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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

21 Feb

 

As the winter draws towards its end I thought I would write about my local walks in this and past winters. This one has been the coldest one for a decade and the first proper winter since then. We’ve had the odd cold snap since but this winter has had more sustained sub-zero days and nights.


This cold spell has been enjoyable for me as I like walking or running in snow. Even when there isn’t any snow I prefer frozen ground to the mud that has prevailed for most recent winters. This winter began in similar fashion with plenty of rain making the ground pretty sodden, although the autumn wasn’t as wet as 2019. The colder weather started just after Christmas but as the year turned we entered a more sustained chilly spell.

We had a few separate snowfalls, although none brought huge quantities. The heaviest snow was on the 14th January when we had two or three inches. It snowed most of the day but stopped in the afternoon. This gave me a window for a run before it got too dark, although the snow make things a bit lighter in the gathering gloom. I set out at 4.30 when the snow in Farnsfield was already a bit slushy. However, once out of the village the fresh snow was still intact and lovely to run on. I had decided to go to Bilsthorpe, just over two miles away, and had deliberately chosen a route across Bilsthorpe Moor (see Walk 7) to recreate a run in the snow from many years earlier when I had got lost, although this time I wanted to avoid that outcome.
The previous time had been when I wasn’t very familiar with the way across the Moor. I had gone out in the early evening when the snow was still falling lightly. I had crossed the A617 to reach the large field on the Bilsthorpe side which rises sharply. Ahead of me it was pure white and I didn’t know where the field ended and the sky began. I totally lost my bearings and started running in a circle. As it was getting dark I decided to return home.


This time I knew the way across the Moor better and made it to Bilsthorpe safely. After a loop round the village where I saw the children returning with their sledges l headed towards the old railway track to return home. By now it was getting dark and in the field I fell over when tripping on a furrow. The path up to the railway track goes under a bridge but in the half light I could see a large puddle so had to claw my way up the steep bank to reach the track. A thaw was already beginning and pools of water forming under the trees. I tried to stay in the snow which guided my way in what was now almost darkness. It is a very straight track so I couldn’t go far wrong if I kept my eyes on the white strip stretching ahead of me and got home in total gloom.

Some of my favourite walks and runs have been in the early evening when it has stopped snowing. In 2018 the Beast From The East arrived.  It snowed until the middle of the afternoon but when it stopped I went out in the fresh snow.  I went along Greaves Lane and did a loop round Combs Wood.  As I was going back down towards Greaves Lane in the twilight I saw a barn owl flying across the fields.  This was the first and still the only time I have seen a barn owl in the wild.

My most memorable winter excursion came many years ago on yet another day when the snow stopped in the early evening after depositing a few inches.  I ran from Farnsfield all the way along Greaves Lane up to the top near Oxton and to Robin Hood Hill.  There was a full moon illuminating a beautiful snowscape on what is always one of my favourite viewpoints in the county.  A truly magical experience. 

This year in the time between snowfalls there was plenty of rain and this combined with the snow melt made things really wet underfoot.  I went to Kirklington where it was as wet as I can ever remember it.  On the way home I stopped at the large pond and as I stood on the bridge I could feel it vibrating with the force of the water leaving the pond.  The last field before the railway track on the way home has been very muddy all winter and people have been walking round the edge in preference.  The farmer has put up a rope to stop this.  I can understand why but on the two occasions I went round the edge the grass was in good condition.  People weren’t walking on any crops and appeared to me to be doing less damage than they would by going straight across the field.

When the cold weather returned we had some nice crisp, sunny days and I walked from Rainworth to Farnsfield using the first part of my Walk 24 .  I haven’t been that way since I did that walk and I was reminded what a nice one it is.  The first part where you come off the Rainworth by-pass and immediately reach a nice bit of heathland before a nice track through a wood is a lovely surprise and well worth a look.

