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The Robin Hood Way: Eakring to Rufford Park and Edwinstowe

13 Nov

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

Start: Eakring village

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

Distance: 11 km

Map of the Route

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

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

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

Mompesson Cross

Mompesson Cross

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

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

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

Looking back on the route towards Lound Wood

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

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

Bridge over the old railway line

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Robin Hood Way: Southwell to Eakring

21 Sep

This stage takes you back onto the original Robin Hood Way from the additional loop to Southwell which was added later.  It does a small tour of Southwell then follows the River Greet to Maythorne before joining the Southwell Trail.  It leaves the Trail to go through Kirklington and then up the hill through woods to Eakring.

Start: The bus stops in the centre of Southwell on Church Street near Southwell Minster

Finish:  Eakring village

Distance: 15km (9.5 miles)

Map of the route

From the bus stops on Church Street by the Minster make sure you are on the opposite side of the road to the Minster.  Turn so that you have the Minster on your right hand side and walk along the pavement going slightly downhill on Church Street away from the main junction in Southwell.  After 200 yards the road bends to the right but as it does so you should take a path through a gate on the left.  You should follow the path going almost straight ahead, but bearing slightly left (not the track going sharp left up the hill).  This goes near the bottom of a grassy field and a fence for 150m.

Leave this field by going down to a sunken track under trees.  Go straight over this to another path opposite going up some steps into a field.  Go into this field and go straight on following the field round at the bottom of the slope.  The field starts to bend to the left while on your right below you will see a stream.  You will see signs directing you the the Workhouse which you should follow in this part of the walk.  At the end of the field you come to a path which takes you to a road (Newark Road) alongside the stream.

Go straight over the road, which can be quite busy, and continue straight on along a hard path for fifty yards until you approach houses.  On the first lamp post as you reach the road you should see a small, green Robin Hood Way marker pointing to the right.  Turn along the road to the right and after fifty yards cross the road to turn left and then slightly right before the road bends left along what seems to be a cul-de-sac.  As you reach the end of this you will see a path which you should take over a bridge to reach a new path.  Turn right here and follow the path alongside the stream for 100 yards until you come to the main road.  Go onto the pavement and turn left towards the sign for the Workhouse.  The Workhouse is an interesting place to visit as you can find out about life in the former workhouse which existed here.  To reach it follow the pavement round for another fifty yards where the main entrance can be found.

If you don’t wish to visit the Workhouse then just before you reach the big sign for the Workhouse where the road turns right you should turn left along a path on the left taking you away from the road.  Follow this firm path almost straight along for the next 400 yards, going near to the community orchard which has a good variety of different apples.  At first there is no sign of the river Greet but soon the path approaches the river which is on the right. On your left a little way off are some houses.  The path twists and turns a little before coming to the road by a tall mill building.  Take the path up to the road (Station Road) and you are now opposite a car park.

Mill Building

At the road cross, turn right and pass the tall mill building overlooking the River Greet and pond. Immediately after the mill turn left along a footpath. This crosses a short patch of gravel before becoming a narrow path with the river Greet on your left and Reg Taylor’s garden centre on your right.  You are separated from the garden centre by a fence but can see through that. Shortly you can see a pond in the garden centre which can be worth having a look at to see the birds.

River Greet near Southwell

River Greet near Southwell

The path itself can be rather muddy at this point as it seems to get a fair amount of use and is narrow. The river here is about six feet wide. Carry on straight along the path as you reach the end of the garden centre. You now reach fields on your right with the river still at your left as it starts to make small meanders. The walk continues straight along the path. The fields on the right can be quite varied in character depending on the time of year you walk. In recent years these fields have often had maize in them. In the spring you will be able to see across the fields but as the year goes on the maize grows higher and higher until it really is “as high an elephant’s eye” before harvesting in the late autumn. If the maize is tall I think it gives a rather exotic feel to the area. You walk along and can imagine being in a tropical country with the vegetation towering above you. It also gives a sense of isolation. Someone could be twenty yards away and have no idea you were walking there hidden by the maize.

Maize field near Southwell

Maize field near Southwell

Eventually you have to make a sharp right turn at the end of a field. Ignore the temptation to carry on into the clump of trees. There is a path going into the trees but that has been caused by people thinking that is the correct path, me included. It comes to a dead end at the river and you will have to turn around. Having taken the sharp right turn follow the field edge for about 200 yards before taking a left turn through a gap in the hedge.

River Greet near Maythorne

River Greet near Maythorne

The river Greet appears again on your left as you emerge from the hedge. It is slightly wider than before and is flowing more quickly. Walk alongside the river for 200 yards before you have to divert your course slightly as you reach the hamlet of Maythorne.  You cross a wooden footbridge and walk a few yards towards the tall mill building in Maythorne to reach a narrow footbridge over the river as it sweeps down from the mill.  Cross the bridge and continue walking through the “courtyard” area of Maythorne past the few buildings. On the left as you leave Maythorne is a recently established cafe, called All Mine Cakes, which overlooks a small lake. Then go up the road for 100m to the old railway track.  If you turn left along that you can follow the track all the way back to Southwell mill.

