Thursday, 29 December 2016

Nottingham to Newark

There  are two problems with a direct cycle friendly route between Nottingham and Newark, one being the River Trent, which has limited crossing points, and the A46 trunk road which has become a very busy highway, having been modernised in recent years.
However, the surrounding countryside is fairly flat, interspersed with lots of pretty little villages connected by relatively quiet country lanes, so ideal for the leisure cyclist, if not the commuter.
There are two well signed legs of the National Cycle Network available, Routes 15 and route 64. This  ride uses some parts of each of them.
We start at Trent Bridge in Nottingham and finish in the Market Place in Newark, both within easy reach of nearby train stations, and if travelling from Derby, there are frequent direct off-peak services costing as little as £6 (return) with a Railcard.
The length of the ride is about 23 miles.

                                                                              Trent Bridge.

At the end of the bridge the path leads along the South bank of the River Trent passing beneath one of the stands of the Nottingham Forest football stadium.

                                                    It starts here alongside this hotel.

                                    Ride beneath the stand, but not on match days.

                                                      Continue on the riverside path.

                                                      Some nice riverside views.

                                                 Apartments overlooking the River Trent.
                                                      We leave the riverside path at the boat club going onto Adbolton Lane, which then passes the National Watersports Centre and a Nature Reserve. We also pass the entrance to Holme Peirrepont Hall, pictured here.

An un-metalled and badly potholed lane takes us into Ratcliffe-upon Trent where we turn left at the Co-op onto Shelford Road.passing the railway station. It is here where we leave NCN Route 15 which which proceeds ahead to Bingham.

                              Turn left here.

Go straight on at this cross roads heading for Newton rather than Shelford, which lies below on the left.

                                                                       Here is Shelford.

                                                Just before Newton we turn left .

                                    And come to the bridge crossing the A46 trunk road...........

..                                           .which heads northwards to Newark and Lincoln.

                               After crossing the bridge we turn left and then right at the junction.........

                                   ........heading for the village of Car Colston.

                  The enormous village green, The Common is surrounded by widely spaced cottages.

                  We turn left in Car Colston, following the sign for Screveton and passing the church.

In 1944 two RAF aeroplanes had a mid-air collision over the village and all occupants were killed.

                                    All eleven RAF personnel are remembered on the memorial stone.

Close by the memorial, in the adjacent field, stand these remarkable plant sculptures which are 23 feet high.
The whole surface is covered with this small leaved plant which grows (?) on a chicken wire frame.

                            The route then goes through the village of Flintham.

At Feltham we are about halfway to Newark, so the Boot and Shoe pub is a good place to stop for food and drink.

At the sharp right hand bend at Top Green we go left, leaving the tarmac and go onto a bridleway which leads to .........

  ...............................................Firs Farm which is visible ahead.
                                                  Lots of potholes on this track,

Back on the road we arrive at this sign which points to our ultimate destination, Newark, on NCN 64.

At Wensor Bridge we cross the River Devon (pronounced " Dee-von), which flows Northwards  to Newark and joins the River Trent.

               Turn right at this bridge, and follow Route 64 northwards for the remaining 5 miles

Route 64 is a reclaimed railway with a good surface, not the most exciting, but flat and traffic free.
It takes us all the way into Newark.

A new bridge, still under construction carries the path over the new bypass road below, not yet open to traffic.

                                 Some nice little lakes alongside the path as we near to Newark

                  At the waterside we leave Route 64 by way of the path up to the bridge,

                     It leads onto Barnby Road which we follow through to Newark Market Place.

                           The spire of St. Mary Magdelene's Church is Newark's most prominent landmark.
A path alongside leads through to the Market Place and train station which are but a short distance away, alongside the River Trent and the Castle.

A nice leisure ride on a variety of surfaces, passing through picturesque flat countryside with lots of interesting things to see. Probably best done in this direction with the prevailing wind and the sun on your back. Lots to see and do in Newark.  Good train connections at both ends of the route.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Doveridge to Waterhouses

The computer generated time for this ride is optimistic to say the least. Allow at least 2 hours, and that would be quite good going.

This undulating cross country route forms a new link in the National Cycle Network, joining the existing Derby/ Uttoxeter Route 549 to the Manifold Trail.

It runs northwards from Doveridge, a couple of miles East of Uttoxeter, to Waterhouses, on the Ashbourne to Leek road, crossing the Derbyshire/ Staffordshire border at Ellastone.

Coming from Derby on the existing leg of Route 549, we turn right at this roundabout.

And head initially towards Marston Montgomery, crossing over the A50 trunk road which carries most of the traffic between Derby and The Potteries.

Soon we are onto narrow country lanes for the rest of our journey.

Straight on at the red post box, as we bypass Marston Montgomery whose name is too long to put on the signpost in full.

                                             Follow signs to Roston. We bypass Rocester.

                                   To the left we see Rocester and the giant JCB excavator factory.

Straight on at this cross roads.

Pass the Roston Inn and head for Norbury and Ellaston.  Council hygiene rating 1 out of 5, so bring sandwiches.

Left(ish) here at Norbury.

Passing the old railway station, one of the few signs of the Rocester to Ashbourne railway closed by Dr. Beeching in the 1960's

                                 A worthwhile diversion up the lane to the right is to visit Norbury Church.

Here we cross the River Dove, which is the Derbyshire/Staffordshire County Boundary.

                                      A proliferation of signs as we enter Staffordshire.

                                                             Turn right at this junction.

                                                    Follow the main road to the right.

                         Off left here on narrow lane which leads to the long steep climb to Stanton.

                                                             Left here in Stanton.

                                                                     After the church.

                                                                On Marsh Lane.

                                              Here we cross the A52 Ashbourne/Stoke road.

                                                                 And turn left here.

Following the Sustrans signs all the way to Waterhouses where we meet the Ashbourne/Leek road.
Turn left into Waterhouses where the Manifold Trail runs to the right following the River Maniifold to Hulme End.

A tough ride with lots of hills, but what can we expect? We are going into the Peak District from the Dove Valley. Even considering that, Waterhouses is 400 feet higher than Doveridge, and the undulations are such that riding the route North to South still makes for plenty of hill climbing. In particular the climb up to Stanton requires some considerable effort, but it's all worthwhile for the spectacular views.  Lots of narrow country lanes so watch out for tractors and some mud on the road in wet weather.
A great route if you like the challenge of hill climbing. Some people do.
Not much in the way of food and drink on the way so go prepared.