Tag Archives: Nottinghamshire Walks

Walking The Robin Hood Way: Elkesley to Duncanwood Lodge

7 Nov

This stage goes through fields and woods before returning to Clumber Park for a long straight walk under trees. There is a spur of the Way that takes a short detour to Robin Hood’s Cave and Whitewater Bridge then returns to the main route.

Start: Elkesley (continues from the Stage Clumber Park to Elkesley)

Finish: Duncanwood Lodge (continues to the Stage from Duncanwood Lodge to Edwinstowe)

Distance: 15km (9 miles) if not doing the Whitewater Bridge spur. 18km (11 miles) if you are.

Map of the Route

If you have used the bus to reach Elkesley you should go south along Headland Avenue from the bus stop for 250m to meet the Robin Hood Way again at the edge of the village on Brough Lane. If you have been walking along the Way from the previous stage in Clumber Park then as you reach the village you should carry on along the road with houses on your left, bearing slightly right rather than turn left into the village.

After the last house continue along the track for 200m until the road starts to bend left. Turn right here onto a path going downhill by a field. Go over a bridge into Elkesley Wood. This is surprisingly hard to find your way through as there is little footpath signage and several paths. On entering the wood bear right along a clear path next to a stream. After a short way at the first junction of paths bear left away from the stream slightly uphill. Follow this path until you come to another junction of paths. When I did this walk there was a wooden log with Robin Hood Way waymarks at this junction but unfortunately this was lying on the ground and it was hard to tell which was the right way to go. In fact you should turn left here along another path for 80m until you reach another path junction near the edge of the wood. Turn right along a path which after 150m emerges from the wood on a wider track near a brick building.

Walk along a grassy path which climbs quite steeply up a small hill towards buildings. At the top of the climb cross the wide track of West Drayton Lane, which you walked along in the previous stage. Go through a gate opposite. Follow a track past buildings of this reindeer farm looking out for Rudolph. The track bends to the right and as you reach the front of the farm buildings you turn left along a wide gravel track going downhill towards a road (the B6387). At the farm gateway go carefully straight across this road and continue along the track on the other side. This continues downhill with a wood on your left at first. You cross the River Meden and then go under a railway bridge, past a farmyard and cross a bridge over the River Maun.

The track climbs slightly and then turns left. Very soon you reach a right turn which you should take. If you carry straight on after 400m you come to the ruins of a small chapel (St.John’s Chapel) which you may wish to visit. If you do then return to this junction. Turn downhill to cross this very large field aiming for an area of woodland and continue straight on after that to the bottom of the hill. Turn left and very soon after that right to go down into a small area of trees next to Bevercotes Beck on the left.

Carry on into another field and follow the left hand edge for 400m until you reach a hedge coming across. Turn right and stay along the edge of the field with this hedge on your left. After 150m the hedge ends but you should keep going in the same direction. Where a new hedge starts you should go through a wide gap ahead so that this hedge is on your right. Follow a wide grassy track for 250m until you reach a large field. Turn left and follow a track with a hedge now on your left. After 300m near power lines is a junction of paths. Going straight on takes you to the village of Walesby with a pub and other facilities. Our route however turns right here, going under the power lines. Aim towards houses along a wide track with a field on your right and hedge on your left. After 500m you reach a road but don’t go out to it yet. Instead turn right and stay inside the field with a hedge on your left. After 100m turn left out of the field and cross the road (the B6387 again). Directly opposite is a path which you join and follow straight on.

At first the path is quite narrow next to a hedge but after 800m it becomes wider. It goes over a mineral railway line and then joins a wide farm track with large pens of chickens to your left. Go straight on under sets of power lines until you reach woodland. Keep walking straight ahead for 200m until you come to a T junction of paths.

This is where you choose whether to make the diversion left on a spur of the Robin Hood Way to have a look at a couple of sights. To continue the full Robin Hood Way you will have to return to this point the same way you went . I would certainly recommend making the shortish walk to Robin Hood’s Cave. If you then want to continue to Whitewater Bridge one possibility is to carry on to Ollerton another 2.5km further on (see my Walk 57 for directions). Ollerton is on a bus route to Elkesley.

