Tag Archives: Edwinstowe

Walking The Robin Hood Way: Duncanwood Lodge near Budby to Edwinstowe

28 Mar

This is the final stage of the Way if walking from south to north. I decided to do this stage before some of the intermediate stages so that you have a description to do your own circular walk from Edwinstowe combining this stage with some of my walk The Robin Hood Way: River Maun near Edwinstowe to Norton. I have chosen to start at Dunanwood Lodge because it is on the Sherwood Arrow bus route that also goes through Edwinstowe and you can do a linear walk using the bus to get to start and finish points.

Start: Duncanwood Lodge a mile north of Budby on the B6005 (there are bus shelters on either side of the road if you are using public transport)

Finish:  Edwinstowe Church 

Distance: 8 kilometres (5 miles)

Map of the Route

From the road go to the left of Duncanwood Lodge onto a path going westwards by the side of a field.  At the end of the field go slightly right to join the main track from the Lodge and continue west along this clear track for one kilometre.  You reach Hazel Gap which was on our route in the earlier stage from Edwinstowe to Norton.  This time we are doing a short section in the reverse direction.  Cross the quite busy A616 carefully and take the right most track which goes through a gateway and then downhill along a path at the edge of a wood on your right with a field to your left.

After 550m you reach woods on the left too and in another 100m look for a path to the left.  Turn along this narrower, unsurfaced path for 400m, which may have a fallen tree to go around but is easy to follow.  It descends a little and you leave the trees to go past a house on the right and through a small gate by a bigger main gate.  The path reaches the quite busy Netherfield Lane again which you cross carefully.

The River Meden

Go straight on to reach the path opposite and continue straight to cross the River Meden but bear just off the metalled track onto a grassier one almost straight on.  The path re-enters the forest and you follow it ahead for 600m until reaching a crossroads of tracks which we also came to on the stage to Norton and this is the point where you can make a circular walk if you want to.     You are at the bottom of a dip in the path coming across which may have freewheeling cyclists going quite fast so watch for them.  Turn left uphill quite steeply for a short distance then follow a flatter shale path for 300m to another major junction of paths.

Turn right along the main track which undulates a little over the next part of the walk.  Soon the trees on the left disappear and you see the open heathland near Budby South Forest.  You come under more substantial tree cover again and about a kilometre from the previous signposts reach another junction of tracks.  The left hand track goes off the Robin Hood Way towards the Major Oak which is a little under a mile from here.  Going straight on you reach the next major path junction by the Centre Tree in another kilometre.  This prominent tree is reputed to mark the centre of Sherwood Forest. There is a large area open ground a little ahead. 

The Centre Tree

Sherwood Forest near the Major Oak

At the tree turn left along a wide path.  The path is a little stony but it is easy walking among quite dense tree cover, a fine example of a deciduous forest.  Ignore all side turnings as the path slowly starts to descend a little.  After 1200m a quite substantial path meets ours from the left but keep on ahead a little longer until you reach a clearing by the Major Oak. The Major Oak is one of the most famous trees in England and indeed was named Tree of the Year in 2014.  It is reputed to have been the hide-out of Robin Hood and his men and many years ago it was possible to go and hide in the trunk of the tree.  These days the tree itself is fenced off from the path and has several supports for the main branches.

The Major Oak

Leave the clearing with the Major Oak on your left and go onto what was the main track to the visitor centre from the Major Oak. Follow this wide track for 600m until you reach the site of the old visitor centre.  Go through this site to soon reach the car park for it.  Keep to the right hand side of the car park and then leave it continuing in the same direction.  You soon reach another good path near a cricket pitch.  Follow this path to the left of the cricket field aiming towards the spire of a church.  You come to a road and follow it ahead, crossing a small road to the right which leads to the Sherwood Forest Youth Hostel and the new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, which you may well wish to visit.  Continue on towards the crossroads in the centre of Edwinstowe heading south along the road (Church Street) past the church going into the village. The church, where Robin Hood married Maid Marian according to the stories, is the official end of the Robin Hood Way (or the start), which goes all the way to Nottingham castle if you decide to tackle it from this direction.

