Tag Archives: Trent Valley Way

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 Trent Valley Way: Rolleston to Newark

26 Jul

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

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

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

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

Distance: 12.4 km (7.7 miles)

Map of the Route

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

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

Tree line on the golf course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View towards the Trent Valley from the top of the hill

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newark Rugby Club

Newark Rugby Club

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

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

Newark Castle

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 41 : Upton, Staythorpe and Rolleston

17 Dec

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

Start: The British Horological Institute in the centre of Upton village (about two miles from Southwell on the road from Southwell to Newark). This is merely to serve as a convenient starting point if you are coming by car. There aren’t many good places to park in Upton.  One option is to visit the Horological Institute and use the car park there.  Alternatively you could park at the Cross Keys pub on the right of the main road not far into the village if coming from Southwell if you want to have some refreshment before or after your walk.

There is a bus service hourly from Newark to Southwell through the  village but it only runs in the morning and early afternoon.

Distance: 6.8 miles

Map of the Route

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

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

DSCF1543.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSCF1544.JPG

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

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

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

Tree line on the golf course

Tree line on the golf course

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

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

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

 

 

Walks in Central Nottinghamshire – Walk 36: Bleasby and Hoveringham

25 May

A walk from the village of Bleasby along quiet roads, lanes and fields to Hoveringham.  Then down to the river Trent and along the river in nice fields before returning to Bleasby.

Start: The church at Bleasby.  There is an area just off the road by the church which could be used for parking or if you want to go to the Waggon and Horses pub just along the road you could park there.  Alternatively you may be able to find a quiet spot on the road.  The bus service to Bleasby is somewhat patchy, running from Southwell and Newark through the centre of the village.  There is also a railway station, with quite a regular service, a little over half a mile from the start of the walk.

Distance: 6 miles

Route of the walk

From the church side of the main road walk alongside the road on a good pavement.  Leave the village and continue to follow the main road for 500 yards.  Just after a bus shelter the road turns sharply to the left and there is a crossroads with minor roads.  Cross the main road and turn right to where there is a sign reading “Gibsmere”.  Follow this very quiet road,which is straight, past houses with hedges on either side of you.  The road becomes a track, still running straight, with a lake visible through the hedge on the right.

You reach the last house, on the left of the track after half a mile, and go slightly to the left off the track as you pass it.  There is a gate to a grassy field which the main track turns towards but you should stay close to the hedge on the right on a wide grass strip. Soon there is a small wooden gate.  Go through this, which may take some effort as it can be stiff, and follow the hedge immediately to your right in the next field.  Head for  a gap between two posts under a tree and then just afterwards a track in the right corner of the field.  The path goes over a narrow bridge and metal gate but you may well find that the gate next to the bridge is open and you can follow the track and won’t have to use the bridge.  Follow the obvious track which runs pretty straight for almost half a mile.  Eventually this track takes you over a bridge across a dyke into another field with a small lake on the right.  The main track here takes you towards the lake and you may want to have a quick look to see if anything interesting is on the lake.  However, there is a sign telling you to keep to the proper bridlepath which stays away from the lake and follows the left hand side of the field.  Look for a post with a yellow top near the hedge next to the field and walk to that then along the edge of the grassy field.  Follow the field edge round to the right a little through a small wooden gate into another field.  Keep to the left of this field near the hedge.

Leave the field after 300 yards and go through a metal gate across a small bridge to reach a track.  On your left is the entrance to a large sailing lake to which the track goes.  We carry on straight across the track into another field.  Follow the obvious path at the edge of the field on a small bank near to trees on the left until you reach a wooden footbridge.  Here you have a choice.  You can go over the bridge and follow a footpath that twists and turns a little into Hoveringham and on reflection this may be a good choice, cutting off half a mile’s walking, but my route doesn’t go over the bridge.  Instead turn right and follow the edge of the field along a wide field margin.  On your left here is a stream.  Follow the edge of the field for yards until on your left you see a short tree-lined track taking you out onto a road.

Turn left and follow the pavement  for quarter of a mile into the village of Hoveringham.  Stay on this road, passing the end of the footpath from the bridge, through the main part of the village.  In the middle of the village on the right is the Reindeer pub, which also does good meals.  After 500 yards of walking in the village you come to the main junction in Hoveringham.  Turn left along Boat Lane where you should cross to the other side of the lane where there is a pavement.  Follow this road out of the village going straight along for 500 yards until you come to a small group of houses and soon the river Trent.  As you reach the river the road turns sharply to the right but at this point look to the left of the road where there is a metal gate.  Take the footpath through the gate and follow it alongside the river.  This is nice walking along short grass in a field with good views along the river and before long across to the wooded escarpment on the other side of the Trent.  This is part of the Trent Valley Way.  The path follows the river closely here so it is hard to go wrong.  You will probably see cows here.  Follow the river going through or round a wooden gate after 600 yards and a metal gate a little later. In summer look for sand martins flying low over the water.