Robin Hood’s Cave and River Maun

For the extra spur you should turn left at the path T junction and follow a good path with trees close by on your right. After you reach a clear area of sandstone on the right of the path. This is the site of Robin Hood’s Cave, a small hole in the sandstone overlooking the River Maun about twenty metres below. You can go onto the stone where you can also see the handiwork of locals who have carved their names into the rock. To continue on the spur route go back to the main path and carry on south into the woods going gradually downhill. After 700m you leave the wood at a bend in a quiet road. Turn right along the road for a short way then cross to the other side of the road to join a path running alongside the road. This soon comes to Whitewater Bridge which crosses the River Maun and is quite a pleasant spot. From here you can either retrace your steps to the T junction of paths on the main Robin Hood Way or follow the path on the other side of the bridge which goes left and follows the Maun to Ollerton.

Whitewater Bridge

Back at the T junction to continue the Robin Hood Way if you have come from the Whitewater Bridge spur you carry straight on. If you haven’t done the extra spur you turn right at the T junction.

The path is in woods and obvious with a field clearing on the right. Go straight on for then go down a short quite steep section of path as the path becomes narrower with trees now all around in this copse (Conjure Alders). At the bottom take a slight turn to the right and cross a footbridge on the left. Go over a second bridge and out of the copse into a field.

Turn left and follow the edge of the field, which had cows in it on my visit. Turn uphill at the corner and keep following the hedge until you reach a gap at the top of the field as you reach a minor road. Cross this and continue in the same direction in the field on the other side staying on the field edge with a hedge on your left. On reaching a plantation to your left stay at the field edge alongside the plantation. At the end of the third field after the road you find yourself getting closer to the A614. A little way into the next field the path enters scrub on the left. Continue along the path with the A614 very close by on your left.

After 900m you reach the minor road signed to Bothamsall. Cross this and then the A614 at the crossing. On the other side follow the path away from the A614 going to the right of the gate to a signpodted bridleway. Enter the woodland of Clumber Park and join a wide track. This track is called Freeboard Lane. Follow it almost straight under the trees going south-west. There are a few very small bends but it is very straightforward as you ignore all side turnings. After 2.5 km you reach a lodge (South Lodge).

Cross the wide track going to the right and continue straight on keeping to the left of the fence bordering the Lodge garden. After another 650m a clearing appears on the left with various tracks going off to the side. Ignore all the side tracks and keep going straight ahead until you meet a wide track or green “ride”. Follow this track for 2km until you reach a small car park by the road (B6005) near Duncanwood Lodge. This is where this stage finishes. There are bus shelters here for the Sherwood Arrow bus service between Worksop and Ollerton, which also continues to Nottingham, every two hours.

Crossing the road takes you onto the stage I described a few months ago going from Duncanwood Lodge to Edwinstowe

Exploring Further Into Nottinghamshire With My Walks

30 Oct

This month is the ninth anniversary of the start of this blog. As with all of these things it takes a while to become widely known and after a slow start I have now had more than 125,000 views of the blog. Last year there were over 35,000 views of these pages as walking became so popular. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit and for your kind words and comments.

I have now described more than seventy walks in the area around Farnsfield and central Nottinghamshire. I have found it quite difficult to come up with new walks so close to home and I’ve decided that I will expand the range of the walks to include the rest of Nottinghamshire.

Mostly I want to do this at first to be able to extend my descriptions of the long-distance trails, the Robin Hood Way and Trent Valley Way, that I have covered when they come through central Notts. I have also thought of other walks in the county that I will link together to make my own longer trails. This week I have finally completed my walk around the county in a trail I devised called The Nottinghamshire Way.

I will also try to include plenty of short circlular walks and if I find more good local walks nearer to home I will write about them. If you want any advice about local walks please write to me and I will try to help.

Thanks

Rob

Walking The Robin Hood Way: Clumber Park to Elkesley

30 Sep

This stage continues from Clumber Park and goes round part of the lake before heading out of the park and across fields to the River Poulter and the village of Elkesley.

You will have to find a way of returning to your start point either by retracing your steps, taking a slightly different direct way, or if you have the time and energy by following the next part of the Robin Hood Way which takes a 10km loop back to Clumber Park. The alternative is to use the Sherwood Arrow bus service, one branch of which takes you every two hours to Carburton, about 4km from the visitor centre on a nice walk through Clumber Park. The other branch of the bus service calls at Elkesley every two hours as it travels from Retford to Nottingham. Both branches meet at New Ollerton, about half an hour away.