On another sunny day I went via Hexgreave and over the top to Eakring.  The day was so clear that Lincoln Cathedral was easily visible on the skyline to the east from the top of the hill.  I went to the pond at Eakring Flash (see Walk 37) which was still mostly frozen but had swans, mallards, coots and a heron.  The ground was hard rather than muddy in most places which made things easier.  Hopefully the worst of the wet weather is now behind us and the fields which I have been mostly avoiding due to the mud will be nice to walk on again.

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire: Walk 61 – Bilsthorpe and Inkersall

29 Apr

Please note that the paths near the start of this walk close to the building site are currently very overgrown and I wouldn’t recommend this part of the walk.


Trying to keep the walks local I realised that I hadn’t done a walk along the paths to the west of Bilsthorpe for a while. This one goes along the edge of Bilsthorpe and along a pleasant track into Sherwood Forest before returning along the disused railway line into Bilsthorpe. There are a few opportunities for short cuts which I will elaborate on. This walk can be done in all seasons as it is on good firm tracks.

Start:Forest Link Car Park, Bilsthorpe.  If using public transport you can start either from the main road going out of Bilsthorpe towards the A614 or centre of the village. This description starts from the car park at the end of the Southwell Trail,  a disused railway line running to Farnsfield and Southwell. This is at the end of the road called Forest Link. Buses run to Bilsthorpe from Mansfield and Nottingham regularly during the day.

Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)

Map of the Route

From the car park go onto the Southwell Trail, a good track, and follow it for a very short distance. You come to a small area of grass on the right where you should look for a narrow path to the right which takes you off the Trail,  over a ditch and to the edge of a field. Turn right to follow the edge of the field which soon goes downhill a little. At the bottom of the dip follow the path as it turns left and after 80m right. Go over a hump of concrete that crosses a stream and then turn left to follow the path along the bottom of the dip. A little to your right through a gap in the treeline you see a new housing development being buit.

The path is a bit muddy after wet weather and after passing the end of the housing development you should go up through the tree line and follow the path left which is dryer than at the bottom. It goes between broom plants which often have bright yellow flowers and then bends right towards a red gate.

At the gate go onto the end of a cul-de-sac (Allandale) and walk along it for 100m. Take the first left turn going downhill and at the bottom turn right along another quiet road. Follow this all the way to the end of the cul-de-sac then take the path to the right which takes you to the top of some steps. Go down these onto the pavement next to the main road (Mickledale Lane). Turn left going downhill past a petrol station and a bus shelter, which is where you can start this walk if using the Sherwood Arow bus service to Nottingham or Ollerton.

Carry on along the pavement to the bottom of the dip where you cross a stream and then uphill to meet the A614.  Cross the A614 very carefully and carry straight on along a well surfaced road.  This is only an access drive and has very little traffic.  You can either walk along the road or next to it on grass.  The road is very straight and soon climbs quite sharply for a short distance before becoming flatter.  It is a pleasant tree-lined avenue with fields to your left.  You are approaching a more heathland type environment which is evidenced by gorse bushes with their coconutty fragrence and bright yellow flowers.

There are no navigation problems as the route goes straight for a kilometre, passing Inkersall Kennels and a couple of other enclosed areas.  Where the road bears left to quite a grand gateway carry on through a metal gate onto a footpath which continues in the same direction as you have walked for the last mile.  The path is quite a narrow one but good for walking on with nice woodland on your left and a field on the right.   After 500m you reach the end of the field on the right and the path goes over a very low barrier with a blue arrow on it.

Here you can cut a mile from the route by turning right along a narrow path through trees which reaches the top of a railway embankment after 100m.  Take the left hand path down the bank which goes down very steeply at the bottom (so take care) onto a disused railway line.  This may have cyclists or walkers on it so watch for  them as you whizz down onto the track.