The Robin Hood Way: River Maun near Edwinstowe to Norton

14 Oct

This stage goes alongside the River Maun, then past Archway House into Sherwood Forest before heading into the quiet village of Norton.

The description in italics takes you from Edwinstowe until you join the Robin Hood Way. The rest of the route is on the Way itself.

Start: Unless you are continuing the walk from the previous Eakring stage you will start in the centre of Edwinstowe. The crossroads near Edwinstowe church and the Royal Oak pub, where the High Street (B6034) meets the A6075. Edwinstowe is quite well served by public transport with buses from Nottingham and Mansfield. If coming by car the best place to park is probably not in Edwinstowe itself but at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, just north of the village on the way the Major Oak, which is well signed.

Finish: Norton village. There is a bus to Edwinstowe every two hours on weekdays. You may prefer to do a circular walk following this stage at first and returning to Edwinstowe along the final stages of the Robin Hood Way which I will describe later.

Distance: 13.6 km (8.5 miles)

Map of the Route

From the junction at the centre of Edwinstowe walk downhill along the main shopping street. Keep straight on out of the centre and at the bottom of the hill cross the River Maun. Make sure you are on the right hand side of the road as you go uphill again. Just before you reach the railway bridge over the road turn right along . After 300m the road bends to the left as you leave the houses behind and soon on the right turn into a field to follow a footpath. This path is at the bottom of a slope with trees and a hedge on your right through which you can see the river at the bottom. Follow this path for 400m towards the end of the field and a junction of paths where you meet the Robin Hood Way coming down the hill.

At this junction of paths carry on then bear right along a narrow path with the river on your right. Cross a wooden bridge over the River Maun and continue straight on to a less obvious bridge over the Flood Dyke. Go on uphill along the track and at the top of the slope turn left along a decent path with a hedge now on your right. Follow this path along the right of the narrow field for 250m.

At the far end of the field you enter a wood. The easiest way here is just to carry straight on until you reach the far end but you can take another path bearing left going in the same direction which wanders through the trees just above the river. Both paths will eventually reach the end of the wood after 300m.

Path near the River Maun

Go slightly downhill and follow the path by the river for 200m. The river here is very tranquil and flows slowly among the fields on either side. At one time these were the Duke of Portland’s Flood Meadows and there is an information board about them next to the path.

River Maun

You reach a wide bridge over the Maun on the left but should turn right uphill on a wide track towards a prominent building. After 300m you reach tall trees and the building with some rather ornate sculptures, some of which are of Robin Hood and his Men, on the walls above a large arch. This is Archway House, built by the Duke of Portland in 1842. It is now used as self-catering holiday accommodation and there is an information board to tell you more next to the path. Follow a clear, road-like driveway ahead for 300m into the woods with a field on your left. Go straight on along the obvious track in the woods which later bends to the left. Stay on this until you reach a road. This is the A6075 and the traffic travels quickly so cross carefully. On the opposite side of the road you reach a path with a large boulder by it.

Follow the path away from the road bearing left by the edge of the wood. After 300m at a track junction don’t turn right but stay almost straight bearing slightly left to meet a hedge. Follow this for 300m when you should look to the left of the track for a little pile of stones and a cross about 5m away. This marks the site of the former St.Edwin’s Chapel, from which Edwinstowe gets its name. Continue along the main track ignoring a path to the right and crossing another. Go across a narrow section of plantation to a T junction with a wide bridleway. Turn right along the bridleway. After 400m a track to the left meets ours and we bear left along it.

After a kilometre you reach another major junction of paths.  You have reached the hill of Thynghowe, also known as Hanger Hill.  This has been a meeting place of people in Sherwood Forest for over a thousand years.  It is at the border of three parishes and may even have been the border between the ancient kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia.  The most striking feature is the prominent tree just ahead to the left of the path.  The path we have just reached is Hanger Hill Drive and local people have devised a three mile Trail, the Thynghowe Trail with points of interest marked by wooden posts with letters corresponding to points on the Trail Guide, along it.  Here we are about half way along the Trail.  You go left here and start to descend.  Surprisingly the path we are following, in the middle of the forest, is a hard, properly surfaced drive which at one time went all the way to Welbeck Abbey.  On the right you shortly see a wooden post and if you look to the right of the path can see two earth banks marking the site of a World War II ammunition store.

