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Walking The Trent Valley Way: Rolleston to Newark

26 Jul

The Trent Valley Way is the second-most well-known walking route in Nottinghamshire (after the Robin Hood Way). Only part of the Way is in Nottinghamshire as the walk extends to where the Trent flows into the Humber in Lincolnshire (around eighty miles in total). It is hoped eventually to cover most of the length of the river Trent from its source in Staffordshire. The Way doesn’t always follow the river exactly and indeed the section I describe here goes a couple of miles away from the Trent. If you are doing the whole Trent Valley Way it must make a bit of a change from the riverbank. The Trent Valley Way is generally quite well signed and you should look for way marks with a wavy blue line.

The start and finish points here are connected by bus and train routes which is always a consideration if doing point-to-point walks. I’m describing the walk in this direction as it seems to be traditional to do river walks heading downstream, (although I did the Thames Path going upstream).

Start: Rolleston Village. There is a bus every two hours to Newark and a regular rail service.

Finish: Newark. The Trent Valley Way only goes into Newark as far as the river near the castle but it’s only a short walk to the centre of Newark.

Distance: 12.4 km (7.7 miles)

Map of the Route

The centre of the village of Rolleston is near the Dapper Spaniel pub. For the start of the walk you want to be on the opposite side of the main road through the vilage. The Trent Valley Way leaves Rolleston heading towards the church and Southwell racecourse along a quiet road (Station Road) leaving the main road by a sharp bend. Go past the church and just after that as the road turns sharply to the left, look to the right 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.  If you want to visit the Horological Institute then cross the road, carefully.  Alternatively, if you wish to visit the Cross Keys pub turn left for 200 yards along the pavement to reach the pub.

To continue along the Trent Valley Way turn right around the path on the inside of the sharp bend in the middle of the village.  This goes under a group of apple trees.  The people of Upton don’t appear to be very keen on apples as when I did this walk there were dozens of nice looking red ones lying on the ground underneath.

Continue along the pavement for 300 yards to the end of the village and carry on on this side of the road taking care as you now only have a grass verge to walk on. After another 300 yards out of the village look for a footpath sign on the other side of the road in the hedge and cross to join it. Go through the hedge into a large arable field and bear right towards a sizeable hill not far away. The path goes downhill for 200 yards to a gap in the trees where you cross a stream and go into another field. Start to climb the hill, Micklebarrow Hill, and after 400 yards reach the top of this large field. The hill gets steeper as you go through a grassy field and a kissing gate. This is one of the best places to stop and take in the view. Micklebarrow Hill is the highest point for a long way looking south and east. There are excellent views of the Trent Valley and towards Newark where the spire of the church near the market square can clearly be seen.

View north from Micklebarrow Hill
View from Micklebarrow Hill towards the Trent Valley

Bear slightly left across a grassy field for 200 yards until you come to a which you go through into another grassy field and carry almost straight on across it. You may notice a kind of pathway ahead which is clear of the clumps of nettles elsewhere in the field. On your right is a house. Go over a stile and follow a barbed wire fence along the top of the slope for a short way. The official route takes you down from the barbed wire fence near a small dead tree and you should try to go down the hill here. However, you may find bits of fencing mean you end up slightly further along the fence at the top of the hill but don’t worry. When you can go steeply down the hill to your left for 200 yards and find your way to the bottom hedge and a footpath going through it via a wooden kissing-gate to reach the A617.
Cross the road very carefully because not far to the right is a very sharp bend and on your left the trees may obscure your view a little. On the other side of the road go down some steps to the bottom of a field.

Go uphill for 300 yards with a hedge on your right. You reach a junction of paths where you turn right and after 150m make a sharp turn to the left until reaching a metal gate. Follow the field edge for 250 yards and go through another metal kissing gate into a large field. Turn right and go uphill for 250m to the field corner then turn left along the field edge. Enter a smaller field and follow the path next to the tree line on your right for 150 yards.

You reach a quiet road and turn right downhill past houses to reach a stables area and the main farm complex of Averham Park stables. Turn left to cross a farm road and a crossing over horse racing gallops. There are large signs warning you about the gallops. It is unlikely the gallops will be in use except early in the morning but stay alert. On the other side of the gallops go straight on through an arable field until you reach another part of the gallops. Cross this and immediately go down steps into a small hollow under some trees and straight up again out of the hollow up more steps. Go through a gap in the hedge and across a quiet road onto a track by fields opposite.