My main route continues straight on at the blue arrow.  The path gets wider and soon becomes a wide shale track with conifer trees dominating on the left.  Ignore side tracks on the left but after 1000m you will see a wide track entrance on the right.  Carrying straight on here takes you onto my Walk 24 but for this walk you should turn right onto the wide track going into the trees.

After 50m you reach a crossroads of tracks.  The track coming across is a cycle track with large rocks to the left.  Turn right along this track which is a disused railway line and so is almost perfectly straight.  Straight tracks like this are generally a bit dull as they stretch out ahead of you but this is quite pleasant as there are trees to either side.   You can’t go wrong as you will follow this track all the way for two miles straight into Bilsthorpe.  After half a mile as you leave the main tree cover you may notice a path which has been worn down the steep bank on the right.  This is where the short cut mentioned earlier rejoins our walk and you should watch for anyone who has taken that hurtling down the bank onto the track!

After just more than another kilometre the track crosses a bridge over the A614 and then you find yourself on an embankment with decent views over fields to either side.  The one to the north often has pigs in it with long lines of pig shelters on it and to the south you see the road we walked along earlier.  Just after the track goes close to houses on the right you reach a crossroads of paths with gates on either side of the track. 

There are three options here.

  1. Going through the gate on the right takes you downhill between houses to meet the road we walked along earlier near the petrol station.  From there you can retrace your steps to the start.  

2. Going straight on along the old railway track you soon approach a bridge.  Just before it you leave the track on a path to the right that goes up to meet the road by the bridge which option 3 uses.

3.  The route which is used on the map for this walk adds about half a mile to option 2.  Go left from the railway track through a green gate to join a clear path going uphill across a field.  After 200m this meets a surfaced track which you follow in the same direction.  This takes you by a large area of sports pitches on the right.  Follow the track for 500m until you reach a road (Eakring Road).  Cross this and turn right along Eakring Road, ignoring the road coming in directly opposite the track  you have just walked along.  Walk along the verge by the road which soon becomes a pavement as you reach a works entrance on the left.  Continue into Bilsthorpe and the bridge over the railway track.  Cross over the road where route 2 joins us.

Carry on along the pavement going into the centre of Bilsthorpe crossing two roads on the way.  If you are using buses you might consider starting the walk from the bus stops here as you are on two bus routes rather than one (the 28 as well as the Sherwood Arrow).  About 250m on from the second road you reach a roundabout where you  take the road to the right (Forest Link). This is a road going into a housing estate with lots of red-brick buildings. The road is usually quiet and meanders through the estate. Stay on the main road all the way until you come to the small circular car park where we started.

 

Walk 7:Farnsfield to Bilsthorpe via Bilsthorpe Moor

20 May

Farnsfield to Bilsthorpe via Bilsthorpe Moor

Distance: 4.5 miles

I have already described a longer walk to Bilsthorpe taking in the hill near Eakring. This is a shorter way of getting to Bilsthorpe, again returning by the railway track. This way doesn’t appear to be well used but the views  are quite good, although there is a road crossing and a little navigation involved.

One path I have found a problem occasionally has been the one across Bilsthorpe Moor.  There should be a clear footpath going across the Moor through the field to the south of Bilsthorpe on the route from Farnsfield.  Sometimes there has been no clear path  This is hard to get through and also hides the ruts in the field.  After wet weather the plants get wet and retain the moisture so that you socks and feet are likely to get soaked as mine did.

You never quite know what’s going to be growing in this field or if there will be a clear path.  My most recent visit was in April 2020 where the field had a rather patchy planting of oil-seed rape with some clear areas and some parts which were already slightly overgrown.  Rape is the worst plant to get through and I suspect this path will be hard to negotiate until the crop is harvested in July.

Start:Farnsfield Co-op – note that car parking is limited to one hour in the Co-op.

Follow this route described in the walk to Hexgreave as far as the end of  the lane.