Start: Clumber Park Visitor Centre

Finish: Elkesley

Distance: 8km (5 miles)

Map of the Route

Start at the central visitor area for the park.  There are numerous facilities here including cafe, gift shops, tourist information, toliets and an adventure playground with a car park nearby.  It is usually busy with visitors.  Going through the courtyard area takes you out onto the lawn next to the lake.  There are lots of geese, ducks and swans around and the lawn can be a bit dirty with their droppings but other than that it’s an attractive spot.

The other obvious landmark will be seen as you turn left to walk alongside the lake.  The spire of a chapel towers above the trees and bushes of the gardens and is just a short distance away so well worth a visit.  To continue the walk stay alongside the lake and follow the clear path into the trees ahead.  Stay in this direction for the next kilometre with the lake just to your right.  The path leaves the lakeside slightly in the wood but returns to it as the lake turns at right angles to the left ahead stopping your progress.  Turn sharp left yourself to stay by the lake for 300m under trees then go right across the lake along a road. 

Immediately after the lake turn right off the road onto a wide track alongside the lake. This takes you for when just after some farm buildings turn left away from the lake slightly uphill to a cafe area which often has refreshments available from a mobile stall.

Clumber Park Lake

Go along a short section of path between hedges and buildings to reach a car park at Hardwick Grange. From here bear right, ignoring the road going off to the left and bear right again along a quiet road that takes you down to a ford. Cross the ford along a footbridge then follow the road uphill. After 150m look for a gate on the left and go through it into a large field. Follow the path diagonally uphill across the field until you reach another gate near the far corner. Go through it and bear right along a clear track which very soon crosses a road. Cross this and continue on the path for another 100m to another road with a large entrance gate. Turn out of Clumber Park either at this entrance to reach the busy A614. Very carefully cross this to reach a signposted path on the other side (West Drayton Avenue).

Go along this very straight, well-defined path through a wood for 1200m, ignoring any side paths. You stay under the trees for nearly all of this with just one small clearing. You eventually leave the wood and find yourself in a very large area of open arable fields. Carry straight on along the grit-surfaced, hard track between fields.

After another 500m you reach a crossroads of paths where a bridleway crosses West Drayton Avenue. Turn left here and follow the path along a line of telegraph poles at the edge of a field towards a wood. After 300m you reach the wood and enter it along a clear grassy track, still following the telegraph poles. After 300m the path goes very slightly to the right and you join a wide forest track. Bear left downhill for 400m until you reach Crook Ford, a ford across the River Poulter.

Crook Ford and The River Poulter

This is a nice spot to rest as the river gently flows by. Cross the ford using the footbridge on the left and continue uphill for 150m. Turn right up a track going further uphill. The track bends to the right towards a works entrance. Just before the entrance turn left along a narrow path and walk alongside a fence and large warehouse on your right. After 100m you leave the fence behind and meet a concrete track which soon becomes a road. Continue straight on along this road for 700m, going past a couple of houses on the way. You go uphill to reach more houses which are the edge of Elkesley.

When you reach the first proper road in the village turn left along Lawn Wood Lane to the centre of the village if you are finishing your walk here. The nearest bus stop is about 150m away. However, The Robin Hood Way goes straight on and I will give a description of the route for the next stage soon.

Please note – The next possible bus connection is at Walesby, 5km further on.

Walking The Trent Valley Way: Rolleston to Newark

26 Jul

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

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

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

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

Distance: 12.4 km (7.7 miles)

Map of the Route

The centre of the village of Rolleston is near the Dapper Spaniel pub. For the start of the walk you want to be on the opposite side of the main road through the vilage. The Trent Valley Way leaves Rolleston heading towards the church and Southwell racecourse along a quiet road (Station Road) leaving the main road by a sharp bend. Go past the church and just after that as the road turns sharply to the left, look to the right where there is an open area of ground and a track going away from the road.  Turn off the road here.

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

Tree line on the golf course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View towards the Trent Valley from the top of the hill

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newark Rugby Club

Newark Rugby Club

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

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

Newark Castle

Walks In Central Nottinghamshire: Walk 65 – The Hidden Paths of Farnsfield

27 Apr

This walk is quite a short one around Farnsfield that connects some of the main tracks and open spaces of the village by using several little paths that go between the houses. They aren’t hidden as such but if you don’t know the village well you probably won’t be aware of them.

