The basics The walk is 4.5 miles (7 kilometres) on good popular footpaths, mainly through arable land, with no cows or horses. It passes through the Netherfield Lagoons, a wildlife Nature Reserve popular with native and migratory birds. You may also find frogs at your feet in Spring, with butterflies over- head in Summer. The last two miles by the Trent are very pleasant but with little cover in poor weather.

How to get there From the A612 Nottingham to Southwell road, turn off right shortly after passing under the railway bridge at Gedling. If coming from Southwell or the A46, turn off left one mile (1.5 kilometres) after Burton Joyce, at the traffic lights where it is signposted for Stoke Bardolph. Follow the road through the village and the Ferry Boat Inn will be found overlooking the riverside on your left.

Parking Either leave your car in the large inn car park, or in the smaller public car park by the river.

The Ferry Boat This is an inn full of character. Dating back over 170 years, it takes its name from the ferry that plied from here to Shelford across the Trent. It has been well refurbished again recently, with an indoor soft children’s playroom, loos and ramps for the disabled, a heated courtyard and an outside children’s play area. You may bring your dog, but keep it on the front lawn or in the courtyard. The spacious dining area is a pleasing mix of old and new, where up to date décor blends with the traditional appearance of low ceilings and old timbers.


The inn belongs now to Spirit Pub Company, with a range of drinks that includes Guinness, Tetley’s ales and Strongbow cider, with Beck’s, Foster’s, San Miguel and Stella Artois lagers.. The range of wines includes the house dry, medium and red, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It is open all day Monday to Saturday, midday to 11.00 pm, with meals and bar snacks at lunchtime and evening. On Sundays the licensing hours are 11.30 am to 10.30 pm, with food available between 11.30 am and 9.30 pm.

You’ll find a comprehensive menu that is changed twice a year, with a mouth-watering selection of sweets and sundaes, plus a full range of sandwiches and baguettes for those of lighter appetites. Sunday lunches are also served, with children and vegetarians catered for. Telephone 0115 9871232.


The Walk With the river right, continue past the Inn and the children’s play area to cross a stile immediately to your left. Bear right through the small copse, then left to parallel a stream which is deep and fast-flowing. This is the outflow from the Stoke Bardolph sewage works. Keep children and dogs well away from the sides – it’s dangerous. On reaching the top end of this embankment, turn left to follow a metalled lane.

End of the embankment path

Where the lane swings sharply left, bear right 45 degrees to follow an obvious green track with a hedge on your left for about 500 metres. Continue along the footpath beside a wood to reach the road by Top Row Cottages, and cross over, slightly left. Follow the hedge on your right over three long fields, crossing a farm lane after the second, to reach and cross a footbridge over the Ouse Dyke.

Ten foot high corn on the cob

You are now at the Netherfield Lagoons, where an information board tells you what can be seen here. Up the steps to your left, where you have two options. 1. Turn right (with the first lagoon on your left) and gradually bear left on the path. You can see the car auction site to your right.

First lagoon on your left

Car auction site on your right

Or 2. Keep left straight ahead with the first lagoon on your right, then turn right between the two lagoons, eventually to meet the other path coming in from your right. Although the first option is shorter, we recommend the No. 2 – you will see more, especially on the second lagoon).
Continue left on this path with a rail line on your right. A signal box there will eventually indicate the approaching end of the second lagoon.

End of second lagoon

Here you will see the rail bridge over the Trent. Take the steps down, enjoying good views here across to Radcliffe-on-Trent church and the many arched railway viaduct. Have a close look at the rail bridge before turning left along the riverside path.

Steps down to the river

This path is rather overgrown at first, but improves gradually, with many wild flowers visible on both sides. Keep eyes and ears open for cyclists – they can outnumbers walkers here.

Himalayan balsam – pretty but an alien intruder

The high point is Stoke Lock, less known than Gunthorpe Lock but just as attractive. It’s an excellent spot to pause for a while and watch the river traffic that ranges from luxurious motor launches to homely little narrow boats lovingly restored by their owners.

Approach to Stoke Lock

The obvious way back to Stoke will take you along the metalled access path, but a worthwhile alternative follows a vestigial footpath closer by the waterside. But not when it’s flooding!

Locked in

All’s right with his world …..

This walk was updated and partly revised in August 2013, to take into account several significant changes over the 20 or so years since Peter Fooks first walked it. The Netherfield Lagoons have matured, now attracting much wild life, especially incoming migrant birds from Europe and Africa. Unusual sightings can be made on both lagoons. Contact Notts Wildlife Trust for more information.

Please note – further changes can occur at any time, for which we cannot accept any responsibility. If you are aware of any significant alterations, please notify us using the contact addresses on our web-site, giving us your contact details. That would be very helpful to everyone.

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