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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.

 

The Robin Hood Way: Farnsfield to Southwell via Robin Hood Hill

8 Aug

 

For my first post about The Robin Hood Way I tackle  the walk from Farnsfield to Southwell via Robin Hood Hill

Look for these waymarks to guide you

Start: The Green, Farnsfield. The main bus stop for buses to Mansfield and Nottingham. Close to the church and opposite the Lion pub.

Finish: Near Southwell Minster on Queen Street

This loop wasn’t part of the original Robin Hood Way but is a nice addition with good views from much of it.  It goes from Farnsfield, through Combs Wood and across fields to Halam and Southwell.

Distance: 17 km (10.6 miles) if including the detour to Robin Hood Hill.  Otherwise about 14km.

Map of the Route

The Walk

From The Green and the bus shelter if facing the road go left and almost immediately round a corner. After 50m the road bends sharply right uphill but we carry on straight across a cul-de-sac entrance onto a tarmac path to join the Robin Hood Way.  This path goes straight on between houses on the left and a high wall with trees on the right.

After 250m you reach Beck Lane which you cross to reach a wooden gate.  Go through this into an open grassy area with animals in fields on either side of the path.  There are often rare breed sheep and alpacas here.  The path goes straight on, slightly uphill, between wooden fences for 400m until you reach a narrow exit through a hedge by a bench with views back to Farnsfield church.

Go into an arable field which you cross bearing slightly left for 100m to reach a narrow path under trees.  Follow this path for 200m to come to another bench and a narrow farm lane called Combs Lane.  Turn right.

Stay on this lane for the next kilometre.  You can make a short detour to the Halifax Bomber Memorial which is signposted 150m along the lane.  This adds about 900m as you will be returning to Combs Lane.

About 600m from where you joined  Combs Lane a path is signposted which goes uphill on the side of a field to a wood, Combs Wood.  Ignore this path and continue along the lane between hedges for another 400m.  At the next field entrance on the left follow a signed footpath going diagonally across the large arable field towards the wood.  This goes down and then up for 400m to a stile into the wood.

Once in the wood follow the obvious track through the wood which goes straight for 80m, though this can often be wet, then turns right across wooden planks which once formed a footbridge.  The main path turns left straight after this but is often wet so it is better to go straight for another 20m along a narrow path into the trees then turn left to follow a path parallel to the main track which joins it again about 150m further uphill where it is dryer.  This narrower path can be slightly overgrown with brambles.  The main track then comes to a stile.

Go over the stile into a grassy field which occasionally has cows in it.  Go up a steep climb along the left hand side of the field for 150m, initially over a few small rocks, to the top of the field where you go over another stile.

This takes you onto a firm track.  Turn left going slightly uphill along this gravel track under trees for 150m where you see a footpath sign on the right. The main Robin Hood Way route goes straight on here but for the worthwhile diversion to Robin Hood Hill which returns here adding about three kilometres to the walk follow the route described in italics.

Go through the gap in the hedge on the right by the footpath sign past a large log which takes you into a large field.  Turn right to follow the field edge by a hedge for the next 600m.  There is no worn path but the grass is short and the walking easy.  Turn left at the first corner you reach where the hedge goes left for 20m to a wide gap.

Go right through the gap into another large field with good views ahead of the country to the west as the ground slopes away.  There is a clear track ahead across the field for 150m.  Then turn left along another path for 300m to the end of the field, passing a small area of trees on the right.  Leave the field by a gate and go out onto a quiet road, Greaves Lane.  Go straight across and to the right of a gate opposite.

You reach a wide track.  Follow the track away from Greaves Lane towards a large tree 200m away.  The track is firm and quite a good surface to walk on running between fields. Go under the tree. 100m past the tree before the track starts turning look for a footpath going up the slope to the right to the corner of a wood. Take this path for 50m to the corner of the wood and then follow the edge of the field next to the wood keeping the wood to your left. There is no clearly defined path here but the way just follows the border  between field edge and wood for 300m making one sharp turn to the left and right on the way. You then descend to a metal kissing-gate which takes you from the large arable field you have followed around the wood, into a grassy field.

You have now entered an area which was once a ancient hill-fort, Oldox Fort. You are at the bottom of a steep, grassy slope. In the summer this grass can be quite long unless it has been cropped by the sheep which are sometimes there. In springtime take care to avoid disturbing the sheep if there are lambs around. You can go straight up this slope to the top of the hill but it is quite a tough (but short) climb. I prefer to go straight on at the bottom of the slope aiming for a round mound ahead.  This is another part of the fort and is a more gentle climb. The top gives excellent views for miles around, particularly to the west where the ground falls away quite steeply. The area immediately beyond is flat before rising again a few miles away. This allows extensive views for  twenty miles.  To the north-west you can see the redbrick villages of Rainworth and Blidworth. Further south are large areas of forest. if you look closely you can see the spire of Annesley church to the west. To the south is Calverton and in the distance Dorket Head at the edge of Nottingham. To the east a valley restricts the views but it is an attractive grassy, wooded valley. For me this is one of the finest views in Nottinghamshire.

Oldox Fort

Oldox Fort

View from Robin Hood Hill

View from Robin Hood Hill

DSCF0033

 

There are paths around the encampment. From the top of the mound turn back the way you came but instead of  going straight back bear to the right to make your way up to the top of the hill. This way to the top is less taxing than going straight up from the field entrance. The hill is called Robin Hood Hill on the maps although I am not aware of any stories connecting him to the site. There are a few trees at the top but they don’t obstruct the view much. This is the highest point of the walk and for many miles ( metres high).  You can see why it was used as an encampment with the views it allows. From here retrace your steps to Greaves Lane and Combs Wood.

Returning to the main route you should walk along the wide track in the wood which is in some places composed of loose white stones.  Stay on this track, which narrows, for 600m until you reach a junction of paths.  Turn right downhill through an open barrier and go more steeply downhill on quite a narrow path with steep sides and trees close by.  The path is usually in good condition though in wet weather there may be a few slightly muddy patches.  After half a mile the path reaches a metal gate and you go out to a quiet road (Greaves Lane).

Turn left and follow the lane for 300m where you see a house on the right.  Go to the drive of the house.  After ten metres look for a footpath gate on the left and go through it onto a grassy area.  Turn right to go up the hill with a field on your left and the house and outbuildings on your right. The grassy path rises straight up for 150m to the end of the field and then turns sharply left to go into a strip of trees.  The path here goes uphill and is narrow next to a field before going along a sunken path between two banks.  Follow this path for 200m until you reach a gate. At the side of the gate is a narrow gap with a metal piece which can be lifted up to pass through, which I find slightly quicker than using the gate.  Just after the gate look to your left for a gap in the hedge. If you go through you will find an information board about the Robin Hood Way mounted on a large stone plinth.  There is also a bench which you may well want to take advantage of as it gives great views back to Farnsfield.

Resume our walk by going to the top of the path just a few yards up from the plinth where it joins a farm road  Officially this is Carver’s Hollow although there is no sign to this effect.  Bear left to go straight along the farm road along the ridge with good views to the north.  After 200 yards you meet a wide track coming in from the right.  Turn along this track which approaches a farm after 80m or so.  As you get close to the farm the track turns to the left.  Keep following the track, which is these days a good one, almost straight for 400m with hedges on either side.  In places on the right you may be able to see through gaps in the hedge where you can see over to the next ridge.  At the end of the track you pass the mound of a small reservoir on the left and reach a farm road.

The road drops quite steeply in both directions but we want to go straight across it and into the field opposite.   Follow the hedge along the top of the ridge for the next 600m.  The path isn’t clearly defined but is easy to follow if you just keep the hedge immediately to your right.  It can be slightly uneven in places but is pretty reasonable.  The views to the left are good as the field falls away down the slope.

At the end of this long field you go through a kissing gate and into a small copse.  Go down the path through the trees with a hedge on your left.  After 80m pass a red brick house on your right and enter an open field with a few trees in it.  Continue straight on down alongside the hedge to the bottom of the field and then turn left to go along a narrow path with a solid wooden fence to your right and a hedge to your left.  After 50m the path drops to a concrete bridge over a stream surrounded by trees.  Cross the bridge and go out into a small grassy area near a tennis court.  Go straight across the grass and through a gate onto the drive to the house.  Carry on ahead along the driveway for fifty yards until you reach the road.  This is the main street in Halam (Church Lane).  If you wish to finish your walk in Halam turn left for 500m until you reach the main road from Southwell where you can catch buses either onwards to Southwell or back to Farnsfield and beyond

To continue walking to Southwell turn right and follow the road which very soon turns sharply left and then right again.  Take care here as there is no pavement although the road is quite wide and you can keep well to the side.  As the road straightens out again to leave the village you should look to the left for a footpath.  Turn along this path which goes away from the road rising steadily.  The path is narrow and runs between tall hedges.  Occasionally it is a little overgrown but generally is in reasonable condition.  The path curves to the left and after 150m reaches a kissing gate at the bottom of a large field rising quite steeply up a hill.  The field often contains cows.  Go into the field and go up the hill bearing slightly to the right aiming for the far corner at the top of the hill and keeping a fence across the field immediately to your right.  At the top take a few minutes to look at the view back to where we have walked earlier (pictured here).