Starting again at the Co-op in the centre of Farnsfield (see walk 1 for details). At the junction of Tippings Lane and the Main Street near the entrance to the Co-op. Cross the Main Street to the front of a grocery store with a post box outside it. Turn left along the Main Street and walk for one hundred yards along the pavement until you reach the bottom of New Hill just after the greengrocer’s.

Turn right up New Hill. On the opposite side of the road as you ascend the hill are the village centre,library and chip shop. At the top of the hill cross Chapel Lane and continue for another 100 yards,passing the tennis club on the other side of the road, as the road becomes Broomfield Lane. Carry straight on crossing Far Back Lane and continue going straight for another 300 yards. Here the road you are on reaches a dip where the disused railway formerly crossed it. This railway line is now a pleasant path to walk along. However, our route continues straight ahead.

Rising out of the dip you reach the end of the village and ahead of you see a long, straight road. Walk along this between fields of crops passing South Lodge and the sign marking the entrance to Hexgreave after 200 yards.  The grass verge beside the road widens at this point and you may prefer to walk on this rather than the road, although there is little traffic.

Go all the way to the end of the road where it forms a junction.

Where the Hexgreave walk turns right at the junction, this one goes into the field straight ahead. Look for a stile ahead of you just to the left of the junction. Go over the stile into a large field. The path goes ahead up the hill bearing to the left at an angle of roughly 45 degrees towards the hedge at the left hand side of the field. If you can, follow the path which has often been quite well-defined recently, particularly when the crops have been growing. As you reach the hedge on the left carry on ahead uphill following the hedge until you come to the large gap in the hedge at the end of the field.  Looking ahead to the top of the hill you should be able to see a post with a yellow top marking the footpath. Carry on alongside the hedge up the hill towards this post at the top.

On reaching the top of the hill the views are quite good. Behind you to the south you can see Farnsfield and the ridge beyond. Ahead of you to the north is Bilsthorpe and to the north-east and east you can see quite far to the higher ground in the distance. To your left at the top of the ridge is a clump of woodland. Our way ahead is to go towards the road at the bottom of the ridge (the A617). The route is straight down following the line you have walked up the hill although a few yards to the right. Sometimes the path is clear to see, on other occasions you may have to look hard, and sometimes there is no path at all. Just head on down the hill straight ahead looking for a small footpath sign by the road as a guide if necessary.

After 400 yards you arrive at a small ditch just before the road. If you aren’t at the footpath sign walk along the field edge until you reach the sign and cross the ditch. The road is quite busy so you may have to wait for a little while to cross. Take care in doing so and go straight across. There is another small ditch on the other side which you should be able to step over to reach a large field. Ahead of you the ground rises and Bilsthorpe has disappeared behind the slope. The walk goes straight on. Often the field has no obvious path so just aim straight ahead until you start to climb the slope. As you get to the top you will be able to get your bearings again. I once came this way when it was snowing and totally lost my way because of the snow covered slope and eventually had to retrace my steps using my own footprints. You shouldn’t have similar problems and from the top of the slope aim for the right hand end of the thick hedge about 400 yards in front of you. This is a tall, substantial hedge compared to the ones which border the field to your right.

The point you should reach is the end of the hedge. At this point ahead of you is an unofficial path along the field edge which goes straight on to the road going down the hill from Bilthorpe. Ignore this and turn left along the proper footpath which goes alongside the tall hedge which separates the field from a garden. Follow this path with the hedge on your right for 100 yards until you reach the road going from Bilsthorpe to the A617 (Farnsfield Road).  As you leave the field turn right and cross the road onto the pavement on the other side. After fifty yards or so look for a footpath on the left between houses. Turn down this footpath for fifty yards to reach a field and then bear left alongside a ditch. Walk for 200 yards until you reach the embankment for the old railway line. If you don’t wish to try and climb the embankment go through the tunnel under the railway and almost immediately turn left up some steps to reach the railway line.

At the top of the steps turn right and follow the railway line back to Farnsfield as I described in an earlier walk.