The path is straight and in good condition and again undulates a little in the next half mile. Carry on past lime trees and a clearing to the right of the path.  After a little more than half a mile from Thynghowe descend to a major junction of tracks near a large tree on the right.  You are at the bottom of a dip in the path coming across which may have freewheeling cyclists going quite fast so watch for them.   The Robin Hood Way goes left here.

The Thynghowe Trail goes straight across the wide track ahead.  In fact this is also the Robin Hood Way but here it is coming the other way as it returns to Edwinstowe. If you want to make a circular walk from Edwinstowe you can do the same.

Our journey north on the Way continues uphill from the junction but after 100m turn sharp right along a track near where the trees on the right finish. The track rises for a short way between a hedge and the wood before descending on a long straight path to reach Gleadthorpe Grange and the quite busy B road.

Carefully go straight across and up the metalled track opposite past farm buildings. When you reach a crossroads of tracks turn right off the main track onto a path. This soon enters a plantation of trees and meeting the other part of the Robin Hood Way again.  The path climbs and soon goes into tree cover on a narrower path with fields to the right.  In autumn you will find piles of leaves here which you can scrunch through.  The path rises a little more until after 500m you reach the road at Hazeil Gap.

Cross to the north side of the road where there are two main tracks. Take the left hand track which goes diagonally off to the left.  It is a wide firm path that goes mostly straight through woodland for much of the way and has a few undulations.  The most notable sights along the way are arrays of solar panels in the fields.  This is nice walking and after 1200m you reach the end of the track and go past Corunna Lodge on the right onto a quiet road.  Turn left along this for 600m.  There is no pavement and limited verge so stay alert but it is generally quiet.  Turn left along the road at a sharp bend where the way ahead becomes a private drive.  Follow the road for another 700m into the small village of Norton.  Near the junction in the village is the bus stop.

The Robin Hood Way: Eakring to Rufford Park and Edwinstowe

13 Nov

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

Start: Eakring village

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

Distance: 11 km

Map of the Route

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

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

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

Mompesson Cross

Mompesson Cross

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

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

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

Looking back on the route towards Lound Wood

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

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

Bridge over the old railway line

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 30: Edwinstowe, the Major Oak and the River Maun

28 Oct

This is a relatively short walk but has a good deal of interest including the famous Major Oak.

Start: The centre of Edwinstowe. The crossroads near Edwinstowe church and the Royal Oak pub, where the High Street (B6034) meets the A6075. Edwinstowe is quite well served by public transport with buses from Nottingham and Mansfield. If coming by car the best place to park is probably not in Edwinstowe itself but at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, just north of the village on the way the Major Oak, which is well signed.

Distance: 5 miles

Route of the Walk

From the crossroads in the centre of Edwinstowe head north along a quiet road (Church Street) past the church going away from the village. The church, where Robin Hood married Maid Marian according to the stories, is the official end of the Robin Hood Way (or the start), which goes all the way to Nottingham castle if you decide to tackle it from this direction. After 200 yards you come near to the new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, which you may well wish to visit before doing the walk .  On the left is a cricket pitch, just after a small road to the left which leads to the Sherwood Forest Youth Hostel and the new Visitor Centre.

For the walk, stay on Church Street. You should follow the path next to the cricket pitch, keeping it on your left. Carry straight on as the track gets wider, going slightly uphill towards trees and leave the pitch behind you.

Go through a wooden gate and continue straight on along the wide track among the trees which brings you close to the car park for the visitor centre from where you can start the walk if coming by car. You soon come to a wide track coming across. Turning right here takes you to the former site of the visitor centre from where there is a well signed track to the Major Oak. Go straight across the wide track and through a gate. This takes you onto a narrower track where the tree cover is more pronounced. Go downhill for 400 yards until you come to another gate (with a small green Robin Hood Way marker on it) which takes you out onto what was the main track from the visitor centre to the Major Oak. Turn left here and follow this wide track for 300 yards until you reach the Major Oak.