Start and Finish : The Green, which is the main bus stop in Farnsfield, just to the west of the church, opposite The Lion pub.

Distance: 4km (2.5 miles)

Map of the Route

From the bus stop at the Green cross to the island in the middle of the road and then to the other side of the main road near the Lion pub. Turn right for 30m where you will see a signpost for a footpath going to the left. Turn left and soon follow a path to the left of a driveway to a house. This narrow “twitchel”, as I have always known it, climbs quite steeply between houses and hedges for about 50m until you come out on Chapel Lane. Turn left along the road which has no pavement but is quite quiet. Go downhill for 100m to the bottom of the road where it meets the main road and follow the pavement on the right for fifty metres and then turn up a path to the right of a small, reddish building, the old village Lock Up jail. Go up this short narrow path which turns left and then goes up some steps.

The village Lock Up
Cricket and Playing Fields

This takes you into a field with the cricket ground to the left and basketball court on the right. Bear right towards a building (the village surgery) about 100m away and leave the field at a gate. This takes you onto Station Lane. Cross the road to a pavement and turn left for 150m.Just after you have passed the entrance to the cricket club look for a surfaced path leaving Station Lane to the right between houses. Turn up this for 100m to reach a road (Alexander Road) where you turn left. Walk for 100m to the end of this cul-de-sac where you go right to a small parking area. Cross this onto a path and go through a metal gate. This takes you back onto the railway track.

Turn right along the track which is soon met by another branch of the railway line. Continue in the same direction for another 150m with houses on your right and fields to the left. The track here is slightly elevated but when you reach the end of the track you make a short sharp descent that takes you down to a road. Go straight across, taking care of traffic which occasionally comes this way. On the other side go up the corresponding sharp climb to the descent you just made to rejoin the wider railway track.

Follow this very straight track for 300m, soon going past the school playing field on the right and then more houses. After the last house very near the track the path becomes a little narrower with hedges and trees on either side. Carry on along the track for another 100m where you will see a footpath signpost on the right. There is also a path going off to the left here which goes across two fields but then stops so you must return the same way, which is why I haven’t included it in any of my walks. Taking the path to the right you go over a stile and low fence into a nice meadow.

Bear right for 100m to another stile next to a hedge near some new houses. Go over the stile onto a wide path and follow this across the road and continue along it for a short distance. You meet a narrow firm path where you turn left. There is a tall hedge on your left and houses on the right. After 150m you reach a road (Milldale Road) and turn right. Cross the road with houses on both sides. After 50m look for a path to the left between houses that goes slightly downhill by their lawns and gardens. In 100m you come to a small grassy area with a few silver birch trees before reaching a road (Brickyard Lane). Turn right for 80m along the lane until you reach a wide road (the Ridgeway). Go left for a short distance downhill to reach the Main Street which you cross.

Turn right for a very short distance until you are opposite the car park of the Plough pub. Look for a narrow path to the left. Take this path away from the street which soon goes under the shade of trees or walls on either side of the path. The path is a bit uneven in places because of tree roots under the surface. Stay on the path for 150m until you reach a junction of paths. Take the path bearing left and continue along it for 120m crossing a road half way along with houses on your right.

At the end of this path you emerge at a bend on a wide, hard track. Going straight on here for 50m takes you to the Acres playing fields which you can wander round if you wish to make this walk a bit longer. However, on this walk we turn right along the wide track. After 100m, just before reaching a proper road, look for a narrow footpath to the right. Follow this path for 100m next to gardens and a fence until you reach the junction of paths we were at a short time ago.

Turn left along a narrow, shaded path, looking out for tree roots. Soon the path becomes properly surfaced as it becomes an alley between houses for 30m. Stop at the end to check for traffic because you are going straight onto a road. Cross the road (Quaker Lane) and go right along the pavement for a very short distance. Turn left along Sunnyside, a narrow well-surfaced footway between houses. You soon reach a junction where you should turn left along a wider track. Follow this for 100m but where the wider track turns left carry straight on along a narrow path for 30m to reach a quiet residential street (Gregory Gardens). Go straight across to another short, narrow path which you follow for 80m.

This takes you close to the southern edge of the village as you come to a road. Turn right and follow the road for 100m around a bend. Turn left along the first road you come to (Beck Lane) and follow this for 200m. Just after a bench on the right of the road turn right up a narrow, surfaced path. Go 300m all the way to the end of this path where the village church comes into view on the right. You reach a road coming downhill but carry on ahead taking the pavement on the right. After 30m you arrive at the Green where the walk began.

