Warsop Walk 8
This walk takes us along the Warsop parish boundary through the edge of the ancient forest of Birklands. Birklands was part of the royal forest of Sherwood that was an exclusive hunting ground for successive Kings and Queens of England. It was rich with wild deer as well as providing grazing land and a source of timber. Birklands remained the property of the Crown for nearly 600 years although by the 19th century it had passed to private estates.
Today the Birklands is managed by the Forestry Commission and is mainly pine plantation that was planted in 1938. However, about one third of the trees are still broad leaf, notably the spectacular ancient oak trees. A programme of heathland and oakwood restoration is currently in progress.
This walk starts from the railway bridge at the top of Cherry Grove, off Sherwood Street. You may wish to join the route at a more convenient point, for instance by walking along Burns Lane and Broomhill Lane to the sewage works. A shorter adaptation of this walk can be made by parking near the mini roundabouts at Warsop Windmill and following Footpath 22.
This walk is about 10 kilometres (6 miles) and should take between 2 and 3 hours.
This walk starts from the railway bridge at the top of Cherry Grove although the route may be joined at several other points if you wish. Follow Upper Cross Lane (BW25) over the bridge, keep straight on where Sandy Lane joins in a dip and progress over the hill and down to a kissing gate. Pass through the gate and follow the headland path (FP28) bearing right where it becomes a crossfield path.
When you leave the field keep straight on to join the lane (BW31) down the hill and continue along the path (BW32) once the beech woods are reached. Cross over the grassy ride and turn immediately right onto a tarmac path (FP22). Follow this path as it heads uphill towards Hanger Hill (or Thynghowe) that appears to the left when the path veers to the right.
When you reach a clump of yew trees take the waymarked right fork along a forest track. Follow this undulating track looking out for some of the oldest oak trees in the area on your left. At a fingerpost turn right, following the forest track (FP23) downhill, keeping straight on at the bottom of the hill where the track turns left.
Continue until fields appear to your left where you turn left at the fingerpost onto Ling Lane (BW24). Eventually the path broadens into Blakeley Lane. Continue until you reach the main road where you cross the road, turn right, pass under the railway bridge and follow Sherwood Street back into Market Warsop.
I would like to acknowledge the expertise of members of The Friends of Thynghowe group who have enhanced my appreciation of Birklands forest.