Distance: about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) along flat clear paths through some of Nottinghamshire’s most delightful scenery. A few stiles and cattle require attention, but no real hazards or busy roads. This walk was photographed in May 2015 when the wildflowers and blossom were at their gorgeous best. It passes the well-known ford and mill race on the Dover Beck at Mill Farm.

The start is at The Black Horse, a small pub at the extreme eastern end of Caythorpe (Grid Ref. SK 689 455. Post Code NG14 7ED) You may leave your car in the car park at the rear, especially if drinking or eating there. The bar food is excellent—a change of menu daily. Booking is advisable first— space is very limited. Open lunch times 11.45 am to 2.30 pm, then 5.30 to 11.30 pm Tuesday to Saturday. Sundays 12.00 to 5 pm then 8 to 11.30 pm.

Closed Mondays. Telephone (0115) 9663520. Owing to uneven surfaces, this walk is not suitable for wheelchair users. See the note below about the path beside the Dover Beck.

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The Start: Turn right from the car park, along the village main street, crossing the bridge over the Dover Beck to find a field opening down right, with the beck flowing serenely further to your right. If you like wildflowers, this path in Spring is a sheer delight, but take care—the surface is uneven. It will punish even moderately high heels, especially if dry, and will be slippery when wet. Children must be watched carefully.

On the bridge over the Dover Beck

Spot the sand martins’ nests in the far bank shortly after a wide farm bridge, with the odd water vole’s burrow. Further on, cow parsley and white tree blossom in Spring. 100 yards after the beck makes a left bend close under a pylon, a few grass-covered holes covered may painfully catch un-wary ankles.

Sand Martins nests in the bank

At the end of the path, take this stile leading into a large field, usually scattered with sheep. Keep to the right field edge, passing a well-worn watering track. In the hedgerow right a small stile will attract the more adventurous—it leads left to the main path that the steadier walkers will soon take ahead. Over a stile, right through the gate, down the path to meet your adventurers at the next stile.

Over this stiles at the path end
A stile for the adventurous

Ahead is a sight to pause and admire—the mill stream at Mill Farm. A ford on the left may dare the wellie-wearers, but bridge-walkers will have a more panoramic view. The mill race is just visible far back under the brickwork. Spring bird-song is loud— quiet enjoyment may be rewarded with a sight of the singer. Click on the link at the end to watch a short video of this scene and the River Trent before you go.

Mill Farm’s ford

Continue over the bridge to a farm track that leads to this sign post point- ing left. A clear fenced path takes you past a hedge, a ditch and a lake (left) to eventually reach the quiet Hoveringham—Gonalston road. Cross this and continue as before, with another lake on your left and the ditch still down on your right..

After half-a-mile, beside a wood, cross the sloping footbridge over the ditch at Point 1, continuing along the left field edge to reach a cricket field. As you continue on the left, watch out for sixes if they’re playing! In this case, the Boundary Bar of the Reindeer Inn will be open. Need we say more?

Sloping footbridge over the ditch

Turn left at the bar to reach the road, left again in Hoveringham village for about 150 yards, until, opposite the former Post Office, take a waymarked path on the right, next to Laburnum Cottage. This slightly overgrown path leads via a footbridge to a field. Continue up the left side by a hedge-row, turning right at the top (the path left is blocked further on) to another stile near the far corner.

Turn left at this stile

Cross this, turning left, over two more stiles to reach Lodgefield Lane. Go right, past houses to the end, then left on Boat Lane to the right bend of the road as it passes the former inn converted to a resi- dential home at Point 2. Now you are walking beside the River Trent, past a long riverside car park to a pair of gates, the left one of which leads to a clear path. In Spring this river bank glows with yellow buttercups. Good place for a picnic?

Boat Lane bends right

River bank glows with buttercups

Continue along for almost a mile, maybe passing some dozy cattle, until noticing an overhead line that crosses the river and your path about 150 yards ahead. Go no further. As the hedgerow here to your right curls right at Point 3, take the path round it to reach a gate that leads out to a field. Follow the path right for about 400 yards, to a foot-bridge where you will discover the Caythorpe—Hoveringham road. Turn left to find the Black Horse on your right after another quarter-mile.

The path round the hedgerow

Extending the Caythorpe walk via Gunthorpe

By doing this, you save the next half-mile to Caythorpe, but add 2.3/4 miles walking. Total 6.3/4 miles. Continue along the river bank, under the overhead cables via two swing gates, remaining on this path (possibly past more dozy cattle) for exactly a mile to the lock and weir at Gunthorpe. After a contemplative gaze at the lock activity, stay on this path at
the river edge.

It’s more interesting and less dangerous than the road. You’ll also pass a café. Where the path enters the car park in front of The Unicorn pub and restaurant, cross the road and turn right, round the bend to pass two more excellent restaurants into Gunthorpe village.

About a quarter mile along Gunthorpe Main Street, turn right at Peck Lane (Point 4) full of charming gardens. It changes to a delightful grassy track near Glebe Farm, then another signpost left, part hidden by a wood, turns you right along a left field edge which you follow until about half-way down

Turn right here

Turn right here

Here a footbridge leads left to another grassy track, straight over another two footbridges to a gate beside what may be a new building soon. This path leads out to Caythorpe’s main street, with The Black Horse directly almost opposite. It’s a welcome sight after a fascinating walk.

Footbridge halfway down

NB Click on this link to watch a short video of Mill Farm and the Trent near Gunthorpe

Please note—changes can occur at any time, for which we cannot accept any responsibility. If you enjoyed this de- lightful walk, would you please e-mail briancluff@talktalk.net with any useful comments. Also, if you are aware of any significant alterations, please notify me, giving your contact details. That would be very helpful to everyone.

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