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.

Walking The Robin Hood Way: Papplewick Moor to Blidworth via Burntstump Park

25 Jan

This stage of the Robin Hood Way is another one that can be used as part of a loop between Papplewick and Blidworth combined with another stage or as a point-to-point walk. You can get the 141 Trent Barton bus to return to your starting point. The Way doesn’t go right into the main part of Papplewick but it’s only a short walk.

Start: Moor Road, just south of the centre of Papplewick.


Finish: Blidworth

Distance: 10.5km (6.5 miles)

Map of the Route

The words in italics are the extra parts of the walk just off the Robin Hood Way itself that take you from the crossroads by the Griffin’s Head pub in the centre of Papplewick to the centre of Blidworth.

From the crossroads walk south past the Griffin’s Head alongside the B683 (Moor Road) on the opposite side from the pub. It’s fairly busy but there is a pavement. After 300m you come alongside a wood on the right but stay on the pavement for another 400m when you meet the Robin Hood Way which is coming north along the B683. When you reach the first turning to the right (to Hucknall and Linby) look for a footpath sign on the other side of the road pointing across fields. Cross the road and join the Way as it goes across the fields of Papplewick Moor.

Follow this path across a few fields aiming for Stanker Hill Farm on the horizon about a mile ahead.  Go uphill a little in the final approach to the farm and then to the right of the buildings in the farm complex.  You reach a track which runs alongside a railway embankment and through a small tree plantation until coming to the A60.  Turn right along the pavement by this busy Nottingham to Mansfield road for about 200m to Seven Mile House.  Cross the A60 at the crossing and go along the minor road on the other side.

Follow this for 200m then turn right at the entrance to Burntstump Country Park which is also the site of the Park Hospital and Notts Police HQ.  Follow the entrance road until you see a path on the left-hand side in the trees.  This leads past buildings on the left to reach the car park.

From the car park take the path above it with the cricket ground and open park on your left and trees to your right.  Follow the path towards the top right hand corner of the park, if you meet other paths it can be a little tricky to follow but keep aiming for the top corner.  At the top go onto a track past the Paviors Sports Ground on the right.  At a junction of paths bear to the left along a metalled track which passes Seely Church School and goes out to a road.  

Turn left along the road for about 75 metres then turn right onto a rough track.  Pass two houses on the left and go downhill for 600m to meet a minor road.  Continue straight on along the road verge, passing Papplewick Pumping Station after 750m on the left, to reach a crossroads.  Turn right at the crossroads and walk along the verge of the road, Longdale Lane, under trees.  After 100m cross the road to join a forest track running alongside the lane just inside a forest plantation.  After 800m the track reaches the Longdale Lane picnic site.

Turn left into the car park and through the parking area to join a forest track running into the plantation.  This wide track climbs for 1.5km going straight all the way.  At the top at a junction of tracks bear slightly right but basically continue in the same direction as the track starts to descend again. After a kilometre a path to the right takes you to the Blidworth Woods car park but instead of going into the car park you should follow this main track all the way to the road (Blidworth Lane) and turn left. 

Follow the lane, taking care as there is no proper verge, for 500m.  As you reach a riding stables look for a track on the right which is the Robin Hood Way.  Take this track which climbs and after 300m meets a wood and my Walk 12 coming from the right.  The track surface is good in all but the worst weather. After 200 yards you leave the wood behind and the track starts curving slightly to the left. After 600 yards you reach the edge of Blidworth. As you near the top of the hill turn round and look behind you.  The view is slightly obscured by the hedge but is still a good one. You can see to the south towards Blidworth Bottoms which is now well below you.  Houses start to appear on either side of you as you crest the top of the hill. The track ends and becomes a road. Follow the road straight on going downhill for 200 yards until you reach a small war memorial on the right of the road which is where the stage ends and you can join stages I have described before.

 To reach the centre of the village go down the steps to the side of the memorial to reach the pavement next to the main road through Blidworth. Turn right along the pavement going down the hill. At the bottom of the hill you reach the main junction in Blidworth where our road meets the other major roads in the village.

The Robin Hood Way: Norton to Creswell Crags and The Harley Gallery

15 Dec

This is only a short stage but it can be turned into a day out by visiting Creswell Crags and the Harley Gallery which are both worth a visit. The walk goes through fields and a nice tree-lined avenue before reaching them.

