Tag Archives: Greaves Lane

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

21 Feb

 

As the winter draws towards its end I thought I would write about my local walks in this and past winters. This one has been the coldest one for a decade and the first proper winter since then. We’ve had the odd cold snap since but this winter has had more sustained sub-zero days and nights.


This cold spell has been enjoyable for me as I like walking or running in snow. Even when there isn’t any snow I prefer frozen ground to the mud that has prevailed for most recent winters. This winter began in similar fashion with plenty of rain making the ground pretty sodden, although the autumn wasn’t as wet as 2019. The colder weather started just after Christmas but as the year turned we entered a more sustained chilly spell.

We had a few separate snowfalls, although none brought huge quantities. The heaviest snow was on the 14th January when we had two or three inches. It snowed most of the day but stopped in the afternoon. This gave me a window for a run before it got too dark, although the snow make things a bit lighter in the gathering gloom. I set out at 4.30 when the snow in Farnsfield was already a bit slushy. However, once out of the village the fresh snow was still intact and lovely to run on. I had decided to go to Bilsthorpe, just over two miles away, and had deliberately chosen a route across Bilsthorpe Moor (see Walk 7) to recreate a run in the snow from many years earlier when I had got lost, although this time I wanted to avoid that outcome.
The previous time had been when I wasn’t very familiar with the way across the Moor. I had gone out in the early evening when the snow was still falling lightly. I had crossed the A617 to reach the large field on the Bilsthorpe side which rises sharply. Ahead of me it was pure white and I didn’t know where the field ended and the sky began. I totally lost my bearings and started running in a circle. As it was getting dark I decided to return home.


This time I knew the way across the Moor better and made it to Bilsthorpe safely. After a loop round the village where I saw the children returning with their sledges l headed towards the old railway track to return home. By now it was getting dark and in the field I fell over when tripping on a furrow. The path up to the railway track goes under a bridge but in the half light I could see a large puddle so had to claw my way up the steep bank to reach the track. A thaw was already beginning and pools of water forming under the trees. I tried to stay in the snow which guided my way in what was now almost darkness. It is a very straight track so I couldn’t go far wrong if I kept my eyes on the white strip stretching ahead of me and got home in total gloom.

Some of my favourite walks and runs have been in the early evening when it has stopped snowing. In 2018 the Beast From The East arrived.  It snowed until the middle of the afternoon but when it stopped I went out in the fresh snow.  I went along Greaves Lane and did a loop round Combs Wood.  As I was going back down towards Greaves Lane in the twilight I saw a barn owl flying across the fields.  This was the first and still the only time I have seen a barn owl in the wild.

My most memorable winter excursion came many years ago on yet another day when the snow stopped in the early evening after depositing a few inches.  I ran from Farnsfield all the way along Greaves Lane up to the top near Oxton and to Robin Hood Hill.  There was a full moon illuminating a beautiful snowscape on what is always one of my favourite viewpoints in the county.  A truly magical experience. 

This year in the time between snowfalls there was plenty of rain and this combined with the snow melt made things really wet underfoot.  I went to Kirklington where it was as wet as I can ever remember it.  On the way home I stopped at the large pond and as I stood on the bridge I could feel it vibrating with the force of the water leaving the pond.  The last field before the railway track on the way home has been very muddy all winter and people have been walking round the edge in preference.  The farmer has put up a rope to stop this.  I can understand why but on the two occasions I went round the edge the grass was in good condition.  People weren’t walking on any crops and appeared to me to be doing less damage than they would by going straight across the field.

When the cold weather returned we had some nice crisp, sunny days and I walked from Rainworth to Farnsfield using the first part of my Walk 24 .  I haven’t been that way since I did that walk and I was reminded what a nice one it is.  The first part where you come off the Rainworth by-pass and immediately reach a nice bit of heathland before a nice track through a wood is a lovely surprise and well worth a look.

