Archive | December, 2020

The Robin Hood Way: Norton to Creswell Crags and The Harley Gallery

15 Dec

This is only a short stage but it can be turned into a day out by visiting Creswell Crags and the Harley Gallery which are both worth a visit. The walk goes through fields and a nice tree-lined avenue before reaching them.

The Harley Gallery itself has a large car parking area 200m or so from the shelter. The car park is free and there are worthwhile attractions to visit if parking at the Gallery.  The Gallery itself has a series of exhibitions throughout the year and a permanent collection housed in a new gallery.  There is also a garden centre and café.  The Creswell Crags visitor centre has a large car park (pay and display) which lies directly on the route.  If you are coming by public transport the bus shelter opposite the Gallery is on the number 209 bus route from Edwinstowe to Worksop with buses every two hours during the daytime on weekdays, the same service as the bus to Norton.  It is also possible to join the route from Creswell station, which is half a mile from Creswell Crags, on the Robin Hood Line from Nottingham to Worksop.

Start: Centre of Norton village

Finish: Either the car park at Creswell Crags Visitor Centre, at the Harley Gallery or if using buses the bus stop on the A60 near the gallery.

Distance: 4.5 miles/ 7.2 km

Map of the Route

From the centre of the small village of Norton going south turn almost immediately right along the road to Holbeck and Worksop.  This climbs gently and about 100m after you leave Norton you see a footpath on the right.  Turn right onto this and follow the path alongside a hedge in a narrow field for 500m.  At the end of the field you reach another lodge (Bunkers Hill Lodge) and turn left to walk along a lovely tree-lined drive.  Follow this for a kilometre, going past Park Lodge after 600m.  The avenue of trees finishes and you enter a wood, still along the drive, and after 400m bear right.  You reach the driveway to the Thoresby Artisan School after another 400m where you turn left for 400m more until you reach the main gates and a lodge at the A60 main road.  Carefully cross the A60 and go straight on along a quiet road for 200m , ignoring the first right turn, until you reach the hamlet of Holbeck Woodhouse.  Take the next right turn along a nice avenue of lime trees.  After going past a church on the left this meets a road in Holbeck village where you turn left.


Almost opposite the fingerpost but just a little further along on the right hand side of the road look for another footpath sign aiming for Creswell Crags along the Robin Hood Way. Turn right off the road along the path which goes between houses and then up a short rise to enter a field. Go straight on along the left hand side of this grassy field down to a gate and then into another field. Stay on the left of this next field which you soon leave to reach a much more open arable field.
Here go right for twenty yards and follow the right hand side of this field to the far end, some 200 yards away. Leave this field and enter another one with a wood nearby on your left. Just past this another appears on your right hand side. This second woodland is next to but separate from the field and you will see notices reminding you that it is private. Enter a grassy field and stay near the right hand edge of the field as you start to climb up a noticeable incline. You come near to a wall between the field and the wood as you approach the top of the hill after 400 yards. By this time you may need a breather and at the top you have quite a wide prospect ahead to the west looking into Derbyshire, now only a hundred yards away. You can see the houses of Creswell nearby.
From the brow of the hill start to descend quite a steep little slope and you should see quite a well defined path going off to the right a little way below. As you reach the path turn right along it and you soon come to a stone stile which you step over. This takes you into the Creswell Crags area. Follow the clear path across a stream as you reach the main tracks in the Crags. Turn right after the stream and very soon you reach a small lake. There are good paths on either side of the lake and it doesn’t really matter which one you take. For the purposes of this walk we will stay on the near side of the lake (as we at least stay in Nottinghamshire on this side!) and walk alongside it.)

Creswell Crags
You are now walking through Creswell Crags, a limestone gorge with several caves on either side of you in the rock. These caves were some of the oldest known inhabited places in Britain, dating back some 13000 years. Remains of prehistoric animals have been found in the caves. You can take guided tours of some of the caves which leave from the Visitor Centre. As well as being of great historical interest the Crags are also a very pleasant environment to walk in with very good tracks running along the gorge and lake. At the far end of the lake follow the main track almost straight on away from the lake. As you leave the lake take the track going to the left hand side of the grass ahead. Follow that for a short way and keep looking to the left where soon you will see a small wooden figure of depicting one of the ancient inhabitants of the Crags. Cross a stream to go into the woods near him where there is another good path. Turn right to follow this path through the wood towards the Visitor Centre which you will see clearly a little way ahead.
Walk to the Visitor Centre which you really should have a look at if you have time. As well as the tours and interesting displays about the Crags you can also find refreshments here at a cafe. There are also good picnic table facilities on the grass nearby.

After looking round you leave the visitor centre and go into the car park.  Once in the car park turn right from the visitor centre and walk to the far end of the car park where there is an intersection of paths.  There you should ignore paths going off to the side and just carry straight on ahead along quite a wide path.  The path enters a slightly more open area, although with trees not far away, as it bends gently round to the right.  Just before you reach the main A60 road you pass a small lodge by the path.  At the A60 the Robin Hood Way crosses straight over but to return to the Harley Gallery we turn right here to follow the pavement alongside the road.  As before the road is busy but the pavement decent although this time you must walk for 400m until reaching the bus shelter from the start of the walk.  Here you can either wait for the bus or cross over carefully to visit the Gallery and surrounding attractions.