Continue along by the river with the sailing lake now appearing to your left.  The lake comes closer to you for a short time a little further along before the grassy area widens again.

Sailing Lake near Hoveringham

Sailing Lake near Hoveringham

The walking here is flat along the grass with very little mud to worry about.  A few more trees begin to appear on the river bank and the lake on the left comes closer. In fact this isn’t the main lake but a smaller adjoining one.  After half a mile you leave the lakes behind and go through a metal gate. Then you come to the first of the distinctive white double gates that are a feature of this part of the river.  Go onto a much narrower path than the wide fields we have been following. Soon the river bank is almost completely obscured by trees and bushes close to you on your right and there are trees on your left as well.  After a short while you come to a half broken white gate and the path opens up a little again.

Looking across the Trent

Looking across the Trent

Keep alongside the river for half a miluntil you come to the weir at Hazelford Ferry.  The weir is quite a sight here with the water rushing down a series of small steps and the smell of ozone hitting you.  There is a cottage on the island in the river near the weir and hedge on the bank to your left.  There is mooring here as well and several boats.The path narrows again as you pass the weir, going through more double gates.   and then as you come through a gate to reach the end of a lane you see a larger building which is residential home.  This used to be the Hazelford Ferry pub named for the ferry which used to cross the river at this point.

The path near Hazelford Ferry.

The path near Hazelford Ferry.

Turn left along the very quiet lane and follow it straight for 300 yards before it makes a sharp left turn.  After just a short way the lane turns sharp right and you follow it for another 200 yards until you come to the crossroads by the bus shelter which you came to near the start of the walk.  Go straight over to the pavement by the shelter and follow it back to Bleasby church by retracing your route to the start of the walk.

 

Walks in Central Notts – Walk 27: Kelham Hills and Kelham Hall

6 Jul

This walk takes you on a circuit round the fields near Kelham and down a nice little valley with the option of doing a short extra loop around the grounds of Kelham Hall.  This walk is also described on the Kelham Hall Website but I have gone into more detail of the route.  I did this walk in June and describe the fields and conditions at the time but you may find some differences in the path conditions if you do the walk.

Start: The car park at Kelham Hall just off the A617 road in Kelham around two miles east of Newark. If coming by public transport you can get off the bus either near the road entrance to Kelham Hall or at The Fox pub in Kelham near the bridge over the river.

Distance: 7.1 miles

Map of the route

If starting at the Hall car park turn so that the hall is on your right hand side and walk out of the visitors car park past a barrier into another car park. Carry sgtraight on for 200 yards through the car park and onto a path taking you towards a building that looks like a lodge. just to the left of the lodge is a small, quite ornate wooden gate which you can go through onto the pavement by the main road. Cross the road very carefully as it is always busy and turn left along the pavement on the far side past The Fox pub where anyone who starts this walk from the bus stop at The Fox joins our route.

Immdiately after the pub turn right along Ollerton Road walking along the pavement.  Follow the road for 300 yards rounding a bend until you reach the end of the village.  Here a road comes in from the right.  At this point cross Ollerton Road away from the incoming road and go along a wide track going towards a metal barrier near a farm.  Go to the left of the barrier and then follow a wide farm track straight ahead running between a series of small enclosures some of which contain horses.  This track runs dead straight for 300 yards and then reaches another minor road.  Turn left along this road passing houses and a sharp left hand bend.  Just after the bend on the right of the road you should see a footpath signposted.

Turn right along the footpath and walk away from the houses along a farm track.  Follow this track alongside a field straight ahead for 500 yards.  The path then makes a slight bend to the right and you should carry on along the track keeping the hedge to your left.  After another 100 yards the path makes a sharper turn to the right.  At this point you will see a small footbridge to your left which takes another path away.  Ignore the path over the footbridge and follow the main path around to the right following the field edge.  After 250 yards go through a gap in the hedge into another field which at the time of writing was a meadow of quite long grass.  Keep along the path at the field’s edge aiming towards a wood ahead.