Looking West to Halam and our route beyond.

Go through the gate away from the field and go on up into an old orchard now occupied by fruit being grown in polytunnels.  Go straight on through the field keeping the tunnels to your left and tree-lined hedge to your right.  After 200m leave the field in the corner and go into a well-manicured area of grass which is actually the large garden of a house.  Keep straight on along the edge of the grass and pass a rather lonely looking bit of fence.  You are now alongside the driveway to the house and should follow the grass next to it all the way to the drive entrance.

Leave the driveway and go onto a narrow road (Saversick Lane).  Turn right and follow the road for 300m until it rises to meet the Oxton-Southwell road.  Go straight across the road, taking care as it can be quite busy with traffic, and then go down a steep slope along the narrow road opposite (Leachcroft Hill).  After 200m the road bends sharply to the left and you should follow this turn.  You are now entering the Westhorpe area of Southwell.  After another 100m turn right at a road junction.  Follow this lane (The Holme) as it goes slightly uphill and then after a couple of bends past houses downhill to the bottom of a hollow.  Cross the bridge over a stream and immediately after the bridge turn left along a footpath.  At first the path rises to reach a field.  Follow the path straight on alongside the hedge and trees on your left and a large field rising to your right.

Through the trees on your left is a classic example of a dumble, a stream at the bottom of a wooded slope.  This feature even gave its name to a nearby pub.  If you want to have a look at the dumble take the steps down from the path you are on when another footpath crosses it after 200 yards but return to this junction of paths.

Go uphill on a path for 400m where you reach a hedge on your left and the top of the hill.  Go straight on downhill for 300m and through a gap in the hedge.  There is an information board here.  Turn right for 80 yards to the field corner then turn left to climb uphill for 300m by the field edge.  Go through a gap and wooden gate at the end of the field and enter another one, affording fine views.  Go straight on uphill for 150m next to a hedge on a good path to the top of the hill.  There are fine views of Southwell, including the distinctive pepperpots of the Minster, behind you.  Also prominent are the towers of Staythorpe power station a little further to the right.  At the entrance to the field there is also an information board,

 

View of Southwell and Southwell Minster

View of Southwell and Southwell Minster

You will see a gap in the hedge which you should go through.  Turn left along a narrow lane and and continue along the lane for another 400m until we come to the main road.  Carefully cross this and turn right for fifty metres to reach an entrance road into Brackenhurst College.  Ignore this one but after another 250m you reach the main entrance road to the college.  Turn left along this road and enter the College complex.  Stay along this road for 400m to a junction near a car park.  Turn left along a road under trees with football pitches on the left for 200m and another car park on the left to reach a junction with a road from the left by some more buildings.

On the right there is a grassy track and a signpost with a Robin Hood Way marker.  Turn along this track where you soon have to negotiate two metal gates with a farmyard on the left.  Carry straight on across a small grassy area to a wooden gate.  Go through this and onto a quiet, narrow road.  Go straight on along this for 50m to the next bend in the road where you leave the road to go into a large field.  Bear left diagonally across the arable field on a clear path for 300m.  At the next field bear right on a clear path for another 250m to the corner of the field by a hedge where you turn sharp left to follow another hedge.

This soon starts to go downhill quite steeply and reaches a fence next to school playing fields on the left.  The path is squeezed between this fence and the hedge and is quite narrow.  After 300m you reach the bottom of the hill and the end of the playing fields.  Go under trees to reach a wide path and turn left for a short distance to reach a surfaced road.  This is a private road and won’t be busy.  Turn left along the road across a stream, the Potwell Dyke, which when you see it will probably find hard to believe it caused so much chaos when flooding a few years ago.

Carry on along the road on an avenue of lime trees going past a playground on the right, bowling green and tennis courts on the left for 250m to the corner of the park and the arches of the War Memorial.

Southwell Minster

Southwell Minster

DSCF0738

Turn right out of the park, along a short section of road and then along a path past houses on your left and into the grounds of Southwell Minster.  Fifty yards further on turn right towards the main entrance of the Minster.  If you have never been to the Minster before you really should take this opportunity to go inside and look round.  If you don’t wish to go inside then walk along the path  around the outside of the minster, turning right and then take the first path on the left which takes you out onto Church Street where the main bus stop is very close.  This side of the road is for buses to Mansfield and over the road you can go to Newark.

The Nottinghamshire Way – An Unofficial Long-Distance Walk Around the County

31 Dec

As I have now done fifty Walks in Central Nottinghamshire much of the area has been covered and I wanted to try something a little different.

For years I have thought about devising a long-distance footpath around Nottinghamshire taking in as many of the most interesting parts of the county as I could while avoiding too many loops and spurs.

There are already several trails in Notts, most notably the Robin Hood Way and the Trent Valley Way, which cover some of the sights. My route uses parts of these trails which are usually well signposted and waymarked. It also links with other shorter trails and paths to visit areas I think worth seeing.

As I thought about the idea of my route I set myself some ground rules that as far as possible I would stick to:

 

It will be a circular walk starting and finishing in the centre of Nottingham.

Try to visit all the major towns in the county and as many notable places of interest as possible including the highest point in Nottinghamshire.

Divide the route into sections of a maximum of around ten miles so that anyone doing the Way can break it up easily into shorter walks.

Each section will start and finish somewhere accessible for public transport.

Try to avoid walking along roads, especially busy roads, as much as possible.

Try and link with the various trails and paths in the County to give a taste of them for walkers interested in those.

 

Bearing these points in mind I came up with a route divided into eighteen stages, which are:-

1. Nottingham to Beeston via Attenborough

2. Beeston to Kimberley

3. Kimberley to Hucknall

4. Hucknall to Mansfield

5. Mansfield to Sutton-in-Ashfield

6. Sutton-in-Ashfield to Mansfield Woodhouse via Silverhill Wood (the highest point in Nottinghamshire)

7. Mansfield Woodhouse to Edwinstowe

8. Edwinstowe to Creswell Crags

9. Creswell Crags to Worksop

10. Worksop to Retford

11.  Retford to Tuxford

12. Tuxford to Newark

13. Newark to Southwell

14. Southwell to Lowdham

15.Lowdham to Radcliffe on Trent

16.Radcliffe on Trent to West Bridgford

17.West Bridgford to Keyworth

18.Keyworth to Nottingham

 

There are a few loops in this which take you back close to other parts of the route, which can be annoying, but this may be useful in some cases for doing shorter circular walks.

I reckon that the total distance would be around 160 miles or 250 kilometres although I haven’t calculated this accurately yet.

I have done some sections in the past and will publish guides to the various stages with maps and directions.   My plan is to do the rest of the walk over the next year and write guides to those as and when I do them.  The route isn’t set in stone and if anyone reading this thinks that they know a better way than mine in a certain area then please let me know.  I don’t know all parts of the county that well and my choices of path may not all be the best ones.

For more details, photos and descriptions of the route follow this link to The Nottinghamshire Way for my blog or this one for The Nottinghamshire Way Facebook Page

This does mean that I will be spending less time on my Walks in Central Nottinghamshire blog than previously but I will still try to add more walks when I can.

Thanks for reading my posts on this blog and I hope you will continue to enjoy these walks.

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 50: Halloughton and Brackenhurst

4 Nov

This is a walk just to the south of Southwell taking in the quiet village of Halloughton and then across fields to the tracks around Brackenhurst Agricultural College. Most of the walk is on quiet roads and good tracks which should be suitable for walking in nearly all weather.

Start: Halloughton village about a mile south of Southwell. If coming by public transport there is a bus stop and shelter opposite the road into Halloughton on the main road and bus route from Southwell to Nottingham.  There are regular Pathfinder (number 100) buses every half hour during the daytime (hourly on Sundays).  If using your own transport you should be able to park on the road through Halloughton.

Distance: 4.8 miles

Map of the route

If starting from the bus shelter cross the main road and walk along the road into Halloughton village. This is a very quiet road as it only goes to the village and then some farms. The road goes slightly down at first and then climbs a little as you enter the village and go past the church on the right. Stay on the road all the way through the village for half a mile. The road is well-surfaced all the way along. As you leave the village the road continues to climb and the surface isn’t as good, although fine for walking.

After another half mile the road comes to a cattle grid at the entrance to a farm.  Here you should turn right before the grid to join a wide track with a hedge on your left and fields on your right, probably with cows in them.  Follow the track, which is almost totally straight, for 600 yards.  The track is a good one with a decent surface all the way.  There may be a few puddles but the track is wide enough to be able to avoid these.  At the end of the track you come to the entrance to Halloughton Wood which has been to your left for a while, and a junction of tracks.  Going left here takes you into the wood but we turn right into a field through a metal gate, thankfully fixed since I wrote about it coming off its hinges when I did my Walk 29, which we follow for the next mile and a half.