On another sunny day I went via Hexgreave and over the top to Eakring.  The day was so clear that Lincoln Cathedral was easily visible on the skyline to the east from the top of the hill.  I went to the pond at Eakring Flash (see Walk 37) which was still mostly frozen but had swans, mallards, coots and a heron.  The ground was hard rather than muddy in most places which made things easier.  Hopefully the worst of the wet weather is now behind us and the fields which I have been mostly avoiding due to the mud will be nice to walk on again.

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 33: From Farnsfield across the fields, over Greaves Lane. Returning by a new route via Cotton Mill Farm

29 Feb

This walk is similar to walk  14 but there is a route back across the fields to Farnsfield that I haven’t described yet and I thought that this would be a good opportunity to address that having found a way of avoiding the worst of the wet ground that can be a problem going this way.

Start: Parfitt Drive Farnsfield.  This is a road coming off the Southwell Road about 100 yards east of the Plough pub in the village.  There is a bus stop on the main road very nearby and a small car park by a playground.

Distance: 3 miles

Part of the original route shown on the map is temporarily closed until July and I have described a diversion.

Map of the Route

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 twenty 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 along a narrow, sometimes slippery path 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.

View from the ridge over the fields towards Combs Wood

View from the ridge over the fields towards Combs Wood

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.  Carry straight on along the road with good views on the left as the ground falls away.  After 100 yards look for a footpath sign on the left which directs you through a hedge via a metal kissing gate. You can see Farnsfield ahead and below in the semi-distance beyond the fields.  Go through the kissing gate into a grassy field that drops away steeply ahead. You should be able to see a path where the grass is slightly worn away more than the rest of the field. If you can’t see a path then aim almost straight ahead going down the hill.

There may be a few cows in the field. The path is quite a steep one but the good grass covering in the field means that doesn’t get muddy until you reach the lower reaches of the field. Towards the bottom of the field aim about twenty yards to the right of the fence and hedge that goes straight down towards the house at the bottom of the hill. You may find that there are patches of mud but with a little care you can find your way through quite easily. Aim for the bottom of the hill near the house where you should see a kissing gate. Go through the gate into a small grassy area going down to the building ahead. After twenty yards turn sharp right just before the building and go into the yard. Go downhill for twenty yards to the obvious exit from the yard which goes straight out onto Greaves Lane so make sure there is nothing coming.

Go straight across Greaves Lane to the metal kissing gate just to the left of the yard you have just left.

From January 2021 the path ahead is temporarily closed.  The notice claims it is because the bridge across the pond is unsafe.  I have been across this bridge many times over the years and find it hard to believe that it is unsafe as on my most recent visit it was fine.  The notice also says there is boggy ground, which is true in wet weather but in normal conditions it is no worse than many paths.  The path near the rubble is a bit of a mess for a short distance but that is purely due to farm vehicles.  The path is officially closed until July, which is far too long for the reasons stated for closure.  It is possible to use the path but according to the notice you shouldn’t.  To continue with the walk the diversion is as follows.

From the kissing gate retrace your steps along Greaves Lane past the yard you just left and continue along the lane for 300 yards until you see a track on the left.  There is a footpath sign which is easy to miss coming from this direction.  Follow the signed track down from the lane and by a field for 200 yards until you get to another field.  Go straight on for a short distance when you will see in the hedge on the left a gap where the original path joins us.  Turn right here across the field and follow the main route for the rest of the walk.

 Go over another stile into a large grass field. This field extends ahead for 300 yards. It sometimes has cows in it and they can be a little curious and may follow you as you cross the field. The field has a good covering of grass and is generally good to walk on, at least for the first 250 yards. After very wet weather there can be standing water in places. I have found that the best place to walk in this case is close to the hedge on the left by the stream and ditch where there is a slightly raised bank about a foot higher than the rest of the field. Cross the field by walking close to the hedge straight on for 300 yards until you reach a gate. You will find that this gate is often open and you can just walk through, although it is a little muddy. If the gate is closed go through the smaller wooden gate to the left.

In either case you go into a smaller grass field continuing from the larger one. Keep straight on in this field for a little way. If it has been dry you can carry on to the next gate without any problems. However, if it has been wet you may well find some quite boggy ground ahead. If so what you should do to find the best route ahead is to go to the left hand side of the field. You will see a small part of an old brick wall ahead. Aim to the left of this and you should find that the ground isn’t too bad. Go through the gate at the end of the field taking you onto a track next to Cotton Mill Farm. There can be a variety of obstructions on this track but they aren’t too much of a problem.

