Archive | September, 2019

The Robin Hood Way: Southwell to Eakring

21 Sep

This stage takes you back onto the original Robin Hood Way from the additional loop to Southwell which was added later.  It does a small tour of Southwell then follows the River Greet to Maythorne before joining the Southwell Trail.  It leaves the Trail to go through Kirklington and then up the hill through woods to Eakring.

Start: The bus stops in the centre of Southwell on Church Street near Southwell Minster

Finish:  Eakring village

Distance: 15km (9.5 miles)

Map of the route

From the bus stops on Church Street by the Minster make sure you are on the opposite side of the road to the Minster.  Turn so that you have the Minster on your right hand side and walk along the pavement going slightly downhill on Church Street away from the main junction in Southwell.  After 200 yards the road bends to the right but as it does so you should take a path through a gate on the left.  You should follow the path going almost straight ahead, but bearing slightly left (not the track going sharp left up the hill).  This goes near the bottom of a grassy field and a fence for 150m.

Leave this field by going down to a sunken track under trees.  Go straight over this to another path opposite going up some steps into a field.  Go into this field and go straight on following the field round at the bottom of the slope.  The field starts to bend to the left while on your right below you will see a stream.  You will see signs directing you the the Workhouse which you should follow in this part of the walk.  At the end of the field you come to a path which takes you to a road (Newark Road) alongside the stream.

Go straight over the road, which can be quite busy, and continue straight on along a hard path for fifty yards until you approach houses.  On the first lamp post as you reach the road you should see a small, green Robin Hood Way marker pointing to the right.  Turn along the road to the right and after fifty yards cross the road to turn left and then slightly right before the road bends left along what seems to be a cul-de-sac.  As you reach the end of this you will see a path which you should take over a bridge to reach a new path.  Turn right here and follow the path alongside the stream for 100 yards until you come to the main road.  Go onto the pavement and turn left towards the sign for the Workhouse.  The Workhouse is an interesting place to visit as you can find out about life in the former workhouse which existed here.  To reach it follow the pavement round for another fifty yards where the main entrance can be found.

If you don’t wish to visit the Workhouse then just before you reach the big sign for the Workhouse where the road turns right you should turn left along a path on the left taking you away from the road.  Follow this firm path almost straight along for the next 400 yards, going near to the community orchard which has a good variety of different apples.  At first there is no sign of the river Greet but soon the path approaches the river which is on the right. On your left a little way off are some houses.  The path twists and turns a little before coming to the road by a tall mill building.  Take the path up to the road (Station Road) and you are now opposite a car park.

Mill Building

At the road cross, turn right and pass the tall mill building overlooking the River Greet and pond. Immediately after the mill turn left along a footpath. This crosses a short patch of gravel before becoming a narrow path with the river Greet on your left and Reg Taylor’s garden centre on your right.  You are separated from the garden centre by a fence but can see through that. Shortly you can see a pond in the garden centre which can be worth having a look at to see the birds.

River Greet near Southwell

River Greet near Southwell

The path itself can be rather muddy at this point as it seems to get a fair amount of use and is narrow. The river here is about six feet wide. Carry on straight along the path as you reach the end of the garden centre. You now reach fields on your right with the river still at your left as it starts to make small meanders. The walk continues straight along the path. The fields on the right can be quite varied in character depending on the time of year you walk. In recent years these fields have often had maize in them. In the spring you will be able to see across the fields but as the year goes on the maize grows higher and higher until it really is “as high an elephant’s eye” before harvesting in the late autumn. If the maize is tall I think it gives a rather exotic feel to the area. You walk along and can imagine being in a tropical country with the vegetation towering above you. It also gives a sense of isolation. Someone could be twenty yards away and have no idea you were walking there hidden by the maize.

Maize field near Southwell

Maize field near Southwell

Eventually you have to make a sharp right turn at the end of a field. Ignore the temptation to carry on into the clump of trees. There is a path going into the trees but that has been caused by people thinking that is the correct path, me included. It comes to a dead end at the river and you will have to turn around. Having taken the sharp right turn follow the field edge for about 200 yards before taking a left turn through a gap in the hedge.

River Greet near Maythorne

River Greet near Maythorne

The river Greet appears again on your left as you emerge from the hedge. It is slightly wider than before and is flowing more quickly. Walk alongside the river for 200 yards before you have to divert your course slightly as you reach the hamlet of Maythorne.  You cross a wooden footbridge and walk a few yards towards the tall mill building in Maythorne to reach a narrow footbridge over the river as it sweeps down from the mill.  Cross the bridge and continue walking through the “courtyard” area of Maythorne past the few buildings. On the left as you leave Maythorne is a recently established cafe, called All Mine Cakes, which overlooks a small lake. Then go up the road for 100m to the old railway track.  If you turn left along that you can follow the track all the way back to Southwell mill.

Near the Mill at Maythorne

Near the Mill at Maythorne

To continue the walk to Eakring you should turn right along the railway track.  Follow the track very straight for a mile.  It then bends slightly left and you go under two bridges in the next 500m.  Immediately after the second bridge turn right up the entrance road to a picnic site for a short distance and then right to come out very soon onto a quiet lane.  Turn left to go downhill for 150m to a junction.  Cross this next, slghtly busier road and turn right for 50m going past a farm entrance.

