Tag Archives: Southwell Trail

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 60: Farnsfield Station and the White Post

31 Jan

This short walk is a circuit going west from Farnsfield along the disused railway track to the A614, past the White Post Inn and returning across fields. This is a walk I have done many times but haven’t included before because some of it is close to the very busy A614.  It also includes a very steep bank which until the last couple of years was tricky to negotiate but now has steps to help.  The walk is suitable in almost any weather as the railway track is in good condition and the fields drain pretty well so you are unlikely to find the paths too muddy.  Occasionally crops are a bit overgrown or fields have been ploughed which are slightly awkward walking but that is unusual.

The nearest bus stop to the start is on Cockett Lane which is on the Sherwood Arrow and 28B bus routes.  You can join the walk at the White Post or in the centre of Farnsfield which also have stops.

Start: The car park just off Station Lane in Farnsfield near the old station by the disused railway track.

Distance: 3 miles

Map of the Route

 

A path I haven’t described before is the disused railway track to the west of Farnsfield.  There is a car park just off Station Lane right at the far west end of the Lane.  If you are coming from Cockett Lane into the village turn left about 50 yards along Station Lane onto a wide, surfaced track.  Go past the old station house, now a private house, to reach the car park about 100 yards along.  There are picnic tables nearby and a choice of paths using the former railway lines.  You are very close to the Southwell Trail here which runs along the old line between Southwell and Bilsthorpe.

From the car park if you go towards the picnic table nearer the trees and turn left you join the old line that went to Rainworth and Mansfield.  Go past the station house and continue straight on.  In the undergrowth on the right of the track you can see the remains of the platform of Farnsfield station.   Just after this go under a bridge beneath Cockett Lane.  Carrying on this way takes you almost straight for a mile all the way to the A614.  The path is good all the way although towards the end of summer it can be a little overgrown.  You initially go through a cutting with grass and gorse banks to either side.  Go under a second bridge and the track is soon at the top of an embankment with views across fields.  As you approach the A614 and hear the traffic ahead you will see the animals of the White Post Farm to your left.

The track gets narrower and gorse bushes encroach a little so that you have to step around them.  You come to a wooden fence with a gap in the middle and find yourself overlooking the A614 with the tops of the rides at Wheelgate adventure park on the other side of the road .  Immediately after the fence are some steps going down a steep bank.  Go down them and then turn left along a narrow, properly surfaced path next to a barrier on your right.  You descend to road level and leave the barrier behind but reach a pavement.

Keep going along the pavement next to the A614 past a garage and the Winner City restaurant to reach a roundabout.  The left turn here takes you past the entrance to White Post Farm and on into Farnsfield but you should use the crossing to reach the White Post Inn.  Stay to the right of the inn and walk through the small car park until you are by the A614 again.  Go uphill along a very narrow verge for 150m.  Take care as the traffic is very busy.  At the top of the rise go over a stile into a field and follow the route of my Blidworth to Farnsfield walk .

The path isn’t very clear in this field but you should follow the edge of the field going away from the A614 keeping a hedge just to your left.

Looking back towards Farnsfield from fields going towards the A614.Looking to Farnsfield from near the A614. 

At the end of this field the path becomes a bit more obvious although occasionally crops and ploughing may slightly affect it.  Aim slightly to the right across the next field where you should see a gap in the hedge at the far side of the field.  Go through the hedge and follow the path through another four quite narrow fields in each case bearing slightly to the right.  You then come to a hedge and bank where you must climb steps up to reach the next field. In the previous fields you have been crossing in the middle of long fields but now you follow the hedge at the field edge.  After 300 yards you reach the end of this field and pass under a tree in the corner which brings you into a very large field extending from the road a few hundred yards away on your left to well past you on the right.  Cross the field straight on along an obvious path aiming for the hedge 400 yards ahead of you.  You are at the highest point of the field looking left across to the road which runs from the White Post to Farnsfield.

As you reach the hedge at the far side of the field go just to left of it and follow it as far as a kissing gate.  The field becomes more enclosed and as you go through the gate you come to a nice small, grassy field between hedges.  Continue alongside the hedge through another gate into another shady field where a bench awaits if you wish to rest.  The way continues straight on along the wide track between hedges and gradually becomes a lane (Vicarage Lane).  300 yards from the bench you come to a road at an extremely sharp bend.  Go through the gate into the field on the left at the end of Vicarage Lane.

