite steeply uphill, making it quite energy sapping.  The path has fields to either side and there are nice views across them.  After 500 yards you reach a quiet lane on a bend.  Go straight across the lane and join a narrow path on the other side of it.  Follow this straight on going up into woodland a little further before starting to go down again.  You may hear the sounds of a nearby scout camp here.  As you leave the wood we leave the route of walk 34 and continue down the track straight between hedges with fields on either side for another 350 yards.

Lake in Harlow Wood

Go down to a wooden gate and through that,  After 60 yards on a wider track turn right along a short row of houses that start with Fishpool Cottage. After 80 yards you reach the end of the lane and go through a metal kissing gate under a tree in a hedge.  Turn left for a short way and go through another kissing gate into a grassy field.  Go to the right of the wooden fences ahead of you and past the beer garden of the Little John pub on the left to reach a gate.

This takes you out to a road that you cross carefully to reach the village of Ravenshead. Go to the right for a short way and take the first road left uphill (Bretton Road) and follow this for 100 yards where it bends right and left to become Hereford Road.  Follow this for 300 yards up and down then turn right along Swinton Rise.  Follow this road for 500 yards as it curves to the right gradually before meeting a wide road (Church Drive).  Turn right along this and continue for 150 yards to the end of the road.  Look ahead just to the left on the opposite side of the road you have come to and you will see a sign for Pilgrim Close.  Go across to this sign and follow a pedestrians only path for 150 yards.  This emerges near the A60 and ahead you will see the Newstead Abbey gates where we started.  If you want to cross the A60 there is a crossing just to the right.