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Walking The Robin Hood Way: Blidworth to Papplewick via Ravenshead

11 Aug

 

If walking the Robin Hood Way there are various loops you can do which with only slight alterations can be turned into circular walks. The Way visits Blidworth twice and a short walk links them so that a circular walk starting and finishing in Blidworth can be done which is about ten miles (16km).

This may be too long for some so I have decided to break it into two stages which connect Blidworth with Papplewick. The walk via Ravenshead which I will describe here is four miles (6km) . The stage described previously going via Newstead Abbey, Thieves Wood, Harlow Wood and Fountain Dale is six miles long. The Robin Hood Way doesn’t quite go into Papplewick on these stages but goes half a mile north of the village. The Trent Barton 141 bus runs between Blidworth and Papplewick and there is a stop close to the start of this stage.


This is the return journey from Blidworth to Papplewick following my previous post which went the other way. This way is shorter and goes across fields and tracks in slightly undulating terrain.

Start: Centre of Blidworth (the first 300m of this walk aren’t on the Robin Hood Way)

Finish: Central Crossroads in Papplewick (just off the Robin Hood Way)

Distance: 7.5 km

Map of the Route 

From the main junction in the centre of Blidworth by Tesco cross to the garage and go up the hill away from the shopping area towards Ravenshead alongside the B6020.  After 300m you reach a war memorial where you join the Robin Hood Way. As you approach the Black Bull pub turn left along Field Lane.  The road climbs for a short way before making a steep descent as you leave Blidworth.  After 200m on this fairly quiet road, that has no pavement so be careful, go right at a footpath sign into a field.  Cross this field and then bear slightly left across two more.  Go straight on along the path between allotments through several narrow fields.  You reach a large field which you go straight across for 500m.

At the other side of the field go through the hedge onto a narrow pavement next to the road from Blidworth to Ravenshead.  Turn left and walk downhill soon crossing a road coming in from the left.  Where the main road bends sharply to the right carry straight on along a wide track.  Follow this track for the next mile.  It goes up and down but is a nice one with good views to the left across fields.  Mostly you are between fields but you pass a small copse as you make quite a testing climb about a kilometre along.  The last section takes you down to a road near a junction.  Go straight across this road and on along Kighill Lane past houses going uphill.

Towards Robin Hood Hill from near Kighill

After 500m you reach the A60 and cross carefully, go straight on along a path just to the left of the driveway opposite, with a hedge on your right, for a short distance.  Follow it as it then wanders through some woodland next to a field on the left.  After 200m go down onto a wider track and turn left for a short way.  Turn right into a thicker area of trees and go downhill then uphill again.  After 500m at the far side of this wood turn left to a T junction of tracks by a hedge.  After 300m turn right at the hedge in the corner of the field and climb steadily for 500m along the line of pylons to reach a gateway at the end of the field next to a road.

Turn left onto a path that stays alongside a road but with ups and downs by trees with views across fields to the right.  After 1km go round a right hand bend and leave the path to cross the road. You reach Robin Hood’s stables and Papplewick Hall on the right at a small patch of grass.  If you are doing the circular walk returning to Blidworth this is where you turn right along the broad track going away from the road and follow my instructions from the previous Robin Hood Way post.

If you are going on into Papplewick you should stay on  the pavement alongside the road and follow it into Papplewick village.  To return to Blidworth use the bus stops on this side of the road and get the 141 Trent Barton bus which runs hourly.

Walking The Robin Hood Way: Papplewick and Newstead Abbey to Blidworth

18 Jun


If walking the Robin Hood Way there are various loops you can do which with only slight alterations can be turned into circular walks. The Way visits Blidworth twice and a short walk links them so that a circular walk starting and finishing in Blidworth can be done which is about ten miles (16km).

This may be too long for some so I have decided to break it into two stages which connect Blidworth with Papplewick. The walk via Ravenshead which I will describe another time is four miles (6km) . The stage described here going via Newstead Abbey, Thieves Wood, Harlow Wood and Fountain Dale is six miles long. The Robin Hood Way doesn’t quite go into Papplewick on these stages but goes half a mile north of the village. The Trent Barton 141 bus runs between Blidworth and Papplewick and there is a stop close to the start of this stage.

Start:  The entrance road to Newstead Abbey about 600m north of Papplewick village

Finish:  The centre of Blidworth

Distance: 11.4 km 

Map of the Route

This description starts from Papplewick village as you may prefer to start from there although it is just off the Robin Hood Way.  The words in italics are to get from the village to join the Robin Hood Way.

From the main crossroads by the Griffin pub go north away from the pub on the B683.  Follow the pavement by the road as it turns sharply right then left.  Stay on the pavement for another 600m.  It starts to descend after leaving the village. 

On the left as the main road turns to the right again you reach a wide road on the left by a little grassy island with a bench and tree.  This road is an entrance to Newstead Abbey and is another part of the Robin Hood Way.  Leave the main road to bear left here.  There is a small cluster of buildings here including stables and houses.  Follow the road between these buildings with the cricket club entrance on the left. The road bends to the right as it becomes a wide track.  The track is a nice one running very straight with widely spaced trees on each side.  Follow it for just over half a mile until you reach the gates to Newstead Abbey and a cottage next to them.  For walkers there is a smaller gate to the side of the main driveway.  Go through this gate to enter the main park.

Our way stays on its very straight course but the track becomes a properly surfaced road again and the trees become much more densely arranged to the right and the cover more noticeable.  Stay on this driveway, there are grass verges to either side which you may prefer to walk on as, although this isn’t a proper public road, there are occasional vehicles along it.  After half a mile you come to the centre of the park.  The road you are following bends to the left and then right before meeting another wider road.  This is the main one through the Abbey estate, Swinecotte Dale, which comes from the A60 Nottingham to Mansfield road with the main entrance about half a mile off to your right at this point. 

Where you meet this thoroughfare if you want to explore the Abbey you should turn left along it going downhill towards a lake.  You can see a cricket field on your left and then the Abbey itself.  Go down the hill where you can explore the many interesting features of Newstead Abbey and its surroundings.

Newstead Abbey lake

Waterfall at Newstead Abbey

 

Swinecotte Dale

To continue on the Robin Hood Way cross the road and follow the path bearing off to the right uphill into woods.  This is along a nice track under trees on a decent earth surface.  The track is easy to follow and is mainly straight as you climb steadily.  From the highest point after 500m you descend still on this good path which soon goes down some long, shallow steps to reach an open field on left as you get to the bottom of them.

Undulating field

Stay going straight on with the attractive undulating field surrounded by woodland on your left.  Go up for a short way then down again until you go under trees again and uphill on a track with low stone wall on the right and wooden fences by houses on the left. There is quite a steep climb for 150m to the top and a small gate.  Carry on ahead towards some large telegraph poles where you turn left.  Pay attention here as you then take a narrow path to the right almost immediately that goes off the main track and out of the wood.

