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Glorious autumn bike ride through Sherwood Forest

October 20, 2012

19 miles 31 km circular cycle route mostly well surfaced – one short section of busier road at the end.

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Heavy dews, dark morning,fog must be autumn. The weather forecast was for sunshine later, so I set off for one of my local runs along National Cycle Route 6 going north.

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It is quite a long pull up to the Centre Tree past Archway House but once there it’s a down hill as far as Budby pumping station. This is a popular spot with bird watchers so a  stop at the wetland area and lake to see if they had seen anything interesting. Not today.
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Then another climb to Hazel Gap. Sunshine! More trees just beginning to show their autumn colours followed by a nice easy run along Freeboard Lane to the A614. Rather than going to Bothamsall took the route south along a beaten path running parallel to the road. This bit is always tricky because of the vegetation. It’s far from ideal for my bike as I only have hybrid slick tyres on.
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Having crossed the Bothamsall road, it’s down hill towards the marsh and the rivers Maun and Meden. The marsh was far wetter than usual. Setting off after watching a very large heron and two snipe on the marsh, my front wheel sank into a pool and just kept slowing sinking until the axle was level with the water. Only thing to do was put my foot down in 5 inches of water and pull the bike out – one very wet foot.    Should have gone through Bothamsall.     Oddly enough the swamp the other side of the rivers which floods after rain was passable today.

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Sherwood Forest Kings Clipstone Cycle route 1

Route is shown in purple

It’s fairly good from there to Whitewater Lane where it’s  turn right and watch for the entrance to the bridleway bridge. This bridleway (good surface) then follows the river to Ollerton. After crossing the river it follows the lane round to the right. The bridleway emerges between two fences onto the main road, a bit dodgy. The road to Old Ollerton is across the road off-set to the left.

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There is a cafe and seats in Old Ollerton, so it is a good place to stop. The old finger-post points to Newark –  with a right turn just before the main road  into Bescar Lane. At Wellow Lane its right towards Rufford ford.

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Nice walk  through the park today(no cycling rule), out the main entrance and into the other half of Rufford village for a loop round to the bridleway to Sherwood Pines. Centre Parcs have put up some new cycling signs but haven’t yet removed the ‘not’ from their ‘this not a public bridleway’ signs, a bit naughty of them.

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At Sherwood Pines it’s turn right and follow the old coach road, with another lot of trees looking good today, as far as the main entrance and a quick down hill run into Kings Clipstone.

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