Go left through a metal gate into a grass field which often has animals in it.  Walk along the left hand side of the field and through another metal gate into another field.  Follow the left edge of this field for 100m when you reach another gate.  Leave the field and cross a small bridge over a stream.  A gate takes you into a field with a pond through the trees just to the right.  Follw the path for 100m to a gate and then go right across a bigger bridge over a wider stream.  This takes you to the edge of a large arable field.


Smaller Pond near Kirlkington

Pond near Kirlkington

There are two paths ahead but we aim leftwards towards the hedge near the house at the top of the slope.  The path is usually quite clear.  After 150 yards you reach a wide gap in the hedge.  Go through the gap and then immediately turn right alongside the hedge for 200 yards going gently downhill.  As you near the end of this field look for another small grassy field or lawn on the right.  Turn right and cross this lawn to the far end where it meets the end of Church Lane. Turn left and follow the lane to the main road.

Turn right to walk along the pavement alongside the busy A617.  After 400m just before a left hand bend you will see on the other side of the A617 a surfaced driveway which is the entrance to Hall Farm.  Cross the road and go up the driveway for 100m.  On the right is a gate into a field which you go through.  Follow the path which soon bends to the left near trees and go through a rather rough and ready makeshift gate into the main part of the field which sometimes has sheep in it.

Follow the clear track uphill.  If you look to the left you see the former Rodney School and grounds, now a fishing lake area.  Towards the top of the hill go under a short section of trees and at the top go over a cattle grid to reach a very large expanse of fields.  Take the very clear track going straight ahead, downhill at first then up again to reach a barn after 600m.  Stay to the right of the barn on the track and go slightly right then left again until you are close to the corner of a wood.  Turn right to cross a field alongside a hedge to your right for 150m.

At the end of the field the path meets a green lane under a line of trees called Whitestub Lane.  Turn right along this track which winds among the trees for 300m as far as you can go and you reach a path junction by dykes.  Cross a plank bridge on your left and go through a metal gate into a grass field.  Go downhill with Roe Wood just to your right.  At the bottom of the field go through the hedge bearing right into another field with Roe Wood still just to your right over a ditch.  At the end of this field you reach a corner with a junction of paths.  There are several waymarks here but unfortunately none pointing in the correct direction for our purposes.

The footpath we want turns left along a firm track to short red brick walls close together which form a bridge.  The track goes on up to Holywell Farm but after the brick bridge the official path turns immediately left to follow the field edge to the corner.  Then turn right with a hedge to your left until reaching a high barrier near Holywell farm and barn.  You now realise you could have followed the track towards the farm and gone to the left of the hedge to reach same point.  The high barrier appears to be a dead end but on the left is a narrow gap in the hedge.  Go through into a narrow field and go straight across it to reach another large grass field.  Aim towards a low yellow post under a big tree straight ahead and then to the right of Orchard Wood Farm which you are approaching.  Leave the field using a metal gate and go straight on over a driveway onto a short slightly overgrown track.

This leads to a large grass field where you go downhill next to the hedge.  At the bottom go into an arable field and striaght on uphill to reach Dilliner Wood.  The path is a bit overgrown and brambly as you go into the wood and you have to go left and right past logs to reach the main path in the wood.  The path runs straight through the wood and is obvious all the way.  This can be a bit muddy in a few short patches.  You go uphill at first then down a little to reach Mansey  Common.

Go through a metal gate and enter Mansey Common, another Notts Nature Trust conservation area.  This is a peaceful area of woodland providing good habitat for variety of animals and birds. . There is an information board here providing further details.  Having gone onto the common you should carry on along the path.  The path is reasonably clear to follow but after wet weather this bit can be particularly boggy.  You soon come to a clearing and should carry on in the same direction.  There is an arrow for the Robin Hood Way which seems to point to the left but this is slightly misleading and you should aim more straight on along the clearest path.  The path is a little less obvious at this point but if you go straight on through the scrub you shouldn’t go too far wrong and soon the path does become clearer.  There is one particularly boggy bit for about 20m.

You reach the far end of Mansey Common around 400m after entering it and descend to a dumble, a small wooded valley over a stream.  Cross the  recently replaced wooden footbridge and climb up some new steps up a steep little bank to reach a large field.  Go straight on up a rise to reach the middle of the field which affords good views as you are at the highest point of this part of the walk.  You will also see wind turbines featuring prominently.  However, the view to the north and east is a good one.  To the north-west you will see the tower of Eakring church which gives a useful guide to the direction we now take.

Top of the field coming from Mansey Common

Top of the field coming from Mansey Common

Carry straight on along the path for 200m going slightly downhill to a hedge.  Go through the gap in the hedge to enter another field.  On my last walk here the field had been recently ploughed and the path hadn’t been restored. You should aim straight down the slope across the field until you reach the track at the bottom where a line of trees and hedge go up the hill in the next field.  At the bottom go a little left along the track until reaching a plank bridge on the right.  Cross this and follow the path across the field bearing slightly left towards a gap in the far hedge.

At this gap cross a bridge and continue uphill to the corner of a hedge.  Continue in the same direction with the hedge on your left, descending to a grassy track and then turning left along a grassy wide track out to the main road in Eakring.  Turn right along this and follow it to reach the centre of Eakring although to continue along the Robin Hood Way cross after 80m to Side Lane.

There are no direct buses to Southwell unfortunately so to return if using public transport you will have to get the 28B bus to the western edge of Farnsfield and then a bus to Southwell.