Archive | May, 2021

Walking The Robin Hood Way: Creswell Crags or The Harley Gallery to Clumber Park Visitor Centre

27 May

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Start: Either the car park at Creswell Crags Visitor Centre, at the Harley Gallery or, if using buses, the bus shelter on the A60 near the gallery. All these are just off the Robin Hood Way.

Finish: Clumber Park Visitor Centre

Distance: 10.25km

Map of the Route

The Harley Gallery itself has a large car parking area 200m or so from the bus 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 cafĂ©.  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. 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. If you are using buses this stage goes close to a bus stop on the B6034 about half way along or you can walk from the end of the stage about 2km to another stop. Both stops are on the Sherwood Arrow bus route to Worksop.

Description of the Route

From the main entrance to the Gallery car park from the main road cross the A60 to the bus shelter. Facing the A60 from the bus shelter turn left and walk along the pavement for 250m where you reach the Robin Hood Way again. To the left the track goes to Creswell Crags and an alternative car park to start from. Our way goes right and crosses over the A60 again. You follow a pleasant driveway straight on, soon reaching the line of trees seen in the picture.

At a junction near Oaksetts Lodge bear left along a concrete road going uphill, ignoring side turnings which are signed as being private. At the top of the rise turn right along the road towards a plantation.  Again ignore side turnings and as the road bears right near the trees you should turn left to follow the edge of a field.  Stay on this course to the corner of a second field where you turn right to go under trees along a wide track.  You soon reach a tarmac track where you turn right for a short way.

At a barrier turn left to cross a bridge between two large lakes, the Great Lake of Welbeck.  Carry on to join a nice straight grass path with fields on either side and the forest in the distance.

This path follows the line of the famous underground tunnels built for the 5th Duke of Portland so that he could travel in his coach from Welbeck Abbey, his residence, to the edge of the estate without being seen.  At one time you could see traces of the skylights but I couldn’t see any on my most recent walk.  After you reach the wood ahead.  Go through a gate to enter a small grass area under trees.  Bear right for a short distance and go past a lodge on your left.  This takes you onto a path where you turn right.  This clear track is called Drinking Pit Lane and you follow this into woodland.

Shortly you start to climb a little and reach a small sandstone gorge where names have been carved by visitors over many years.  The path climbs a little further then flattens out.  The track is generally wide and firm at first as you enter denser woodland but is very easy to follow as you go virtually straight for 2km.  There are some patches of ground that can become muddy further along but these can be avoided easily enough.

Eventually you reach the B6005 road from Ollerton to Worksop, which you cross with care as it is quite busy. Carry on straight along a narrower but clear and well surfaced track for 300m through woods until reaching a road.  This is an entrance road to Clumber Park.  Turn right towards a lodge, Truman’s Lodge, with an arch over the road (seen in the picture from the opposite side of the arch). You can go on along the road into Clumber Park and then turn left at the next junction after a kilometre towards the visitor centre.  However, my route doesn’t go under the arch and follows the Robin Hood Way, turning left just before it along a tarmac brideway which is also used as a road.

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After 800m opposite a small parking area turn right along a wide, firm track going into woodland. The track runs straight for just over a kilometre before emerging onto a wide grassy verge next to a road under trees. Turn left for a short distance to a crossroads where you go straight over. (If you are getting the bus at the end of the stage you can turn right here and follow the road for a mile to reach the bus stop near Carburton). Soon you reach a gateway where payment to enter Clumber Park is taken but for pedestrians there is no charge.

Continue straight on for 700m going downhill past a cricket pitch on the left.  On the right when I was there could be seen a reconstruction of a World War II trench digging machine which was tested here.  Just after this the road bends left towards the main car park but our route goes straight on into the central visitor area for the park.  There are numerous facilities here including cafe, gift shops, tourist information, toilets and an adventure playground.  It is usually busy with visitors.  This courtyard area is a good place to end this stage. If you want to go to the bus stop at the end of Clumber Park about 2km from here you can retrace your steps to the crossroads and turn left to follow the road all the way out of the park to the stop on the B6034 near Carburton.