The field is a pleasant grassy one, often occupied by sheep or horses.  Aim straight ahead from the gate going down quite a sharp slope to  the bottom of the field before a small upslope to a gate at the far end.  This brings you out beside the Mansfield road next to a bus stop.  Go straight across the road, go left for fifty yards and then turn up a path to the right of a small, reddish building, the old village jail.  Go up this short narrow path which turns left and then goes up some steps.  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 100 yards away and leave the field at a gate.  This takes you onto Station Lane.  Cross the road to a pavement and turn left for 150 yards.

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 100 yards to reach a road (Alexander Road) where you turn left.  Walk for 100 yards 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 where you turn left for 200 yards to return to the car park and the start of the walk.

Walk 20: Circuit of Southwell

20 Nov

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

Map of Route

Distance: 6.5 miles

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

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

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

For the river Greet route here is the description:

From the car park walk to the road near the pub. At the road turn left and pass the tall mill building overlooking the River Greet and pond. Immediately after the mill turn left along a footpath. This crosses a short patch of gravel before becoming a narrow path with the river Greet on your left and Reg Taylor’s garden centre on your right. you are separated from the garden centre by a fence but can see through that. Shortly you can see a pond in the garden centre which can be worth having a look at to see the birds.

The path itself can be rather muddy at this point as it seems to get a fair amount of use and is narrow. The river here is about six feet wide. Carry on straight along the path as you reach the end of the garden centre. You now reach fields on your right with the river still at your left as it starts to make small meanders. The walk continues straight along the path. The fields on the right can be quite varied in character depending on the time of year you walk. In recent years these fields have often had maize in them. In the spring you will be able to see across the fields but as the year goes on the maize grows higher and higher until it really is “as high an elephant’s eye” before harvesting in the late autumn. If the maize is tall I think it gives a rather exotic feel to the area. You walk along and can imagine being in a tropical country with the vegetation towering above you. It also gives a sense of isolation. Someone could be twenty yards away and have no idea you were walking there hidden by the maize.

Eventually you have to make a sharp right turn at the end of a field. Ignore the temptation to carry on into the clump of trees. There is a path going into the trees but that has been caused by people thinking that is the correct path, me included. It comes to a dead end at the river and you will have to turn around. Having taken the sharp right turn follow the field edge for about 200 yards before taking a left turn through a gap in the hedge.

The river Greet appears again on your left as you emerge from the hedge. It is slightly wider than before and is flowing more quickly. Walk alongside the river for 200 yards before you have to divert your course slightly as you reach the hamlet of Maythorne.  As you reach a wooden footbridge it is worth walking the few yards towards the tall mill building in Maythorne to reach a narrow footbridge over the river as it sweeps down from the mill. 

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

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

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

Norwood Hall

Norwood Park

Norwood Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cross the road (Church Street) to the Hearty Goodfellow pub and take the path to the right of the pub.  At first this is on tarmac but after crossing a small bridge you enter a pleasant track with trees covering you on both sides.  After 100 yards as the track starts to climb look for a path on the right going up some steps into a field.  Go into this field and go straight on following the field round at the bottom of the slope.  The field starts to bend to the left while on your right below you will see a stream.  You will see signs directing you the the Workhouse which you should follow in this part of the walk.  At the end of the field you come to a path which takes you to a road (Newark Road) alongside the stream.

Go straight over the road, which can be quite busy, and continue straight on along a hard path for fifty yards until you approach houses.  On the first lamp post as you reach the road you should see a small, green Robin Hood Way marker pointing to the right.  Turn along the road to the right and after fifty yards cross the road to turn left and then slightly right before the road bends left along what seems to be a cul-de-sac.  As you reach the end of this you will see a path which you should take over a bridge to reach a new path.  Turn right here and follow the path alongside the stream for 100 yards until you come to the main road.  Go onto the pavement and turn left towards the sign for the Workhouse.  The Workhouse is an interesting place to visit as you can find out about life in the Workhouse which existed here.  To reach it follow the pavement round for another fifty yards where the main entrance can be found.

