Walks in Central Nottinghamshire: Walk 54 Clipstone and the River Maun

27 Jul

This walk takes you through woods and past small and large ponds along the River Maun.  There are good bus links from Mansfield to the start of the walk with buses 14,15 and 16 every twenty minutes going to Clipstone.

Start: The bus stops by the BP garage on the road from Forest Town to Clipstone.

Distance: 4.4 miles

Click here for the  Route of the Walk


From the bus stops walk north a little way and take the road bearing slightly to the left (Clipstone Drive) from the main road on the opposite side from the garage (this is not the road going down the hill to the left).  Go to the left hand side of the road and after 100 yards you see a Bridleway sign on left.  Take the path going left down into the wood.  The path is soon under the cover of trees and goes quite steadily down the hill.

Path near Spa Ponds

The path is quite a good one, firm at first but then becoming more sandy.   After 600 yards you see a sign to the right of the path telling you that you are at Spa Ponds.  These were kept to provide fish for King Edward II and are now a nature reserve.  Stay on the main path and as the path flattens you see the first of the ponds.  Stay on this side of the ponds and go past another three of them.

Spa Ponds

There is a last little descent after 300 yards near the fourth one which is quite steepish and takes you to the bottom of the wood.

a River Maun

On the left you see the river Maun which you cross over on a wide concrete bridge. Follow a narrower path uphill.  This is a little sandy with trees and bushes close by on either side although not over the path to a great extent.

After 200 yards you reach a junction of tracks at a yellow post.  Turn right onto a wider bridleway.   This is flat but with a slope to the right across the fields down to the river.  These were the water meadows constructed for the Duke of Portland between 1816 and 1839 where water from the river and Mansfield were channelled along dykes to improve the pastures.  Follow the brideway, part of the Maun Trail,  which is generally straight for 600 yards until it reaches a hedge at a yellow post.  Turn sharply right and go down quite a steep path for 200 yards to the bottom of the slope.  Go through a gateway at a hedge to reach a large pond on the left.  This is a popular anglers’ lake.  Go straight on to the far side of the lake and a wide, firm track.  Turn left along this and walk straight along with the lake to your left.

Pond on the River Maun

on  Lilies on a pond on the River Maun

There are nice willow trees across the lake and lilies in the water.  To your right is the wood with tall conifers.  Follow the track almost straight to the end of the pond. Soon you reach another lake which you continue past.  You come to a bridleway sign on the right going into the wood but ignore this first one unless you want to cut the walk short as at the top it meets my walk again.   After another 600 yards  you reach another blue bridleway sign to the right and you should take this second one into the wood.  This is a wide track with trees a little way off on either side.  Climb steeply for 300 yards until the wide track bends to left near a signpost.  The wide track continues as a footpath but counterintuitively the bridleway continues as the narrower track that bears off to the right.  This is the one that we take.  It is uphill at first but starts to become flatter and then after 200 yards joins a wide straight track at the top of the wood.   Turn right along this very long track with a slightly loose surface.  There is a hedge on the left with fields, then forest and the headstocks of the former Clipstone colliery visible beyond that.  This track is so long and straight that in the first half of the 20th century it was used for speed trials and record attempts.

Sherwood Forest and Clipstone Headstocks

The wood  you have come through is on the right.  The track becomes a bit softer but it is steadily uphill for the next mile.  The track comes to the first houses and the road is surfaced for the next half mile as you continue straight along to reach your starting point.


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