After fifty yards you meet other footpaths coming in from the right which have been included in some of my earlier walks but you should carry on along the main track as it bends to the left. Just before a house on the right the track straightens and goes off towards the main Farnsfield to Edingley road but you shouldn’t go that way. Instead look to the left for a wooden gate going into a large grassy field. This is sometimes slightly hidden by farm vehicles parked near the field entrance.

The footpath gate next to the main gate isn’t in the best state of repair. The main problem here though is the state of the field next to the gate. The field is sometimes used for cows and as they use this gateway the entrance can often be rather muddy. The best strategy is to try and edge along the very thin strip of grass at the side of the field but this can take a bit of nimble footwork. If the mud is too bad and you want to go into Farnsfield you may have to resort to using the driveway from Cotton Mill Farm which goes to the Farnsfield to Edingley road and from there along the road to Farnsfield.

Once past the mud the field is very pleasant to walk through. Walk straight on near the hedge with a barbed-wire fence close by on your left. The path soon goes along a little bank a couple of feet above the rest of the field. You may have to negotiate two low gates across the path.  Half way along you pass a stone which looks as though it may mark a boundary. The only hazards you may encounter are curious cows together with other reminders that cows have used the field so watch where you are putting your feet. After 250 yards leave the field using a stile and then ten yards later go through a gap ahead of you next to a gate that takes you onto the track next to the Acres football pitches.

Go straight along the track towards the swings but after thirty yards look for a gap in the hedge on the right next to a fence by the allotments. Go along a narrow path by the fence for fifty yards then turn right to cross the field by the allotments to the metal gate from earlier in the walk.

Go through the gate back onto the field which you crossed at the start of the walk. From here you can just retrace your steps to the Main Street and to the start of the walk.

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

DSCF0738

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.

Walk 14: South From Farnsfield using Fields and Tracks near Greaves Lane

31 Mar

This walk is a circuit starting in Farnsfield going south over Greaves Lane and then onto some of the tracks beyond the lane on the next ridge. It returns to Farnsfield across different fields to Cotton Mill Farm.  There are various alternative routes which I will mention.  The walk should be quite reasonable even after wet weather as the paths I have used don’t seem to become too muddy.

Distance: 5 miles

Start:Farnsfield Co-op

 

From the car-park walk to the junction of Tippings Lane with the Main Street. From the entrance to the Co-op turn right along the Main Street and walk 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 (Walk 14) 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 Comb’s 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.  Here there is a choice of routes.  You can carry on along the road in the same direction as the path up through the wood and this continues to give good views back to Farnsfield. About 200 yards along is a junction with a track on the right which is where the main route of this walk rejoins you.  This cuts about a mile from the walk.

Back with the main route. Come from the plinth to the farm road.  You are at a corner. Turn right from the woodland path you have just come up. After 100 yards you come to a fork in the path.  To the right is a track to a farm but we want the left hand path.  Until a few years ago this path was in a pretty dreadful state.  It was just a grass path which was getting very rutted and uneven as bikes and horses went along it.  It was almost impassable at times and was even closed for some months.  It was resurfaced with shale and is now a good firm track which is fine to walk on even after wet weather.  I am often critical of the state of path maintenance but this is one that has been vastly improved.

Follow the left hand path for 100 yards where it turns right.  After another 200 yards turn sharp left.  Just after this left turn one thing to look for if it is a clear day and you have binoculars is Lincoln Cathedral.  You have to find a gap in the hedge on the left and look to the skyline way over to the east.  On the distant ridge you may, if you are lucky, just be able to make out the profile of the cathedral rising form the top of the ridge. Walk straight along the track for another 600 yards.  The views from the path are unfortunately mostly hidden by the hedges on either side of you.  You emerge at a junction where our track meets a much wider track and a farm road.  You now have a less obscured view of the surrounding countryside. Although the hedge on the right is still quite high you should be able to see across to the next ridge along.  At this junction of tracks if you go straight on for half a mile you reach the back road into Halam which goes up to the Oxton-Southwell road.