Shut the gate behind you and enter a field.  Go straight on and follow the edge of the field with trees and a ditch just to your right.  After 100 yards turn left still following the edge of the field and follow the line of trees on your right.  After another 150 yards you reach the corner of the field and turn right to leave the field through another metal gate.
You enter another field and follow the left hand edge with a hedge to your left.  The path is a decent one with slightly long grass being the only thing to bother you.  The route is easy to follow for the next mile as you go almost straight the whole way.  you pass through fields following the hedge all the way.  On my most recent visit two of the fields had head-high maize rustling in the breeze beside me.  After half a mile the path changes to a firmer track and soon after switches from having the hedge on your left to your right as you go through a gap almost without noticing it.  The hedge on your right now has tall trees and hawthorn as part of it and the track becomes well defined and wider.  After another 500 yards you reach a driveway to Stubbins Farm on your left.  Carry straight on ahead until you come to a sort of tunnel formed by overhanging trees on both sides of the track.  This tunnel only lasts for 100 yards before you emerge onto open farmland on either side of the track.  Keep going along the firm track for another 200 yards until you reach a road at a right-angled bend.

“Tunnel” of trees near Stubbins Farm

At the road carry straight on, there will probably not be much if any traffic, but take care.  After 100 yards you reach a road junction to your right but should continue straight on.  Just after the junction on the left you will see a gap in the hedge which we went through on Walk 29.  This time we leave the route of Walk 29 and continue along the lane for another 400 yards until we come to the main road.  Carefully cross this and turn right for fifty yards to reach an entrance road into Brackenhurst College.  Turn left along this road and enter the College complex.  Stay along this road past a car park and then walk alongside the road along a wide grass verge.  Go round a bend and approach another car park on the right and then reach a crossroads by some more buildings.  Turn right here.  You can continue along the road but you will see that on the right just past the car park there is a football pitch. It is better to walk alongside the road near the car park to avoid any traffic, although there won’t be much. So go onto the pitch and walk behind the goal with a hedge on your left next to the road.  Keep going to the corner of the pitch area where the hedge ends and you are next to the road again.

Join a track running straight ahead alongside the road either by going through a gate or through a gap just beyond it.  This nice wide track runs next to the road but with a hedge between you and it.  You go downhill to the bottom of the dip where you come to an information board showing a map of the fields and tracks in the Brackenhurst grounds (this one is at point number 15 on the map).  You will come to several more of these during the rest of the walk and they are a useful guide to see where you are.  At the board turn right along another wide track for 100 yards and then turn left along another track going up a hill.  After 200 yards you reach the top of the hill and another board (point number 14).  Stay on the main track here and go straight on slightly downhill then follow the track as it turns to the left near the hedge.  Keep on the track by the field edge as it continues to descend.  After 300 yards you reach a board at point number 7 where there  is a gap in the hedge to the left.

The next section is the only part of the walk that may be a little muddy so if it has been wet you may prefer to carry on for 200 yards down the main track to the next board (6) where my walk comes back onto this track.  To follow my walk turn left here to follow a narrower path across the field for 200 yards to another board (number 8).  Carry almost straight on into another field where the path is at the edge of the field and goes downhill for 200 yards to the corner of the field.  At this bottom corner look to the right where there is a wood.  There is a gap where the path goes into the wood.  Go into the wood and follow a clear pleasant path in the trees.  Just to your left here is a stream which you keep close to.  The path stays straight for 300 yards in the wood before we turn ninety degrees to the right where the stream itself turns to the right.  This next little section is the only part of the walk which may be muddy but even then it shouldn’t be too bad unless it has been very wet.  Follow the path in the wood for 200 yards until you leave the wood and come out onto the wide track we were on earlier near the information board at point 6.  Turn left and go downhill on the track for a short way to cross the stream.

At this point turn right off the track and follow the edge of a field.  The path isn’t very clear but just walk in the grass at the edge of the field going nearly straight all the way. You will hear the traffic on the main road ahead and after 400 yards you reach the end of the field just after a path going off to the right over a footbridge which you ignore and go through a small section of trees before coming to the path by the road.  Turn right and go up the hill for 200 yards until you reach the bus shelter opposite Halloughton where we started the walk.

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 46: Upton, Southwell and Rolleston along the River Greet

19 May

This is a walk which is mainly around fields and tracks around Upton and Southwell near the river Greet and Southwell racecourse.

Start: The British Horological Institute in the centre of Upton village (about two miles from Southwell on the road from Southwell to Newark). This is merely to serve as a convenient starting point if you are coming by car. There aren’t many good places to park in Upton.  One option is to visit the Horological Institute and use the car park there.  Alternatively you could park at the Cross Keys pub on the right of the main road not far into the village if coming from Southwell if you want to have some refreshment before or after your walk.

There is a bus service hourly from Newark to Southwell through the  village but it only runs in the morning and early afternoon.

Distance:  6.3 miles

Map of the Route

From the Cross Keys walk along the pavement on that side of the road going up the hill towards the Horological Institute.  Look for a road (Church Walk) on the right coming off the main road about 100 yards up from the pub.  If coming from the Horological Institute cross over the main road and go right on the opposite pavement heading down the hill towards Southwell.  Church Walk is on your left from this direction.  Go along Church Walk to the far end where there is a footpath at the end of the cul-de-sac.  This narrow paved path takes you to a gate that leads into the churchyard.  Go through the gate and turn right going slightly downhill towards another gate.

Leave the churchyard by the gate and go down the hill next to a hedge. At the bottom of the hill go through a kissing gate by the hedge and follow the right edge of the field along flat ground to another kissing gate.  Go through this onto a wide bridleway between hedges. Turn right along this track and follow it for 500 yards to the end where it meets a farm road.  There turn left along the road until after 200 yards you go across a bridge over Car Dyke as you head towards Upton Mill.  Just after the bridge go right off the road through a metal kissing gate into a grassy field with horses possibly in it.  Keep to the left side of the field heading to another metal gate not far away.  Keep on in this direction for a short way through a few more small fields and gates until you come to a small bank with a yellow-topped post at the top.  Go to the top of the bank to see the River Greet in front of you. Turn right along the bank for a short way to a hedge and go over a stile at the hedge. In the next field stay on the left following the Greet.  You soon come to a footbridge over the river which you cross.  Once across turn right and follow the other bank of the river Greet in grassy fields for about 600 yards.  The built-up banking is sometimes too high for you to see the river as you stay next to wooden fence posts on your left. The river follows a rather wiggly course but is easy to follow as you just stay along side it.  At end of the grassy field you have been in since crossing the river you leave the posts behind, pass a hedge and go into an arable field.  The opposite bank of the river here is worn away where sheep go down to drink.  This is the point where you turn away from the river to go left and follow the edge of the field to a corner. Then turn sharp right along the field edge for 200 yards until another hedge corner where you turn left following the hedge to another field corner after 100 yards.  This is next to the road that goes to the racecourse.  Just past this corner you can step over a low bit of fence to go up the bank to join the road to the racecourse or you can stay at the field edge parallel to road.  This path can be a little uneven in places but is easy to follow next to the bank until the path goes up the bank onto the road after 500 yards.  If you have already gone onto the road take care as although there isn’t much traffic outside race days it can be fast moving as the road is straight.  If you have used the road after about 500 yards look for the path coming up from the right.

Opposite that look for another footpath on the left of the road.  Take this path and go down the bank on the left side of road.  Then bear right across a grass field to reach a stile under some trees at a hedge. Go over the stile and stay on left of the field you enter next to a tall hedge.  Ignore a slightly defined path which goes across the field to the right as the hedge kinks to the left.  Instead stay with the hedge and go to the left hand corner of the field and from there out onto a narrow road.

Turning right here along the road takes you into Southwell.  To go that way follow the road, which is very quiet, for 200 yards to a bend to the right.  At the bend leave the road to go almost straight on along a narrow path which soon goes between houses and comes out on the main A612 road.  Here you are very close to the Workhouse, which is well worth a visit.

Staying with my walk turn left along the narrow road which is very straight for the next half mile as it soon becomes a track.  Before long you leave the cover of the trees to reach more open country between fields with hedges on either side.  The track is initially wide but then eventually narrows and is more enclosed until at the end you reach a hedge and have to go left into a field but still head in the same direction.  The path in this field stays very straight next to a hedge on the right at the top of the field.  Here you have decent views of the countryside back to the earlier part of the walk.  Stay in the field for 300 yards then go out of the field onto a track but still walking on the same straight course as for the last mile. The track goes downhill and past a building on the left.  Keep straight on until you reach the corner of a grassy field then go slightly right into the trees along the obvious path.  The path here can be a little muddier than the firm tracks you have been on for the last mile or more.  Follow the path as far as you can go until reaching a high embankment covered in vegetation. The path here bends sharply right and goes out to a rough driveway. Turn right along the driveway heading towards a high metal fence.  This appears to be as far as you can go but as you reach it you will see a path to the left of it taking you out to the road from Southwell to Fiskerton.