Follow a narrow path down to road with a small open area to the left at first.   After 100m you emerge next to a fairly busy road. There are also bus stops here.   Go left for a short way then cross the road.  On the other side of the road keep going left until you soon reach a junction.  Turn right along this road going downhill along a wide verge for 100m.  At the bottom of the hill there is a wood to the right where there is a “No Tipping” sign and a narrow path through the hedge on the right which you should take.  Just through the hedge go down a small dip then up a little then take a path to the left which soon comes to a car park. Bear right in the car park going away from the road and leave the car park at the far end.  You soon come to a large information board with a map of the woods showing the local trails here in Nomanshill Wood and Thieves Wood, a large area of tracks and tall trees on either side. 

Follow the path going almost straight ahead bearing a little to the left.  After 600m of straight track you meet another wide track and turn right for 250m to another junction of tracks.  Here you turn right.  After 250m a track comes in from the left but you should carry straight on.

Follow a wide, firm light-coloured track with trees on either side.   The track is mainly straight but bends gradually to the left and is a little undulating.  After 500m you reach a major junction of tracks.   The main wide track bears left but you should take the right hand track uphill going into the woods.  This is along a slightly less open and more earthy track.  Go straight along for 150m where the path kinks a little to the left but stay on the path for 200m until on the left you see Fountaindale school.  Continue for another 150m all the way to the A60 then turn right to follow the pavement alongside it for 150m.

Carefully cross the A60 here where on the opposite side you should see a footpath sign.  A very short distance to the right along the A60 here is the Sheppard Stone which commemorates an unfortunate girl who was murdered here.  From the footpath sign go straight into the wood (Harlow Wood) on an indistinct path for 80m to meet  a wider track. On that track go just to the right and follow the main track that goes straight on.  Follow this good wide track which is quite straight but goes into a small dip around a patch that can be a little muddy. Then soon the track becomes very straight in more open coniferous forest.  After 400m the path bends to the right and after another 300m you can see a small lake through the trees on the right as you reach more deciduous areas. Soon you come to a major junction of paths in the wood with a signpost pointing to several different tracks.  

 

Lake in Harlow Wood

 

Go straight on past a board telling you the story of this place.  Soon you leave the main part of the wood and carry straight on to follow the edge of the field staying by the trees on your right.  After 300m the path bends to the right and you come to the end of a large pond.  This area is Fountain Dale and nearby is Friar Tuck’s Well where the eponymous member of Robin Hood’s men met the outlaw.  Continue along the bottom of the field for 300m to another crossroads of paths. 

Fountain Dale

Fountain Dale

Here we go into the woodland on the right and cross a small bridge over a stream.  Leave the woodland going uphill through a gate onto a wide track.  After 100m as you pass a house on your left  go through a gate on the track.  Just past this gateway jink to the left as you pass the house to go onto a wide farm track still going up the hill.  This is a steady climb but the path is pretty good despite a few stones.  The track passes between fields on left and right.  As the path starts to flatten out trees appear on the right of the track.  At the end of the track half a mile from the bottom of the hill you reach a quiet road.

Turn left and go downhill along the road for 300m.  Where the road turns sharply left you should leave the road and carry on along a wide track.  This soon climbs quite steeply for a short way.  We stay along this track for a mile all the way to Blidworth.  It’s a good track which has a few undulations and in places good views to the left.  After a kilometre you reach a small copse.  Just after this the track becomes a metalled road as you climb and then reach the first houses of Blidworth.  When you reach the main road in Blidworth turn right for 150m to reach the main junction.  There are bus stops here where you can return to Papplewick or get connections to Mansfield and Farnsfield, Eakring and Southwell.

Walking The Robin Hood Way: Blidworth to Farnsfield

26 May




Start: Centre of Blidworth

Finish: The Green, Farnsfield

Map of the Route

Distance: 3.9 miles

A short, easy, mostly flat walk between villages through woods and then across arable fields.  If you want to use buses to get from one end to the other they are hourly (Stagecoach number 28) and take you “door to door” from the start and finish of this walk.

Note: This is my earlier Walk 13 done in the reverse direction and is my Mansfield to Newark Walk Stage 3: Blidworth to Farnsfield.  I have only repeated the post here for completeness.  I’m intending to write about stages of the Robin Hood Way going to Blidworth and thought that I shouldn’t leave a gap between Blidworth and Farnsfield for anyone following my directions using the Robin Hood Way post titles.


Start from the bus stop near the main junction in the centre of Blidworth next to the Tesco store (on the site of the former Forest Folk pub). Go past Tesco and turn left along Dale Lane (the wide flat road running east) and follow the road for 800 yards, walking along the pavement on the left hand side. While walking along Dale Lane you will cross several side roads and will notice bus stops at regular intervals. There are regular buses from Mansfield and hourly buses that go on to Farnsfield and Newark.

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Path through the trees near Blidworth



As you reach the end of the village immediately after the last house on the left side of the road take a footpath going into the wood. The path through the trees is a pleasant one. Follow the most obvious path through the wood which bears slightly to the left and winds it way through the pine trees. The path is a good one but keep your eyes open for the odd tree root which reaches the path. The path turns a little to the right after two hundred yards and after another hundred yards takes you back out to the edge of the wood near the site of the former Jolly Friar pub, now demolished. At this point turn left. You can either follow the narrow path along the edge of the wood or move ten yards further out to follow a broad grassy ride which runs parallel to the edge of the wood. After two hundred yards you reach a track coming across you. Turn right along this track downhill for fifty yards and then turn left keeping to the wide track.

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Path near Blidworth Woods



After 100 yards leave the main track and take an grassy track to the left running almost parallel to the main one straight ahead. The grassy track runs straight between a tall hedge on the left and trees on the right which become more dense. After 300 yards you reach the end of this path and it appears initially that you have reached a dead end. If you look to the left here you will see a gap and a wood plank forming a “bridge” over a ditch. Cross the plank and enter a field.

Turn right and follow the field edge. If you can, follow the path along the grassy bank on the edge of the field. Occasionally this path can be a little overgrown or uneven and you may have to resort to walking along the edge of the the field itself. After 300 yards you come to a wide farm track. Cross this and go a few yards to the right. Go over a stile by a gate and down into a field. The path across this field is usually quite easy to follow. Go almost straight ahead aiming for the telegraph pole in the middle of the field. Carry on past the telegraph pole until you reach the end of the field and the signpost pictured below.

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Field on the way to Blidworth



Go slightly up a bank through a gap in the hedge to leave the field and enter another. Go straight on following the edge of the field alongside the hedge. The path may be a little uneven and if necessary you may have to go onto the field itself which often has quite a wide margin free of crops. Go all the way to the end of this field around 300 yards away and continue into the next field. As you go you will see over the hedge to the left a caravan park. As you reach the end of the second field you pass a small concrete shed just before a wide farm track. On the other side of the track is a long hedge going up an incline ahead. Go just to the right of this hedge and follow the edge of the field alongside the hedge up the hill. Again the path can be a little uneven and the grass slightly longer than you would want but it isn’t a great problem.