Our route at the track junction  takes the left turn down the farm road.  This road isn’t one you would choose to drive down as it is full of pot-holes but if walking these can be easily avoided.  Go down the hill long the road towards a farm for 200 yards.  As you get to the bottom of the dip the road makes a  short  right and then left turn for before you start to climb again away from the farm and the trees at the bottom.  After 200 yards you are back at the top of the next rise.  This is the crossroads next to the small reservoir we reached in Walk 10.  Ahead the road undulates towards Edingley.  The path to the right goes along the ridge before going down into Halam.  The route we want for this walk takes the wide track to the left at this crossroads.

As you go along the track you have hedges and fields on either side. On your left the ground slopes down to a valley and you can see the ridge we walked along earlier.  After 150 yards on the right is a footpath across the fields passing the caravan site. This gives excellent views and you can choose to go this way to Greaves Lane if you want. However, it can be slightly tricky to find your way down and can get muddy and overgrown near the bottom and I have chosen a different route. Carrying on with my route, after 400 yards you pass a farmhouse on the left. The track turns to the right for eighty yards.

At this point we meet the road from the plinth which some walkers may have used as a short cut.

You can reach Greaves Lane by going across a path down the hill in the field ahead and through a yard onto the lane. From there is a route back to Cotton Mill Farm across the fields. The path isn’t bad apart from a short section in the field near Cotton Mill Farm which seems to stay wet and muddy.

That is why I prefer the following route from the top of the hill.

Turn right along the road which shortly starts to go steeply downhill under the cover of trees and hedges. The road bends slightly to the left as you go. Take a little care as the road surface isn’t perfect and the descent is quite a sharp one.  After 400 yards you reach the bottom of the hill as the road meets Greaves Lane.

On reaching Greaves Lane turn right.  After 100 yards, just after a house on the left with large solar panels, look for a track on the left going down off Greaves Lane.  It is signposted but you can miss the sign coming from this direction as the signpost is just offf Greaves Lane and slightly hidden.  Go down the obvious track between the houses and gardens for 100 yards.  On your right you approach a big open barn and on your left and stretching out ahead is a very large field.  Enter this field as near to the end as you can.  There is a gate on the left of the track which is sometimes open.  If it isn’t you will have to climb over it.

The field itself is some 500 yards long and often has crops in it. For most of the year the crops aren’t too high although in summer it can be slightly awkward. The big advantage of this way is that it is very often dry underfoot compared to other routes.  In recent years there hasn’t been a clear path directly across the field.  However, there is a good way of getting across the field.  Go to the end of the field near the gate and walk about 10 yards along.  There always seems to be an obvious pair of parallel tracks where the farmer has driven his tractor and there are no crops growing.  Follow these straight down the field for 400 yards or so until there is a very slight dip down.  At this point look ahead of you to your left and the hedge.  You should be able to see a wooden post with a yellow top which marks the footpath.  To get there try to follow more tractor tracks.  You will probably have to move 10 yards further to your left to reach a new set of tracks which conveniently then go towards the yellow post.

On reaching the post look for a gap in the hedge and a little bridge which crosses a small stream.  This takes you into a nice grassy field.  Of late a temporary fence has been built in the field which takes you thirty yards to the end of the field by the Cotton Mill Dyke and from there turns alongside the dyke to leave the field in the corner.  This takes you into the track through Cotton Mill Farm. Turn right along the track for fifty yards, round a slight bend and then go to the left and a wooden gate leading into a large grassy field.  The footpath gate next to the main gate isn’t in the best state of repair. The main problem here though is the state of the field next to the gate.  The field is sometimes used for cows and as they use this gateway the entrance can often be rather muddy.  The best strategy is to try and edge along the very thin strip of grass at the side of the field but this can take a bit of nimble footwork. If the mud is too bad and you want to go into Farnsfield you may have to resort to using the driveway from Cotton Mill Farm which goes to the Farnsfield to Edingley road and from there along the road to Farnsfield.