After 300 yards you come to quite a new gate at the edge of the wood.  Go left through the gate and follow the edge of the field just below the edge of the wood.  After 150 yards leave the field and go slightly uphill across a small bridge and into another field at the bottom of a hill.  Turn right and walk along the field edge at the bottom of the slope next to the wood for 100 yards.  You come to the corner of the field which when I did this walk was marked by a hedge and fence bearing a sign indicating it is an electric fence.  The path you want goes left along the near side of the hedge but this too had an electric fence to cross when I was here.  However, this fence was easy to negotiate although you shouldn’t have to do so on a public footpath.

View towards Trent Valley from the top of the hill

View towards Trent Valley from the top of the hill

Having gone under the fence without touching it, although the fence may not be switched on, go into a grassy field and up quite a sharp climb with the hedge immediately to your right.  After 400 yards you are almost at the top of the slope and looking back you have good views of the Trent valley (see  photo).  Just around to the right you will see Micklebarrow Hill which you may be familiar with from Walk 26.  Go through a wooden gate on the right into another field with crops in it  and turn left to follow the edge of this field.  The path soon bends right at the top of this field and you follow the field edge for another 100 yards until yo come to a large gap in the hedge on the left hand side.  You should see a post with a yellow top and footpath marker on it.  Turn left through the gap and follow the track for 200 yards.  You come to a wide track and turn left along this going downhill for 100 yards before turning right for another 100 yards until you come to a road.  This road is a very quiet one but pay attention as you cross it.

If you wish to take a short cut here you can by turning right and following the road straight on for a little under a mile.  This rejoins our main route near Muskham Woodhouse Farm having cut about a mile off the walk.

On the main route: Cross the road and go through a gap in the hedge.  Immediately go down some steps into a small hollow under some trees and then straight up again out of the hollow up some more steps.  This takes you out into the open and our first encounter with the gallops of Averham Park horse racing stables with which we will soon become very familiar.  You certainly can’t accuse the stables of not warning you about the gallops.  There are large signs at each of the four crossing points we use on this walk and also information that we are on the Trent Valley Way, a fact of which you may not have previously been aware.  It is unlikely that horses will be using the gallops unless you are there early in the morning but check just in case. If it is clear cross the gallops.

This takes you into a field of crops which when I walked here had a nicely cleared strip to walk along.  At the end of this field the path goes straight on quite sharply downhill on a section of short grass between trees and hedges.  At the bottom of the slope you come to another gallops crossing and then a farm road.  Crossing these takes you into the main farm and stables complex where you should turn right to follow a road bending round and going slightly uphill past the stables.  You soon leave the stables area and following the road takes you past some houses on the left.  Shortly after these as you go uphill look for a footpath waymark on a post on the right of the road.  There are two paths signed here but we want the first path which goes due right away from the road at a gap in the hedge.  This path is along the field edge with a hedge to your left (along a strip of quite short grass when I did it).

Follow this for 300 yards to the corner of the field where a tree stands guard over a small pond just after you cross the gallops again.  Turn right at the corner and follow the edge of the field for 100 yards until you reach a wide gap in the hedge.  Go up a wide track with the hedge to your right.  At the top of this hill you come to the gallops for the final time and cross them to reach a wooden gate.  Go through this onto a road and turn left for fifty yards.  Then look for a gap in the hedge on the right and take the footpath there across a large arable field, which when I walked it had a strip cut so that the path across is obvious.  If there isn’t a clear path to follow you should aim for the corner of the wood almost straight ahead 200 yards away.  As you reach the wood at a hedge cross a small wooden plank bridge and enter another field.  Follow the field edge with the wood to your left.  The field contained crops when I walked here and there was only a narrow margin at the field edge to walk along making it slightly awkward.  After 150 yards you leave the wood behind and the views become quite expansive ahead as we are near the highest point of the walk.  Carry on along the field edge as the path starts to go down the hill.   After 300 yards you reach the end of this large field and should turn right to follow a path with the hedge on your right.  The path goes slightly uphill again and after 200 yards you leave the field and come to a nicely mown strip of grass next to a hedge and  field.  Go along this strip  until you reach a rought track next to the houses at Muskham Woodhouse Farm.