If you don’t wish to visit the Workhouse then just before you reach the big sign for the Workhouse where the road turns right you should turn left along a path on the left taking you away from the road.  Follow this firm path almost straight along for the next 400 yards.  At first there is no sign of the river Greet but soon the path approaches the river which is on the right. On your left a little way off are some houses.  The path twists and turns a little before coming to the road by the mill building.  Take the path up to the road (Station Road) and you are now opposite the car park where the walk started.

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

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

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

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

 

 

Walk 11: Southwell Trail, Norwood Park, Westhorpe, Halam and Edingley

28 Nov

This walk goes along the disused railway line from towards Southwell before heading across  Norwood Park, entering the Westhorpe of Southwell and going through Halam. We then return to the start via Edingley and across fields.

Distance: 7 miles

Start: Kirklington Station car park. You can extend the walk (by about three miles) if starting from Farnsfield by walking along the railway track to the car park as described in walk. Finish by returning the same way or by walking back from Edingley across the fields using the route in Walk 3. The car park is situated by the old Kirklington station. The station is rather in the middle of nowhere lying nearly half a mile to the north of Edingley and south of Kirklington off a quiet country road.  There is usually plenty of room in the car park and there is also a picnic site next to it.

Southwell Trail at Kirkington station

Southwell Trail at Kirkington station

Winter on the Southwell Trail

Winter on the Southwell Trail

Start the walk by leaving the car park eastwards along the main track by which you enter the car park from the road. The track becomes a road for a very short section by the house. As you reach the junction with track that  goes up a slope out of the car park we carry straight on the old railway track under a large brick bridge. The track is a good one for walking on and is now only muddy in short patches and that is only rarely.  The track is tree-lined and pleasant but is at the bottom of an embankment on each side so the views are very restricted.  Carry straight on for the next mile and a half.  At first you are under the embankment but after 400 yards you pass under another brick bridge and soon after that the sides of the path that have loomed above you start to decrease in height.

Before long you emerge from the embankment area altogether. However, the track is still contained by trees and hedges of hawthorn and blackthorn on either side of you. This restricts the views somewhat although you now can see through to the fields next to the track. Occasionally you will come across crossing places where tractors can pass between fields on different sides of the track. These give a better opportunity to have a look at what lies beyond the confines of the track. In winter these are often good places to see fieldfares and redwings. At all times of the year you may hear and see buzzards.

Maythorne

Maythorne

After a mile and a half on the track if you look to the left you will see the tall mill building of Maythorne. Just before you reach the road you come to a metal barrier. You emerge quite suddenly at the road. Although it is a quiet road you should be ready for this in case of traffic. The railway track continues straight ahead on the other side of the road, going all the way into Southwell. The road itself takes you into Maythorne if you turn left (see Walk 6 for a way back from Maythorne to the railway track near Farnsfield). However, on this walk we turn right along the road. After 80 yards the road turns right and then very soon left. After another 100 yards you come to the main road into Southwell. This can be quite busy so take care crossing and then turn right on the far side where there is a verge and then a footway.

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

Norwood Hall

Norwood Hall

Norwood Park

Norwood Park

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

Cross this road and almost straight ahead on the other side you will see a narrow footpath going between the houses. Go down this footpath for 200 yards until you reach the road at the bottom.  This is a quiet, pleasant  road in the Westhorpe of Southwell. Turn right for 300 yards and at the end of the road turn right again going quite steeply up a narrow hedge-lined road. After 200 yards you are back at the Oxton road at a crossroads. Cross the road and go straight along the road opposite (Saversick Lane).  After 200 yards you come to a house on the left with a wide tree-lined driveway.

Turn down the driveway but move over to the left to follow the fence on the grass next to the drive. After 100 yards you pass the house which is to the right of you. Pass a bit of wooden fencing and then keep straight on by the hedge on the left until you reach the corner of the field. Go through the gap in the corner and enter another field containing fruit in polytunnels.  Keep going straight on following a path which passes the ends  of the tunnels. This can be a little muddy in small areas but you can get around those patches. After 200 yards you reach the end of the polytunnels. Go  straight on along a narrow path between trees next to hedge which in twenty yards takes you to the top of a steep grassy field. The view from here is excellent with the steepness of the field ahead seeming to accentuate the height of the hill beyond.  If you wish you can go straight ahead into the field and down the hill where there are paths at the bottom which take you into Halam.  This field often has cows in it and the last time I was there they were blocking the way into the field. This meant that I took a different, and in a way more interesting, route down to Halam.