Just beyond the top of the rise you come to another farm track. Turn left along this track which after fifty yards bends sharply to the right and downhill. Follow the track next to a hedge on your left for 200 yards down the hill and then 200 more yards up again. At the top you reach a stile which you can now go around. You approach the gate to a house ahead but you should bear slightly left so that you go across a track and around the property keeping a fence immediately to your right. You will probably by now hear the roar of the traffic from the A614 which is now just ahead. As you come to a large hedge just before the A614 look for a narrow gap to the right where there is a small metal stile. Climb this and go to the verge of the A614.

We need to cross this road but this is a bad place to do so. The traffic is frequent and fast and partly obscured by a bend when crossing from this side. You can cross here but the best thing to do is to go downhill to the left towards the roundabout and cross at the island just before it. This takes you to the edge of the car park for the White Post Inn where you may wish to stop for food and drink. Turn back up the hill for 100 yards until you are opposite the point where you emerged on the other side of the road. Go into the field on your left either by using the stile or a gap in the hedge about ten yards before it. The path isn’t very clear in this field but you should follow the edge of the field going away from the A614 keeping a hedge just to your left.

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Looking back towards Farnsfield from fields going towards the A614.



At the end of this field the path becomes a bit more obvious although occasionally crops and ploughing may slightly affect it. Aim slightly to the right across the next field where you should see a gap in the hedge at the far side of the field. Go through the hedge and follow the path through another four quite narrow fields in each case bearing slightly to the right. You then come to a hedge and bank where you must climb steps up to reach the next field. In the previous fields you have been crossing in the middle of long fields but now you follow the hedge at the field edge. After 300 yards you reach the end of this field and pass under a tree in the corner which brings you into a very large field extending from the road a few hundred yards away on your left to well past you on the right. Cross the field straight on along an obvious path aiming for the hedge 400 yards ahead of you. You are at the highest point of the field looking left across to the road which runs from the White Post to Farnsfield.

As you reach the hedge at the far side of the field go just to left of it and follow it as far as a kissing gate. The field becomes more enclosed and as you go through the gate you come to a nice small, grassy field between hedges. Continue alongside the hedge through another gate into another shady field where a bench awaits if you wish to rest. The way continues straight on along the wide track between hedges and gradually becomes a lane (Vicarage Lane). 300 yards from the bench you come to a road at an extremely sharp bend. If you wish you may continue straight on downhill along the road which after a left turn at the bottom of the hill takes you into Farnsfield at The Green, the main bus stop in the village, which is on your right with “The Lion” pub just ahead. However, there is no pavement or footway for the 200 yards down the hill and the road does have some traffic. My choice here would be to add a few minutes to your walk by going through the gate into the field on the left at the end of Vicarage Lane.

The field is a pleasant grassy one, often occupied by sheep or horses. Aim straight ahead from the gate going down quite a sharp slope to the bottom of the field before a small upslope to a gate at the far end. This brings you out beside the Mansfield road next to a bus stop, from where you can catch a bus back to Blidworth, Rainworth and Mansfield. If you want to finish this walk at the main stop in the village, The Green, turn right from the field and walk along the pavement for 150 yards until you reach The Green where a tree stands in the middle of an island between three roads. The main bus stop is on your right over the road past the tree. Alternatively you may wish to stop for refreshment at The Lion pub on the other side of the main road.

Advice For Seasonal Walks in Nottinghamshire in Soggy Conditions

24 Dec

One of the most popular activities in the Christmas holidays is to go for a walk to burn off the calories accumulated during the festivities. However, the weather in Nottinghamshire in the last few months has been so wet that many of the walks in my blog have been affected. Most of the walks have sections in fields or on grassy paths that are now either muddy or under standing water. They are still possible for those who are determined and have good footwear but sliding around with wet feet isn’t pleasant for anyone just wanting a nice walk in the country.

I thought that it would be a good idea to highlight some of my walks that I think should be relatively unaffected by the recent downpours as they mostly stay on good firm tracks.

Walk 12:Haywood Oaks and Blidworth

Walk 17: Mansfield to Rainworth

Walk 30: Edwinstowe, the Major Oak and the River Maun

Walk 39: Blidworth Wood

Walk 42: Newark, Queens Sconce and Newark Castle

Walk 43 – Tracks around Boundary Wood near Blidworth and Rainworth

Walk 48: Newstead Abbey, Papplewick and Linby

Walk 52 Sherwood Pines and Vicar Water

Walk 53 – Newstead Abbey, Nomanshill Wood and Harlow Wood, Ravenshead

Walk 54 Clipstone and the River Maun

Walk 56: Hazel Gap and the Thynghowe Trail in Sherwood Forest

Walk 57: Ollerton, Boughton Brake and the River Maun

Walk 58 – Farndon and the River Trent

Walk 59: Rainworth and Strawberry Hill

 

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire: Walk 43 – Tracks around Boundary Wood near Blidworth and Rainworth

28 Feb

In Winter when the days are shorter and the paths muddier I try to find walks that are shorter and stick to firm tracks if possible.  This walk it stays on good tracks for nearly all of the way and is a pleasant enough way of spending an hour or two.

Start: You could start this walk in the villages of Blidworth or Rainworth and reach the circuit after around 15 minutes but if coming by car I suggest parking in the car park at Haywood Oaks to the east of Blidworth on the road that goes from the village to the A614.  This is only a short walk and you can do a bit more walking on the tracks around Haywood Oaks if you want or even combine this walk with one of the others of mine in the area – walks 12,13 and 15.

Route of the Walk

Distance: 3.3 miles

From the Haywood Oaks car park cross the road from Blidworth and join the track on the other side.  Turn left along this for fifty yards until you reach the wide main track going downhill away from the road.  After 300 yards this turns left at the bottom of the hill.   Keep to the main track for another 100 yards until you see a post with a yellow top on the right of the track.  Turn right to this post crossing a path with a Robin Hood Way marker on it,  At the yellow-topped post you reach a track by some woods.  Turn left along this quite wide track.  After 100 yards you see a narrower path to the right going into the woods.  You can take this path which cuts the corner of the wider tracks for.  If you stay on the straight path then you soon come to another wide path where you turn right and go up a slight rise for 100 yards.

At the top you reach a solid-looking green metal barrier.  Either go over the low part of this or through the gap on the left and carry on ahead.  You leave the wood behind and enter a more open area of grass with fields to your right.  Go straight on along the clear track which gradually descends for 400 yards.  Ahead you will see a hill with trees which is the Boundary Wood area we will be visiting later.  As you come to the bottom the track turns quite sharply to the left and you should stay on it.  The track now starts to rise again with trees closer again on the left and the hill of Boundary Wood on your right.  Stay on the track for the next half mile as it turns a few times.  On your left through the trees you will see a few small paths going through to the playing fields near Blidworth village and the houses on the edge of the village.

As you reach the last of the trees on the left you come to a more open area where our track meets the wider track of National Cycle Route 6.  At this point you will see to the left of the path an information board about the wood and tracks in the area.  The track now overlooks a pond to the left which is covered in rushes.  Stay on the main track until you are about level with the end of the pond.  Ahead on the main track you will see a barrier just before the route becomes tarmac on its way to Rainworth.  Don’t go as far as the barrier.  Instead look to the right where you will see a less distinct but still clear path going up the hill into Boundary Wood.