Go left along the road, crossing over to the other side as there is no verge.  The road isn’t too busy but you will probably meet a vehicle or two in the short time you are walking along it. The road rises quite steeply for a little way to go up and over an embankment then starts going down again.  As the road starts to descend look to the left side of the road where a footpath begins.  At the time I was walking there was a notice warning of the footpath potentially being closed but I had no problems.  Go down some steps to the left which take you to the left hand bank of Beck Dyke. Follow the path alongside the dyke which has tall trees to the left.  The path has some small plants alongside it but is relatively clear itself.  After 300 yards you come to another dyke which you can cross on a narrow and slightly bouncy wooden plank bridge.  You then follow the left bank of the dyke although you will probably find it easier to stay slightly away from the bank where the grass is shorter at the edge of the neighbouring field.  Follow the dyke all the way for about 600 yards passing one hedge into a new field, until you come close to a road.  You can go out onto the road as soon as you meet it and turn left but I prefer to stay in the field at this corner and turn left inside field for 200 yards to the next corner where you go out onto the road.  This comes out near to a level crossing by Rolleston station which you should go over, carefully.  Then follow the road for 400 yards until you approach the village of Rolleston. As the road turns sharply to the right as you approach the church look to the left where there is an open area of ground and a track going away from the road.  Turn off the road here.

Go straight across this area and then follow the track as it goes to the right.  You arrive at a railway crossing which you should cross with care.  You will see a small waymark with a wavy  arrow on it which indicates that you are on the Trent Valley Way.  After the crossing carry on along the metalled narrow road for about fifty yards.  Almost immediately after a bend to the right look for a footpath sign pointing left at some buildings.  Go left here between the buildings and then bear right onto a golf course.

Tree line on the golf course

You go onto the course at the back of a green and should go left up the bank behind the green.  This takes you to the top of the bank with the golf course on your right and a dyke containing the River Greet to your left.   Turn right here to follow the bank.  You can’t go wrong here as you are between the dyke and course for 300 yards, though you should keep an eye out for any errant gold balls flying in your direction.  Shortly after going past a short, attractive line of trees on the course running parallel to the bank the dyke bends to the right and you should do the same. Go behind a green for twenty yards where you reach a concrete crossing over the dyke on the left.  Cross that to leave the course and enter a large arable field.  There is a path going straight on here which takes you back towards the earlier part of the walk but ignore that and instead turn left to follow the grassy edge of the field.  This follows the river, now on your left.  After 200 yards you reach a footpath signpost.  Here you turn right away from the dyke to cross the field at its narrow point for fifty yards towards a hedge line.

At this hedge and line of trees you should go to the right of the hedge and follow it for 200 yards with a large field on your right.  As you reach the first large gap in the hedge after 200 yards look for a metal kissing gate in the next hedge ahead on the left.  Go through this gate into a smaller, more enclosed field than many of the surrounding ones.  Bear left diagonally across the field towards the line of trees.  As you near the far side of the field  after 150 yards you will see a post with a yellow top.  Leave the field there and go out onto a wide track under the trees.  This is the track that featured in Walk 26 .  Turn left here to walk along the track.

Almost immediately after this look for a footpath on the right.   This is the path we came along earlier and now we retrace our steps.  Turn right along this path which runs along a field edge towards the church tower at the top of the hill.  After 300 yards the edge of the field starts to turn right.  As it does so our route goes almost straight on towards the church.  We enter another field and make our way uphill aiming directly for the church.  After 200 yards go through a gate into the churchyard.  Go towards the main door of the church and from there a short way forward onto the main path in the churchyard.  Turn left along this path and out of the churchyard through a gate.  Carry straight on along a narrow path over some flagstones and keep going for 100 yards along the cul-de-sac of Church Walk until you meet the main road in Upton again.  If you have parked at the Horological Institute then cross the road, carefully, and return to the start of the walk.  Alternatively, if you have parked at the Cross Keys or if you wish to call in there, turn left for 200 yards along the pavement to reach the pub.

 

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 38: Southwell, Maythorne and Winkburn

7 Sep

Start: Normanton Road in Southwell, a little way north of the centre at the end of the disused railway track that used to run to Mansfield. Park in the car park at the end of the track. Much of this walk is along quiet roads and through fields near the very small villages of Maythorne and Winkburn.

Distance: 6.3 miles

Map of the Route

I recommend following my route all the way in summer or after dry weather. However, if the weather has been wet the first part of the walk along the path near the river Greet can become muddy. You may prefer to follow the railway track for a mile as far as the first road crossing you reach. There you should turn right and follow the road for 300 yards to Maythorne. There you seem to reach an enclosed “courtyard” of buildings but you are able to leave it by going to the end and following a path and bridge over the river to the left.

 

From the car park walk to the road near the Final Whistle pub. At the road turn left 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.  As you reach a wooden footbridge it is worth walking the few yards towards the tall mill building in Maythorne to reach a narrow footbridge over the river as it sweeps down from the mill. If you wish to return to Southwell from here you can easily do so by walking through the “courtyard” area of Maythorne past the few buildings. Then go up the road for 300 yards to the old railway track and turn left along that.   You can follow the track all the way back to the start of the walk.

Near the Mill at Maythorne

Near the Mill at Maythorne

To continue the walk to Winkburn go back to the first footbridge you came to near Maythorne. Go slightly downhill under some trees towards a stile. Cross the stile. The area around the stile can be rather muddy at times and you may have to step carefully around to reach the field beyond the mud. This field can be a little wet underfoot after heavy rain but otherwise is a pleasant grassy meadow. The path across the field can usually be seen quite clearly. You are aiming to the right of a few trees in the middle of the field towards the hedge on your right as you cross the field. You should reach this hedge at a point roughly level with the trees. Continue along the hedge for 100 yards.  Go through the hedge across a stile then immediately turn left over a wooden plank bridge and another stile. You enter a new field, dryer than the last. Aim diagonally across this field towards the hedge corner on your right. On reaching this corner turn right uphill, walking in the middle of this narrower part of the field towards a telegraph pole. Go to the right of the telegraph pole towards the corner of the field where there is a stile by a gate. Cross the stile and go downhill for 10 yards onto a road. This is Corkhill Road.

Turn left along the road going quite steeply for a short way downhill. You emerge from the trees at the bottom of this little hill. On your right is a long, quite steep ridge whilst on your left are flat fields.  After 100 yards on the right of the road you will see a turning to Far Corkhill farm. Follow the farm track quite steeply uphill for 300 yards. At the top of the slope are some farm buildings but you should ignore these and the tracks to them. Instead at the top where the main track turns left carry straight on going onto the edge of a field. Follow the edge of the field with a hedge on your right. The path starts to descend, at first gently but as you go further into the field away from the buildings the path gets a little steeper. After 300 yards the hedge disappears,  Go straight on across the field for 200 yards down to an area of woods ahead and enter the woodland. The path into the wood may be a little covered in summer but you should be able to find it quite easily.  The path enters a small dumble and drops a short way down to a footbridge over a stream before climbing straight up again out of the wood.

You emerge into an arable field.  There is no footpath sign or any indication of which way to go.  Here you should turn right to follow the edge of the field next to the wood you just left.  After fifty yards you reach the end of the field and should go through a wide gap in the hedge a little to your left.  This takes yo into another field.  Turn left to go slightly uphill along the edge of the field with a hedge now on your left.  Almost immediately you reach the verge of a busy road (the A617).  Turn right and walk along the verge for 100 yards before crossing the road very carefully where you see another road meeting the A617 on the opposite side.  Turn off the A617 to go along this road on the left .  You can cut the corner on the other side of the A617 as there is a grass verge there just before the turning.

The road you have now joined is fortunately much quieter with very little traffic as it  only goes to the small village of Winkburn and then on to Maplebeck.  It is rather wide for such a quiet road and very straight except for one small bend to the right after 400 yards.  Go along the road for the next mile until you reach Winkburn.  The road climbs uphill for much of the way, relatively gently for a while but then a little more steeply before flattening out as you approach Winkburn.  As you reach the village you will see a footpath sign on the right of the road pointing to the right.   You can avoid going all the way to the sign by bearing right along a driveway track about fifty yards before the sign.  Look to the right of the track after fifty yards and you will see a wooden stile which the footpath sign is pointing towards.  Go over the stile into a large grassy field and start bearing slightly to the right away from the house and grounds (Winkburn Hall) and tall trees on your left.

It isn’t immediately obvious exactly where you should go but as you angle to the right you should see after 200 yards some small fences from an equestrian cross-country course.  Aim towards these keeping just to the right of them and then go down into a small hollow and up again on the other side to reach a wooden stile.  Leave the grassy field at the stile and enter an arable field.  Go straight on along the field edge with a barbed wire fence on your left and the field itself on the right which may have crops growing in it.  There are quite nice views to the left here across the fields and woods.  After 200 yards just past a tree the barbed wire fence disappears and you carry straight on across the field for 250 yards to a gateway at the end of the field.

Going into the next field you will find no indication of the way.  You should carry on in a straight line from your direction across the previous field so that you are going across the middle of this next field rather than the edge of it near some woodland.  I did this walk in the middle of August and the crop was still to be harvested.  There was a line across the field which was slightly easier to follow than the surrounding crops but it still wasn’t that clear.  Hopefully  when the crops are harvested the route across will be clearer.  The path goes slightly uphill at first then flattens out as you approach the far corner after 400 yards.  Leave the field in the corner and enter another more grassy field.  Follow the field edge with a hedge on your right.  After 100 yards go through a gap in the hedge on the right and enter a large arable field.