Near the Mill at Maythorne

Near the Mill at Maythorne

To continue the walk to Eakring you should turn right along the railway track.  Follow the track very straight for a mile.  It then bends slightly left and you go under two bridges in the next 500m.  Immediately after the second bridge turn right up the entrance road to a picnic site for a short distance and then right to come out very soon onto a quiet lane.  Turn left to go downhill for 150m to a junction.  Cross this next, slghtly busier road and turn right for 50m going past a farm entrance.

Go left through a metal gate into a grass field which often has animals in it.  Walk along the left hand side of the field and through another metal gate into another field.  Follow the left edge of this field for 100m when you reach another gate.  Leave the field and cross a small bridge over a stream.  A gate takes you into a field with a pond through the trees just to the right.  Follw the path for 100m to a gate and then go right across a bigger bridge over a wider stream.  This takes you to the edge of a large arable field.

 

Smaller Pond near Kirlkington

Pond near Kirlkington

There are two paths ahead but we aim leftwards towards the hedge near the house at the top of the slope.  The path is usually quite clear.  After 150 yards you reach a wide gap in the hedge.  Go through the gap and then immediately turn right alongside the hedge for 200 yards going gently downhill.  As you near the end of this field look for another small grassy field or lawn on the right.  Turn right and cross this lawn to the far end where it meets the end of Church Lane. Turn left and follow the lane to the main road.

Turn right to walk along the pavement alongside the busy A617.  After 400m just before a left hand bend you will see on the other side of the A617 a surfaced driveway which is the entrance to Hall Farm.  Cross the road and go up the driveway for 100m.  On the right is a gate into a field which you go through.  Follow the path which soon bends to the left near trees and go through a rather rough and ready makeshift gate into the main part of the field which sometimes has sheep in it.

Follow the clear track uphill.  If you look to the left you see the former Rodney School and grounds, now a fishing lake area.  Towards the top of the hill go under a short section of trees and at the top go over a cattle grid to reach a very large expanse of fields.  Take the very clear track going straight ahead, downhill at first then up again to reach a barn after 600m.  Stay to the right of the barn on the track and go slightly right then left again until you are close to the corner of a wood.  Turn right to cross a field alongside a hedge to your right for 150m.

At the end of the field the path meets a green lane under a line of trees called Whitestub Lane.  Turn right along this track which winds among the trees for 300m as far as you can go and you reach a path junction by dykes.  Cross a plank bridge on your left and go through a metal gate into a grass field.  Go downhill with Roe Wood just to your right.  At the bottom of the field go through the hedge bearing right into another field with Roe Wood still just to your right over a ditch.  At the end of this field you reach a corner with a junction of paths.  There are several waymarks here but unfortunately none pointing in the correct direction for our purposes.

The footpath we want turns left along a firm track to short red brick walls close together which form a bridge.  The track goes on up to Holywell Farm but after the brick bridge the official path turns immediately left to follow the field edge to the corner.  Then turn right with a hedge to your left until reaching a high barrier near Holywell farm and barn.  You now realise you could have followed the track towards the farm and gone to the left of the hedge to reach same point.  The high barrier appears to be a dead end but on the left is a narrow gap in the hedge.  Go through into a narrow field and go straight across it to reach another large grass field.  Aim towards a low yellow post under a big tree straight ahead and then to the right of Orchard Wood Farm which you are approaching.  Leave the field using a metal gate and go straight on over a driveway onto a short slightly overgrown track.

This leads to a large grass field where you go downhill next to the hedge.  At the bottom go into an arable field and striaght on uphill to reach Dilliner Wood.  The path is a bit overgrown and brambly as you go into the wood and you have to go left and right past logs to reach the main path in the wood.  The path runs straight through the wood and is obvious all the way.  This can be a bit muddy in a few short patches.  You go uphill at first then down a little to reach Mansey  Common.

Go through a metal gate and enter Mansey Common, another Notts Nature Trust conservation area.  This is a peaceful area of woodland providing good habitat for variety of animals and birds. . There is an information board here providing further details.  Having gone onto the common you should carry on along the path.  The path is reasonably clear to follow but after wet weather this bit can be particularly boggy.  You soon come to a clearing and should carry on in the same direction.  There is an arrow for the Robin Hood Way which seems to point to the left but this is slightly misleading and you should aim more straight on along the clearest path.  The path is a little less obvious at this point but if you go straight on through the scrub you shouldn’t go too far wrong and soon the path does become clearer.  There is one particularly boggy bit for about 20m.

You reach the far end of Mansey Common around 400m after entering it and descend to a dumble, a small wooded valley over a stream.  Cross the  recently replaced wooden footbridge and climb up some new steps up a steep little bank to reach a large field.  Go straight on up a rise to reach the middle of the field which affords good views as you are at the highest point of this part of the walk.  You will also see wind turbines featuring prominently.  However, the view to the north and east is a good one.  To the north-west you will see the tower of Eakring church which gives a useful guide to the direction we now take.