The Harley Gallery itself has a large car parking area 200m or so from the shelter. The car park is free and there are worthwhile attractions to visit if parking at the Gallery.  The Gallery itself has a series of exhibitions throughout the year and a permanent collection housed in a new gallery.  There is also a garden centre and café.  The Creswell Crags visitor centre has a large car park (pay and display) which lies directly on the route.  If you are coming by public transport the bus shelter opposite the Gallery is on the number 209 bus route from Edwinstowe to Worksop with buses every two hours during the daytime on weekdays, the same service as the bus to Norton.  It is also possible to join the route from Creswell station, which is half a mile from Creswell Crags, on the Robin Hood Line from Nottingham to Worksop.

Start: Centre of Norton village

Finish: Either the car park at Creswell Crags Visitor Centre, at the Harley Gallery or if using buses the bus stop on the A60 near the gallery.

Distance: 4.5 miles/ 7.2 km

Map of the Route

From the centre of the small village of Norton going south turn almost immediately right along the road to Holbeck and Worksop.  This climbs gently and about 100m after you leave Norton you see a footpath on the right.  Turn right onto this and follow the path alongside a hedge in a narrow field for 500m.  At the end of the field you reach another lodge (Bunkers Hill Lodge) and turn left to walk along a lovely tree-lined drive.  Follow this for a kilometre, going past Park Lodge after 600m.  The avenue of trees finishes and you enter a wood, still along the drive, and after 400m bear right.  You reach the driveway to the Thoresby Artisan School after another 400m where you turn left for 400m more until you reach the main gates and a lodge at the A60 main road.  Carefully cross the A60 and go straight on along a quiet road for 200m , ignoring the first right turn, until you reach the hamlet of Holbeck Woodhouse.  Take the next right turn along a nice avenue of lime trees.  After going past a church on the left this meets a road in Holbeck village where you turn left.

Holbeck

Almost opposite the fingerpost but just a little further along on the right hand side of the road look for another footpath sign aiming for Creswell Crags along the Robin Hood Way. Turn right off the road along the path which goes between houses and then up a short rise to enter a field. Go straight on along the left hand side of this grassy field down to a gate and then into another field. Stay on the left of this next field which you soon leave to reach a much more open arable field.
Here go right for twenty yards and follow the right hand side of this field to the far end, some 200 yards away. Leave this field and enter another one with a wood nearby on your left. Just past this another appears on your right hand side. This second woodland is next to but separate from the field and you will see notices reminding you that it is private. Enter a grassy field and stay near the right hand edge of the field as you start to climb up a noticeable incline. You come near to a wall between the field and the wood as you approach the top of the hill after 400 yards. By this time you may need a breather and at the top you have quite a wide prospect ahead to the west looking into Derbyshire, now only a hundred yards away. You can see the houses of Creswell nearby.
From the brow of the hill start to descend quite a steep little slope and you should see quite a well defined path going off to the right a little way below. As you reach the path turn right along it and you soon come to a stone stile which you step over. This takes you into the Creswell Crags area. Follow the clear path across a stream as you reach the main tracks in the Crags. Turn right after the stream and very soon you reach a small lake. There are good paths on either side of the lake and it doesn’t really matter which one you take. For the purposes of this walk we will stay on the near side of the lake (as we at least stay in Nottinghamshire on this side!) and walk alongside it.)

Creswell Crags
You are now walking through Creswell Crags, a limestone gorge with several caves on either side of you in the rock. These caves were some of the oldest known inhabited places in Britain, dating back some 13000 years. Remains of prehistoric animals have been found in the caves. You can take guided tours of some of the caves which leave from the Visitor Centre. As well as being of great historical interest the Crags are also a very pleasant environment to walk in with very good tracks running along the gorge and lake. At the far end of the lake follow the main track almost straight on away from the lake. As you leave the lake take the track going to the left hand side of the grass ahead. Follow that for a short way and keep looking to the left where soon you will see a small wooden figure of depicting one of the ancient inhabitants of the Crags. Cross a stream to go into the woods near him where there is another good path. Turn right to follow this path through the wood towards the Visitor Centre which you will see clearly a little way ahead.
Walk to the Visitor Centre which you really should have a look at if you have time. As well as the tours and interesting displays about the Crags you can also find refreshments here at a cafe. There are also good picnic table facilities on the grass nearby.