Go straight on for 100m then turn left uphill on a wide track for another 100 yards. Turn right along another track for 200 yards until you reach a gap in a hedge with a yellow-topped post and footpath signs on it. Go through the gap into a field and turn right along the field edge for 100 yards. The path descends and bends to the left. Continue along the field edge downhill and shortly go through a wooden gate on the right into another field. From here you can see Micklebarrow Hill and the Trent Valley.

View towards the Trent Valley from the top of the hill

Go down quite a steep hill for 400 yards in a grassy field with a hedge just to your left. At the bottom when I last went this way was the wire of an electric fence, which was unwelcome, but could be ducked under easily. Hopefully this won’t be there now. Turn right along the bottom of the field with a wood to your left for 100 yards. Go left over a small bridge slightly downhill into another field. Go left just below the wood at the edge of the field for 150 yards and then through a gate. Turn right along a path in a new field, going away from the wood. After 300 yards go through a gap in the hedge into another field. Follow a path around to the left for 250 yards along the field edge, ignoring the footbridge on your right. The path bends more sharply to the left. Keep the hedge on your right as you carry on along the track which bends slightly to the left again. Continue straight on for 500 yards alongside a field on a farm track aiming towards houses. This becomes a narrower path as you reach the houses and come to a quiet road in the village of Kelham. Turn right until reaching the main road where you turn left.

You enter Kelham village and reach a sharp right hand bend.  Follow the pavement around the bend and carry on past The Fox pub on the left. If you have walked from Rolleston you may want to stop here for refreshment. If not, continue along the pavement crossing a minor road on the left before the road rises slightly as it crosses the River Trent bridge. On the far side of the river there is another sharp right hand bend which sometimes causes problems for larger vehicles trying to negotiate it. As you start to follow this bend round look for a wide track on the left, going away from the road, which you should turn along.

The temptation is to carry on along this straight track but the path you want actually leaves the track almost as soon as you reach the bottom of the slope coming away from the road.  Look for a path leaving the main track to the right going into a small grassy field.  Cross the field through long grass trying to avoid the nettles and aiming for a kissing gate with a yellow post indicating the footpath about 100 yards away.

The nature of the next fields may differ from my description as I did this walk last summer.  In fact it will probably be easier to negotiate them when the crops haven’t reached their full height.  At the time of my walk the next field of oil-seed rape had a clear path made through the crops.  If the path isn’t obvious when you do the walk you should keep going in the same direction as when you crossed the grassy field.   Actually the path goes almost straight for the next half mile across the next three fields.

This first field is about 300 yards across, the second is slightly further across.  As you leave this field you may find that the next one you enter contains sheep. This third field is about 400 yards long and you should follow the line of the hedge just to your left.  I found that the temporary fence to contain the sheep was very close to the field edge and the narrow gap was a little awkward.  If this fence is still there you may be able to step over it and walk just inside it where you have a bit more room.  Leave this field in the far left-hand corner to enter another field which is about 150 yards straight across and opens up to your left  Go straight across this to the end of a line of trees and from there enter another more enclosed field .  This field is only 100 yards across, mostly surrounded by trees and you should stay on the left hand side by the hedge.  The way out only becomes apparent as you get close to the far side of the field where you will see a gap in the corner.

Leave the field in this corner where you cross a dyke and go straight over the next field for 200 yards.  Leaving this field you come to the rugby club.  Cross the rugby pitches towards the large clubhouse pictured below but pass to the left of all these buildings going almost straight on aiming for the obvious gap in the hedges you see ahead. You go very close to a small hut by the pitch just before going through the gap in the hedge.  This leads to another set of pitches which you go straight across in the same direction you have been walking.  The prominent spire of the church next to Newark Market place shows how near you are to finishing the walk and may give you an extra spring in your step.

Newark Rugby Club

Newark Rugby Club

At the end of these pitches you go up some steps to reach the A617 again.  Very carefully go straight across the road and down some more steps on the far side. Cross the corner of a small field to reach a slightly larger grassy field which you should go straight across.  This brings you to another potentially busy road, the Newark by-pass (A46).  Cross this carefully and enter another small field.  Go straight across this and through the treeline at the far side.  Going up a bank brings you onto the old Kelham Road at the end of a cul-de-sac.  Keep going almost straight on and follow the road for 300 yards all the way to the far end where it meets the main road into Newark, bearing right at the small fork in the road near the main road.  Turn right at the end and go over the level crossing next to Newark Castle railway station.

Continue alongside the main road passing the Cattle Market on the right and soon reaching the bridge over the river Trent.

Newark Castle

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 Notts – Walk 41 : Upton, Staythorpe and Rolleston

17 Dec

This is a walk which is mainly around arable fields takes in a few different points of interest including the river Trent and Southwell racecourse as you wander between three villages.