View from the highest point of the walk

View from the highest point of the walk

Pass these few houses on your left and the track becomes a proper metalled road driveway.  Follow this drive dead straight for 500 yards until you reach a road.  This is the road that you crossed just before you came to the gallops and which you could have followed as a short cut.  At the road turn left and go straight along for 400 yards.  There is no verge to speak of but the road is very quiet.  At the first junction you come to turn right along another road.  Follow this for 400 yards passing a house on the right after 200 yards.  Just after a very slight left-hand kink in the road look on the right had side of the road for a footpath sign.  This sign is partly obscured by plants so look carefully.  There is a metal gate on the track just off the road near the footpath sign which you should look for (see photo).

The metal gate on the track.

The metal gate on the track.

The track was rather overgrown when I did this walk but look closely and you will see the track.  Turn right off the road onto the track and go around the metal gate.  Continue straight along the track going down a hill towards a telegraph pole.  You may find that the track is overgrown but there is a line of least resistance where the plants have been slightly trampled and you can brush through more easily.  I was doing this walk in June when plants are at their most overgrown and it may be that when you do this walk the track is clearer.

Valley near Kelham Hills

Valley near Kelham Hills

At the end of the track some 250 yards down the hill go through a metal kissing gate to arrive in a much nicer environment.  You find yourself in a grassy field at the top of a very pleasant little valley.  Go striaght on down the hill for 100 yards to the bottom of the dip and then turn left at some trees to walk down the valley.  Follow the bottom of the valley downhill for 400 yards aiming towards a wood at the bottom.  Towards the wood you should look for a small stream and the most obvious path worn going slightly off to the right.  Cross the stream and follow the path which soon enters a small area of trees and bushes.  Keep to the bottom of the slope going straight on until you come to another clearer area of grass.  Aim straight ahead towards the next wood around 200 yards away and enter the wood by a metal kissing-gate.

Go straight ahead in the wood.  The path is initially quite clear but then becomes a little overgrown.  I was able to find the way because the plants had been well trampled down.  Go up a small bank onto a little track in the wood running across our route.  Go a few yards to the left on this track and then go down the bank on the far side of the track.  Carry on in the same direction you had been  going before the track.  The path in this part of the wood isn’t too clear but you should be able to make it out.  Very soon you reach a metal gate and go through it into a grassy field.You are at the bottom of a hollow here.  Carry on in roughly the same direction at you have been going staying at the bottom of  the hollow.  Aim for the gap in the trees  just to the right ahead about fifty yards away (see photo).

Just after the wood in the field. Aim for the gap in the trees.

Just after the wood in the field. Aim for the gap in the trees.

This takes you out into a larger grassy field which you should cross going straight ahead.  It doesn’t really matter too much exactly which line across the field you take but you should be able to find a track running straight ahead from the gap in the trees, slightly above the lowest part of the field, where the grass is a little shorter and easier to walk on.  After 300 yards go through a gap in the hedge at the far end of the field where the track is a little more obvious.  Keep straight on through the next field for 200 yards and go through a gap in the trees where the path is again more clear.  This takes you into a smaller field where you should aim slightly left towards a road and the line of a pylon beyond it.  After 100 yards you go through a metal kissing gate onto the road.

Turn right onto the road and follow this very straight road for the next half mile.  The verge isn’t very wide but the traffic isn’t usually too bad and the straightness of the road gives you ample warning of anything approaching, although this can be quite fast.  Another road then comes in from the left to meet ours. Our road then bends slightly to the right before going straight for another 500 yards until we return to Kelham at the point where we left it near the start of the walk with the metal barrier.  Carry on back into Kelham along the road retracing our steps until we reach The Fox pub and the main road in Kelham.  Cross the road and go back through the ornate gate into the grounds of Kelham Hall. Here you can either return to the car park the way you began the walk or do a small circuit of the grounds which adds about half a mile to the walk.

If you do this extra circuit the route is to turn left just after the lodge and follow the narrow driveway road through the trees.  This shortly approaches a car park.  (Not the car park that we went through at the start of the walk.) Follow the road to the right of the car park until you approach the main Kelham Hall building and on your right a large domed building.  Before you reach the buildings you follow a track to the left which takes you to a gate.  Go through this gate into a grassy area next to the river and walk down to the riverside where you may well find anglers.  Turn right and walk along the river bank past the anglers’ pegs which decrease in numeric value over the 300 yards where you follow the River Trent.  You reach peg number 1 as you arrive at woodland.

Kelham Bridge from the riverside

Kelham Bridge from the riverside

Turn right away from the river and follow the track straight thorugh the woods for 300 yards until you reach a large open playing field area.  Turn right across the playing fields, also used as a campsite, passing tennis courts on your right.  Carry on towards Kelham Hall until you return to the car park where you started.