There is a yellow arrow waymark here that seems to be pointing across the field.  I think this is slightly misleading as instead of going across the field you should follow the field edge on the left for 200 yards.  Leave this field and go into another where you bear left and the path goes across the middle of the field.  Here the views open out to the south towards Southwell.   Follow the path to the hedge at the far side of the field 200 yards away.  Turn right and follow the hedge downhill for 200 yards then go left through a metal kissing gate.  This takes you into a grass field which you cross to the far right hand corner.  Go through another metal kissing gate and out to the A617 again.

Cross carefully to the pavement on the far side and turn left to enter the village of Hockerton.  Follow the pavement through the village alongside the main road for 500 yards passing the Spread Eagle pub on the opposite side of the main road.  You reach a junction. Turn right here and walk along the edge of the road.  There is no pavement on this road but it is relatively quiet.  Follow this road  It is quite a wide road but the views are restricted by the hedges on either side so unfortunately it isn’t the most interesting part of the route.  There are a few undulations on the road but it is mainly straight.  After nearly a mile and a half you reach a small crossroads as you descend into Southwell.  Go straight on here and carry on down to the river Greet and old mill buildings at the bottom of the hill.  From here you are almost back at the start again.  You may wish to call in at the Final Whistle pub which has a good selection of beers and has an interesting interior designed to look like a station waiting-room.

 

Walk 29: Westhorpe of Southwell and Halloughton Wood

30 Sep

This walk starts on the very outskirts of the Westhorpe of Southwell and goes uphill west before turning towards Halloughton and returning to Southwell via Cundy Hill with fine views of the surrounding area.

Start: The corner of Westhorpe and Leachcroft Hill at the west of Southwell just south of the Oxton Road. This is a very quiet road junction. There is plenty of space to park a car you should use common sense to avoid blocking any potential traffic. The nearest public transport to this point is where the Oxton to Southwell road meets Allenby Road about 600 yards away. As this is a circular route you could start the walk elsewhere and the stop at Brackenhurst College is only 200 yards from the route. If coming from the centre of Southwell you can join the walk near the bottom of Cundy Hill.

Distance: 4.4 miles

Map of the Route

From the road junction in the Westthorpe follow the wide track going westwards as indicated by the footpath sign. This is going directly away from the houses of Southwell. You have tall trees on either side providing shade and shelter. After 300 yards the trees on the left of the track open out for a little way. The track goes straight and after 600 yards from the start you come to a very large field rising to your left and ahead. Keep going straight on keeping the hedge and a ditch immediately to your right.

The path rises gently but steadily for the next 500 yards. It is no longer the proper track we started on but is still a very decent path to walk on with a good margin at the edge of the field itself. After 500 yards you reach the end of this field and go straight on through a gap in the hedge ahead to reach another field. Carry on uphill in this new field keeping the hedge just to your right close to trees.  After 200 yards comes the first complication of the walk after such a straightforward start.  Look for a yellow post just to the right of the path.  This is slightly obscured by plants but is a footpath indicator.  On the post you will see a waymark directing you right.  Follow this through a small bit of undergrowth and across a wooden plank bridge over a ditch.  This takes you out to a small patch of grass near fields.  Just ahead of you is a finger post with indicating path directions.  You can cut a short bit of the walk here by going up the bank to the left onto a track.

At the track turn left and follow the track for 100 yards until, as the track turns left, on the right you see a footpath sign going into a field.  Go through a gate into the field.  Follow the edge of the field to your left next to a tall hedge.  You soon turn right along a long section of hedge which you should keep following for the next 400 yards.  The field is grassy but quite easy to walk on.  Eventually the hedge turns left again and you come to a metal farm gate.  This is chained shut but thirty yards along is another metal farm gate which you can open, although it is slightly stiff.  This takes you into a large grassy field.  There are no waymarks on the gate so it is a little uncertain where you should go.  You should go roughly straight on from the gate along the length of this very long field.  If you stay about halfway between the two sides of the field as you walk you should come to a sort of path which has been worn by a tractor.  This is easier to walk on than the rather long grass in the field and following this path takes you in the right direction.  Go all the way to the other end of the field about 600 yards away passing close to a field entrance next to a tree on your right after 300 yards.  The field goes slightly downhill towards the far end where you reach another metal farm gate.  The latch on this is stiff and it may be easier to climb over if you can.

Leaving the large field takes you into another field with a track running across you.  Ignore this track and carry straight on.  You go under the electricity wires to the right of a pylon 200 yards ahead and out of this field into another one.  Turn right and follow the field edge towards a wood and then alongside the wood until you come to the corner of the field.  Leave the field via a gate and go on another few yards to reach a shale track.  Turn left along this track which is a good one with trees on either side.  It is in good condition for the next 400 yards and should be fine in all weathers.  The track then goes in denser woodland and becomes less firm.  You will probably find a few muddy patches and puddles although these aren’t too problematic except after wet weather.

Halloughton Wood

Halloughton Wood

After 600 yards you come to a wide track and junction of paths.  On my recent walk I had to duck under a rope here but I suspect that was only to stop the cows which were being taken to pasture at the time from leaving the main track.  The wide track goes away to the right along the edge of the wood towards the village of Halloughton.  There are various path signs and waymarks here including the unusual red ones indicating a byway.  Cross the wide track to a small metal gate on the other side.  Shut the gate behind you and enter a field.  Go straight on and follow the edge of the field with trees and a ditch just to your right.  After 100 yards turn left still following the edge of the field and follow the line of trees on your right.  After another 150 yards you reach the corner of the field and turn right to leave the field through another metal gate.

You enter another field and follow the left hand edge with a hedge to your left.  The path is a decent one with slightly long grass being the only thing to bother you.  The route is easy to follow for the next mile as you go almost straight the whole way.  you pass through fields following the hedge all the way.  On my most recent visit two of the fields had head-high maize rustling in the breeze beside me.  After half a mile the path changes to a firmer track and soon after switches from having the hedge on your left to your right as you go through a gap almost without noticing it.  The hedge on your right now has tall trees and hawthorn as part of it and the track becomes well defined and wider.  After another 500 yards you reach a driveway to Stubbins Farm on your left.  Carry straight on ahead until you come to a sort of tunnel formed by overhanging trees on both sides of the track.  This tunnel only lasts for 100 yards before you emerge onto open farmland on either side of the track.  Keep going along the firm track for another 200 yards until you reach a road at a right-angled bend.

“Tunnel” of trees near Stubbins Farm

At the road carry straight on, there will probably not be much if any traffic, but take care.  After 100 yards you reach a road junction to your right but should continue straight on.  Just after the junction on the left you will see a gap in the hedge which you should go through (you also join the Robin Hood Way at this point).  You enter a large field at the top of a hill with fine views of Southwell, including the distinctive pepperpots of the Minster, below you.  Also prominent are the towers of Staythorpe power station a little further to the right.  At the entrance to the field there is also an information board, one of a series you will pass on this section of the walk.  The board also shows a route for a walk in the vicinity which you may like to follow if you require further exercise after this walk.  Incidentally this is also the point to start this walk if you are coming from Brackenhurst College nearby.

View of Southwell and Southwell Minster

View of Southwell and Southwell Minster

Follow the edge of the field downhill with a hedge immediately to your left.  The going is easy and the path is good unless it has been wet when it can be a little muddy and slippery.  After 150 yards go through a gap and wooden gate at the end of the field and enter another one, still affording fine views.  Carry on downhill a little more steeply at the edge of this field for 300 yards until you reach the bottom corner where you turn right.  After 80 yards by another information board turn left through the hedge to enter another field where you make a short climb up Cundy Hill with the hedge to your right.  After 300 yards you reach the top and have more good views of Southwell.  Go straight on downhill leaving the hedge behind for 400 yards until you approach the bottom of the field near some trees. If coming from the centre of Southwell this is where you can join the route.  Turn left so that you have the trees on your right hand side and the field sloping down on your left.  Follow the footpath straight for 200 yards until it drops down to meet a road.

Turn right to cross a bridge over a stream and follow this road for the next 500 yards ignoring any minor turnings.  It firstly goes uphill where you turn sharp left passing houses on the right.  After 100 yards turn sharp right and go downhill for 150 yards to a junction.  You are now back in Westhorpe and turn left at the junction where after 150 yards you arrive back at your starting point.

Walk 20: Circuit of Southwell

20 Nov

A walk taking you round the edge of Southwell and back into and past some of the main attractions in the town.

Map of Route

Distance: 6.5 miles

Start: Car Park for the Southwell Trail, off Station Road near the Final Whistle pub, north of Southwell town centre.

Go through the car park away from the road and go onto the Southwell Trail disused railway line. Follow this track, which is in good condition in all but the very worst weather, for a mile until the next road you come to (the road going to Maythorne).