Top of the field coming from Mansey Common

Top of the field coming from Mansey Common

Carry straight on along the path for 200m going slightly downhill to a hedge.  Go through the gap in the hedge to enter another field.  On my last walk here the field had been recently ploughed and the path hadn’t been restored. You should aim straight down the slope across the field until you reach the track at the bottom where a line of trees and hedge go up the hill in the next field.  At the bottom go a little left along the track until reaching a plank bridge on the right.  Cross this and follow the path across the field bearing slightly left towards a gap in the far hedge.

At this gap cross a bridge and continue uphill to the corner of a hedge.  Continue in the same direction with the hedge on your left, descending to a grassy track and then turning left along a grassy wide track out to the main road in Eakring.  Turn right along this and follow it to reach the centre of Eakring although to continue along the Robin Hood Way cross after 80m to Side Lane.

There are no direct buses to Southwell unfortunately so to return if using public transport you will have to get the 28B bus to the western edge of Farnsfield and then a bus to Southwell.

 

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 47: Duke’s Wood and Dilliner Wood

27 Jul

Apologies for the long gap between posts but the walk I had planned to write about last month was affected by overgrown crops which made it impossible to do.

This walk largely avoids arable fields so should be easy enough all year round although parts of the wood near Mansey Common can get muddy in wet weather.  It can be done as a walk in its own right or it connects with Walks 18,37 and 45 at Eakring and with Walks 16 and 25 near Roe Wood where you can take a short detour for some very good views.

Start: Duke’s Wood car park about a mile south of Eakring just off the minor road running from the A617 near Kirklington to Eakring.  If you are using public transport you can start the walk in Eakring which lies on bus routes and can join this walk at Mansey Common by following my Walk 18 (in reverse).

Distance:4 miles

Map of the Route

From the car park go into the Duke’s Wood nature reserve passing an information board.  Walk straight along the wide track for 200 yards until you reach the oil museum and visitor centre.  On the right you will pass a pond.  On my last visit this was looking rather sad as most of the water had gone.  However, this was after a long dry period and it may well be that when we have some rain the pond will be restored.  In the past I have had very close views of dragonflies there.
Next to the information centre on the left is a wooden art work in the form of a wall.  Duke’s wood is a nature reserve and has a nature trail which you can incorporate into this walk.  The trail is a little over a mile long and has numbered posts at intervals around it to guide you.  To follow my direct route you should carry straight on along the wide track passing an open area on your right near the museum.  Soon you come to another open area on the right which is the location of a statue of an oil worker, the Oil Patch Warrior.  The original was damaged when someone tried to steal it.  A replacement was installed in autumn 2014.
Officially at this point you have been in Pudding Poke Wood but carrying on straight along the wide track takes you almost imperceptibly into Duke’s Wood.  Keep to the main track as it bends to the left and ignore the little paths coming in from the side.  After 300 yards you reach the far end of the wood by nature trail post number 12.  Here you should turn left and follow the path along the edge of the wood with a large field outside the wood beyond the hedge to your right.  After 250 yards you will see on your left a post marked with number 13.  This is the last official part of the Duke’s Wood reserve and there is a path by the post turning left back into the wood.  However, my walk continues straight on along the wider track ahead between hedges to either side.  You leave Duke’s Wood but after 300 yards you approach another area of woodland.

Duke’s Wood

As you arrive at the end of the track you will see metal gate and fences to your left and straight ahead.  There is also a sign informing you of cattle grazing nearby.  Don’t try and go over the fence or gate.  Instead look just to the right of the fence at the end of the track and you should be able to see a narrow path going into the woodland ahead.  Go into the wood and follow the path.  This isn’t an official footpath but it has clearly been used extensively as the path is very obvious.  It twists and turns a little but runs roughly straight ahead through the trees.  You should be a little careful here as there are several tree roots along this path and after wet weather it will be slightly slippery.  After about 300 yards you meet a proper path just as you come to a metal gate.

At this point my Walk 18 turned left through the gate to Mansey Common but on this walk we turn right to follow the main track. This track is usually good and drier than the one across Mansey Common although after heavy rain it can be a little muddy. Go along this reasonably wide track which is surrounded by tall trees. This is Dilliner Wood. Here we are on the Robin Hood Way. The path runs very straight through the wood, rising slightly at first before a more noticeable, though not steep, descent. Although the trees are tall it is deciduous woodland and never feels claustrophobic. The path is easy for 500 yards almost until you leave the wood. You have to go right over a fallen log and ditch where the path is a little overgrown and narrows. Then almost immediately left again back over the ditch. These aren’t major obstacles however. Now you are right at the edge of the wood and you should leave the wood here to follow the path straight downhill across an arable field.
At the bottom of the field go through a metal kissing gate into another field. This next field is a large grassy one used for grazing animals. Go uphill with the hedge just to your left all the way. It is quite a steady climb for 300 yards. At the top of the hill you see farm buildings ahead. Keep going by the hedge for another 100 yards to a yellow-topped post in the corner of the field. Leave the field staying to the left of the buildings. You reach a kissing gate and go through that. Cross the drive going to the farm (Orchard Wood Farm) and keep going straight on with a hedge to your right, aiming for another yellow topped post under an oak tree ahead of you.

