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Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 59: Rainworth and Strawberry Hill

23 Jul

 

This is a short walk starting and finishing in the large village of Rainworth, about 3 miles to the east of Mansfield.  The first and last sections are in the village but the middle loop is around the pleasant heathland and woods of the Strawberry Hill nature reserve.  The paths are good and drain well so the walk should be suitable for all seasons and conditions.  There are frequent bus services to Rainworth from Mansfield with a bus stop right at the start of the walk.

Start:  The east side of Rainworth on the main road through the village at the junction with Helmsley Road.

Distance: 3 miles

Map of the Route

From the junction with the main road through Rainworth walk along Helmsley Road, a fairly quiet residential street, straight for about 400m until you reach the end of the cul-de-sac where it meets fields.  Take the wide track at the end going straight on to the left of the fields.  This track continues straight for 300m and then bends slightly to the left near a wood.  The path ahead splits into two going only slightly apart and it doesn’t really matter which you take as they both come to a bridge shortly after.

Go across the bridge which goes above the Rainworth bypass.  You will hear the traffic but won’t be able to see it as the bridge’s sides are boarded off and solid (and graffiti- covered).

On the other side you find yourself at the top of a wide track in woodland.  Carry straight on downhill on the main track ahead for 300m ignoring any narrower paths to either side.  At the bottom of the hill you reach a T junction with another slightly narrower but very obvious track.  Turn left here and walk steadily uphill on the narrower but straight track for 300m.

Bear right along an even narrower more twisting path for 250m until you go past a wooden sign marking the entrance to the Strawberry Hill reserve. Go downhill quite steeply on a path more sandy than the firm paths you have been on so far with a fence to your left. At  the bottom there is an information board on the right just off the path and another wooden Strawberry Hill sign at a path junction ahead.  The path we have been on continues to the left by the fence but you should turn right by the sign to go uphill on a sandy narrow path.

This is quite a sharp incline but is only a short one.  The path is a little uneven at first then at the top of the climb turns to deep sand as the path bends to the right with trees and bushes close to the path.

After a short flat section go downhill to reach a large pond on the left with ducks, moorhens and other water loving birds likely to be present.  As you reach the end of the pond turn sharp right uphill to follow a clear path under the trees.  Go for 400m to the top of the hill and an information board as you reach more open ground.  Turn right on a good path then almost immediately left downhill on another path that goes off from this one diagonally on a sandy surface.

At first you are in the open amongst heather then the path goes between trees to reach a wide track.  Turn right for short way to return to the first path junction you came to after the bridge near the start of the walk.

Turn left and retrace your steps up the hill, over the bridge and into Rainworth again.

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 Notts – Walk 24 Rainworth and Sherwood Forest

31 Mar

Walk 24 Rainworth and Sherwood Forest

Distance: 6 miles

A walk taking you from the village of Rainworth into Sherwood Forest via heathland and using National cycle route 6 along forest tracks.

Map of the Route

Start: the small park on the right about 400 yards up the hill towards Mansfield from the main junction in the centre of Rainworth.  If coming by car you should be able to park on the verge by the  road.  There is a bus stop close by for anyone using public transport.

Enter the park going away from the main road.  Pass a small childrens recreation area and go to the far end of the park about 200 yars from the road.  Leaving the park takes you onto a disused railway track.  Turn right here and shortly start to descend for a short way down to a road.  This road is usually quiet.  Cross the road and continue along the path downhill.  As you reach a wider area of open ground you should see a path beafring left diagonally across the grass.  Follow this path down the hill to the far corner of the grass where you arrive at a cycle path.  Take the cycle path left which meanders up a short hill and takes you up to a very busy road, the Rainworth by-pass.  Use the crossing to reach the other side of this dual carriageway and then turn right along the pavement.

After fifty yards you will see a signpost for a footpath pointing left.  Step over the barrier and follow the sign.  Leave the road and descend some wooden steps to reach a path.  Follow the path through a pleasant area of grass and trees glad to be getting further away from the noise of the by-pass.  The path is clear and you keep going away from from the road passing a group of silver birch trees on your left.  The surroundings now become more obviously heathland with sandy soil and gorse bushes in evidence.