Alternatively if the weather has been dry you may prefer to follow my route alongside the river Greet which was Walk 6 on this blog. If I had the choice I would take the river route as the walk by the river is more interesting with the views not so obscured by trees and bushes. However, it does get a little muddy after wet weather.

For the river Greet route here is the description:

From the car park walk to the road near the pub. At the road turn left 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.

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.

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.

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.  As you reach a wooden footbridge it is worth walking the few yards towards the tall mill building in Maythorne to reach a narrow footbridge over the river as it sweeps down from the mill. 

If you take this route, when you reach Maythorne cross the bridge over the river and carry straight on for twenty yards until you reach a sort of courtyard in the middle of the tall old mill buildings.  Then leave the courtyard area and follow the road for 200 yards until you meet the disused railway line (Southwell Trail) on the original route where the Southwell Circuit continues.

80 yards from the railway track the road turns right and then very soon left. After another 100 yards you come to the main road into Southwell. This can be quite busy so take care crossing and then turn right on the far side where there is a verge and then a footway.

After 100 yards you reach the entrance to Norwood Park. Norwood Park has been much developed in recent years so that it now features a golf course and associated buildings.  It is still a nice walk however. Turn into the entrance to Norwood Park and follow the path on the right hand side of the metal fence which runs alongside the drive for cars.  You are now walking between the metal fence and a practice golf hole but fortunately there is a high, mesh fence protecting you from any stray golf balls. After 200 yards cross the road bearing right to the car park and continue straight on.  Carry on ahead under the trees ignoring all further road turnings for another 200 yards where you emerge from the trees and see the house on your right and golf course to the left. At a crossroads look just ahead of you to your left and you will see a footpath sign and rather obsolete stile.  Follow the sign and go round the stile along a wide avenue between apple trees.  At first the path goes slightly downhill before climbing again.

Norwood Hall

Norwood Park

Norwood Park

At the top of this rise you have good views to the right of Norwood Hall and behind you to the left of the golf course.  Ahead of you are the massed ranks of polytunnels used for cultivating fruit.  Depending on the time of year the polytunnels will either be skeletons with only the frames showing or a series of long plastic tubes. Carry on ahead between them going downhill again. Shortly you reach the end of the tunnels and come to a field. Follow the edge of the field straight on down the hill with a treelined hedge on your left. At the bottom you go through a narrow gap in a thick hedge and emerge on the pavement next to the main road from Halam to Southwell. Take care crossing the road as it can be busy and having done so go straight ahead over a ditch into a large field. The path goes straight on up the hill through the field and is usually well- defined. At the top of the field keep just to the right of the row of houses as you come to the Oxton to Southwell road.

Cross this road and almost straight ahead on the other side you will see a narrow footpath going between the houses. Go down this footpath for 200 yards until you reach the road at the bottom.  This is a quiet, pleasant  road in the Westhorpe of Southwell.  Cross the road and take the jitty almost immediately opposite just to the right.  Go down this narrow alley which goes straight downhill between gardens on the left and a wooden fence on the right .  After 150 yards cross a small bridge and enter a grassy field.  Go straight on up a small bank and then gradually descend for 200 yards on the left hand side of the field until in the corner you reach some slightly muddy steps down.  Leave the field going down the steps into a dumble (small wooded valley and stream). Cross a bridge over the stream and go up the steps in the embankment on the far side.  At the top you emerge at the bottom of a large arable field.  Turn left to follow the clear path along the bottom of the field.

Carry on roughly straight on along the bottom of the field for 400 yards until you come to what appears at first sight to be a dead-end at a hedge at the end of the field.  On closer inspection you will see a gap in the hedge in the corner which you should go through to reach a very nice tree covered path alongside the stream (Potwell Dyke).  The path can be a little slippery after rain so take care.

After 200 yards you arrive at a quiet residential street (Halloughton Road).  Cross the road and turn right up a small rise for fifty yards.  Look for a footpath signpost pointing to the left and follow that between houses.  As you approach the houses you may again think you have reached a dead-end but on the right you will see where the path picks up.  Follow the narrow path as it meanders around the houses.  However, you can’t really go wrong as there are no alternative for 300 yards.  Immediately after a churchyard on your left you enter a large field.  There are a few paths running across this field but you should take the one going just right of straight ahead which after 100 yards arrives at the busy Nottingham Road.  Use the crossing to reach the other side and turn right along the pavement on the other side.  After 100 yards take the road on the left (Park Lane).  This is a quiet backroad with little traffic.  Follow this as it passes Southwell rugby club on the left and uphill beyond.  You soon come to a fork in the road where you should take the left hand branch keeping roughly straight on.  Take a sharp left turn and keep following this road round a right bend and then almost immediately a left turn as it becomes Crink Lane.

Follow the lane for a mile round various bends in a generally north-east direction passing the Minster school playing fields on your left below you.  You are at the top of a ridge with good views of the Minster to your left and the Trent Valley on the right.  After a right-angled bend to the right you reach another right-angled bend to the left soon after.  At this bend you will see some allotments ahead of you on the right and on the corner to your left is a wooden gate.  Go through this gate into some woodland and follow the path through the wood.  The path is mostly clear enough to follow easily but in any case head downhill in roughly the same direction as the initial path from the gate.  The path gets a little steeper and the woodland denser but after 400 yards from Crink Lane you should come to a stile at the end of the wood.

Go over the stile into a large arable field and aim down the hill bearing to your right towards a gate near the corner of the field.  The path here will often be well-defined anyway.  Go through the gate into a grassy paddock field and turn left alongside the fence going slightly downhill towards the houses.  You come to a jitty between the houses which brings you to a quiet residential street (Farthingate Close).  Turn right and follow the road round a bend to the left where you meet another road (Farthingate).  Turn right along this road for a short way until you come to a main road.

Cross the road (Church Street) to the Hearty Goodfellow pub and take the path to the right of the pub.  At first this is on tarmac but after crossing a small bridge you enter a pleasant track with trees covering you on both sides.  After 100 yards as the track starts to climb look for a path on the right 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 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.  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 the mill building.  Take the path up to the road (Station Road) and you are now opposite the car park where the walk started.

If you wish you can finish your walk here but for those wishing to take in more of Southwell’s attractions here is an extra loop of about three-quarters of a mile.

As you come out from alongside the River Greet onto the road turn left and walk along the pavement for 200 yards where the road comes to a crossroads at the bottom of a grassy slope.  Cross the road ahead , which can be quite busy, to reach the bottom of the grassy area and walk up the hill (The Burgage) to the left of the road.  After 200 yards you reach a road coming off the Burgage near the War Memorial.  Take this road off to the left past the memorial and carry on until you meet another road (Burgage Lane) shortly afterwards.  Turn left along this road but after less than fifty yards look on the right for a big house with a blue plaque on the gate post.  Just to the right of this is a narrow pathway.  Take this path downhill and follow it all the way to the bottom.  The area opens out to the left of you to a field.  At the bottom the path bears right and you should follow this until you come out on Church Street.

Turn right to go along the road, slightly uphill, and follow this to Southwell Minster.  Cross over the road to enter the Minster grounds .  Follow the obvious path to reach the Minster and if you aren’t going in then turn right along the path to follow it round.  Here turn away from the Minster and walk along the path up to the road.  Cross the road and turn right until you reach the main junction.  At the junction on your left is the attractive half-timbered Saracens Head Hotel.  This historic inn is reputed to be where King Charles I spent his last night of freedom before being captured by the Parliamentarians in 1645.

Carry on past the inn and cross a road coming in from the left (Queen Street).  Continue along the street (King Street) which has shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants and go uphill past the library.  This brings you back to the Burgage where you should go down the hill back to the crossroads you were at a little earlier.  Cross the road ahead and go back along Station Road to the Final Whistle pub and the start of the walk.

 

 

Walk 19 and Stage 5 of the Mansfield to Newark walk: Southwell to Fiskerton

24 Oct

This is the next stage of the Mansfield to Newark walk but is also a brand new walk so I have also included it as such.  The walk takes you out of Southwell and up to get a good view east over the Trent Valley before using paths across fields and along quiet roads to take you to the river Trent at Fiskerton.  From Fiskerton you can get a bus back to Southwell or on to Newark.

Start: Bus stop on Church Street in Southwell Continues from Stage 4 of the Mansfield to Newark Walk

Distance: 3.8 miles

From the bus stops on Church Street by the Minster make sure you are on the same side of the road as 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 and then left before it crosses the Potwell Dyke.  Immediately after this you should see a sign on the right for Harvey’s Field where there is a narrow path going from Church Road.  Take this path which runs alongside the Potwell Dyke, under trees for 100 yards before coming to a large grassy field.  Here you should bear left away from the dyke aiming for the obvious exit from the field about 100 yards away on the left (not the one at the far end of the field).  The path from the field takes you between houses and out to a road (Farthingate).  Cross this road and turn right then almost immediately left up the next road (Farthingate Close).  After fifty yards this starts to bend to the left.  As it does so you should cross the road and look for a narrow alley going off to the right.