At this post look to the hedge on the left a little way ahead and you should see a metal kissing gate. Aim across the field to the gate. Go through the gate, it is slightly overgrown on the other side, into another field. The path goes straight on in this next field until you approach Holywell Farm, where you reach a tall metal barrier fence. You can’t get past that so have to go right through a hedge into another field. Follow the hedge on your right downhill in this new field until you reach the corner of the field then turn sharp left.  Keep following the edge of the field until you meet a wider track. Turn down this towards a brick bridge over a dyke. Keep going towards the corner of the wood ahead of you. At the bottom by the wood there is a junction of tracks. You may have found in this last field that you are following a path through crops which takes you on slightly different route.  You should look for the brick bridge near the wood when you reach a clear track and aim for that and the wood to join the main route.

At the junction of tracks near the wood turn right and join a footpath along the edge of a field.  We are now separated from Roe Wood by a ditch.  Go up hill along the field edge with the wood on your left until after 400 yards you turn left again to enter another field.  Carry on uphill along this field edge next to Roe Wood until you reach the top.  Step over a low metal gate to leave the field where a line of trees goes off to the right.
Leaving the field you will see ahead of you a ditch which is crossed by a wooden plank bridge.  That path takes you back to the A617 .  We don’t cross the ditch.  Instead our route turns right and follows the line of trees.  This is a narrow track which runs straight along the line of trees.  While taking a generally straight course it twists and turns slightly as it runs between the trees.  Considering it is such a narrow line of trees it is surprisingly well covered and is a nice walk.  The only slight concern is to watch for tree roots.  After about 500 yards look for a gap in the hedge on the left where you will see a post indicating a footpath and also a waymark for the Robin Hood Way.  That way takes you to the village of the Kirklington but we stay along this narrow path in the line of trees.  The path remains good but keep an eye out for the occasional low branch as you go.

After 400 yards the path gets much wider as you leave the line of trees and reach a track with Duke’s Wood on your right.  The path rises steadily for the next 600 yards at first as a grassy one and then a firm track.  Ignore all the side tracks that go into the wood and go straight on along the main one.  There are signs warning of private areas and alarms which also encourage you to stay to the main path. Eventually you reach a green metal barrier as you come to the entrance to the Duke’s Wood reserve where we started  the walk.

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 45: Circuit to the West of Eakring including the Robin Hood Way

26 Apr

 

This walk returns to the proper Central Notts area after last month’s excursion to the north of the county.  In fact we are only a few miles from the heart of the area of the blog in Farnsfield.  This walk is only a relatively short one but has good views for much of it around the village of Eakring.  Some of it is across fields but much of it is along quiet roads and tracks which are decent walking in all but the wettest weather.  One thing that I did notice when doing the walk is that one of the tracks may not be open in winter but there should be no problems at other times.

Start: The centre of Eakring near the church.  If coming by car you should be able to find somewhere to park on the road close to the church.  The street in Eakring (Kirklington Road) coming south from the central junction of the village near the church is fairly quiet and wide.  If coming by bus there is the 28B from Mansfield hourly during the day from Monday to Saturday and other very infrequent ones from smaller villages.

Distance: 5.2 miles

Map of the Route

 

From Eakring church cross the road (Kirklington Road) and walk along the very quiet lane coming off it directly opposite the church for 300 yards until it turns right.  At the bend leave the road and turn left up a shale track.  Step over the lowest part of the barrier you soon reach and continue straight along the track. Follow the track which turns sharply right then left after 100 yards. The track now becomes more firm underfoot and as you turn away from the village hedges form a barrier on either side of you.  You reach a gap in the hedge to the right after 200 yards where there is a short track to Mompesson Cross, which I have mentioned in previous walks around Eakring (see Walk 18), which you may wish to visit.  Staying on the main track you are going slightly uphill away from Eakring.  Follow this track for another 300 yards where first it bends a little to the right then left.  As you start to reach more open country you see wind turbines close by the right in a field.

Look a little to the right of the path for a yellow footpath waymark on a wooden post by the hedge between the fields with turbines in them.  Turn right off the main wide track towards the footpath post and continue down a track in the hollow sheltered by the hedge next to field.  This is quite a nice little path as it is just a few feet below the level of the fields and sheltered by a good covering of trees and bushes.  The path descends steadily for 400 yards until you leave the sheltered hollow to come out at the service track for the turbines.  if you’ve ever wanted to have a really close look at a wind turbine this is an ideal opportunity as here you are very near indeed to one.  After the track you have a choice of routes. My official route follows the proper footpath which continues on downhill to the left of the next hedge you see just across the service track.  This path follows the edge of field next to the hedge then bears left near bottom across the field to a gap at the far corner of field not far from a wood.  On my last visit this path was very obvious and well-maintained through the crops.  It may not always be quite as clear but you should still aim for that far corner gap at the bottom of the field.  At that gap don’t go across the next field towards the wood, instead turn right to follow the wide track at the edge of field at bottom with a dyke on your left.  After 200 yards this takes you to the bottom of the hedge line you followed down the hill.