Looking West to Halam and our route beyond.

Looking West to Halam and our route beyond.

To take this route don’t enter the field. Instead turn right along a narrow path between the hedge on your left and trees on your right. This soon starts descending and turns to the left in a small wood where the slope is steeper.  At the bottom of this wood you reach the entrance to a grassy field. Head diagonally across this field downhill aiming just to the right of the church. You leave the field and enter the churchyard. Go through the churchyard on a firm path going straight on down to the main street in Halam.  Cross the road and turn left along the pavement for two hundred yards.

As you get towards the sharp left bend in the road at the end of the street (you are still in the village) look to the right for a footpath going along a drive at Manor Farm. Take this path and head towards tennis courts. Pass to the right of them over some grass. You cross a footbridge over a stream then turn left along a narrow path for thirty yards before entering a grassy field at the bottom of a hill.  Turn right and go up the hill next to a hedge on your right. After 200 yards leave the field next to a house (Machin’s Farm). Carry on straight up the hill passing the house and then enter a narrow tree-covered path for 100 yards. Emerge from this small copse through a kissing gate into a large field. You now walk along the ridge with the hedge immediately on your left.  The views are very good as you are now high up relative to the surrounding countryside. As you get further along the ridge you can look behind you to the east and often see plumes of smoke from Newark. Walk straight along the ridge for 400 yards until you reach the road at Newhall Lane.

Turn right along the lane passing the entrance to the caravan site at Newhall Farm. Then go downhill and then uphill again along the very straight lane. Pass a few more dwellings as you descend to the junction of Newhall Lane and Little Lane.  Turn left onto Little Lane but after only fifty yards down the hill take a slightly rougher road to the right. After another fifty yards look for a footpath on the left going downhill diagonally across a field. Take this path, which is usually well-defined, and go into another smaller field. Follow the path across and leave this field, going onto a short pebbly drive next to a house. Scrunch your way the short distance to the road. You are now in Edingley.

Cross the road just to the left of the junction opposite where another road meets the main one. Turn left along the pavement for twenty yards where you come to the corner of a large field, most recently containing small saplings. The field is slightly lower than the pavement. Go down into the field and walk along the edge of it away from the road alongside the dyke containing Edingley Beck. After 400 yards you reach the end of this field. Go over the stile into a much smaller field and carry on in the same direction across this and another two small fields. You come to a farm road. Cross this into the field opposite and carry straight on by the dyke through this large field and three small ones. The path continues almost straight all the way until you climb the steps up  the embankment taking you back onto the railway track at Kirklington station where you started.