Once past the mud the field is very pleasant to walk through.  Walk straight on near the hedge.  The path soon goes along a little bank a couple of feet above the rest of the field. Half way along you pass a stone which looks as though it may mark a boundary.  The only hazards you may encounter are curious cows together with other reminders that cows have used the field so watch where you are putting your feet.  After 250 yards leave the field using a stile and then ten yards later go through a gap ahead of you next to a gate that takes you onto the track next to the Acres football pitches.

Go straight along the track towards the swings but after thirty yards look for a gap in the hedge on the right next to a wooden fence.  Go through the gap onto another football field and head across the football pitch towards a metal gate at the far side not far from the goalposts.  Go through the gate back onto the field which you crossed at the start of the walk. From here you can just retrace your steps to the Main Street and to the start of the walk.  However, I will give an alternative for a little variety.  Head towards the Main street but when you reach the middle of the field walk towards the road running next to the field (Parfitt Drive).  Look for a road coming off the other side of Parfitt Drive called Irving Close.  Cross Parfitt Drive and go straight along Irving Close to the far end.  As you reach the end of the road you should see a path between two houses.  Go along that path for thirty yards until you reach a narrow path under tall trees. Turn right along this path for 100 yards until you come out onto the Main Street almost opposite the Plough pub.  Turn left and walk along the Main Street until you reach the Co-op again.

 

Walk 8: Farnsfield to Robin Hood Hill (near Oxton)

20 Jul

A walk from Farnsfield over the fields to Greaves Lane. Then along this quiet lane to Robin Hood Hill near Oxton which has excellent views. Returning to Farnsfield via Combs Wood. This is quite a long walk to attempt if you start and finish in Farnsfield.  It is possible to shorten the walk by parking at the top of Greaves Lane and doing the section to Robin Hood Hill, which is the best part of the walk.

Follow the first part of  Walk 4 over the fields and along Greaves Lane (here in italics)

Distance:  7 miles

Start: Parfitt Drive Farnsfield.  This is a road coming off the Southwell Road about 100 yards east of the Plough pub in the village.  There is a bus stop on the main road very nearby and a small car park by a playground.

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.

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.

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 Comb’s Wood along 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.

Turn right here and walk along Greaves Lane.  The road has a few undulations and bends but doesn’t have much traffic. Nevertheless, you should pay attention near the bends as there are no verges in places.  As you reach the next farm on the left after 300 yards, look to the right of the road for a metal gate and path leading into the woods (Combs Wood).

Where the earlier walk turned up the track into Combs Wood this walk continues long Greaves Lane. You are walking at the bottom of a valley with woods on the slopes to either side. After 400 yards on your right pass a farm. If you look over the hedge just before you reach the farmhouse you will see a good-sized garden pond. Greaves Lane is almost a single track lane here but there is a nice verge to walk on if a vehicle approaches, which isn’t often. Keep going along the lane after the farm as you reach a long straight stretch of road. The trees to the right become less prominent and you can see the fields rising to the top of the ridge. After another 400 yards you reach a slight bend in the road and soon the verge disappears as you climb steeply with the trees to your left now much thicker.  This is the only stretch of the road where meeting a vehicle can be a problem so take care. You will probably be getting short of breath near the top after 300 yards climbing but at the top of the hill the verge reappears and you can admire the view that has opened out ahead of you.

Greaves Lane

Greaves Lane

The road starts to go down again but our route leaves Greaves Lane at this point. On the left at the top of the hill is a wide farm track. Often the gate will be open but if it isn’t go through a gap next to it to reach the track.  Follow the track away from Greaves Lane towards a large tree 200 yards away.  The track is firm and quite a good surface to walk on running between fields. Go under the tree. 100 yards 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 50 yards 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 300 yards 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 which I will describe in my next walk. However, on this walk I will turn for home. 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. Either go back down the hill the way you came or take the quick, steep way down the hill. If you take the direct route down take care as the way is steep and a little uneven in places. If I go down this way I go along the top of the hill for thirty yards towards the wood and then down as it is slightly less steep.