The Major Oak

The Major Oak

The Major Oak is one of the most famous trees in England and indeed was named Tree of the Year in 2014.  It is reputed to have been the hide-out of Robin Hood and his men and many years ago it was possible to go and hide in the trunk of the tree.  These days the tree itself is fenced off from the path and has several supports for the main branches.  Follow the main path close to the Major Oak.  It soon starts to turn away to the right.  As you begin to go away from the tree look for quite a significant track on the left with a green Robin Hood Way marker on a post next to it pointing straight along the track.  Turn onto this track and keep going almost dead straight for the next half mile.

Sherwood Forest near the Major Oak

Sherwood Forest near the Major Oak

The path is a little stony but it is easy walking among quite dense tree cover, a fine example of a deciduous forest.  Ignore all side turnings as the path slowly starts to rise a little.  Eventually you come to a large tree, the Centre Tree, at a junction of paths and tracks with a finger signpost indicating the various ways. There is a large area open ground a little to your left.

The Centre Tree

The Centre Tree

Track south from Centre Tree

Track south from Centre Tree

Turn left to go into the large open area and follow a wide, somewhat reddish, track running southwards very straight with trees to your left and the open area on your right.  The track eventually starts to go downhill and after nearly a mile you come to the end of it as you enter a small area of trees with a road ahead. Turn right and follow the path through the trees about fifty yards from the road.  The path gradually gets closer to the road and meets it close to a large boulder.  At the boulder go to the road and cross it carefully.  This is the A6075 and the traffic travels quickly.

On the other side of the road go straight on along the obvious track going into the woods.  Follow the clear road-like track into the woods.  This soon bends to the right and takes you to the edge of the wood with a field now on your right.  Keep following the “road”, actually more of a driveway, for 300 yards until on your right you reach a building with some rather ornate sculptures, some of which are of Robin Hood and his Men, on the walls above a large arch.  This is Archway House, built by the Duke of Portland in 1842.  It is now used as self-catering holiday accommodation and there is an information board to tell you more next to the path.  Pass by the house and tall trees and start to go downhill along a wide, earth track.  After 300 yards you reach a bridge over the River Maun. Just before the bridge turn left to follow the path next to the river.

River Maun

River Maun

The river here is very tranquil and flows slowly among the fields on either side.  At one time these were the Duke of Portland’s Flood Meadows and there is an information board about them next to the path.  The path stays close to the river for the next 200 yards and then goes up a small rise into some trees.  The path now splits into two branches although they both end up in the same place.  They are only twenty or thirty yards apart with the left hand one running very straight next to fields on the left.  My preference is for the right-hand path which meanders a little more but overlooks the river.  Whichever path you choose they come together again after 300 yards and you soon leave the trees to enter a quite long, narrow field.

Path near the River Maun

Path near the River Maun

Follow the left hand side of the field on a decent path with a hedge to your left.  After 250 yards, just before you reach the end of the field,  down a slope on your right you will see a wide gap in the trees.  Turn right down the slope and follow the track down through the gap, crossing a bridge, which you may hardly notice, over the Flood Dyke as you go.  Almost immediately after this you will see a more obvious bridge just ahead.  Cross this wooden bridge over the River Maun to reach a narrow path.  Follow this path with the river on your left.  After 100 yards the path bends a little to the left and you reach a junction of paths at the bottom of a field.  Ignore the path going up the hill and continue along the path close to the river at the bottom of the field as the field opens up to your right.

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

After 100 yards you come again to the River Maun.  Crossing the main road here takes you to an area where you can sit down near the river.  This is quite a good spot to relax at the end of your walk.  Carrying on along the main road takes you uphill after 200 yards to Edwinstowe’s shops and eateries which have quite a wide number of options.  On the left hand side of the street you should see a statue of Robin Hood and Maid Marian.  A little further along you arrive back at the crossroads from where we started.