Archive | November, 2019

The Robin Hood Way: Eakring to Rufford Park and Edwinstowe

13 Nov

Continuing my descriptions of the stages of the Robin Hood Way in central Notts with this short walk. I have walked this way several times, most significantly for me as the first stage of my walk that eventually stretched from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The walk leaves Eakring across fields, descending to a wide farm track which takes you across a golf course and close to Rufford Park.  Then past the entrance to Center Parcs and across fields to the River Maun.  Leaving the Robin Hood Way takes you into Edwinstowe.

Start: Eakring village

Finish:  Edwinstowe (note that the route leaves the Robin Hood Way for the last mile into Edwinstowe)

Distance: 11 km

Map of the Route

If starting from the centre of Eakring go from the main junction in the village (where Main St meets Kirklington Road) past the church.  Cross to the opposite side of the road from the church and walk for about 400m to reach Side Lane on the right.  If continuing from the previous Stage of the Robin Hood Way from Southwell you come to Side Lane from the other direction and turn left.

Where Side Lane turns right to become Back Lane keep straight ahead along a narrow path between hedges. Go through a gate into a field and when you reach the paddock field turn right.  Follow the path, keeping the hedge immediately to your right, until you reach the end of the field. Go down through a gap in the hedge to a wide farm track.

Here the route goes left but just across the track is one of the more interesting local features which it would be sad to miss.  Go across the track and follow the path up a short rise through the trees to reach the corner of a large field.  On your left here is a set of railings guarding a small cross.  This is a memorial to Rev. William Mompesson, the Rector of Eyam in Derbyshire which had suffered badly from the plague in 1665.  He was appointed vicar of Eakring in 1670 but the villagers refused to let him into the village fearing he carried the plague.  He held his services under an ash tree on this spot, which is known as Pulpit Ash.  That tree was hit by lightning but a young tree was planted to replace it and has grown here.

Mompesson Cross

Mompesson Cross

Retrace your steps onto the wide farm track and turn left so that you are going towards Eakring.  Follow this track towards a farm slightly downhill.  At a T junction turn right on another track and very soon left to farm buildings on the left.  At the buildings a lane comes in from the right.  Continue straight ahead to a junction at Church Lane, the main road in the village.  Turn left towards the Savile Arms Inn and cross the main road.

Turn right at the Savile Arms to go along Wellow Road.  As you leave the village, just past an old windmill there is a footpath off to the left at a stile.

This stile takes you into a field after going through a kissing gate.  However, the stile is a very big step up and is tricky to manage.  You may well find it easier to climb over the gate next to the stile to go into the field.  This field can be a bit muddy at the bottom at times, especially if horses have been using it and churning up the ground.  Go uphill for fifty yards to reach another  gate and go through that into another field.  Carry on uphill through this field for 200 yards and out via another gate.  This takes you to an open field and a wide track coming across you.  From here you can look back with good views to the east.

Looking back on the route towards Lound Wood

Cross the wide track bearing slightly uphill across a field towards a clump of trees.  Keep aiming just to the left of them on what is usually a clear track in this arable field.  As you reach the brow of the hill you start to get good views of Sherwood Forest and the surrounding countryside going all the way to Derbyshire.  Go downhill along the path aiming for a stile at the end of the field.  As you reach it you see that you can go to the left of the stile rather than climb over it. Here go into a grass field.  Here you will also see the green waymarks for the Robin Hood Way which we will follow for the next mile.  In this grassy field, sometimes containing sheep, go down quite a steep slope bearing just to the left.  You come to another obsolete stile at the bottom of the field which you can go round.

This takes you to a bridge which goes over a short section of a disused, now grass-covered railway line.  This comes as a bit of a surprise in when all around you are fields.  Cross the bridge to reach another field.

Bridge over the old railway line


Going straight on from the bridge there is a strip of quite short grass forming a sort of path across middle of the field.  At the other side of the field you reach a hedge and trees with a wooden footbridge going over a stream.  Cross the bridge and go out of the other side of the hedge into a slightly uneven arable field.  The field is about 400 yards across and often will have a defined path to follow.  If it hasn’t, aim for about the third tree from right near a gap in the row of trees at the far end of the field.  As you cross the field you can look back to take a direct straight line bearing from the bridge which will also give a good guide.  At the far end of the field you reach a good wide track.  Turn right along it and follow it as it bends right then crosses a stream after 200 yards.  You will see a large pond on the right of the track which often has ducks, geese and other birds on it.  Carry on along the track soon passing a smaller pond on the left of the path. Stay on the track heading towards a redbrick house with solar panels on the right of the track.  Staying on the track past this house you reach a pleasant avenue of trees.  Follow the track along this avenue until you reach a junction with another wide track.

Turn left here taking you towards Rufford Park.  At first this wide track is metalled but soon it gets rougher.  As you approach a plantation bear left, past a barrier to reach a house and stables.  Stay on the track, now metalled again, as it descends through trees.  At the bottom you emerge at a golf course.  Stay on the main track alongside the fairway, taking care to watch out for stray golf balls.  At a junction of tracks after 500m turn left and cross a bridge over a stream (Rainworth Water).  Follow the stream for a short distance to a junction of tracks, then bear left.

After 400m, just past a bungalow to the left, turn right by a line of poplar trees along a rough track.  Cross a bridge over Rainworth Water again by a small plantation.  Continue straight on along the track towards farm buildings going through a gate.  Go past the buildings on your right and then go down through trees to reach the busy A614.

Here the Robin Hood Way goes straight across the A614 but if you have time you should turn right on this side of the road for 300m to reach the entrance to Rufford Park, one of the finest parks in Nottinghamshire, and explore the many interesting attractions.

Back on the Robin Hood Way, having crossed the A614, carry straight on along a short section of wide track.  You soon reach the entrance road to Center Parcs holiday village which you go straight across and continue onto a wide straight track.  Follow this track with Center Parcs on your left for 300m then turn right into a field and follow a path uphill by the field edge to a small plantation.  Turn left for 100m by the trees to a gap and path going into the plantation.  Soon you leave the wood and turn right to follow a straight path along the field edge with a hedge to your right.  This goes down and then up to meet the B6030 road which you cross carefully.

Don’t take the path going straight on but turn left for 200m to the entrance of Holly Farm.  Turn right along the driveway and pass the farm buildings.  Enter a large field and follow the hedgeline downhill to another road.  Cross this and go through the gate opposite.  Cross a field with a hedge on your left to reach a railway line.  Cross this and descend straight on to reach a path by the river Maun.

At this point the Robin Hood Way bears left away from Edwinstowe but I have decided to end this stage by going into Edwinstowe which has good transport links making for a more convenient walk.  You can choose to continue along the Robin Hood Way which I shall give details of in a future blog post but note that transport links are lacking for the next miles.

To go into Edwinstowe turn right and continue along the path close to the river at the bottom of the field as the field opens up to your right.  Stay along this path for 400 yards with trees and a hedge to your left.  You will catch occasional glimpses of the river below you.  At the end of the field go through a gap next to a hedge and come out onto a road.  The road is fairly quiet but there is no pavement or footway so be careful.  Turn left along the road and follow it as you come to the first houses of Edwinstowe.  The road soon bends to the right and then runs straight for the next 300 yards until you reach a road junction.  At the junction turn left to go downhill along the pavement of this main road going into the centre of Edwinstowe.

There are regular buses to Nottingham, Mansfield and Worksop from Edwinstowe.  If you want to return to Eakring you can get the Sherwood Forester bus to Bilsthorpe and the 28B from there to Eakring.