Go up this path which soon starts to run between trees.  It is mainly grassy but can be a little churned up by equine and human activity.  This is the only part of the walk where you will encounter much mud but it is easy enough to go around it.  After 300 yards you reach a wider path going to the right.  Turn right to keep going uphill this path which can again be a little muddy although the mud can be avoided without difficulty.

After 150 yards you reach a better, firmer path and soon a junction of tracks.  Turn left to go up a little more along a firm track.  Although the views are limited by the conifer trees there is a good margin from the path so things don’t feel claustrophobic as they sometimes can in woods of this type.  After 300 yards the path turns sharply to the right.  You can get a slightly better view of the surrounding countryside now as the trees have thinned out ahead and you are at the top of the hill.  Follow the track as it turns to the right and keep going in this direction for 400 yards passing a bench on the right of the track, until you reach a corner where the track turns ninety degrees to the right.  At the corner instead of staying on the main track look for a narrow path on the left going into the trees.  This is not an official track but it has been so well-used that the path is very clear.  It goes steeply down the bank through the trees before emerging near a bench in open ground.

At this lower level you can see the nearby fields on the left more clearly.  At the bottom of the slope you have come down turn right to follow a decent track with the bank of trees on your right.  After 200 yards you turn left along the clear track and keep following that until it turns to the right again after another 300 yards.  You can carry on along this main track until you reach the main junction which you walked past early in the walk.  However, you can cut this corner by descending left along a narrow, but clear, track through the bushes.  This goes down into a dip which can be wet at the very bottom but that is only a narrow channel which you should be able to step or jump over.  If you take this short cut come out of the dip to meet the track you followed downhill near the start of the walk from the green barrier.   If you have ignored the short cut, at the junction turn left and after 100 yards meet the path out of the dip.

Whichever way you have taken, now you should go back up the path you descended earlier, coming to the green barrier.  From there retrace your steps to the start of the walk.

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 39: Blidworth Wood

7 Oct

There was too much road walking for my liking in the previous walk so I now present a walk entirely off roads. This walk is in the Blidworth Bottoms area of woodland a little south of Blidworth. The tracks are all good to walk on, some are wide firm tracks in the heart of the woods while others are narrower but still good to walk on, often being sandy and well-draining. There should be no problems with mud anywhere on the walk.  I have tried to keep to the edge of the wood for some of the walk as it can be a little claustrophobic and disorienting to be in the middle of woods for the entire walk.

Start: The car park at the north end of the woodland just off Blidworth Lane, not far from the Horse and Hounds pub. There is also a car park at the southern end of the woods off Longdale Lane and you can join the walk about half way round if you park here.  The walk isn’t very convenient for public transport with the nearest bus links at Blidworth about a mile away to the north.  About half a mile from the start of the walk along Blidworth Lane is the Fox and Hounds pub.

Distance: 3.6 miles

Map of The Route

From the car park go to the information board about the woods which is at the end of the car park away from the road.  Walk along the narrow path through the trees to the right of this board for thirty yards until you reach a wide, firm track coming across.  Turn left along this track and follow it for half a mile as it follows a very straight course.  The trees are a little way from the track at this point so that it feels a little more open than might be expected in such  woodland.  Soon the track starts to rise quite sharply upwards.  After you have been on this track for about 800 yards you reach the first major junction of paths with another wide track coming in from the right.  Here you should look instead for a narrower path to the left and take this one.

Follow this path which runs quite straight among trees on either side.  After 200 yards you find yourself at the edge of the wood on the left so that you have quite good views over the fields.  Ignore paths coming from the sides and follow the path along the edge of the wood.  You come to a wooden bench looking out of the wood over the fields to the north and east.  Continue along the path at the edge of the wood.  Soon you reach more paths just inside the edge of the wood although they all run in the same direction.  It doesn’t matter which you take at this point but start to make your way to the most distinct path which is about 20 yards in from the edge of the wood.  Carry on following the edge of the wood about twenty yards in.  The path begins to descend and becomes a little more sandy.  The path briefly leaves the edge of the wood near a small plantation on the left but you will hardly notice this before you are back with fields to your left.

From time to time you will see signs for various tracks and but you should just continue along the perimeter of the wood, ignoring tracks taking you further in.  The path has by now turned south and begins to turn go over some more undulating ground.  The path is still a good, distinct one though keep an eye out for tree roots.  There is a corner where the path turns to the right and then after a steep little descent you reach another corner where the temptation is to carry on along the track further into the wood.  However, turn left and stay at the edge of the wood with the fields still to your left.  By now you may well start to hear the roar of the traffic on the A614 which is only 300 yards away.  The path gradually descends for 500 yards until you reach a pylon on the right.   Turn right here and go right underneath the pylon away from the edge of the wood.

Follow the path in a direct line under the wires between the pylons.  The line of pylons makes navigation easy.   After 500 yards the narrower path you have been following meets a wide track.  Looking to your left here you will see the car park at the Longdale Lane entrance to the woods.  You will also see the green waymarks here showing that you are now on the Robin Hood Way.  Turn right here along the main wide track which is part of the Way.  After less than 100 yards look for a small wooden post with a blue line round it near the top on the left of the path.  This is the first of a series of such “blue” wooden posts that we will follow for the next part of the walk.  They occur quite regularly but with some distance between them so you may have to look a little way ahead to spot them and in some cases just follow the clear path until you reach the next one.

Turn left at the post to leave the main track and go onto a narrower one.  The path is still distinct and easy to follow.  You pass a small plantation, Price’s Piece, that you may enter, on the right of the path which commemorates one of the people who helped to establish the Robin Hood Way. Follow the path, which is now going north-west, as it goes through quite dense woodland with the trees closer to the path.  The path has been easy to follow but soon you come to a junction of paths at the bottom of a slope on the right.  Here it would be quite easy to start following one of these paths going straight on or to the right.  Instead you should look to the left and about fifty yards away along the path you will see a wooden barrier.  Walk to the barrier and make your way around it to the right and join another clear path going roughly north-westerly.

Follow this path, which although quite narrow, is clear with no other paths to confuse you.  Keep an eye out for the “blue” marker posts to reassure you.  You soon come to another wooden barrier which you go through and continue along the path until you meet a much wider track.  Turn right along this track as it climbs quite steeply uphill.  At the top another wide track comes in from the left but you should continue along our track which bears right.  Ignore all minor tracks coming off our main one and walk along this wide one as it goes into more tree cover.  I was lucky enough to see a deer crossing the track at this point of the walk.  Around 500 yards from reaching the top of the hill you come to a junction of paths and tracks.  This was the one which we came to near the start of the walk where we turned left to the edge of the wood.  This time you should turn left along the main track downhill (this is the Robin Hood Way again) and retrace your steps to the car park at the start of the walk.

If you wish to follow the Robin Hood Way or want to link up with my earlier walk around Blidworth and Haywood Oaks (Walk 12) instead of going into the car park you should follow this main track all the way to the road (Blidworth Lane) and turn left.  Follow the lane, taking care as there is no proper verge, for 500 yards.  As you reach a riding stables look for a track on the right which is the Robin Hood Way.  Take this track which climbs and after 300 yards meets my earlier walk. 