Walk 10: From Farnsfield Along Quiet Roads and Tracks near Halam and Edingley

18 Sep
Many of the walks I have described so far follow paths which can get a little muddy in places. I thought that I would choose a walk on firm tracks and roads which can be done comfortably after wet weather.
Distance: 6.7 miles
Start: The map starts at Farnsfield Co-op but parking there is now limited to one hour so if you need to I recommend parking by the playground at Parfitt Drive which is on the route.
If starting from the Co-op leave the car-park and go up to Main Street. Cross the road and turn right along the Main Street. Walk for 200 yards along the pavement until you pass The Plough pub and reach The Ridgeway. Cross The Ridgeway and take the first road on the right as you go up the hill. This is Brickyard Lane. Walk along this road going almost straight for half a mile, initially with houses to either side, then hedges and fields. Just past a large house on your left the metalled road becomes a track which eventually becomes grassy.  As you reach the end of the grassy track go through a gap on your left past a bench to reach the disused railway track, the Southwell Trail.
Turn right here and follow this firm track. At first you can see over the fields but after 200 yards you cross a bridge and the view becomes restricted by trees to either side. The walking is easy and pleasant enough but for me the straight course of the line and lack of views make it slightly dull. You cross another bridge after another 300 yards and a mile after joining the track come to a picnic area near the former Kirklington station. There is a car park just after the picnic area which can be used as an alternative starting point for the walk.
Walk through the car park area past a house on your left. Just before the railway track goes straight on under a large bridge, we turn left and then right uphill following the track out to the road.  This emerges near the the top of a quiet road. Turn right onto the road and go uphill across the bridge over the railway track. Follow this road as it passes a house on the right and then curves to the left. After 400 yards you reach a road junction. At the junction turn left and then after thirty yards take the right turn along another narrow road. Follow this road up a gentle but noticeable slope for 300 yards until you reach a sharp right hand bend. Keep following the road around the bend. On your left you now have quite a nice view across to Norwood Park golf course and surrounding fields. Ahead the road runs straight ahead for 500 yards and starts to descend towards the village of Halam. This is the back road to Halam and gets very little traffic. The grass verges are also wide which makes it one of my favourite roads in the area to walk along.
After about 300 yards at the entrance to a field on the right hand side of the road look for a field with a wide entrance onto a grassy track.  This is the route of a permissive path which has existed for a few years that takes you around the fields towards Edingley. This path is a good one to walk around as it always seems to be well covered in short grass and in my experience doesn’t get muddy unless it has been very wet. To follow this path enter the field and go straight on following the hedge for 100 yards. The hedge then turns to the right. At this corner turn right yourself to keep the hedge at your right hand side. Follow the hedge for another 100 yards until you come to the corner of the field. There is a large tree stump at this point which you can sit on if you wish. However, there is a bench shortly and you may prefer to wait for that. At the corner turn left and follow the field edge for 50 yards, then as the hedge disappears go through the gap but keep going almost straight ahead and where a new hedge appears keep it to your left.
You soon come to the bench I mentioned. This is a nice spot to sit as you are at the top of a ridge with good views to the north where the ground falls away. Carrying on from the bench the path soon enters a more enclosed path with hedges to both sides. After 100 yards you reach a field again with the hedge only on your right.  Keep going to the corner of the field and turn left when you come to a line of trees separating you from a road. After thirty yards you leave the field on the right and come to the road from Halam to Edingley at the top of Edingley Hill.
Cross the road carefully and go straight on to the quiet road directly opposite. Walk straight along this road ignoring a turn off down the hill at a junction after 100 yards. Keep going straight on up an incline on the road. At the top of this you will see the road going dead straight ahead down and then up a steep dip. This is the way we follow for the next 400 yards. On the way you will pass a bench on the right hand side of the road. The views from this are good  to the east although when seated they can be a bit obscured by the hedges. You can see the plumes of smoke coming from as far away as Newark. Continuing on the road pass the entrance to Newhall Farm and caravan park on the right and a bridleway to Halam on the left. Go to the top of the next rise which is an important crossroads for many walks in this area.
As you reach this crossroads you will see: a path to your left going to Halam, the road going straight ahead down to a farm, and a wide track to your right.  Take this wide track on the right passing a small reservoir on your right as you go. This track has been much improved in recent years after a time when it was almost impassable due to ruts and mud. 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 next ridge.  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 before reaching a road.
This road only goes to a farm and hardly ever has any traffic on it. The view from here is very good as you are at the top of the ridge looking north towards the fields and Farnsfield. There are various ways of getting down to Greaves Lane but in keeping with the idea of this walk I will stick to the road. 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. Turn right and walk along the lane. The lane is generally quiet but you may meet a little traffic and there isn’t much of a verge so keep your eyes open. After 200 yards you come to a junction with a road on the left which rises to meet Greaves Lane.  Turn down this road (Allesford Lane) which, after an initial short steep drop for 100 yards, flattens out. This road goes almost totally straight on for half a mile. Go all the way along it until you reach the main road from Edingley to Farnsfield. Take care and cross the road onto a pavement on the far side. Turn left and walk along the pavement for almost half a mile into Farnsfield.  Soon after entering the village you will see Parfitt Drive coming off the main road on the left just after a bus stop. You will come to the Ridgeway again if you stay on the right hand side of the road. Cross the main road again and follow it all the way back to your starting point.

