Archive | September, 2018

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire: Walk 55: Egmanton, Laxton and Moorhouse

19 Sep

This walk visits three villages towards the north of the Central Notts area. It follows paths, quiet roads and tracks between the villages and skirts the edge of Egmanton Wood. It has a few small climbs and in places has extensive views across flat, open fields.

Getting to these villages by public transport isn’t the easiest as the bus services are patchy to put it kindly. Egmanton is just over a mile along a quiet road from Tuxford which has a decent number of buses and can be approached from there if you don’t mind adding a bit more to your walk. The walk from Tuxford is described in my Nottinghamshire Way walk which also follows this walk as far as Moorhouse. If coming by car you should be able to find somewhere convenient on the street in Egmanton or Laxton or at the visitor centre and Dovecote Inn car park in Laxton.

Start: The Old Plough Inn on the Main Street in Egmanton is a good landmark.  The pub is open at lunchtimes and in the evening and also does meals.

Distance: 6.5 miles

Map of the Route

From the Plough in Egmanton turn left along Main Street so that the church is on your left. At the junction after 100 yards take the right fork along Weston Road for 200 yards. Look for a wide lane going off to the right (Wood Lane) and turn up that.  The lane rises steadily.  It is straight and initially properly surfaced but soon, after you go past the last of the houses the track becomes gravel. The track bears right after 500 yards as you near Egmanton Wood.

Egmanton Wood

Follow the firm track up to the wood and follow it round the wood’s edge for the next 500 yards. Just after the wood cuts away to the left there is a single tree straight ahead with a post under it at a junction of tracks.  At the tree turn right and go downhill along a field boundary for 200 yards then turn left and soon after that right along the field edge. Go uphill for 400 yards with a hedge on your right to reach a road.

Turn left along this relatively quiet road for 300 yards. At a slight bend to the right where there is a good wide verge look to the right for a gate with a blue rope on it that takes you into a field on the right, this is next to a more obvious wide open gap into a neighbouring field.  Go through the gate with the blue rope.  There are no signs here but this is officially a bridleway. Go slightly uphill along the left hand edge of the field with a hedge on left.   There is no clear path but there is a wide field edge with slightly uneven rough grass and the going is reasonable.  Go straight on into a second field. After another 300 yards you see a small paddock ahead just after a low horse jump.  You can step over that and go straight on or go just to the left of the hedge and follow a track for 50 yards to an information board.  Then go right again to the paddock which is at the edge of the old Laxton cricket field, now becoming overgrown. Turn left to go past a small ditch and up a bank which marks the edge of the site of an old motte and bailey castle.  Go through a small gate just ahead.  This takes you to the main entrance to the castle site but the gate into it seems to be often padlocked.

Laxton’s Motte and Bailey Castle

This is one of several points of interest of this historic village which is especially notable for being the only village in England to still use the ancient open field system of farming.  For a walk around those fields see my Walk 49

Turn left downhill to the Dovecote Inn where you can also find a visitor centre on the opposite side of the pub car park.

Go down the hill from the Dovecote Inn on the Inn side of the road.  After 80 yards go left at a wooden  footpath sign and gate up into a grassy field.  There is a short sharp climb up the right hand side of the field which may well contain sheep.   At the top of the field go through a metal kissing gate onto a short stretch of path then through another gate into a field on the right.  Turn left along the edge of the field until you reach a football field.  Keep straight on along a fairly indistinct path past the football pitch on your left and then between fields.  The path is a bit rough and uneven.  After 400 yards you reach a hedge but keep straight on until you come out onto a wide track with a firm surface.  Turn right and follow this track downhill with hedges either side.  The path becomes a little rougher with views towards Egmanton Wood across an open field on the left.  At the end of the proper track keep straight on by a field with a hedge to your left to a slight gap at the end of the field.  Turn right and follow the edge of the field for 300 yards .  There is a tall hedge on your right at first which then gets lower as you go down to a road.   Turn left along this very quiet single track road to reach the hamlet of  Moorhouse after half a mile.

Approaching Moorhouse

Moorhouse

At the junction in Moorhouse turn left along a narrow road which soon goes uphill.  After 150 yards go left into a field at a footpath sign.  In the field keep the line of trees on your left as you follow it for 100 yards then at a hedge at the end of the field turn right along the field edge aiming towards a pylon. Fifty yards after the pylon go left into a large grassy field.  In this field aim right heading towards the biggest tree in the hedge at the top of slope about 150 yards along.  Go over a stile then turn left alongside the hedge and into a field going towards a wood.  As you reach the wood turn right uphill with the wood on your left and a large field on the right.  As you get higher there are decent views to the east and north where you can see the towers of Cottam power station, and you may be able to see Lincoln Cathedral on the top of the ridge far to your right.

East of Egmanton Wood looking north with power station cooling towers in the distance.

Follow the edge of the wood for a mile making a few turns on the way.  You are going up at first then down again before making a left turn through a hedge.  Follow a track close to the north of the wood on grassy verge next to a field on the right. After 300 yards bear right across this field to reach the track by which you left Egmanton earlier in the walk.  Turn right and retrace your steps to Egmanton.  As you reach the village you can either go straight back to the Old Plough or you can visit the church first.  To do this, as you reach the end of the track (Wood Lane) go straight across Weston Road to reach a small bridge over a stream.  Then bear left across the field for a short distance to reach the road next to the church with its impressive tower.  To return to the Plough from here turn left for 80 yards to Main Street and the pub is just to your right.