Walk 34: Blidworth, Harlow Wood and Fountain Dale

29 Mar

Walk 34: Blidworth, Harlow Wood and Fountain Dale

Start: Centre of Blidworth near Tesco at the main intersection of roads in the village. Blidworth is on several bus routes such as the Stagecoach 28 from Mansfield to Newark and the 141 Trent Barton from Nottingham. if using a car park on the main road to Rainworth, at Tesco or on one of the quiet roads near the start of the walk.

Distance: 6.3 miles

Map of the Route

This walk is a circular one from the village of Blidworth going across the fields to the west giving good views of the surrounding country. The walk then goes into Harlow Wood near Fountain Dale with connections to the Robin Hood story. It returns to Blidworth across more fields, again with pleasant views.

From the junction near the Tesco store walk up the B6020, the main road going north towards Rainworth. This is the road running directly away from the garage going slightly uphill to the main shops in Blidworth, not the road going up the steep hill.  Cross the road so that you are on the side of the road with most of the shops, the left side if walking away from the garage.  After 200 yards, just before New Lane,look on the left of the pavement for a red-brick pattern surface on the ground and for a narrow tarmac pathway just beyond it.  Turn up this pathway and follow it for 100 yards through to a quiet road (New Road) near the post office.  The roads nearby are an alternative place to park if the main roads are too busy.   Cross New Road and go along the left hand pavement of the street opposite (Meadow Road).  After 100 yards cross another road and look to the left of the pavement for a footpath sign near a brick wall and a tree.

Bear left away from the road you have been walking along to go along this footpath which goes beneath trees for 100 yards.  You then carry on out into a field where there is a clear path going slightly uphill straight across the field.  At the far side of the field go up a small bank onto a cul-de-sac at the end of a road (Marriott Lane).  Turn left to go uphill and after fifty yards turn right at a footpath sign to go along a track passing to the left of a sign for a house called “The Meadows”.  After fifty yards look on the left for a small flight of stone steps.  Climb these to go over a low stone wall onto a narrow grassy path with a field on your right.  Go along this path uphill for 100 yards before going over a stile onto another quiet road near houses (Butler Drive).  Carry on uphill on this street for fifty yards, cross over and then look for a narrow jitty or path going straight on as the road bears right.  Go down this jitty and after fifty yards go through a small wooden gate onto the main road.  At this point you almost meet the route from my walk to Hayward Oaks (Walk 12).

Carefully cross the road and turn right to go uphill on the pavement.  After 300 yards you pass the Bird in Hand pub, which has excellent views from the lounge, should you wish to stop.  Carry on up the hill along the main road where after another 100 yards you reach the church, whose fine tower is a prominent landmark for miles around. The church is also renowned for reputedly being the site of the grave of Will Scarlet, one of the Merry Men. Immediately after the church cross back over the main road and turn up the road on the right (Ricket Lane) but after only fifty yards look for two steps on the left as you reach a small group of houses.  Go up these steps and look just to the left of the house opposite where you should see three small yellow footpath waymarks just above ground level on the step up to a grassy path.  Take this path passing to the left of the house.  You go through a metal kissing gate onto a narrow path which passes under trees and between solid wooden garden fences and hedges for 100 yards.  At the end of this path go through a metal kissing gate into a field and follow the hedge at the left side for 100 yards.

Leave this field an follow a rather ramshackle fence on your right for 100 yards to yellow-topped post a before going over a low stile on your right into another field.  Here follow a solid hedge on your left for 100 yards.  At the corner of this field go down between two yellow-topped posts and a kissing gate to emerge at the top of a grassy field.  The views to your left really start to open up as you are quite high up at the top of the escarpment.  Go downhill rounding a tree to your right then descend keeping the hedge and trees immediately to your right.  This is quite a steep descent and is the start of several undulations you will encounter on this stretch of the walk.

View south from the fields

View south from the fields

At the bottom of the hill go through a metal kissing gate and follow the hedge through two more fields.  Next go through two kissing gates close together to enter a more open field.  Go uphill across two fields until you reach a small clump of trees at the top.  Go through a kissing gate and down a step and through another.  Go down a steep grassy slope to the bottom of a dip and then start to climb back up again on the other side, which is rather bare and covered with soil.  Try to aim roughly straight on but this slope is a little tricky to negotiate as there are a series of small terraces.  This means you will have to pick a line up the slope involving a bit of wandering to left and right.   There was a small herd of horses in this barren part of the field when I did this walk and at the top of this short, sharp climb you pass their shelter.

Just past the shelter go through two kissing gates close together and then go down over a track before going through a third kissing gate.  Go downhill to yet another kissing gate and then follow a wire fence to another kissing gate under a tree.  This takes you into a grassy field with trees on the right which you cross to another kissing gate.

Bear right after going through the kissing gate and go through another fifty yards later and a third straight on from that fifty yards later.  After all those small fields you now emerge at the bottom of a slope in a large arable field.  Turn  right along the field edge and at the corner turn left to follow the field edge as you climb quite a sharp little rise to the top corner of the field.  Go up a small bank under a tree where there is a gap and you come out in another very large field.  Turn right here to follow the field edge climbing a little to the top corner of the field.  From here you have clear views to the south with the village of Ravenshead below you being the most obvious feature but good views to some of the small hills in the distance.  From the top pf the field turn left and follow the field edge with the hedge on your right for 500 yards going downhill at first and then slightly up again until you come to a gap in the hedge at the end of the field and go onto a narrow track.

View towards Ravenshead from the top field.

View towards Ravenshead from the top field.

Turn right here and follow the track uphill under trees and soon passing the point where the cycle track meets the main footpath.  Carry on up the hill (Sandy Lane) with a scout camp visible to your left.  At the top of the hill carry straight on as the path descends a short way down to a road (Ricket Lane again).  The path meets the road on a sharp bend so you should take care even though the lane is very quiet.  Cross the lane to the signpost opposite indicating the national cycle network.  Go down the track away from the road between fields with views to the north.  The path is good but descends quite steeply and before long you come to a short section of the sort of deep sand more usually encountered in coastal dunes.

Carry on down the hill and enter woodland (Harlow Wood) about 500 yards from the lane.  Join the wide track in the wood and continue down the hill.  This area of the wood has had quite a bit of tree felling recently and the tree cover is less than it was.  At the bottom of the dip is a stream (Rainworth Water) and then the track starts to climb again, reaching a junction of paths.  There are a large number of waymarks on the posts here.  We take the simple option of a right turn along a wide track with dense woodland to our left and the partially cleared woodland on our right.  After 100 yards on the left of the track we come to an information board with a picture of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck telling the story of their first encounter, which happened nearby.  If you wish you can make a short detour to visit Friar Tuck’s Well, where he is reputed to have baptised converts.  Nowadays there is little to see but to visit the well you should carry straight on from the board for 400 yards leaving the wood and following the path (also part of the Robin Hood Way,indicated by green waymarks) at the bottom of a field.  The Well is on the right of the path in the trees.