Walk 6: Southwell to Farnsfield near the River Greet

30 Mar

Start: Car Park at the end of the disused railway track, now known as the Southwell Trail,  off  Station Road near The Final Whistle Pub.

Distance:5.7 miles

This walk is a point to point walk from Southwell to Farnsfield. It runs close to the old railway line between the two places but I prefer to avoid the track itself as the views are often restricted by the trees. If you want to make this walk a circular one you can easily do so by returning to Southwell along the railway track which takes you back to your start point. Alternatively you can get the hourly bus between Farnsfield and Southwell (number 28).

From the car park walk to the road near the pub. At the road turn left and pass the tall mill building overlooking the River Greet and pond. Immediately after the mill turn left along a footpath. This crosses a short patch of gravel before becoming a narrow path with the river Greet on your left and Reg Taylor’s garden centre on your right. you are separated from the garden centre by a fence but can see through that. Shortly you can see a pond in the garden centre which can be worth having a look at to see the birds.

River Greet near Southwell

River Greet near Southwell

The path itself can be rather muddy at this point as it seems to get a fair amount of use and is narrow. The river here is about six feet wide. Carry on straight along the path as you reach the end of the garden centre. You now reach fields on your right with the river still at your left as it starts to make small meanders. The walk continues straight along the path. The fields on the right can be quite varied in character depending on the time of year you walk. In recent years these fields have often had maize in them. In the spring you will be able to see across the fields but as the year goes on the maize grows higher and higher until it really is “as high an elephant’s eye” before harvesting in the late autumn. If the maize is tall I think it gives a rather exotic feel to the area. You walk along and can imagine being in a tropical country with the vegetation towering above you. It also gives a sense of isolation. Someone could be twenty yards away and have no idea you were walking there hidden by the maize.

Maize field near Southwell

Maize field near Southwell

Eventually you have to make a sharp right turn at the end of a field. Ignore the temptation to carry on into the clump of trees. There is a path going into the trees but that has been caused by people thinking that is the correct path, me included. It comes to a dead end at the river and you will have to turn around. Having taken the sharp right turn follow the field edge for about 200 yards before taking a left turn through a gap in the hedge.

River Greet near Maythorne

River Greet near Maythorne

The river Greet appears again on your left as you emerge from the hedge. It is slightly wider than before and is flowing more quickly. Walk alongside the river for 200 yards before you have to divert your course slightly as you reach the hamlet of Maythorne.  As you reach a wooden footbridge it is worth walking the few yards towards the tall mill building in Maythorne to reach a narrow footbridge over the river as it sweeps down from the mill. If you wish to return to Southwell from here you can easily do so by walking through the “courtyard” area of Maythorne past the few buildings. Then go up the road for 100 yards to the old railway track and turn left along that.   You can follow the track all the way back to the start of the walk.

Near the Mill at Maythorne

Near the Mill at Maythorne

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

Turn left along the road going quite steeply for a short way downhill. You emerge from the trees at the bottom of this little hill. On your right is a long, quite steep ridge whilst on your left are flat fields.  Follow Corkhill Road for about a mile. The road isn’t very busy but you will probably encounter a few vehicles as you walk along. Fortunately the verge is wide all the way along. I chose this way because the views here are better than if you walk along the railway track. There is nothing very remarkable but you can see quite a long way on your left hand side across the farmland towards small clumps of trees. You may see buzzards as you walk along. On your right you pass a few farms at regular intervals.

Eventually you reach the village of Kirklington where Corkhill Road meets the busy A617 coming down the hill. Carry straight on along the A617.  This road isn’t very nice to walk beside but there is a pavement and we are only alongside for a short time. After 150 yards look for a footpath sign on the left as you reach the entrance to a farm and barn area. Turn left and walk straight down the track entrance with the barn to your right. Carry straight on across the field for eighty yards until you reach a wooden bridge over the river.

The bridge is about ten feet above the river which at this point has high, muddy banks as it meanders through. This bridge is a good point to pause for a short while. I have stood quietly here watching a good variety of birds in the nearby trees which were seemingly unaware of my presence.  On leaving the bridge you have to find your way through a small but quite dense patch of woodland. There are a few paths through the wood and you may have to look  a little carefully to spot the way. You are aiming diagonally through the wood to your right as you leave the bridge and  one path takes you in that direction. Another goes almost straight on from the bridge and on emerging from the wood you should turn right and follow the edge of the wood until you reach the corner of the wood which has a yellow waymarked post.