After looking round you leave the visitor centre and go into the car park.  Once in the car park turn right from the visitor centre and walk to the far end of the car park where there is an intersection of paths.  There you should ignore paths going off to the side and just carry straight on ahead along quite a wide path.  The path enters a slightly more open area, although with trees not far away, as it bends gently round to the right.  Just before you reach the main A60 road you pass a small lodge by the path.  At the A60 the Robin Hood Way crosses straight over but to return to the Harley Gallery we turn right here to follow the pavement alongside the road.  As before the road is busy but the pavement decent although this time you must walk for 400m until reaching the bus shelter from the start of the walk.  Here you can either wait for the bus or cross over carefully to visit the Gallery and surrounding attractions.

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire Walk 63: Haywood Oaks and Blidworth Woods

10 Sep

 

This walk follows some of the route of Walk 12.  It starts at the car park in Haywood Oaks just east of Blidworth and largely follows the tracks through the woods and around the edge of the adjoining woods.  It is generally well draining and can be done in any weather as the tracks are good although after particularly wet weather the odd patch may be slightly muddy.  One other thing to bear in mind is that there have been cases where dogs have been taken ill after walking  in Haywood Oaks.  This seems to have occurred in late summer or early autumn. No conclusive reason has been found for this as yet but it may be something that grows at that time of year.

Start: Haywood Oaks Car Park just to the south-east of Blidworth on Baulker Lane, the road to the A614 from Blidworth (if the car park is inaccessible park just off the road by the wide track.  If coming by public transport start from Dale Lane near the end of Blidworth village about half a mile from the car park.

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2km)

Map of the Route

From the car park go back to reach the main track which continues from the car park entrance. This is a good, wide, firm track which is fine to walk on in all conditions. Follow the track downhill away from Baulker Lane. After 500 yards straight it bends to the right and then to the left over the next 300 yards. When the track starts to straighten again and you can see a long straight section ahead we turn right off the main track to go onto a narrower path. The path you want is the one with a field immediately to the right of it. This field often contains pigs. The path goes quite sharply uphill alongside the field before levelling out after 300 yards. Keep going straight on along the path until you come to a house after another 300 yards.

 

Just before you reach the house bear left along the track taking you to a road. Cross the road and turn left to walk along the verge. The road has more traffic than you would expect for a country road so take care. After  200 yards you reach another area of woodland on your right. Take the first path on the right that you come to, going through a small hedge. The  path is narrow and not very obvious through the hedge but soon becomes much wider. Go downhill on a wide track at the edge of the public part of the wood keeping next to a wire fence on your right. The path drops quite steeply downhill along a sandy track. After 400 yards you reach the bottom of the dip and start to climb again along another sandy path bearing slightly to the right to keep to the edge of the wood.

After 600 yards the edge of the wood turns almost at ninety degrees to the right.  The path ahead becomes a wide track but on this walk we stay at the edge of the wood and turn right.  The path narrows but is decent and pleasant among more deciduous trees.  It rises steadily with an open field on your right.  Follow this for 500 yards as far as you can go before reaching the corner of the wood where you turn sharp left.  Stay along the edge of the wood, still with open land to your right.  Follow the obvious path for 400 yards until it goes down a little into the trees and meets a wide track.  This track is the Robin Hood Way which goes up to Blidworth if you turn right (see Walk 12).

 

On this walk we instead turn left along this track for 150 yards going slightly downhill before very soon  going up a small rise.  Where the wider track continues straight on we turn left to go back into the wood.  Follow the edge of the wood on a fairly narrow path which has a few small undulations.  After 250 yards it kinks slightly to the right and soon after turns at ninety degrees to the left.  After 200 yards you meet the main wide track through the wood but don’t follow it.  Instead turn sharp right to stay at the edge of the wood on a narrow but obvious path.  After 250 yards turn left in the wood along the edge path near a neat garden by a house.  250 yards later you reach a corner of the wood and for the first time emerge from full tree cover.  Turn left along the edge of the wood which has a few patches where you are slightly clear of trees.

 

After 150 yards turn right and follow the edge of the wood.  The path slightly leaves the very edge of the wood but you are still close to it.  After nearly half a mile you meet the main wide track in the wood.  Join this main track and follow it uphill for 400 yards until you reach the road at the edge of the wood which you crossed earlier.  Go straight across the road to join a narrow path next to the road.  Turn right along the path but after 150 yards bear left on another path going further into the wood.  Stay on this path crossing a wider path after 300 yards. 