Returning to my walk, from the illustrated board go 10 yards further on and then turn sharp left uphill.  Follow this path which is at the edge of the wood with fields to your right for nearly half a mile.  It is a steady climb but the surface is good.  Ignore all paths coming in from the side until you reach a wide track just after a large tree stump.  Here turn right and follow the track, leaving Harlow Wood, with the fields now on your right sloping down below you.

This is a good track to walk along, firm underfoot and with the view ahead quite extensive although the wind turbines are now the most prominent feature.  After 500 yards you reach a farm with an equestrian ring on the right and buildings on the left.  You soon reach the centre of the farm complex and a junction of paths  guarded by a large tree on the right.  Immediately after this tree turn right along a bridleway which soon leaves the farm and goes downhill.  This path is by the edge of fields and is very easy to follow.  It is in good condition with sand at the bottom of the main rut and decent path alongside it.  Follow the path straight down the hill all the way to the bottom of the field where you reach a small area of saplings.  Here bear slightly left for fifty yards until you join the main path at the bottom.  Turning right here gives you a second chance to visit Friar Tuck’s Well, again about 400 yards away.

However, our route goes straight on here down into the wood ahead along the Robin Hood Way.   Go into the woodland on the left and cross a small bridge over a stream.  Leave the woodland going uphill through a gate onto a wide track.  After 100 yards as you pass a house on your left  go through a gate on the track.  Just past this gateway jink to the left as you pass the house to go onto a wide farm track still going up the hill.  This is a steady climb but the path is pretty good despite a few stones.  The track passes between fields on left and right.  As the path starts to flatten out trees appear on the right of the track.  At the end of the track half a mile from the bottom of the hill you reach a quiet road.

At this point the Robin Hood Way goes down the road and along a track into Blidworth.  The way is quite easy to follow and is an alternative route into Blidworth. 

For my route almost immediately opposite you will see a footpath signpost.  Cross the road and follow the sign along the wide track ahead.  This goes slightly downhill on a good track with a line of grass in the centre.  After 300 yards the path gets  quite narrow.  Take a little care not to get scratched by the hawthorn next to the path.  At the end of the path go through a metal kissing gate into a field and bear right uphill towards another kissing gate at the other side of the field about 100 yards away.  Go through this second kissing gate and then a third at the end of the next field, again bearing right and uphill.  Once through the third gate you are in an open field much larger than the previous ones and quite high up.  My recent walk through here in early April coincided with the  lapwing breeding season and they were rather animated as I walked along the path near to their territory.  Try to pass through quickly if there are nesting birds in order to keep any disturbance to a  minimum.  This field is as high as the path gets and there are decent views.

The small pond

The small pond

After 300 yards you leave this rather bare field past a small pond and enter a smaller field next to a much larger pond.  This pond is home to geese, ducks,  moorhen and coot.  Keep going straight on leaving the pond behind and descending into a pleasant valley with grassy fields rising to your right.  Keep straight on along the valley initially in the field and then along a narrower path.  A footpath comes in from the left but ignore that and continue straight on until you reach the corner of a wood.  Follow the path straight on at the bottom of the wood for 200 yards until you reach a crossroads of paths at the end of the wood.

Valley on the way to Blidworth

Valley on the way to Blidworth

There are various options that take you into Blidworth from here.  On this walk we turn left to follow the side of the wood going uphill for 200 yards.  At the top of the path you reach a road.  There is also a bench for anyone wanting a rest.  Turn right along the road and follow it for 500 yards as it enters Blidworth.  Keep going along the road all the way until you come to the main road in Blidworth.

Mansfield to Newark Walk Stage 3: Blidworth to Farnsfield

8 Aug

Stage 3 of my Mansfield to Newark walk, continuing from Stage 2

Start: Centre of Blidworth

Finish: The Green, Farnsfield

Distance: 3.9 miles

Note: This is my earlier Walk 13 done in the reverse direction.

Start from the bus stop near the main junction in the centre of Blidworth next to the Tesco store (on the site of the former Forest Folk pub).  Go past Tesco and turn left along Dale Lane (the wide flat road running east)  and follow the road for 800 yards, walking along the pavement on the left hand side. While walking along Dale Lane you will cross several side roads and will notice bus stops at regular intervals. There are regular buses from Mansfield and hourly buses that go on to Farnsfield and Newark.

Path through the trees near BlidworthPath through woods near Blidworth

As you reach the end of the village immediately after the last house on the left side of the road take a footpath going into the wood. The path through the trees is a pleasant one. Follow the most obvious path through the wood which bears slightly to the left and winds it way through the pine trees. The path is a good one but keep your eyes open for the odd tree root which reaches the path. The path turns a little to the right after two hundred yards and after another hundred yards takes you back out to the edge of the wood near the site of the former Jolly Friar pub, now demolished.  At this point turn left. You can either follow the narrow path along the edge of the wood or move ten yards further out to follow a broad grassy ride which runs parallel to the edge of the wood. After two hundred yards you reach a track coming across you. Turn right along this track downhill for fifty yards and then turn left keeping to the wide track.

Path near Blidworth WoodsPath near Blidworth Woods

After 100 yards leave the main track and take an grassy track to the left running almost parallel to the main one straight ahead.  The grassy track runs straight between a tall hedge on the left and trees on the right which become more dense.  After 300 yards you reach the end of this path and it appears initially that you have reached a dead end.  If you look to the left here you will see a gap and a wood plank forming a  “bridge” over a ditch.  Cross the plank and enter a field.

Turn right and follow the field edge.  If you can, follow the path along the grassy bank on the edge of the field.  Occasionally this path can be a little overgrown or uneven and you may have to resort to walking along the edge of the the field itself.  After 300 yards you come to a wide farm track.  Cross this and go a few yards to the right.  Go over a stile by a gate and down into a field. The path across this field is usually quite easy to follow.  Go almost straight ahead aiming for the telegraph pole in the middle of the field.  Carry on past the telegraph pole until you reach the end of the field and the signpost pictured below.

Field on the way to BlidworthField on the way to Blidworth

Go slightly up a bank through a gap in the hedge to leave the field and enter another.  Go straight on following the edge of the field alongside the hedge.  The path may be a little uneven and if necessary you may have to go onto the field itself which often has quite a wide margin free of crops.  Go all the way to the end of this field around 300 yards away and continue into the next field.  As you go you will see over the hedge to the left a caravan park.  As you reach the end of the second field you pass a small concrete shed just before a wide farm track.  On the other side of the track is a long hedge going up an incline ahead.  Go just to the right of this hedge and follow the edge of the field alongside the hedge up the hill.  Again the path can be a little uneven and the grass slightly longer than you would want but it isn’t a great problem.

Just beyond the top of the rise you come to another farm track.  Turn left along this track which after fifty yards bends sharply to the right and downhill.  Follow the track next to a hedge on your left for 200 yards down the hill and then 200 more yards up again.  At the top you reach a stile which you can now go around.  You approach the gate to a house ahead but you should bear slightly left so that you go across a track and around the property keeping a fence immediately to your right.  You will probably by now hear the roar of the traffic from the A614 which is now just ahead.  As you come to a large hedge just before the A614 look for a narrow gap to the right where there is a small metal stile.  Climb this and go to the verge of the A614.

