I drove to the Creswell Crags Visitor Centre Car park (Pay and display, £3, only open at the weekend in Winter.) and started out by taking a nice wander round the crags. The caves are all blocked off with metal grills so there’s not much to see except cliffs and a little lake but its fun to walk around and picture a landscape full of fierce prehistoric beasts and the humans who hunted them. Then it was time for some proper walking. My plan was to start at the Creswell Crags Visitor Centre and walk to the Clumber Park Visitor Centre and back again. So I did. I began by following the Robin Hood Way east over fields to South Lodge where the path enters woodland where it stays for some time. Coming out of the one is soon at Truman’s Lodge, a big grand arched gateway entering Cumber Park. Here I had to flash my National Trust membership card at someone to be allowed to proceed. Clumber Park is a kind of stately home with the stately home removed, Clumber House, home to the Dukes of Newcastle having been demolished in 1938, the fine extensive grounds are still there looked after by the National Trust and popular outings among the good people of Worksop and Mansfield. I walked through the Park to the Visitor Centre.
From here a more ambitious walk would have carried on round the lake to Hardwick village and on to Clumber Park Hotel but light was limited and I took a more direct route, heading down a track signposted to ‘Clumber Bridge’. But instead of turning left for Clumber Bridge I kept straight on tgo leave the park just before Carburton, then left down the B6034 and right at the top of the hill where a public footpath heads through the forest towards Hazel Gap. From here another footpath follows a track northwest past a huge solar farm. I was back on the Robin Hood Way here and followed it up to a road, along the road to the village of Norton, north up a path over a couple of fields onto a track leading past Park Lodge and along the side of a deer park (there were some deer around, some distance off) and finally onto the A60. From here the most satisfying conclusion to the walk would be to keep on the Robin Hood Way into Welbeck and across more fields back to the west end of the Crags and back along them to the car park. But it was getting dark so I just too the less satisfying option of heading straight up the A60 back to the track leading west to the Crags Car Park. This is a fast, busy road but endowed mercifully with a pavement on one side. This closes at 4.30 which had by now been and gone but the barrier to get out rises cooperatively if you drive towards it.
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