Looking back towards Rainworth

Looking back towards Rainworth

Heath near Rainworth

Heath near Rainworth

Keep along the clear path (pictured above) for 400 yards passing next to a telegraph pole.  The path starts to bear right and you leave the heath to enter an area of trees.  Again the path is clear and you go uphill through the trees on a nice track.  The strip of trees isn’t very wide and as you reach the top of the hill after 400 yards you may like to have a look at the view on your right back to Rainworth.  If you step outside the wood here you can see a path ahead running parallel with the wood at the edge of the field.

Looking back down the hill in the wood

Looking back down the hill in the wood

Path alongside the wood

Path alongside the wood

It is possible to follow this path (pictured here) along the field edge and around the wood but my recommended route stays along the main path within the wood so return there.  Follow the path straight down the hill in the wood to the bottom of the dip for 200 yards and then carry stgraight on as the path rises up another short hill.  At the top of this you find yourself on an embankment overlooking a cycle track on the old railway line.  Turn left here and follow a path along the top of the embankment which gradually descends for 300 yards to meet the cycle track.

Cross the cycle track and go onto a track made up of the stones that formed the bed of the old railway line.  This seems an unpromising route as you will find the stones slip around under your feet.  Fortunately you only have to put up with this for 20 yards when you leave the track by going down a path on the bank to your right.  This takes you into a field where you follow a path downhill for 200 yards along the field edge.  Just past the corner of field where you turn right look for a gap in the hedge on the left by a yellow post indicating the footpath.  Going through the gap takes you alongside a stream – Rainworth Water.

Rainworth Water

Rainworth Water

Tunnel by Rainworth Water going back to the cycle track

Tunnel by Rainworth Water going back to the cycle track

Turn left here to go through a tunnel under the old railway line (see picture).  At the far end of the tunnel go up some steps back onto the cycle track.  Here turn right along the cycle track and go immediately down back through the tunnel to emerge on the other bank of the stream where you went through the hedge.  Carry on along the cycle track passing ponds on your left.  The tarmac surface of the cycle track changes to a rougher track beside Rainworth Water for 200 yards and the turns left to leave the stream by some large rocks (pictured below).

Rocks next to the cycle path

Rocks next to the cycle path

Fifty yards on from the rocks is a sign pointing right along cycle route 6. In fact this is the cycle path you have been following for the last few minutes.  Route 6 is one of the main cycle routes in the country and runs from London to Cumbria.   Cyclists wishing to have an adventure can follow it that far but it is also useful for walkers wanting to find a walk where route-finding will be easy and traffic-free.  At the Route 6 signpost turn right but just a few yards along leave the main track and turn left along a narrow but obvious path going into the wood.  Follow this path staying about ten yards from the edge of the wood to your left.   The path runs almost straight going slightly uphill.  After 500 yards the path becomes a little less distinct but if you stay within 20 yards of the edge of wood you should have few problems.  After another 200 yards the path turns right although it is not very distinct on the ground.  Instead you should look for red dots of paint on the trees at eye level and follow those for 100 yards until you reach a wide forest track.

Turn right and walk along this track for 400 yards until you meet another wide track coming uphill from the right.  At this junction is another  signpost showing that you are on route 6 again.  Incidentally if you carry straight on here for 250 yards and then turn left through the trees on route 6 you come to the cycle track to Bilsthorpe.  However, for this walk you should turn right at the junction and go down the hill into more heavily wooded area.  Then the track rises for a short way before it goes downhill again.  After 600 yards on the wide track you reach another junction.  Turn right along a slightly narrower track, still on route 6. Follow this track for 400 yards back to where you left it earlier to go through the trees.

Track in Sherwood Forest

Track in Sherwood Forest

Turn left at the end, go past the large rocks you passed earlier and retrace your steps along the cycle track until you go back through the tunnel.  Once through the tunnel instead of going back down the steps follow the cycle track up the hill.  250 yards up from the tunnel you reach the point where you crossed the cycle track earlier.  From here you can either retrace your steps to the start of the walk, possibly walking along the edge of the wood this time, or for variety you can carry on along the cycle track.  I won’t pretend that this way is very exciting but it makes a change and you can use it to link up with walks to Blidworth.  If you continue along the cycle track the way is almost straight and you can’t go wrong.