We need to cross this road but this is a bad place to do so.  The traffic is frequent and fast and partly obscured by a bend when crossing from this side. You can cross here but the best thing to do is to go downhill to the left towards the roundabout and cross at the island just before it.  This takes you to the edge of the car park for the White Post Inn where you may wish to stop for food and drink.  Turn back up the hill for 100 yards until you are opposite the point where you emerged on the other side of the road.  Go into the field on your left either by using the stile or a gap in the hedge about ten yards before it.  The path isn’t very clear in this field but you should follow the edge of the field going away from the A614 keeping a hedge just to your left.

Looking back towards Farnsfield from fields going towards the A614.Looking to Farnsfield from near the A614. 

At the end of this field the path becomes a bit more obvious although occasionally crops and ploughing may slightly affect it.  Aim slightly to the right across the next field where you should see a gap in the hedge at the far side of the field.  Go through the hedge and follow the path through another four quite narrow fields in each case bearing slightly to the right.  You then come to a hedge and bank where you must climb steps up to reach the next field. In the previous fields you have been crossing in the middle of long fields but now you follow the hedge at the field edge.  After 300 yards you reach the end of this field and pass under a tree in the corner which brings you into a very large field extending from the road a few hundred yards away on your left to well past you on the right.  Cross the field straight on along an obvious path aiming for the hedge 400 yards ahead of you.  You are at the highest point of the field looking left across to the road which runs from the White Post to Farnsfield.

As you reach the hedge at the far side of the field go just to left of it and follow it as far as a kissing gate.  The field becomes more enclosed and as you go through the gate you come to a nice small, grassy field between hedges.  Continue alongside the hedge through another gate into another shady field where a bench awaits if you wish to rest.  The way continues straight on along the wide track between hedges and gradually becomes a lane (Vicarage Lane).  300 yards from the bench you come to a road at an extremely sharp bend.  If you wish you may continue straight on downhill along the road which after a left turn at the bottom of the hill takes you into Farnsfield at The Green, the main bus stop in the village, which is on your right with “The Lion” pub just ahead.  However, there is no pavement or footway for the 200 yards down the hill and the road does have some traffic.  My choice here would be to add a few minutes to your walk by going through the gate into the field on the left at the end of Vicarage Lane.

The field is a pleasant grassy one, often occupied by sheep or horses.  Aim straight ahead from the gate going down quite a sharp slope to the bottom of the field before a small upslope to a gate at the far end.  This brings you out beside the Mansfield road next to a bus stop, from where you can catch a bus back to Blidworth, Rainworth and Mansfield.  If you want to finish this walk at the main stop in the village, The Green, turn right from the field and walk along the pavement for 150 yards until you reach The Green where a tree stands in the middle of an island between three roads.  The main bus stop is on your right over the road past the tree.  Alternatively you may wish to stop for refreshment at The Lion pub on the other side of the main road.

Mansfield to Newark Walk Stage 2: Rainworth to Blidworth

8 Jul

Rainworth to Blidworth

Distance: 3.5 miles

This is the second stage of my Mansfield to Newark walk and continues from Stage 1: Mansfield to Rainworth.  It follows the route I took from Rainworth to Blidworth in walk 15 so I am not counting this as a new walk.

Start: The bus stop in the centre of Rainworth near the main junction of roads where there is a Tesco store.

On the Co-op side of Southwell Road walk away from the junction towards Mansfield.  After 100 yards cross a road on the left  (Lake Farm Road) and continue on the main road going slightly uphill.  After 100 yards turn left along a footpath.  This is almost opposite the end of Churchill Drive on the other side of the main road, which you walked along if you did Stage 1.  After 50 yards you reach a quiet metalled road alongside a wood.  This runs straight for around 200 yards until it enters the car park of an angling club.  Go into the car park which is next to a large angling lake.

Rainworth Water Angling Lake

Leave the car park by going left alongside the lake under the trees.  You are likely to pass a few anglers as you walk past the ponds so take care not to get caught by a fish hook as they cast their lines.  After 100 yards you leave the trees and cross a stream over a little footbridge.  The stream, Rainworth Water,  goes all the way to Rufford Lake eventually.  After the footbridge turn right along the path near the lake.  From here you can see that the lake is quite extensive.  After 300 yards you come to another area of woodland and the end of the main lake of the fishery.  Turn right at the end of the lake and walk along the path between the main lake and another smaller lake on your left.  After 100 yards this path leaves the fishery and enters a field.  Turn left and walk beside a hedge with the small fishery lake now on the other side of the hedge.

After 200 yards you reach a long straight road.  The road is a little busier than you might expect and the traffic can be quite fast so take care when crossing.  Almost directly opposite is the next footpath.  Go away from the road through a little patch of trees and then join a path at the edge a large field.  Go straight along the edge of the field away from the road.  This path runs uninterrupted for almost half a mile.  On your right all this time is a field with a slope that gradually increases and a view of  wind turbines while on your left is woodland and, at the right time of year, some nice flowers.  The path is generally a good one although after rainy periods in places can get a bit wet.  In any case you should be able to find a route past the worst of it.  You may come across interesting wildlife along here.  I once saw a stoat not far from the road.

  

After 300 yards you leave the trees and bushes behind. Half a mile from the road look for a path coming down the hill from the right and a waymark indicating a turn to the left.  Here we join the Robin Hood Way for a short while.  Go into the woodland on the left and cross a small bridge over a stream.  Leave the woodland going uphill through a gate onto a wide track.  After 100 yards as you pass a house on your left  go through a gate on the track.  Just past this gateway jink to the left as you pass the house to go onto a wide farm track still going up the hill.  This is a steady climb but the path is pretty good despite a few stones.  The track passes between fields on left and right.  As the path starts to flatten out trees appear on the right of the track.  At the end of the track half a mile from the bottom of the hill you reach a quiet road.

At this point the Robin Hood Way goes down the road and along a track into Blidworth.  The way is quite easy to follow and is an alternative route into Blidworth. 

For my route almost immediately opposite you will see a footpath signpost.  Cross the road and follow the sign along the wide track ahead.  This goes slightly downhill on a good track with a line of grass in the centre.  After 300 yards the path gets  quite narrow.  Take a little care not to get scratched by the hawthorn next to the path.  At the end of the path go through a metal kissing gate into a field and bear right uphill towards another kissing gate at the other side of the field about 100 yards away.  Go through this second kissing gate and then a third at the end of the next field, again bearing right and uphill.  Once through the third gate you are in an open field much larger than the previous ones and quite high up.  My recent walk through here in early April coincided with the  lapwing breeding season and they were rather animated as I walked along the path near to their territory.  Try to pass through quickly if there are nesting birds in order to keep any disturbance to a  minimum.  This field is as high as the path gets and there are decent views.

The small pond

The small pond

After 300 yards you leave this rather bare field past a small pond and enter a smaller field next to a much larger pond.  This pond is home to geese, ducks,  moorhen and coot.  Keep going straight on leaving the pond behind and descending into a pleasant valley with grassy fields rising to your right.  Keep straight on along the valley initially in the field and then along a narrower path.  A footpath comes in from the left but ignore that and continue straight on until you reach the corner of a wood.  Follow the path straight on at the bottom of the wood for 200 yards until you reach a crossroads of paths at the end of the wood.