From this corner cross the thirty yards of the field in front of you and then go for a short way with the hedge on your right until you come to a gate with a stile next to it. Cross the stile into a large, grassy field. Turn left and walk between the hedge on your left and a fence  on your right for fifty yards. The fence then disappears and you enter a wider expanse of the same field. Ahead of you down the small slope you can see a pond. Head just to the right of this pond down the hill.

Smaller Pond near Kirlkington

Smaller Pond near Kirlkington

On reaching the pond you come to a solid, wooden footbridge over a stream. Crossing this bridge you reach metal kissing gate. If you wish to return to Southwell you can go through that gate and follow the path and waymarks along a field edge. You soon reach a road and can join the old railway track by turning right, then a left turn at the next road junction.   However, our route ignores the kissing gate. Instead we turn right to follow the path with the stream on our right. After eighty yards turn left away from the stream and follow the field edge. On your right now is a paddock field which usually has a horse in it.  There is a gate into this paddock marked as a footpath but I prefer to go just past this gate and turn right alongside but just outside the paddock.  After eighty yards the path becomes a rough lane with houses on either side. After another one hundred yards this lane meets a road. Turn right and walk along the pavement. Soon you see the drive to a  farm, Moor Farm, on the opposite side of the road which has a wooden footpath finger-post pointing along it. Cross the road and turn into the driveway.

Walk along this drive, a roadway between hedges, for 300 yards. As you near the entrance to the farm property look on your right for a path between trees. Walk down this path. After 50 yards you reach a large pond (or small lake). This is a lovely spot and home to a good selection of water birds. You will often see mallards, coots, moorhens, swans, geese, tufted ducks and little grebes. I have also seen herons, cormorant and gadwall here along with grey wagtails in the area to the right where the water from the pond drops into the pool and river.

Large Pond near Moor Farm, Kirkington

Large Pond near Moor Farm, Kirkington

Pool near the pond

Pool near the pond

Sapling Plantatation

Sapling Plantatation

Retrace your steps to the driveway and go straight across it to reach a stile going into the field opposite. G into this field and walk straight ahead for eighty yards with a ditch on your right. Then turn ninety degrees to the right. You walk for 400 yards between the ditch and hedge on your right and sometimes a plantation of saplings on your left. Go all the way straight along until you come to a tall hedge at the end. The hedge on your right comes to an end just before this and you turn right when that hedge ends. Keep the tall hedge on your left and walk beside it for 200 yards. The path can be quite muddy for a short section here.

At the end of the hedge turn left to cross a small field for fifty yards to a row of trees. As you cross the field you can see to your right a small fence belonging to an equestrian cross-country course. Go straight across the row of trees to a yellow waymark post and keep going straight ahead across a large field. You should be able to see the way ahead as the path is reasonably well-defined. You are aiming for the corner of the hedge ahead. You reach this hedge corner after 300 yards and then aim for the gap at the end of the field. The path goes just to the right of the field edge and after 150 yards you reach the end of the field and come to the disused railway track which goes all the way back to Southwell if you turn left.  If you wish you can go back to Southwell which is just over three miles away.

Otherwise go into Farnsfield as I have described in earlier walks.

Cross the railway track and go through a gap opposite near a bench. This brings you to a wide grassy track. It can be muddy at this point for about twenty yards or so but thereafter is in a good state. Turn right along this track through the slightly muddy section and keep going straight all the way back into Farnsfield. After 100 yards the track leaves the grass behind as you reach a house on the left. The path becomes gradually firmer. Near the pumping station and the first houses on your right the track becomes a metalled road (Brickyard Lane). Just past the turning to the pumping station the road passes between hedges with no verge. In the unusual event of a vehicle coming down the lane take care here.

You soon reach the main part of the village with houses on either side. Carry on all the way to the end of Brickyard Lane where it turns sharply right to meet The Ridgeway very near to the junction with the Main Street. Turn left to follow the Ridgeway for twenty yards onto the Main Street. Turn right along the Main Street to reach the centre of the village.