After 500 yards you pass under a bridge and find yourself with large banks on either side as you enter a cutting. Until this point you have had trees by the track but as you round the next bend the banks become higher and the ground more sandy. The trees become less common and instead there is  gorse on the banks. The path here is in good condition and firm as it drains well.

Railway track between Bilsthorpe and Farnsfield.

Another half mile rings you under the A617 bridge and 400 yards past that is another bridge.  Beyond this bridge the banks of the cutting gradually decline until they disappear and you are again surrounded by trees on both sides.  The path is still a good one though after very heavy rain it can have a few muddy patches. These can be stepped around with a little delicate footwork. After a mile and a half of mostly straight walking the track starts to bend to the left and a little later meets another branch of the track near the old Farnsfield station.

As an alternative to the route I have described returning to the village via Broomfield Lane here is a different way. As you reach the junction of the railway track with the line from Farnsfield station look ahead for a black, metal kissing gate in front of the houses. Go through this gate and for twenty yards along a path taking you to a small parking area. Go across this and leave by the exit at the opposite corner.  You find yourself at the end of a long road. walk along this on the right hand pavement for 150 yards until you are opposite the entrance to Abbotts Crescent. On your right you can see a pathway between houses. Go down this for fifty yards to reach Station Lane almost opposite the cricket club.

Turn left alongthe pavement on  Station Lane until you are just past the cricket field on then look for a small wooden gateway on the opposite side of the road. Cross the road and go through this onto the playing field. Go straight across the field bearing slightly left aiming just to the right of the basketball court. You reach the top of some steps. Go down these and the path past the old village jail onto Mansfield Road. Cross the road to the pavement on the other side and turn left for 150 yards until you reach the green. This is a small triangle with a tree on it in the middle of the road. Cross to the green and then to the bus stop.  Turn left here and walk along the Main Street past the church until you come to Tippings Lane and the Co-op.

Walk 5: Farnsfield to Bilsthorpe and back via Hexgreave and the hilltop

6 Mar

A walk to the next village north of Farnsfield including excellent views from the top of a hill. Mostly on road and firm tracks although there are two fields to cross which can be muddy.

Start:Farnsfield Co-op.

Distance:7.7 miles

Follow the route from walk 2 as far as Hexgreave. Repeated here in italics.

Starting again at the Co-op in the centre of Farnsfield (see walk 1 for details). At the junction of Tippings Lane and the Main Street near the entrance to the Co-op. Cross the Main Street to the front of a grocery store with a post box outside it. Turn left along the Main Street and walk for one hundred yards along the pavement until you reach the bottom of New Hill just after the greengrocer’s.

Turn right up New Hill. On the opposite side of the road as you ascend the hill are the village centre,library and chip shop. At the top of the hill cross Chapel Lane and continue for another 100 yards,passing the tennis club on the other side of the road, as the road becomes Broomfield Lane. Carry straight on crossing Far Back Lane and continue going straight for another 300 yards. Here the road you are on reaches a dip where the disused railway formerly crossed it. This railway line is now a pleasant path to walk along. However, our route continues straight ahead.

Rising out of the dip you reach the end of the village and ahead of you see a long, straight road. Walk along this between fields of crops passing South Lodge and the sign marking the entrance to Hexgreave after 200 yards.  The grass verge beside the road widens at this point and you may prefer to walk on this rather than the road, although there is little traffic.

Go all the way to the end of the road where it forms a junction. Here turn right up a small hill. It is possible to cross the field on your left along a footpath at this point but the path is often indistinct and overgrown. At the top of the rise on the road you come to a junction at the end of a lovely avenue of lime trees.Turn left at the junction to walk along this avenue. After 100 yards the path across the field meets the road. The road then starts to climb again and bends to the right. You reach a collection of buildings at the top of the hill. The largest of these is Hexgreave Hall which now has a collection of other buildings nearby which are businesses. Keep following the road between the buildings until you pass the last of them.  Down the hill ahead of you is another fine avenue of trees which leads to the A617.