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: 6.8 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.  If you parked at the Institute cross the main road at the corner.  Go around the path on the inside of the sharp bend in the middle of the village.  This goes under a group of apple trees.  The people of Upton don’t appear to be very keen on apples as when I did this walk there were dozens of nice looking red ones lying on the ground underneath.

Continue along the pavement for 300 yards until you see a track going downhill on the right near the site of the former French Horn pub.  Go down this narrow lane, Carr Lane, on your right.  This hardly even looks like a proper road, where almost immediately the metalled road surface becomes a track.  After twenty yards you will see a footpath sign and the road name, Carr Lane.  There are two paths here.  One bears right where you will see a grass track and an information board. The plastic on the board is rather opaque so it is a little difficult to read.but we want to follow the main wide track which goes slightly left.  Soon the track starts to go downhill and we follow it for 300 yards to the bottom of the hill where the track bends sharply to the right.  Here go straight on and you find yourself at the edge of a very large arable field.  The route ahead was not clear when I did the walk.  Look at the two pylons most directly straight ahead which appear to be nearest to you .  Aim for the right hand one of the two.  You may start to see some footprints a little way into the field.  As you make your way across you should notice a slight gap ahead at the end of the field in line with the pylon.  Head towards that and after 400 yards from the start of the field you reach a dyke.  This is Pingley Dyke, and Pingley is a name you become familiar with on this walk.

DSCF1543.JPG

Cross over the dyke into a new field and turn right for eighty yards to the first hedge.  Here go left along field edge with the hedge immediately on your right.  Follow the field edge for 300 yards until you reach a yellow-topped post indicating the footpath.  This points left along a grass bank slightly raised from the large fields on either side by a few inches.  Follow this for  400 yards to a pylon and then past some trees on the right.  The path becomes a more obvious track which you follow to another dyke (Pingley Dyke again) which you follow to the right.

Follow the track for a short way. As you reach some trees to the right of the track, which goes on ahead and then turns left, you should turn right off the track to go past the trees.  You keep these just to your left and then enter another field.  There turn left along the field edge for 100 yards until you reach the corner where you should see a gap in the hedge.  Go through this into a new field.  Turn left towards the houses following the field edge.  In the first corner of this field that you reach look to the left where there is a solid wooden fence and you will see a path which goes left then right next to some gardens. Follow this path for a short way until you reach the end of a cul-de-sac which is Pingley Close.  Turn right and walk along this very quiet Close between the driveways of the houses of Staythorpe for 100 yards to reach Pingley Lane . Turn right along this quiet road for 100 yards until you reach the main road.  Turn right along the pavement for 100 yards and look for a footpath signpost on the other side of the road.

Cross to reach a wide track.  Follow the track away from the road between hedges.  The track runs very straight and after 300 yards you reach the Notiingham to Newark railway line.  Carefully cross the railway line before very soon coming to the service road for Staythorpe power station.  This is unlikely to be at all busy.  After crossing that you reach another wide straight track which you follow.  The track here is good and firm with views to the left of the power station.  There are some trees to right of track for a short time then it becomes more open again.  After half a mile you reach the River Trent at the path which was part of an earlier walk of mine (Walk 22).

Where that went left this time we go right through a wooden gate and follow a slightly muddy track alongside the river for fifty yards until you reach a large field on the right after going past a hedge.  The official path here goes along the hedge line away from the river to the right.  If you look along the hedge you will see a yellow topped post which is where you should go.  From there look to the tree line at the far end of the field and you should be able to see a little gap just to the right of the centre of the tree line.  This is the line you should be looking for so set out across the field aiming for the gap about 600 yards away.  In wet weather you go past a large puddle in the field soon after setting off.  There is no obvious path across the field in my experience and it can be hard going across soft and earthy ground.

For that reason you may prefer this alternative route.  Back at the start of the field instead of leaving the riverside continue along the river for yards until you reach the tree line at the far end of the field.  At that point leave the river to turn right and follow a track running alongside the trees.  Follow this track with the trees on you left for yards until you reach a stile on the left of the track.

If you have been trudging across the field you will come to this same stile, which you climb over.  The stile requires a little agility as it is a few wooden rungs without any step to aid you. Go on from the stile to the main track under the tall trees and turn right.  After 100 yards you leave the trees and come to the river again.  Looking across the Trent you can see some houses which are part of Farndon on the other side of the river.