 Eakring wind turbine

You may feel that this extra little diversion across the field isn’t really necessary and instead when you first reach the service track you could go down the hill following the service track until you reach the bottom of the hill near the hedge line.  Whichever route you have taken to get here we now depart from the bottom of the hedge line by going along the wide track built for the turbines at the bottom of the hill.  We are heading back towards Eakring now with the turbines on the hill to your right and flatter fields on the left.  Follow the wide track almost straight for 400 yards until the road ahead is about 200 yards away at a red barrier.  A track comes from the fields on the left to meet ours but we take a footpath bearing across the field to the right.   This was obvious when I walked it with crops growing to either side.  If it isn’t clear you should head across the field towards the sharp corner at the bottom of the hill on the road to Eakring.  Near this corner the footpath comes very close to the road but stays in the field and goes up the slope steeply for a short way. At the brow of the hill the path starts to flatten out and you should bear left until you see a wooden post with a yellow top near the bushes as you near the road again.  Not far away you will see some large sheds ahead.  At the yellow post go through the bushes taking the line of least resistance for 20 yards to reach a grass verge next to road.  Stay on this verge until you reach the access road for Eakring Farms.  Here cross the main road going into Eakring, which can have a fair amount of traffic, to reach the pavement opposite.

There you will see a wide straight track ahead and on the right of that a footpath sign pointing down the track. Walk along this track which initially is the end of a driveway that soon passes houses and then becomes a firm track between hedges and fields.  After 500 yards as the hedge on the right runs out you reach a crossroads of paths.  Take the one bearing left slightly uphill across a field towards a clump of trees.  Keep aiming just to the left of them on what is usually a clear track in this arable field.  As you reach the brow of the hill you start to get good views of Sherwood Forest and the surrounding countryside going all the way to Derbyshire.  Go downhill along the path aiming for a stile at the end of the field.  As you reach it you see that you can go to the left of the stile rather than climb over it. Here go into a grass field.  Here you will also see the green waymarks for the Robin Hood Way which we will follow for the next mile.  In this grassy field, sometimes containing sheep, go down quite a steep slope bearing just to the left.  You come to another obsolete stile at the bottom of the field which you can go round.

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

Bridge over the old railway line

 

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

Turning left here takes you to Rufford Park on the Robin Hood Way after another two miles but we leave the Way and go right here along the wide track.  We soon reach a farmyard. As you go through the farmyard there are various buildings around but you should look to your left where there is a very impressive dovecote made of red brick at the top of one of them.  Go straight across to leave the farmyard uphill along a well-surfaced farm road.  This takes you quite straight, gradually climbing under another nice avenue of trees with a good grassy verge, then an open area where you can see across to the earlier part of the walk . 600 yards from the farmyard you reach a road and turn right.  There is no verge although the road isn’t very busy.  After 100 yards you reach the entrance to a farm track on the right.  This is a permissive path with a gate preventing vehicles entering.  On my latest visit there was a sign saying that the path was closed for winter, although walkers can fit through a gap in the gate easily enough.  You may not want to use the path if it says that it is closed and if this is the case you should continue up the road into Eakring for half a mile.  However, the path is a good one and unless it is very muddy I don’t think you should have any problems using the permissive path.

Taking the permissive path takes you away from the road on an obvious grassy track going uphill towards a  clump of trees.  Go to the left of these and carry straight on along the track which becomes firmer, still climbing.  After 500 yards on the track you return to the crossroads of paths we left earlier in the walk.  Having now been along three of these paths it makes sense to take the fourth one which is the one bearing left down across a field.  After 200 yards you reach a metal gate which takes you into a very narrow field and then through another gate into a small grassy field, sometimes containing horses.  This field is a little uneven as you go down almost straight ahead to the bottom of the field, which can be muddy in wet weather.  To the right of the gate at the bottom there is a stile, which is quite a high one but which you can now avoid climbing.  Leaving this field takes you onto the road we left a little earlier near the permissive path sign.  Turn right to follow the road up a short hill into the village. Unfortunately there is no verge so cross as soon as you can to the other side when a pavement appears there.  Stay on this pavement for 200 yards until you reach a junction with the main road through the village, near the Saville Arms pub on the right.

At the junction you should turn left to follow the main road using the pavement for 300 yards until you reach the main junction near the church.  Cross the road here and return to the church where we started the walk.

Video

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 37 – Circuit of Eakring

8 Jul

A walk starting from the village but then going around the edge of Eakring using paths and tracks in the surrounding fields.  The walk passes by a large pond and Mompesson Cross.  It can be extended to the nature reserve at Duke’s Wood by combining it with Walk 18 in this blog.