Where Walk 2 turns across the field near the deer this walk carries on down the road from Hexgreave Hall. You can choose to walk along the road, which has little traffic, or parallel with it down the avenues of trees along the grass. After 300 yards going downhill from the Hall the road turns sharply to the right as it goes out onto the A617.  Where the road turns to the right the walk continues straight on towards a house fifty yards ahead. Near the house is a small metal gate (not the gate into the house’s garden) going onto the A617. Go through the gate onto the verge of the A617.

Keep to the verge and turn left. Fifty yards ahead across the road is a junction on the right. The A617 is a busy road so be very careful when crossing. Cross the A617 and go onto this incoming road.  Go along this road taking care as there is no verge on right and only a narrow one on the left. It is probably best to cross onto this verge and walk as far as a house. There isn’t too much traffic along this road but in the time it takes to walk along it you will probably meet one or two vehicles. These are often lorries going to the weighbridge. This isn’t a very nice section of the walk but you can avoid a little of the road as follows.

At the house cross the road onto the right hand side of the road (usually advisable  where there  is no verge so that you are facing the oncoming traffic). The hedge becomes thinner and you can find large gaps in it. If you go through one of these and stay by the field edge and off the field itself you can walk next to the road but on the other side of the hedge away from the traffic. After 300 yards you meet another road (the road from Bilsthorpe). Turn right at this junction. After 100 yards look to the other side of the road where there is a neater grass verge. Cross as soon as you can to reach this verge and follow it alongside a wooden fence until you reach the entrance to Belle Eau park.  This is a collection  of buildings and a weighbridge with a tall white building dominating the area. After 100 yards turn left along the road going into the business park complex.

Go straight on through the weighbridge area ignoring all of the businesses and buildings on either side of you. After 200 yards you come to the end of the buildings and reach a concrete track going straight on uphill with fields on either side.  Walk along this track up the hill. You pass a sign for the Robin Hood campsite and climb just a little further. At the top of the rise the views are starting to open up in front of and behind you.  Follow the concrete track downhill past some kennels on your right. You will usually be greeted by the barking of dogs as you pass the kennels but the dogs are contained securely.

Looking south towards Belle Eau Park and Hexgreave

Looking south towards Belle Eau Park and Hexgreave

The way north. You can see yellow topped-posts showing the route.

The way north. You can see yellow topped-posts showing the route.

Just past the kennels the farm track bears right but the footpath we want turns left towards a wood for 80 yards. On reaching the wood don’t enter it but turn right and follow the field edge uphill with the wood on your left. This is quite a sharp little climb to the top where the wood to the left finishes. Our route continues straight ahead across the field. If you look across the field you will see a post with a yellow top and beyond that in a direct line another one. This is our route. This part can be muddy after wet weather but seems to dry out quite quickly if there is a dry spell. Go down the hill to the bottom of the hollow to reach the corner of another wood. Go straight on up again across another part of the field where you reach more woodland.  Go up onto the path a few feet above the field at the top of a small bank. The path turns right by the field and wood edge. After 100 yards you reach a gap in the hedge on the left. Before you go through it do turn around to admire the view.

Looking south from the hill near Bilsthorpe

Looking south from the hill near Bilsthorpe

On a clear day you can see a ridge to the south which runs for a few miles from Halam in the east to Robin Hood Hill above Oxton in the west. Beyond that on the horizon if you have binoculars you can see the outline of Belvoir Castle. You can just make out the turrets. Rather closer to the south-east you can see the tops of the towers of Southwell minster.