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Carry on along the riverside path with the river on your left.  The path is pretty good here although there are odd bits of rubble mixed in to it.  After 500 yards the river bends away to the left and this is where you leave it.  Don’t go through the white double gates on the embankment and instead follow the track bearing away from the river and embankment.  After fifty yards you reach a small wooden gate that takes you into a car park used by local anglers.  Carry on through this and stay on the wide track ahead.

After 300 yards the main track bears to the right while straight ahead there is a more grassy wide track.  At this point it is possible to carry on along the grass track which takes you to Fiskerton (see my Walk 22 for the reverse direction) and from there you can find paths back to Rolleston and Upton.  However, on this occasion my route takes the more direct route to Rolleston by staying on the firm main wide track.  So bear right along the track and follow it all the way to the road after half a mile.  You meet the road on a bend. You should carry straight on ahead along the road.  There is not much of a verge so take care although there should be little traffic unles it is a race day at Southwell races.  After 300 yards you reach Rolleston village and soon find that a pavement starts on the left hand side of the road.  Cross to reach this and follow it around the bends to the right, left and right again.  On this second right bend you reach Station Road on the left meeting the main road through the village.  Turn left here to go along Station Road and follow this around as it bends left then right.  You then go by the attractive tower of Rolleston church on the left.  At the next bend to the left walk off the road and carry straight on into an open area.

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

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.  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 Notts – Walk 26: Upton and Micklebarrow Hill

31 May

Walk 26: Upton and Micklebarrow Hill

This is a walk in two parts. The first takes you round fields to the north of Upton and over the fine viewpoint of Micklebarrow Hill. The second is down the hill and back up past the church into the village. This means that you can treat this as two separate walks and do as much or little as you like.

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.

Distance: 3.5 miles

Map of the walk (Please note that this map shows the route using official footpaths.  You may find that you have to make small diversions due to overgrown crops.  I have included these diversions in my route description).

From the Horological Institute car park go to the main road and turn left along the pavement. Go up to the very sharp right-hand bend. At the corner you will see a minor road going left off the main road. This is Hockerton Road. Turn onto this road and cross it so that you are walking on the right hand side of it facing any oncoming traffic. Very soon after turning along the road look for a partially hidden footpath sign on the right pointing up a drive between houses. Go up the drive for a short way until you come to a metal gate. This is the first of an interesting variety of barriers here. Go through the gate and continue straight on for twenty yards to a tall wooden door ahead. Opening the door and then shutting it behind you takes you into a small enclosed area where the only means of escape is over a stile to your left. Take care as you use the stile as the step is a bit wobbly. After the stile you go round the back of a shed and into what appears to be someone’s garden. This is a little disconcerting but don’t worry, this is the correct route. Go under the trees in the garden and carry straight on for thirty yards to the far side of the garden where you leave using another stile.

This takes you into a large arable field. The official route here goes out of the field to your right almost immediately.  This should take you into an orchard where you turn left aiming away from the garden you left earlier before picking up a path which reaches the far corner of the orchard.  It is easy to miss this way out of the arable field as I did myself.

If you do miss the exit then you should carry straight on in the arable field keeping to the right hand side of the field until you reach the corner. . At the end of this second field you come to the corner of the field which seems at first to have no exit. However, closer inspection reveals that there is a very narrow gap to squeeze through. Unfortunately the hedge is hawthorn so care should be taken to avoid being scratched. The other side of the hedge is a field close to the car park for the cricket club which is on the left. Carry on along the right hand side of this field for fifty yards and look for a small wooden footbridge. Cross this bridge and enter the orchard I mentioned in the official route. Twenty yards into the orchard you meet the official path.

Turn left and follow the pleasant path through the orchard to the far corner. Leave this orchard and enter a grassy field which on my visit in May contained sheep and lambs. Keep going straight on along the right hand edge of this field and into another connected field passing a hedge. Follow the hedge for 300 yards until you reach the corner of the field by a stile. There is a gap here so you don’t need to use the stile. Go through the gap and into another grassy field. This gives a good view of the distinctive mound of Micklebarrow Hill ahead of you to your right. Turn left and follow the hedge line. where we are on the left side of the field. Keep going along the edge of the field until you reach the corner where you leave the field. On my visit this entailed stepping over a low electric fence. This takes you into another field which you soon leave under some trees. You will already be hearing the roar of the traffic on the A617 ahead of you and after crossing a small field go through a gap in the hedge onto the verge of this very busy road. Take extreme care crossing the road and go straight over the A617 where there is another footpath signposted.