Cycle path along the old railway line

Cycle path along the old railway line

The track runs along the bottom of the cutting with many gorse bushes and some trees on either side.  After 1 kilometre you go under the A617 Rainworth by-pass where there is an exit up to the road above.  Our route continues along the cycle track  with the houses of Rainworth now appearing on your right at the top of the embankment.  Carry on for another 8oo yards bearing slightly right round a bend.  Come off the track using an exit on the left hand side to go down to a road via a zig-zagging bit of track.

At the bottom you reach the pavement. Go under the bridge and uphill for 300 yards crossing a road which can be busy coming in from the right near the Lurcher pub.  At the top of the hill if you look to the other side of the main road you will see the start of a track which goes onto Blidworth and which feature in some of my earlier walks.  However, to conclude this walk you go down the hill on the pavement by the main road for 1 kilometre, crossing a few side roads, to the main junction in Rainworth at the bottom of the hill by Tesco.  At the bottom you should use the crossing to go to the right across Kirklington Road which comes down the hill from the right.  On the other side of the road go slightly further downhill along the main road.  At the very bottom is the bus stop, next to which under a bridge you can see a stream, Rainworth Water again.  Climb the hill along the main road and after 500 yards you return to your starting point.

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.

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 17: Mansfield to Rainworth

8 Jun

 

This walk is the first in a series that I will be writing which when linked together form a continuous walk from Mansfield to Newark.  In total the walk is around thirty miles long and each stage will be three to six miles.  The route will roughly follow the number 28 bus route from Mansfield to Newark which means that if you want to break the walk into smaller stages you can easily return to your start point using public transport.  The 28 bus runs hourly through the day although nowadays the last bus is rather early at somewhere between 7 and 8 in the evening.  I decided to start in Mansfield as finishing in Newark makes a fitting end to the walk boasting a fine market place and castle grounds.

Stage One of this walk is mainly along cycle paths which take you out of Mansfield avoiding too much walking in built-up areas and taking in some features which may surprise you. It takes you from the centre of Mansfield to Rainworth, the next village on the 28 bus route heading east towards Newark.

Start: Mansfield Market Place

Finish: Centre of Rainworth

Distance: 4.2 miles

I think it’s a nice idea to start and finish the Mansfield to Newark walk in the town’s respective market places.  Mansfield’s may not be a large as Newark’s, but then few in England are.  However, it is still a very decent-sized area with the most notable feature being the Bentinck Memorial.  This, rocket-shaped monument commemorates Lord George Bentinck, the son of the Duke of Portland, and was built in 1849.  To start the walk stand with your back to the Memorial and town hall facing north towards the larger part of the market square, which may be occupied by market stalls.   Walk to the right hand corner of the square towards a group of large concrete spheres.  As you reach these spheres turn right along Church Street and go under the impressive viaduct which now carries the Robin Hood Line trains.

Once you have passed under the viaduct carry straight on downhill on the left hand side of Church Street.  After 150 yards you arrive at a statue of a man holding back a metal structure.  This is  “The Amphiteatre” by David Annand, which also bears a poem of the same name by Kevin Fegan.  Cross the road immediately after the statue to reach the pavement next to the church of  St.Peter and St.Paul.   Turn right to go up the hill along the pavement past the church.  Where the main road turns sharply right you carry straight on along the pavement for another hundred yards until you reach an underpass.  Go through the underpass and emerge at the end of Church Lane.

Carry straight on along the left hand pavement keeping to this road as it crosses another road.  Pass the Discovery science centre building on the left and the road starts to rise slightly.  You pass the site of the old Mansfield brewery on the left and then cross the wide Great Central Road, taking care as it can be busy.  Keep straight on along our road (Littleworth) and cross four smaller roads leading to terraced houses.  Immediately after crossing the fifth road (Fisher Lane) look for a gap on the left where there is a cycle path and a sign on the ground for the Timberland Trail.  Turn left along the cycle track which initially runs almost parallel to Fisher Lane with plenty of vegetation to the side of you. After 200 yards you go up quite a steep incline as you reach Fisher Lane Park, a large open area of grass.  Follow the cycle track up the hill then along a flat section before another sharp climb out of the park up to a road (Windsor Road).