Back at Greaves Lane go straight across the road and over a stile to a footpath. This goes straight across the field for 200 yards to the top of a small clump of trees. Just beyond this you meet a grassy farm track coming up from the farm below. Turn right along this track and walk to the gap in the hedge 200 yards away. Go through the gap into the next field and turn left alongside the hedge. Almost immediately the hedge turns right. Follow this hedge along the field edge for 400 yards. Combs Wood is now getting closer on your left. Keep your eyes open for a gap in the hedge as you get nearer to the trees. Go through this gap and down a bank onto a wide track in the wood.

From here you have a choice of routes. In most cases I would recommend turning right along the wide track for 500 yards until you meet the path in Combs Wood that I described in walk. From there you can follow that route back to Farnsfield. However, if you want to see a different part of Combs Wood follow the variant described here (not recommended after wet weather).

Turn left along the track. It starts to descend slightly after fifty yards. Look on the right for a stile into a grassy field. Go over the stile and drop steeply down the hill following the field edge. In the bottom corner of the field are a collection of rocks which have been dumped there. In this corner go over a stile into the wood. The path continues downhill quite steeply in the wood. This path used to be a very nice one to walk on. Unfortunately over the years the channel which allowed rainwater to run off down the hill has become silted up. This has caused the rainwater to spread over a wide area including the path through the wood. This means that unless it has been very dry you will have to try and find the least wet and muddy way through. The wood itself is still a nice one to walk through. It is just a shame that the path has become so wet.  Follow the path down for 100 yards then take a right turn over a wooden plank (under which the water used to flow) Then make a left turn across some more wet ground for eighty yards to a stile leaving the wood.

Coming out of the wood the way across the large field you have entered is usually clear. If crops are growing the farmer generally clears a path. If the path isn’t clear you should look to the far corner of the field on your right at the bottom of the hill about 300 yards away. Aim in a straight line for that corner going initially down to the bottom of the dip in the field and then up again. Leave the field at the corner and turn right along Combs Lane (the track leading from Combs Farm on your left to Farnsfield). At this point the track is slightly sandy but not bad to walk on. Walk along the lane for 300 yards until you meet the path coming down from the other exit to Combs Wood. This is the path described in Walk 4. Follow the lane straight all the way back to Farnsfield. The final stage in the village is repeated here.

The end of the lane meets another road as you reach the village. As you meet the road (actually the junction of Tippings Lane and Quaker Lane) turn left  along Tippings Lane with houses now on both sides of the road. The road starts to bend round. After 50 yards on your left cross a road leading to some new houses (this is Powell Court and The Brambles development).  Continue following the main road around the bend. You come to a little rise and dip just before Beck Lane comes in from the left.  Ignore Beck Lane and carry on ahead as our road straightens. Cross the road Gregory Gardens (named after a man from Farnsfield who explored Australia) on the right and go all the way up Tippings Lane to reach the Co-op car park and the finish of the walk.

Walk 4: Combs Wood

31 Dec

A walk over the fields with great views Farnsfield and surrounding countryside. Returning through Comb’s Wood to Farnsfield.

Start: Farnsfield Co-op in the centre of the village.  The car park now only allows a one hour stay so you may prefer to begin the walk at Parfitt Drive where you can park for longer.

Distance:3.5 miles

This is a walk over fields to the top of a hill which gives some of the best views near Farnsfield.

 

The Walk

Follow the route of  Walk 1 to reach the Acres playing fields.  The directions from walk 1 are repeated here in italics.

From the car-park walk to the junction of Tippings Lane with the Main Street. From the entrance to the Co-op turn right along the Main Street and walk 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 (Walk 4) 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

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 Comb’s Wood along the hill.