Micklebarrow Hill

Micklebarrow Hill

Go into the field indicated by the signpost and go down for 200 yards to the bottom of the dip where you climb a stile with a broken step. It is easier to use the wooden struts on the stile than the step to come down from the stile.  Then go uphill out of the dip for 100 yards as far as a hedge coming across where you go through a gap in the hedge into another field.  How easy it is to find your way to this gap will depend on what is growing in the field.  On my latest walk the field contained oil-seed rape which can be difficult to negotiate.  From the bottom of the dip I had to go round the edge of the field where there was a wide verge. Where this hedge met the one coming across look just to your left for the gap in the hedge.

In the next field, if you can, aim diagonally across bearing slightly right towards the wood.  If your route is obstructed by crops then head due right, using the aisle that is clear of crops, towards the wood. As you reach the edge of the field next to the wood turn left and follow the line of the edge of the wood but inside the field.  If you take this route after 100 yards next to the wood you may notice a footpath sign by the wood which is where the direct route across the field arrives.  From here you shouldn’t need alternative routes for the rest of the walk as crops didn’t seem to be much of a hindrance thereafter.

Follow the edge of the field next to the wood going uphill for 100 yards and then downhill for 200 yards.  At the bottom of the field look to the right through the trees where you should see a good footbridge.  Cross the bridge and enter another field.  Turn left along the field edge which had slightly long grass when I was there.  Keep going in the same direction and leave the field edge to go quite steeply uphill.  This was very obvious when I did it as the path was a wide one between the flowers in another rape field.  At the top of the field you should see a yellow footpath marker post as you are joining another path here.  At the top turn right and follow the path downhill with the hedge just to your left.  After 300 yards you reach the bottom of the field and go up some steps to reach the A617 again.

Cross the road very carefully because not far to the left is a very sharp bend and on your right the trees may obscure your view a little.  On the other side of the road go through a wooden kissing-gate into a grassy field.  Go up a steep hill heading straight up until you reach the top after 200 yards.  This is Micklebarrow hill which we saw earlier.  The official route takes you up to a barbed wire fence near a small dead tree. However, you may end up slightly further along the fence at the top of the hill but don’t worry.  You should reach the barbed-wire fence somewhere and when you do turn right along it until you come to a stile.  To your left here you will see a house.  Cross the stile into another grassy field and carry almost straight on across it.  You may notice a kind of pathway ahead which is clear of the clumps of nettles elsewhere in the field.

View north from Micklebarrow Hill

View north from Micklebarrow Hill

Leave this field after 100 yards and go into another where the grass is somewhat longer.  Bear slightly left across this field for 200 yards until you come to a kissing gate which you go through into another field.  This is one of the best places to stop and take in the view. Micklebarrow Hill is the highest point for a long way looking south and east. There are excellent views of the Trent Valley and towards Newark where the spire of the church near the market square can clearly be seen.  Carrying on with our walk we go on from the kissing gate in the same direction, away from the house on the hill.  We go downhill steeply from a grassy field into a very large arable one.  The path through this field should be quite clear going almost straight down towards a gap in the trees at the bottom of the hill 400 yards away.

View from Micklebarrow Hill towards the Trent Valley

View from Micklebarrow Hill towards the Trent Valley

At the bottom go across a stream at the gap in the trees.  This takes you into another arable field.  Go uphill following a clear track which goes straight on for 200 yards before a final little turn taking you out onto the road into Upton.  Turn right and follow the verge next to the road.  Unfortunately there is no footway here and the verge is narrow for the first hundred yards.  It does get a little wider for the next 200 yards as you approach Upton village.  As you reach the first houses you will see a pavement on the other side of the road and you should cross over to it.  Again you should take care as this road is also a busy one.  Once across follow the pavement into Upton.  This is the end of the first part of the walk  and if you wish you can carry on along the main road which will take you back to the starting point at the Horological Institute.

If you are doing the rest of the walk  200 yards into Upton you should look for a narrow lane, Carr Lane, on your left.  This hardly even looks like a proper road. Turn left along it where almost immediately the metalled road surface becomes a track.  After twenty yards you will see a footpath sign and the road name, Carr Lane.  There are two paths here.  One bears right but we want to follow the main wide track which goes slightly left.  Soon the track starts to go downhill and we follow it for 300 yards to the bottom of the hill.  There turn right still following the obvious wide track and continue for another 400 yards.  This brings you to a junction of paths at a dyke (Pingley Dyke) and you should turn right here so that you are following a path along the field edge with the dyke immediately to your left.

The Pingley Dyke

The Pingley Dyke

Upton Church

Upton Church

Stay next to the dyke for 400 yards until coming onto a wider track under some trees.  You should see a footpath coming in from the left.  Almost immediately after this look for a footpath on the right.  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 a the Horological 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 for a well-earned drink.