Start: Eakring Church in the centre of the village.  Eakring is on the number 28B bus route from Mansfield which is hourly during the day.  The main street in Eakring (Kirklington Road) is fairly quiet and wide and you should be able to find somewhere on the street to park.

Distance: 4.5 miles

Map of the Route

From the church walk south, away from the man junction at the centre of the village along the pavement on the church side of the road.   After about 500 yards, just past Side Lane on the other side of the road, you should turn left along a grassy track.  There is a footpath sign but in summer this is likely to be obscured by plants. Just after the track you should look for a house on the with a small white gate and the track is immediately before this. If you look behind you along the main road at this point you should see a sign for Side Lane on the other side of the main road about fifty yards away.

Turn left along the grass track and after fifty yards you reach a metal barrier. Go to the gap at the left of this, turn left and follow the path at the left hand edge of the field.  From here you can see on your right at the top of the field a row of pylons of various types which have been developed as part of a pilot scheme for new designs.

New pylon designs

W New pylon designs

Go past a white-topped post bearing a waymark for the footpath and leave this field to go into another one.  In summer the crops will be  close to the field edge but there will be a decent margin to walk along as you continue along the edge of the field.  On your left are trees.  You meet a path coming from the right which was part of my walk 18 and if you have done the longer walk to Duke’s Wood will cross this walk here.  On this walk we carry on along the field margin ignoring the path going left into the wood.  A little further along the official path bears slightly off to the left from the field and goes a little downhill although you can carry on along the edge of the field.  The official path can be a little overgrown at the height of summer and after wet weather a bit muddy.  However, as you go down you enter a nice tree covered area.  On your left  a little below you is a pond and stream with just beyond some houses.  The path goes down a little then rises again and rejoins the field edge.  Following the field edge now takes you downhill to a green metal barrier just before a road.  Go to the left hand side of the barrier which is much lower and which you can step over.

There is a small grassy area before the road which you meet on a bend.  This gives you the chance to check the traffic before continuing straight on along the road.  There isn’t any pavement or walkway here so stay on the right hand side of the road near the hedge.  There isn’t a great deal of traffic but you should take care.  Walk along the road for 200 yards until you reach a sharp bend to the right where you should leave the road and go straight on onto a gravel track.  Ignore the path going off to the left immediately after leaving the road and carry straight on along the wide track.  Go past a barrier and along the straight track, ignoring paths to left and right after 150 yards.  You enter an area of more open farmland. After400 yards from the road you will see a wooden footpath post to the right of the track just before a sign indicating that the way beyond is private.  This is the first of several of these signs near the route which are useful in keeping you on the right course although a little unfriendly.

From the track go right into a large arable field.  As I was doing this walk the crops in the field were high enough that the way across the field was obvious as the path across was well maintained and several feet wide. If it is not clear aim at about 45 degrees from the gravel track for400 yards aiming towards a pylon, until you reach another Private sign next to a wide concrete bridge over a stream.  Turn left and cross the bridge to join another wide gravel track.  On the Ordnance Survey map the path here goes off slightly to the right but it is easier to stick to the main track. Follow the track as it runs straight for the next  600 yards.  Initially it runs between fields but then you reach a line of trees on the left of the track which starts to go uphill.  Carry on until you reach an oak tree on the right of the track.  Turn left off the track here to go through a wide gap in the hedge.  I couldn’t see any footpath signs here but the route was clear as again the path was a good, wide one through the crops.  Head across the field aiming for the left hand end of the wood ahead of you.  You reach the wood (Lound Wood) after 400 yards.

At the wood go straight on and Follow the edge of the field with the wood immediately on your right for 200 yards.  Then turn left away from the wood at an angle of 45 degrees  across the field, again on a very obvious path when I did the walk, for 200 yards until you reach a hedge. Turn left and follow a path covered with quite long grass at the edge of the field with a hedge on the right.  After 200 yards you reach a wooden bridge which you cross to reach a grass path near a large pond, sometimes known as Eakring Flash, which you can see thorough the trees on your left.  Follow the path which was fine when I walked it but which I imagine could be underwater after a period of very wet weather.  There is a hedge on the right and trees  on the left.  You will get occasional views through to the pond which often has swans and ducks on it.

Eakring Flash Pond

Eakring Flash Pond

After 200 yards leave the pond and turn right over another wooden bridge.  Go into a grass field and follow the path in shorter grass next to the hedge on the left for 100 yards until you reach a wooden stile which you go over.

Go across a track then over a stile and down into a grass field.  Go round the barrier into the main part of the field.  Go uphill to the right aiming at the top right hand corner of the field with the tower of an old windmill a prominent feature ahead.  Near the top of the field there are a few clumps of nettles and thistles but you can skirt round these.  Leave the field and go out onto a road.  Go straight across this quiet road to another stile on the opposite side.  This stile takes you into another field after going through a kissing gate.  However, the stile is a very big step up and is tricky to manage.  You may well find it easier to climb over the gate next to the stile to go into the field.  This field can be a bit muddy at the bottom at times, especially if horses have been using it and churning up the ground.  On my recent visit it was fine.  Go uphill for fifty yards to reach another  gate and go through that into another field.  Carry on uphill through this field for 200 yards and out via another gate.  This takes you to an open field and a wide track coming across you.  From here you can look back and see the last mile of the route you have just walked with good views to the east beyond.