After 500 yards you reach the main wide track in Haywood Oaks which when I did the walk had a large pile of logs by the side of it.  Turn left along this main track which soon reaches the point earlier in the walk where we left it.  It bends right and starts to rise towards two very tall sets of posts with yellow on them that tower over the track.  These are about 100 yards apart but half way between them look for a narrow path going off to the right into the wood.  You can carry on up the main track to return to the start of the walk but for a more interesting and only slightly longer finish turn right along the narrower path. 

  

After 200 yards you reach the edge of the wood with decent views over fields to the east.  Turn left and follow a narrow path along the edge of the wood.  A little further along the path it bears left to go slightly further into the wood and soon reaches the car park where we started.

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire: Walk 62 – From Epperstone Using Paths and Tracks by Woods, Hills and Fields

10 Jul

 

This walk is a short one around fields and tracks near the village of Epperstone which gains height to give fine views across the county just north of Nottingham.  Most of it is on firm tracks so should be suitable for most conditions.  The route I describe starts and finishes in Epperstone but it is possible to join it half way round if you start from the next village of Oxton.

Epperstone is a small, quiet village with limited facilities.  It does have a well-regarded pub, The Cross Keys, on the Main Street not far from the start of the walk.

Start:  The centre of Epperstone on the quiet main street through the village.  There should be space to park along the street if making your own way there.  If coming by public transport there is the 747 bus every hour or so until around 2pm from Monday to Saturday from Lowdham and Calverton. Then a long wait for the next one.  The walk starts next to the bus shelter in the centre of the village.

Distance: 3.7 miles (6km)

Map of the Route

 

From the bus shelter if you are facing the Main Street go right along the pavement north for 150m until you reach the church.  Go up some steps to reach the churchyard and turn right immediately.  Follow a path going straight through the churchyard directly away from the road.  Leave through a gate to go onto a quiet road with houses ahead.

Go straight on into what appears at first to be a cul-de-sac but as you reach the end you will see a grass path on the right. Follow this narrow path over stiles and between houses.  It gets wider then bends right to go down to a proper road (Chapel Lane).  Turn left there to leave the village.   After 200m look for a footpath sign on the left by a hedge.  Go through a gate in the hedge into a small grass field and cross it.   Then enter a long, narrow grassy field. Aim almost straight across towards the far right corner.  As you cross the field you may see a slight gap in the hedge in the far corner and a gate.   Go through that and then left along a track for 20m to another wide track and turn right along it. 

This track is very straight with fields  on either side and a wood up a rise on the left.  Near a very slight bend left after 500 yards on the track there is a thin metal post with an arrow on the left of the track.  Here go left over a small plank footbridge past a notice saying that this is a more scenic route than the straight track, which it is.  Carry on uphill by a field towards the wood. Turn right next to the wood along the field edge.

 

Follow the edge of the field as it makes a steady climb with occasional flatter sections.  The path makes a kink left at one point then continues uphill towards a house.  After about 1200m since first meeting the wood you near the house and go along a sort of tunnel formed by the wood on your left with trees and hedge on your right.   You emerge from the path and go ahead downhill for fifty metres to a well-surfaced farm road.   This is the highest point of the walk. 

On the left here the farm road comes from near to Oxton and if you are coming from there this is where you join the route.

 

Go down a steep farm road for 300m to a group of buildings and on the left of the road a yellow-topped post indicating the footpath.  Follow the road left into a sort of farmyard area, though now also used for other commercial activities.  After 80m just before you reach a large building ahead turn right to go downhill along a track.  You go down past smaller buildings along a narrower driveway.   After 150m go under trees then right to another yellow post and left out of the farm complex to reach a track.  This is further up the track we walked along earlier on. 

Turn right along this straight track which after a kilometre goes past the metal post where we went up to the wood. If you are returning to Oxton you should turn right here and follow my route to the top of the hill where you turn left and follow the farm road back towards Oxton retracing your steps.

To return to Epperstone you should retrace your steps along the track, across the fields and right along the road into the village.  Once you reach the village stay along the road (Chapel Lane) for 500m going straight on all the way to your starting point where you reach the bus shelter.