Take this short path between the houses which soon comes to a grassy field.  Enter the field and keep to the right alongside the fence as the path starts to rise slightly.  After fifty yards go through a gate in the fence to the right and go into a large arable field.  You should aim diagonally across the field up the hill towards a stile about 200 yards away by a wood.  The path across the field may be well-defined but depending on the time of year the field could be ploughed or have crops in it making the route less clear.  At the top of the path go over a stile into the wood.  Carry on through the wood in roughly the same direction as the path across the field.  The path twists and turns a little through the trees but should be quite easy to follow.  The only slight problem could be in autumn if fallen leaves cover the path.  In any case keeping in the same direction up the hill should bring you to the far end of the wood not far from the right spot.  The wood can be a little muddy after wet weather.  The path flattens out towards the top of the wood and you emerge at the far end through a gate.

Take care as you leave the wood as the gate leads straight onto Crink Lane.  There isn’t much traffic but you are coming out at a sharp bend in the road.  On the other side of the lane to the right is a house but we want to go into the field of allotments just to the left of us.  Cross the road carefully and enter the field which has a wide entrance.  Follow the track for twenty yards but look for a path on the right in the hedge.  Take this  path, which can be a little overgrown, and come out a few yards later in an open grassy field.  There is a line of short posts across the field which provides quite a good guide for our route.  Follow them for 200 yards across the field until you see a gate in a hedge at the far end of the field.  Go through the gate onto a small lane (Pollard’s Lane).  Again the gate comes straight onto the lane so take care, although this is even less busy than Crink Lane.

Turn right along the lane . The road runs relatively straight for four hundred yards and the surface becomes shale.   Follow it past some houses on the right.  On the left you will be able to have your first view of the Trent Valley and if you are doing the full Mansfield to Newark walk the first thoughts of the final destination.   Then there is a sharp bend to the left and another soon after to the right before another straight section for 200 yards past a few houses on the right.  Another very sharp bend to the left is followed by a right turn 200 yards later as the lane follows the edges of the fields.  One hundred yards after this right turn look on the left of the lane for a footpath sign and a rather large lump of concrete by the field entrance.

Turn left to go into the field and walk straight ahead down the hill.  The field is a large one used for growing crops but the bridleway we are following is a wide one and there should be no difficulty with the path being overgrown.  After 400 yards at the end of the field turn left and cross a small bridge.  The path then almost immediately turns right.  In the field you have now reached go down the hill for 200 yards until you reach the bottom of the hill.  Turn right alongside the hedge and after thirty yards turn left at a bridge which crosses a tree-lined stream.

Stream at the bottom of the hill

Stream at the bottom of the hill

Cross the bridge and then immediately start a steady climb along the bridleway going straight ahead up the hill.  After 300 yards you reach the top of the rise.  In fact this is the last climb of any significance if you are going all the way to Newark on my route so it is all downhill from here, almost.  Continue straight ahead as the bridleway becomes a wide track between hedges going downhill.  In a little while the path starts to change from grass to concrete and after a little right bend it becomes a road.  Keep going straight on along the very quiet road for 400 yards and cross the railway at a level crossing.  After this another straight 200 yards a slight right bend takes you into the village of Morton.   As you reach the village the road forms a three-way junction.  Bear left here so that you are still going in almost the same direction that you have followed for the last half mile.

You are now walking down a quiet village street in Morton (Middle Lane) which you should follow for the next 200 yards until you come to the junction with another road.  Turn left here and turn along this road (Main Street).  Soon you pass the Full Moon pub on your left which is a good place for a stop if you feel the need for refreshment.  If you wish to continue you should carry on along the road on the opposite side from the Full Moon.  Fifty yards or so after the pub look for a footpath leaving the road to the right, just before another road and the church ahead of you on the left.

Take the path on the right which starts off between houses but soon leaves them behind and goes alongside a large field at the back of a house.  After 100 yards you reach a small wood where the path turns  for a short way before leaving the wood and emerging at the end of a very large arable field.  Follow the path straight ahead along the edge of the field for over 100 yards and then go through a gap in the hedge to another field and follow the same direction but on the other side of the hedge.  Carry on in this direction through four more small fields encountering the odd quite tall stile.  You will see to the left some houses which are part of the village of Fiskerton.  Leaving the fourth field takes you onto a wide track that comes out onto a road.

Here if you wish you can follow the road to the left which takes you into the centre of Fiskerton but my preference is to take a different route which adds about 400 yards to the journey.   My route turns right along the road for 200 yards where it meets another road coming in from the left.  At this point cross the road you have been walking along and look for a footpath which goes away from the road bearing to the left .  Take this footpath which is quite narrow and largely enclosed by tall hedges and trees which form a sort of tunnel.  The path approaches the backs of houses and starts to bend a little to the right.  About 400 yards from the road you appear to be coming to a dead-end but when you get there you will see a way out to the right which takes you out to an embankment overlooking the river Trent.

The River Trent at Fiskerton looking south

The River Trent at Fiskerton looking south

The Trent at Fiskerton

The Trent at Fiskerton

Go down from the bank to the main path running alongside the river.  Turn left and walk along the path for 200 yards as you reach the houses of Fiskerton and the newly renamed and revamped pub by the river “The Bromley at Fiskerton“.  There is a beer garden by the river which is a great place to sit if the weather is good.  If you are lucky you can see all four of Britain’s  hirundine bird species here (swallow, swift, house martin and sand martin) together with other ducks and gulls.  Carrying on past the Bromley  you will see a few small flights of steps on your left going into gardens.  About 150 yards past the pub one of these flights of steps takes you onto a wide grassy track between houses with a path that you can follow straight on for fifty yards to the road. If you wish to finish your walk here take this route.   You come to the road just at the main T junction in the village.  Carefully cross the road to reach a bus shelter.  The buses from this side of the road go on to Newark.  Almost opposite on the other side of the road is the stop for buses back to Southwell.

My Mansfield to Newark walk continues alongside the river and I will be describing the next stage before too long.

Mansfield to Newark Walk Stage 4: Farnsfield to Southwell

3 Sep

This stage is the continuation of my Mansfield to Newark walk, picking up from Stage 3.  However, it is a nice walk in its own right with a couple of short climbs leading to good views of the local countryside with fields and woods featuring strongly.

Start: The Green, Farnsfield

Finish: Bus stops by Southwell Minster on Church Street.

Distance: 6.3 miles

Starting at the main bus stop in Farnsfield at the Green head along the Main Street towards the centre of the village passing the church on your right after 100 yards.  Carry on along this side of the street for another 200 yards until you reach the end of Tippings Lane where it meets the Main Street.  Cross Tippings Lane so that you are near the entrance to the Co-op but continue along the Main Street.

Continue along the Main Street along the pavement. After 50 yards you will come to Atherley’s bakery. This is very popular with villagers and if you want a snack before or after your walk good quality food can be bought here.

Continue along the pavement past the entrance to the Pot Yard. After 100 yards you reach Quaker Lane. Cross the end of Quaker Lane and walk past the bus stop with The Plough pub on the other side of the road. There is a good size car park at The Plough as well if you wish to start the walk from here. Pass the bottom end of The Ridgeway, also on the opposite side of the road, and walk for another 200 yards and turn into the entrance to Parfitt Drive.

Parfitt Drive is a quite new development of houses with a large grassy area nearby. Walk past the children’s playground and onto the grass. Pass just to the left of a clump of trees and walk straight on until you reach a metal gate (see photo). Go through the gap next to the gate onto a field with the village allotments. Bear slightly to the right until you reach a wooden fence with a gap which enables you to pass through onto a wide track. Walk on this track for thirty yards towards a metal barrier. Just to the left of this barrier is a gap to walk through where a patch of  shale has been added. Recently a wooden fence has been built which requires a jink to the left of five metres or so before you enter onto the Acres.

The Acres is the main football field in Farnsfield with two pitches at right-angles to each other. The nearer pitch isn’t used by the football club. There were swings just to your left as you walk onto the Acres but now only the rubberised surround remains. Walk straight ahead towards a red-brick building which are the changing-rooms for the football club. After 200 yards you are at the far end of the Acres.

Follow the main path almost straight on as it enters an area of woodland. The trees in this plantation were only planted around twenty years ago but have formed a nice little area to walk through. Over the years various other paths have been formed through the trees. these can be explored if you have time. For this walk I am following the widest path which goes almost straight ahead. The path is a good one on short grass passing between the trees with a clearing and bench on the left after one hundred yards. Another hundred yards beyond this the path dips slightly to a ditch and you leave the woodland.

The path enters a field and rises for about two hundred yards. The field can get a little muddy after wet weather but dries quite well, especially when it is breezy as it is quite open. At the top of the field is a bench which you may wish to take advantage of after the short climb. Looking back from the bench you can see the football pitches again.

Where Walk 1 turns right down the track,  this walk continues straight ahead.

Walk straight on by the field edge with a hedge to your left. After 100 yards the hedge ends and the path carries on ahead downhill. It is nearly always well-defined to the bottom of the hollow.  After wet weather it can be a little muddy at the very bottom.  At the bottom you come to a hedge coming in from the right. Go to the left of the end of this hedge and through a gap into the corner of a new field. Our route keeps roughly straight ahead up a steep little hill by a new hedge.  Keep the new hedge, mainly of trees, to your left and follow the field edge up this sharp rise for 200 yards.