Go through the gap in the hedge and go straight ahead following the edge of the wood by another field. After 200 yards you reach a wide track on your left which goes into the wood. Ignore that track and carry on ahead bearing slightly to the right until after fifty yards you meet a junction of quite wide, firm tracks. Stop here to take in the excellent views. This time the prospect is mainly to the north. To the north-west you can see what remains of the heart of  Sherwood Forest. You can see quite large areas of woodland. Looking closely you should be able to see other landmarks. About four miles away to the north-west you should be able to see the spire of Edwinstowe church.  Slightly nearer in the same direction you can see the tops of the buildings in Rufford Park.  Looking round to the north-east you may see the steam from the last remaining power stations on the Trent.  If you look almost due east with binoculars on a clear day you can make out Lincoln cathedral on the horizon. The cathedral is twenty miles away but the towers can be seen rising from the skyline.

Retrace your steps fifty yards to the entrance to the wood and go round the barrier into the wood. Follow the main track straight ahead for 400 yards. Where the main track bends right and starts going downhill there is a small bench. At the bench take the track to the left. This track is still wide but is on grass rather than the firm surface of the main track. It is still fine for walking on until you reach a small muddy section after 100 yards. You can step around the worst of the mud so it isn’t too much of a problem.

Just after this the track turns at ninety degrees to the right. If you look to your left here you will see a narrow path which actually goes through to the edge of the wood from earlier in the walk. We take the wide track to the right which goes downhill, gently at first then more steeply straight on down into Bilsthorpe.  After 200 yards the views open up to the left again as you reach the end of the wood. After another 100 yards the path becomes firm again and you go round a rust coloured barrier.

On your right now is a landfill site with a high fence around it. Carry on down the track. In a short while you start to come under the cover of a line of trees and you see Bilsthorpe church to your left. Ignore all paths coming in from the sides and keep on down as the track becomes a road (Bungalow Lane). This eventually meets the main road in Bilsthorpe by a vehicle repair centre.

At this point if you have had enough walking you can get the bus from Bilsthorpe to Farnsfield. The 33 which runs every hour and a half goes into the centre of Farnsfield and the 28 which is every hour goes to the edge of Farnsfield at Cockett Lane..

Cross the main road and turn right as far as the roundabout 100 yards away. At the roundabout take the first exit to the left named Forest Link. This is the road going into a relatively new housing estate with lots of red-brick buildings. The road is usually quiet and meanders through the estate. Stay on the main road all the way until you come to a small circular car park. This marks the start of the old railway track which runs from Bilsthorpe to Farnsfield. The track you are on goes as far as Southwell some seven miles from Bilsthorpe.

Leave the car park to join the firm track and walk back south towards Farnsfield. Follow the track all the way for the next two miles.  Inititally the track runs on an embankment and you  can look to your left over the fields to see the houses of Bilsthorpe.  After half a mile you pass under a bridge and find yourself with large banks on either side as you enter a cutting. Until this point you have had trees by the track but as you round the next bend the banks become higher and the ground more sandy. The trees become less common and instead there is  gorse on the banks. The path here is in good condition and firm as it drains well.

Railway track between Bilsthorpe and Farnsfield.

Railway track between Bilsthorpe and Farnsfield.

Another half mile rings you under the A617 bridge and 400 yards past that is another bridge.  Beyond this bridge the banks of the cutting gradually decline until they disappear and you are again surrounded by trees on both sides.  The path is still a good one though after very heavy rain it can have a few muddy patches. These can be stepped around with a little delicate footwork. After a mile and a half of mostly straight walking the track starts to bend to the left and a little later meets another branch of the track near the old Farnsfield station. Where the tracks meet bear left continuing in the direction the track has been taking you on its long bend round. You are now going east. You come to the backs of the houses of Farnsfield on your right. After 200 yards from where the tracks met you reach a short steep path which bends as it makes the descent to the dip at the bottom of Bloomfield Lane which you walked along earlier. You should recognise this spot from earlier in the walk. At the bottom of the dip turn right along the road and retrace your steps into Farnsfield and the start of the walk.