Looking back on the route towards Lound Wood

Looking back on the route towards Lound Wood

 

Turn left along this firm track and follow it straight for 400 yards.  This brings you to the road going into the village which you cross to reach the entrance road of Eakring Farms, which is indicated by a sign. The route on the other side is a little dependent on the crops in the fields.  If you can see an obvious path across the field going almost straight ahead then you should follow that to the other side of the field and Mompesson Cross, enclosed by a fence, about 300 yards away.  Sometimes the way ahead isn’t clear due to crops.  In this case the best thing to do is to follow the entrance road to Eakring Farms which almost immediately bends to the left.  After 100 yards you reach a big barn on the right.  Turn off the road just before the barn and walk along the concrete next to the barn where there is a bit of a gap until you reach the far end of the barn.  From here continue roughly straight on across the field.  After a short way you come close to the metal fencing surrounding Mompesson Cross, which I mentioned in Walk 18.  There is an information board about the Cross nearby.  From the cross go left through the trees to reach a track.

Turn right so that you are going slightly uphill away from Eakring.  Follow this track for 300 yards where first it bends to the right then left before running straight for 500 yards until you reach a corner.  Here there is a small clump of trees and a small log bench. This is a nice spot for a rest.  Turn sharp left to follow the track alongside the hedge, going slightly downhill for 250 yards.  At the end of the hedge there is a sharp turn right on the track. If you wish to go up to Duke’s Wood to follow the extra loop described in my Walk 18 (adding just under 3 miles) then follow this track to the right.

To take the shorter route, at the sharp corner where the track turns right up the hill, go straight on for ten yards across the grass where you will find yourself at the end of a wide grassy track with trees along the right hand side. Turn left to follow this track straight for 200 yards until you reach a  nearby metal gate with a  gap to the left ot it. Go through and continue straight along the track which becomes a metalled driveway with houses on the left. After another 100 yards you reach a road on a bend.   Carefully cross the road  (this is Kirklington Road again) to the pavement opposite and turn left to head into the village.

After 300 yards as you reach the main area of houses look for the grass track going off to the right which you walked along earlier.  Continue along the road to the church where you started.

Walk 18 : Duke’s Wood and Eakring

28 Sep

 

After reaching the halfway point of my Mansfield to Newark walk I thought it was about time to do another walk somewhere else for a change.

This is a circular walk taking in the village of Eakring and the nature reserve at Duke’s Wood which has a small museum about the oil drilling that took place there during the Second World War.  I have made this walk quite short so that you also have time to expore Duke’s Wood.

Distance: 3.9 miles

Start: Duke’s Wood car park about a mile south of Eakring just off the minor road running from the A617 near Kirklington to Eakring.  If you are using public transport you can start the walk in Eakring which lies on bus routes.

From the car park go into the Duke’s Wood nature reserve passing an information board.  Walk straight along the wide track for 200 yards until you reach the oil museum and visitor centre.  On the right you will pass a pond.  On my last visit this was looking rather sad as most of the water had gone.  However, this was after a long dry period and it may well be that when we have some rain the pond will be restored.  In the past I have had very close views of dragonflies there.

Next to the information centre on the left is a wooden art work in the form of a wall.  Duke’s wood is a nature reserve and has a nature trail which you can incorporate into this walk.  The trail is a little over a mile long and has numbered posts at intervals around it to guide you.  To follow my direct route you should carry straight on along the wide track passing an open area on your right near the museum.  Soon you come to another open area on the right which was the location of a statue of an oil worker, the Oil Patch Warrior.  The original was damaged when someone tried to steal it.

Officially at this point you have been in Pudding Poke Wood but carrying on straight along the wide track takes you almost imperceptibly into Duke’s Wood.  Keep to the main track as it bends to the left and ignore the little paths coming in from the side.  After 300 yards you reach the far end of the wood by nature trail post number 12.  Here you should turn left and follow the path along the edge of the wood with a large field outside the wood beyond the hedge to your right.  After 250 yards you will see on your left a post marked with number 13.  This is the last official part of the Duke’s Wood reserve and there is a path by the post turning left back into the wood.  However, my walk continues straight on along the wider track ahead between hedges to either side.  You leave Duke’s Wood but after 300 yards you approach another area of woodland.

Duke's Wood

Duke’s Wood

As you arrive at the end of the track you will see metal gate and fences to your left and straight ahead.  There is also a sign informing you of cattle grazing nearby.  Don’t try and go over the fence or gate.  Instead look just to the right of the fence at the end of the track and you should be able to see a narrow path going into the woodland ahead.  Go into the wood and follow the path.  This isn’t an official footpath but it has clearly been used extensively as the path is very obvious.  It twists and turns a little but runs roughly straight ahead through the trees.  You should be a little careful here as there are several tree roots along this path and after wet weather it will be slightly slippery.  After about 300 yards you meet a proper path just as you come to a metal gate.