Back towards Farnsfield from the top of the hill

At the top of the climb you come to a fence with a stile by another hedge. Nowadays there is a gap by the stile so there is no need to climb the stile itself.  Go through this gap and turn immediately right with the hedge now on your right.  After 50 yards you reach the corner of the field and must turn left going slightly uphill.  After 30 yards you reach the top of the hill. You can see back the way you came all the way to Farnsfield. Ahead of you are views to another ridge and to the east are extensive views towards Newark. On a clear day you can see for miles. To the west you can see Combs Wood along the hill.

Towards Greaves Lane from the top of  the hill

From the top of the hill go quite steeply downhill along the field edge with the hedge to your right.  The field may have crops in it and if you stick to the very edge of the field the ground is slightly uneven in places. The field and path can get a little muddy but is generally not bad.  After 300 yards you reach the bottom of the hill. Look for one of the gaps in the hedge on the right and go through to the other side of the hedge.  Now with the hedge on your left walk for fifty yards until you reach a stream in a ditch. Turn right here along the edge of the field for fifty yards. The ground here can be wet so you may have to look for  a drier line just in from the field edge.  You come to the end of a farm track on your left leading to a wooden gate. Follow this track over the stream to the gate 80 yards away. Occasionally the gate is open but if it isn’t go to the right of the gate and climb over a stile to reach a road (Greaves Lane) opposite a farm.

Looking back up the hill from near Greaves Lane

On reaching the lane turn left and then almost immediately right across the lane to the drive of the house opposite.  After ten yards look for a footpath gate on the left and go through it onto a grassy area.  Turn right to go up the hill with a field on your left and the house and outbuildings on your right. The grassy path rises straight up for 150 yards to the end of the field and then turns sharply left to go into a strip of trees.  The path here goes uphill along a sunken path between two banks.  Follow this path for 200 yards until you reach a gate. At the side of the gate is a narrow gap with a metal piece which can be lifted up to pass through, which I find slightly quicker than using the gate.  Just after the gate look to your left for a gap in the hedge. If you go through you will find an information board about the Robin Hood Way (this path is an offshoot of the Way) mounted on a large stone plinth.  There is also a bench which you may well want to take advantage of as it gives great views back to Farnsfield over the path you have walked.

Resume our walk by going to the top of the path just a few yards up from the plinth where it joins a farm road  Officially this is Carver’s Hollow although there is no sign to this effect.  Bear left to go straight along the farm road along the ridge with good views to the north.  After 200 yards you meet a wide track coming in from the right.  Turn along this track which approaches a farm after 80 yards or so.  As you get close to the farm the track turns to the left.  Keep following the track, which is these days a good one, almost straight for 400 yards with hedges on either side.  In places on the right you may be able to see through gaps in the hedge where you can see over to the next ridge.  At the end of the track you pass the mound of a small reservoir on the left and reach a farm road.

The road drops quite steeply in both directions but we want to go straight across it and into the field opposite.   Follow the hedge along the top of the ridge for the next 600 yards.  The path isn’t clearly defined but is easy to follow if you just keep the hedge immediately to your right.  It can be slightly uneven in places but is usually pretty reasonable.  The views to the left are good as the field falls away down the slope.

At the end of this long field you go through a kissing gate and into a small copse.  Go down the path through the trees with a hedge on your left.  After 80 yards pass a red brick house on your right and enter an open field with a few trees in it.  Continue straight on down alongside the hedge to the bottom of the field and then turn left to go along a narrow path with a solid wooden fence to your right and a hedge to your left.  After 50 yards the path drops to a concrete bridge over a stream surrounded by trees.  Cross the bridge and go out into a small grassy area near a tennis court.  Go straight across the grass and through a gate onto the drive to the house.  Carry on ahead along the driveway for fifty yards until you reach the road.  This is the main street in Halam (Church Lane).  Turn left and walk along the pavement for 300 yards along the generally quiet road.  On your right you see the village church.  If you wish to finish your walk in Halam carry on for another 200 yards until you reach the main road from Southwell where you can catch buses either onwards to Southwell or back to Farnsfield and beyond. To continue walking to Southwell cross the road and go into the churchyard.

Follow the path straight through the churchyard and out into the field beyond.  Bear to the right uphill aiming for the corner of the field about 300 yards away and a kissing gate.  Go through the gate into a wooded area and go up quite a steep path.  After wet weather this path can be rather slippery.  Follow the path as it continues up the slope and then turns to the right getting a little narrower.  The path then starts to flatten out and after 50 yards you come to a gate at the top of a field.  Don’t go into the field but take a few minutes to look at the view back to where we have walked earlier (pictured here).

Looking West to Halam and our route beyond.

Turn away from the field and go left up into an old orchard now occupied by fruit being grown in polytunnels.  Go straight on through the field keeping the tunnels to your left and tree-lined hedge to your right.  After 200 yards leave the field in the corner and go into a well-manicured area of grass which is actually the large garden of a house.  Keep straight on along the edge of the grass and pass a rather lonely looking bit of fence.  You are now alongside the driveway to the house and should follow the grass next to it all the way to the drive entrance.  This is another part of the walk where the pipe laying work is prominent.

Leave the driveway and go onto a narrow road (Saversick Lane).  Turn right and follow the road for 300 yards until it rises to meet the Oxton-Southwell road.  Go straight across the road, taking care as it can be quite busy with traffic, and then go down a steep slope along the narrow road opposite (Leachcroft Hill).  After 200 yards the road bends sharply to the left and you should follow this turn.  You are now entering the Westhorpe area of Southwell.  After another 100 yards turn right at a road junction.  Follow this lane (The Holme) as it goes slightly uphill and then after a couple of bends past houses downhill to the bottom of a hollow.  Cross the bridge over a stream and immediately after the bridge turn left along a footpath.  At first the path rises to reach a field.  Follow the path straight on alongside the hedge and trees on your left and a large field rising to your right.

Through the trees on your left is a classic example of a dumble, a stream at the bottom of a wooded slope.  This feature gives its name to a nearby pub.  If you want to have a look at the dumble take the steps down from the path you are on when another footpath crosses it after 200 yards.  Otherwise carry on roughly straight on along the bottom of the field for 400 yards until you come to what appears at first sight to be a dead-end at a hedge at the end of the field.  On closer inspection you will see a gap in the hedge in the corner which you should go through to reach a very nice tree covered path alongside the stream (Potwell Dyke).  The path can be a little slippery after rain so take care.

After 200 yards you arrive at a quiet residential street (Halloughton Road).  Cross the road and turn right up a small rise for fifty yards.  Look for a footpath signpost pointing to the left and follow that between houses.  As you approach the houses you may again think you have reached a dead-end but on the right you will see where the path picks up.  Follow the narrow path as it meanders around the houses.  However, you can’t really go wrong as there are no alternative for 300 yards.  Immediately after a churchyard on your left you enter a large field.  There are a few paths running across this field but you should take the one going just right of straight ahead which after 100 yards arrives at the busy Nottingham Road.  Use the crossing to reach the other side and turn left to follow the path and pavement taking you to the road entrance to the Minster School and Southwell Leisure centre.  Cross the road leading to the car park to reach the wide pedestrianised path by the bridge over the stream.

Turn right here and go towards the large building at the end of the path.  Just before the entrance turn left along a narrower hard pathway.  This path takes you past sports pitches on your right.  After 200 yards look for a path down to the left which takes you to a small bridge over a stream,The Potwell Dyke again.  Looking at the stream it is hard to believe this caused widespread flooding in July 2013 after a torrential downpour.  Cross the bridge to enter a park area next to an adventure playground.  Go past the playground and aim for the far corner of the park to the left of the buildings, bowling green and tennis courts at the other end of the park.

Southwell Minster

Southwell Minster

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As you get to the far corner of the park you come to a nice avenue of lime trees and will see some stone arches marking the War Memorial.  Go through these and carry straight on along a short section of road and then along a path past houses on your left and into the grounds of Southwell Minster.  Fifty yards further on turn right towards the main entrance of the Minster.  If you have never been to the Minster before you really should take this opportunity to go inside and look round.  If you don’t wish to go inside then walk along the path  around the outside of the minster, turning right and then take the first path on the left which takes you out onto Church Street where the main bus stop is very close.  This side of the road is for buses to Mansfield and over the road you can go to Newark.

Alternatively, if you have the energy you could walk back to Farnsfield either along the disused railway line or by using my walk along the River Greet (walk 6).  To reach the start of either of these you should go from the bus stops to the main junction in Southwell just up Church Street.  There turn right up King Street and carry on up the hill and then down the hill along the Burgage.  At the bottom of the Burgage cross the main road and carry straight on down Station Road until you reach the start of my walks just after the Final Whistle pub on the left.  This is a link of a little over quarter of a mile.

If you are attempting my Mansfield to Newark walk you are now over halfway.  If doing it over two days Southwell makes a convenient stopping point as it is the largest place between Mansfield and Newark with many amenities including restaurants, pubs, shops and even accommodation should you require it.