Cross the road and go just to the right where you again pick up the cycle track going away from the road.  Go down a short but steep slope  before the path flattens out.  Here the cycle track is surrounded by a quite dense area of plants although the path itself is clear of them.  Follow the track for 400 yards until you come to a group of tall trees on the right of the path which make the path sheltered and quite dark.  After 150 yards you drop down a small slope and come to the busy Southwell Road.  Cross the road using the island in the middle and go straight on to reach Selwyn Street.  Go along Selwyn Street to the end where for a moment it appears you are reaching a dead-end until on the right you can see that the cycle track resumes.

Follow the cycle track past the end of the Racecourse recreation ground with trees on either side of you.  Pass the entrance to the Recreation Ground where the we leave the Timberland Trail. However, now we are on the  Mansfield Way.  Follow the cycle path uphill and before long you come to a road (Little Barn Lane).  Cross the road and continue along the cycle track just to the right.  The track soon reaches a quiet road (Earlswood Drive) which you carry on along until you reach another wide road (Big Barn Lane).  Go straight across and again just to the right to reach the cycle track on the other side with various paths and Ways being indicated on the signpost.  Carry straight on along the track passing behind houses and a school.  Just after you pass the school you start to enter a more interesting area of sandstone.  You pass through an area of small sandstone cliffs adorned with graffiti names carved into the rock.

 

Sandstone cliffs

This is a rather attractive landscape somewhat out of keeping with the large residential area immediately around it.   At the end the cycle track climbs up to arrive at Oak Tree Lane, a very busy road with fast-moving vehicles in both directions.  Fortunately there is an island which you should use to cross to the other side of the road.  From there carry on along the cycle track down from the road and follow that.  A little way along the track you come to the first slightly tricky route-finding of the walk where the path splits into three.  At this point take the middle path.  By now you are reaching the end of Mansfield itself and things start to become more rural.  You come to another small valley with sandstone to the side of you.  The track rises out of this valley up to a crossing which leads and is signed for Ransomwood industrial park.  Cross over the road and continue along the track which is now slightly rougher.  One of the features that you will have noticed is the large number of yellow flowers by the path.  These have mainly been broom plants but now these are joined by more and more gorse bushes with their yellow flowers.  The soil here is sandy and the surroundings are more heath-like.  After 300 yards you cross another tree-lined road.  This was the old entrance to Ransomwood.

Old entrance to Ransomwood

Cross the road and go down a small slope along the cycle track with gorse on either side.  After another 200 yards you emerge at the roundabout for the Rainworth by-pass.   Take great care crossing here as vehicles come at quite a speed.  There is a proper crossing which you take to the central island and then over to the other side of the by-pass.  Take the cycle track straight ahead of you which goes up a small bank.  Follow the track straight on as it undulates slightly and makes its way towards the back of the first houses of Rainworth.  the path here is narrower than earlier in the walk and is unmetalled.  The view to the left opens up to reveal fields and beyond them a large area of  woodland.

The track has been dead-straight but now you take a slight leftward kink and climb up to cross a road (Helmsley Road).  On the other side of the road go back down a path to rejoin the line of the track from before.  Before long dwellings start to appear on your left-hand side and you pass a park on the right.  Not long after this the view in front of and below you opens up and you can see much of Rainworth ahead of you.  At this point the path starts to peter out as you reach a sandy area.  Go down a steep little slope to a quiet road and turn right along the road.  This soon comes out on the main road through Rainworth.  Cross the road.  just to your right on the other side you will see a footpath sign.  if you wish to continue onto Stage 2 of the walk to Blidworth take this path and follow the route I described in Walk 15. If you wish to finish in Rainworth turn left down the hill and go to the junction at the bottom.  A bus shelter there is where you can catch a bus back to Mansfield.

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.