Valley on the way to Blidworth

Valley on the way to Blidworth

There are various options that take you into Blidworth from here.  On this walk we turn left to follow the side of the wood going uphill for 200 yards.  At the top of the path you reach a road.  There is also a bench for anyone wanting a rest.  Turn right along the road and follow it for 500 yards as it enters Blidworth.  Keep going along the road all the way until you come to the main road in Blidworth.

There are plenty of shops here and the main bus stop is just down the hill at the junction near a garage.  To catch the bus to Rainworth and Mansfield stay on this side of the main road.  If you want to catch a bus to Farnsfield and beyond or want to continue the Mansfield to Newark walk cross the main road here and turn down the hill to reach the junction.

I will publish the directions for Stage 3 soon but the route is simply the reverse of my Walk 13 from Farnsfield to Blidworth.

Walk 15: Blidworth and Rainworth Circuit

18 Apr

 

A circular walk between the large villages of Blidworth and Rainworth through an interesting variety of countryside using a mixture of old and new paths.

Distance: 5.3 miles

Start: Tippings Wood car park on Warsop Lane (B6020) just north of  Blidworth on the road to Rainworth for those wanting to park cars.  Alternatively you can start in Blidworth or Rainworth and adjust the route accordingly.

Tippings wood is a relatively new nature reserve site built on the site of the old Blidworth colliery spoil heap.  Now it is a pleasant site with little to remind you of its previous incarnation except for the high mounds now covered in trees. From the car park take the main path through the trees going away from the road.  After 200 yards you reach a long straight track.  Turn left and follow this track for half a mile.  You go through a landscape with some areas of open land and a few patches of woodland.  There are various small tracks coming off the main one in these woods, many of which loop round and return to the main track a little further on.  The main track is good and firm and suitable for walking in all weather.

After a very straight walk for half a mile the main track takes a slight leftward bend and reaches Rainworth.  You leave the track after a final patch of woodland and come out at the top of the hill on the main road going into Rainworth.  Turn left and go down quite a steep hill along the near side of the road along a pavement all the way to the bottom about 500 yards down.  At the bottom carefully cross the quite wide and busy Warsop Lane coming from Blidworth on the left.  Then keep straight on the main road past the Co-op and main bus stop in Rainworth near the big junction of roads in the centre of Rainworth.  100 yards further on take a left turn off the main road to go onto Lake Farm road and just under 100 yards later turn right up Lind Close.  After another 100 yards you reach the end of the Close and turn left up a quiet metalled road alongside a wood.  This runs straight for around 200 yards until it enters the car park of an angling club.  Go into the car park which is next to a large angling lake.

Rainworth Water Angling Lake

Leave the car park by going left alongside the lake under the trees.  You are likely to pass a few anglers as you walk past the ponds so take care not to get caught by a fish hook as they cast their lines.  After 100 yards you leave the trees and cross a stream over a little footbridge.  The stream, Rainworth Water,  goes all the way to Rufford Lake eventually.  After the footbridge turn right along the path near the lake.  From here you can see that the lake is quite extensive.  After 300 yards you come to another area of woodland and the end of the main lake of the fishery.  Turn right at the end of the lake and walk along the path between the main lake and another smaller lake on your left.  After 100 yards this path leaves the fishery and enters a field.  Turn left and walk beside a hedge with the small fishery lake now on the other side of the hedge.

After 200 yards you reach a long straight road.  The road is a little busier than you might expect and the traffic can be quite fast so take care when crossing.  Almost directly opposite is the next footpath.  Go away from the road through a little patch of trees and then join a path at the edge a large field.  Go straight along the edge of the field away from the road.  This path runs uninterrupted for almost half a mile.  On your right all this time is a field with a slope that gradually increases and a view of  wind turbines while on your left is woodland and, at the right time of year, some nice flowers.  The path is generally a good one although after rainy periods in places can get a bit wet.  In any case you should be able to find a route past the worst of it.  You may come across interesting wildlife along here.  I once saw a stoat not far from the road.

  

After 300 yards you leave the trees and bushes behind. Half a mile from the road look for a path coming down the hill from the right and a waymark indicating a turn to the left.  Here we join the Robin Hood Way for a short while.  Go into the woodland on the left and cross a small bridge over a stream.  Leave the woodland going uphill through a gate onto a wide track.  After 100 yards as you pass a house on your left  go through a gate on the track.  Just past this gateway jink to the left as you pass the house to go onto a wide farm track still going up the hill.  This is a steady climb but the path is pretty good despite a few stones.  The track passes between fields on left and right.  As the path starts to flatten out trees appear on the right of the track.  At the end of the track half a mile from the bottom of the hill you reach a quiet road.

At this point the Robin Hood Way goes down the road and along a track into Blidworth.  The way is quite easy to follow and is an alternative route into Blidworth. 

For my route almost immediately opposite you will see a footpath signpost.  Cross the road and follow the sign along the wide track ahead.  This goes slightly downhill on a good track with a line of grass in the centre.  After 300 yards the path gets  quite narrow.  Take a little care not to get scratched by the hawthorn next to the path.  At the end of the path go through a metal kissing gate into a field and bear right uphill towards another kissing gate at the other side of the field about 100 yards away.  Go through this second kissing gate and then a third at the end of the next field, again bearing right and uphill.  Once through the third gate you are in an open field much larger than the previous ones and quite high up.  My recent walk through here in early April coincided with the  lapwing breeding season and they were rather animated as I walked along the path near to their territory.  Try to pass through quickly if there are nesting birds in order to keep any disturbance to a  minimum.  This field is as high as the path gets and there are decent views.

The small pond

The small pond

After 300 yards you leave this rather bare field past a small pond and enter a smaller field next to a much larger pond.  This pond is home to geese, ducks,  moorhen and coot.  Keep going straight on leaving the pond behind and descending into a pleasant valley with grassy fields rising to your right.  Keep straight on along the valley initially in the field and then along a narrower path.  A footpath comes in from the left but ignore that and continue straight on until you reach the corner of a wood.  Follow the path straight on at the bottom of the wood for 200 yards until you reach a crossroads of paths at the end of the wood.

Valley on the way to Blidworth

Valley on the way to Blidworth

There are various options that take you into Blidworth from here.  On this walk we turn left to follow the side of the wood going uphill for 200 yards.  At the top of the path you reach a road.  There is also a bench for anyone wanting a rest.  Turn right along the road and follow it for 500 yards as it enters Blidworth.  Keep going along the road all the way until you come to the main road in Blidworth.  If you need supplies there are a decent number of shops just down the hill.

You will need to cross the main road.  It is a busy road in the centre of the village so use one of the crossings provided.    On the other side of the main road turn left to go up the hill.  Ignore all the side roads and go to the top of the hill at the end of the village.  The final notable part of Blidworth is the old miners welfare building and sports ground on your right.  Just past these the road turns sharply to the left.  At this point look for the track on the right taking you back to Tippings Wood and the car park where you started.