Towards Greaves Lane from the top of  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

Looking back up the hill from near Greaves Lane

Turn right here and walk along Greaves Lane.  The road has a few undulations and bends but doesn’t have much traffic. Nevertheless, you should pay attention near the bends as there are no verges in places.  As you reach the next farm on the left after 300 yards, look to the right of the road for a metal gate and path leading into the woods (Combs Wood).  There is a signpost for a ByWay here. Go through the gate and follow the path. Initially it is quite narrow and slightly muddy. After 200 yards it widens and becomes a good firm track. the path starts to ascend the hill with steep banks to either side among the trees.  This path has been greatly improved over the last few years. It used to become very muddy due to the water run-off from the banks but now the path has been widened and resurfaced it is nice to walk on in all conditions.  The path climbs steadily for nearly half a mile through the wood. The woodland is pleasant but the views are limited by the banks next to the path.As you near the top you see another wide track coming in from the left but you carry on straight ahead.

The improved path in Combs Wood

The improved path in Combs Wood

The path continues uphill for a short way before reaching the top of the hill. If you look to your right you can see quite a long way through the gaps in the trees, as the banks you have been walking between up the hill have now disappeared.  The path now starts to go downhill. Pass to the left of a stile and enter an area of thicker woodland. The path descends more steeply with a hollow to your right. Continue downhill for 300 yards to the end of the wood.

In contrast to the good work that has been done on the path you have just walked up, in this part of the wood the path is much worse than it used to be.  Time was that there was a good covering of pine needles on the path which helped with drainage and were lovely and springy to walk on.  Unfortunately some years ago many of the pine trees were felled which left the path open to the elements. Now in places the path can be so muddy that you have to walk off the main path to avoid the worst of it.  There is one patch of mud half-way down the hill and at the bottom of the wood you come to a series of steps which seem to hold the water running down the slope.  This makes the path on the steps very muddy for much of the time. It is such a shame as this path used to be so nice to walk on.  There used to be a sign here warning of adders.  However, be reassured that these are something you will not come across.

The path on the steps gets narrow as you leave the woodland and go near brambles, another hazard when the path is slippery.  This may sound like a good reason to avoid this path and I would much prefer to wait for dry weather to do it. However, if you don’t mind mud the rewards on leaving the wood are worth it.  The view is excellent and with a bench to sit on you can enjoy it while resting.

Looking towards Farnsfield from Combs Wood

Looking towards Farnsfield from Combs Wood

Go quite steeply downhill by the field edge with the hedge next to you on your right.   At the bottom of the hill in wet weather it can be a little muddy. Keep going straight on until you leave the field and emerge onto Combs Lane. Here the lane is unmetalled but is fine to walk on, the surface being firm and in good condition.  Leaving the field turn right and keep following the lane for the next mile into Farnsfield. After 200 yards the surface has a few pot-holes which can after very wet weather be filled with water. You can find a way past most of them but in extremely bad weather one or two will require you to edge past on the verge or walk through.  400 yards from the field you left, by a large tree, you come to a track coming in from the left at the edge of a field. This leads to the Blidworth road. 100 yards further on you meet the route from Walk 1 coming from the right. You can choose to follow that route to the finish.

This is the alternative way along the lane.

Carry on along Combs Lane as the walk 1 route joins you. After 100 yards where you see a bench, walk 1 goes off down the path to the left. Walk 4 continues straight on along the lane. The lane here needs a little care as there is no verge and surrounded by quite tall hedges. It is unlikely that you will meet traffic but sometimes vehicles from the farms do come along. After 200 yards follow  a small bend to the right then left. On the bend is the gated entrance to a house. After the bends follow the lane downhill towards tall newish houses.  200 yards further along is another bend to the right with a barn on the right of the lane.  This barn has become a very  poplar roosting spot for starlings.  Keep following the lane for 50 yards as you head into the village.

The end of the lane meets another road as you reach the village. As you meet the road (actually the junction of Tippings Lane and Quaker Lane) turn left  along Tippings Lane with houses now on both sides of the road. The road starts to bend round. After 50 yards on your left cross a road leading to some new houses (this is Powell Court and The Brambles development).  Continue following the main road around the bend. You come to a little rise and dip just before Beck Lane comes in from the left.  Ignore Beck Lane and carry on ahead as our road straightens. Cross the road Gregory Gardens (named after a man from Farnsfield who explored Australia) on the right and go all the way up Tippings Lane to reach the Co-op car park and the finish of the walk.