Go through the metal gate on the left and enter Mansey Common, another Notts Nature Trust conservation area.  This is a peaceful area of woodland providing good habitat for variety of animals and birds.  There is an information board here providing further details.  Having gone onto the common you should carry on along the path.  The path is reasonably clear to follow but after wet weather this bit can be particularly boggy.  You soon come to a clearing and should carry on in the same direction.  There is an arrow for the Robin Hood Way which seems to point to the left but this is slightly misleading and you should aim more straight on.  The path is a little less obvious at this point but if you go straight on through the scrub you shouldn’t go too far wrong and soon the path does become clearer.

You reach the far end of Mansey Common around 400 yards after entering it and descend to a dumble, a small wooded valley over a stream.  Cross the footbridge and climb up some rather worn steps up a steep little bank to reach a large field.  Go straight on up a rise to reach the middle of the field which affords good views as you are at the highest point of this part of the walk.  You will also see wind turbines featuring prominently in that direction.  However, the view to the north and east is undisturbed and a good one.  To the north-west you will see the tower of Eakring church which gives a useful guide to the direction we now take.

Top of the field coming from Mansey Common

Top of the field coming from Mansey Common

Carry straight on along the path for 200 yards going slightly downhill to a hedge.  Go through the gap in the hedge to enter another field.  On my last walk here the field had been recently ploughed and the path hadn’t been restored so I took what I thought to be the best route.  To follow my route you should aim straight down the slope across the field until you reach the track at the bottom where a line of trees and hedge go up the hill in the next field.  At the bottom cross the track and follow this hedge/tree line up the hill.  You can go either side of the hedge as there is a gap at the top.  If you walk up the far side of the hedge is a firm track which may be easier walking if the path is muddy.

At the top of the hill you will see a new-looking wooden footbridge on your left.  Cross this and turn left to follow the edge of the field downhill for 400 yards.  At the bottom you reach the corner of the field and turn right.  You will see a yellow post marking the footpath about fifty yards away but you don’t have to go that far as on your left a path goes down into the trees.  This takes you down to another dumble where you cross a footbridge and go up to a field.  Carry straight on up across the field.  On the right hand side you will see a football goalpost which has probably seen better days. Go over a low stile at the end of the field which takes you onto Triumph Road.  walk straight down the road for 150 yards until you reach the main road.  Cross this and then almost immediately opposite go up the footpath along the little alleyway, also known as a jitty or twitchell in these parts, between houses.

At the other end of the jitty you reach Blind Lane, a quiet backstreet.  Turn left and cross the road where almost immediately there is another footpath off to the right.  Take this path past some allotments and after 200 yards arrive at a paddock where horses are often kept.  Turn left to follow the path around the edge of the paddock and when you reach the next paddock field turn right.  Follow the path, keeping the hedge immediately to your right, until you reach the end of the field. Go down through a gap in the hedge to a wide farm track.

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

Mompesson Cross

Mompesson Cross

Retrace your steps onto the wide farm track and turn right so that you are going slightly uphill away from Eakring.  Follow this track for 300 yards where first it bends to the right then left before running straight for 500 yards until you reach a corner.  Here there is a small clump of trees and a small log bench. This is a nice spot for a rest.  Turn sharp left to follow the track alongside the hedge, going slightly downhill for 250 yards.  Then at the end of the hedge turn right along the track where you find yourself at the bottom of a hill.

From there carry on along the wide farm track, keeping the hedge on your left, as it starts to rise.  At first this is quite gentle but as the track turns slightly it gets steeper.  Carry on up the hill as the track now passes alongside a line of trees on the right with a field on the left.  After 200 yards you reach the last tree and continue for the last short climb to the top of the hill.  You come to a junction of farm tracks with ours  and carrying on ahead bearing to the right meeting one coming in from the left.  At this junction stop to turn round and admire the view.  To the north west you can see Sherwood Forest, the top of Rufford Abbey and the spire of Edwinstowe church in the near distance although the view extends much further.  To the north-east is the Trent valley and on the horizon to the east you may on a good day be able to see Lincoln cathedral.  To see it clearly you will need binoculars and should go just down from the hill top so that the hedge to your right isn’t blocking your view.

View north along track towards Eakring

View north along track towards Eakring

From the top of the hill continue our walk by taking the farm track  I described coming in from the left.  This track runs very straight alongside a hedge on the left for about 300 yards with another hedge starting on the right a little further along.  At the end of the track you come to a metal swing gate which stops vehicles but is easy for walkers to go around.  Go round the gate to reach the Eakring Road.  Turn right and walk along the road, which isn’t a busy one although the traffic can be going quite fast here.  The verge is quite wide so you can step off the road easily.  The verge itself is a bit uneven and it is easier to walk along the road edge.  Walk along the road for 500 yards passing a small wood on the right.  The road takes you back to the entrance to Duke’s Wood.  Turn left onto the pleasant tree lined track taking you to Duke’s Wood where we started.