Whenever Marc and I go home to visit his parents in Nottingham, we always get to take the lovely Elsa (his family’s English Setter) for walkies. We’ve been to Burntstump Country Park a few times now because it is great as an off-lead dog walk in Nottingham. It is also full of squirrels (which is great for providing extra puppy-joy to Elsa.)
When we went home at Christmas we both needed a longer leg-stretch after being cooped up in airplanes/cars/trains for the previous few days. Armed with a map, we kept walking beyond Burntstump Country Park in the general direction of Marc’s home. We planned to walk the whole way home, or at least to a good local pub. The route we found was really fun, so I thought I should share it.
Burntstump Country Park to Woodborough Map
I only remembered to turn on the All Trails app after we’d wandered around Burntstump Country Park for a while, but the map above gives you the general idea of our walk.
Burntstump Country Park to Woodborough – the basics
Elevation Gain: 150m
High Point: 190m
Time: 3-3.5 hours
What to bring:
We didn’t have anything special for this, but wellies would have been useful for the muddy fields.
Dogs: Yes! Good dogs are allowed to be off-lead within Burntstump Country Park. After that we kept going without the dog, but she would have been fine on a lead.
How hard is it? Maybe Intermediate as we had to make up our own route. But the paths were not hard at all.
Burntstump Country Park
This part of the walk is basically puppy paradise. There are a few mini loop walks around the top of the park, and then lower down within the forest. We tend to visit when the weather is very soggy, as the park doesn’t normally turn into too much of a muddy mess.
This park is very popular with dog walkers, so your dog will have plenty of chances to smell the local pee-mail. Pee-mail is what my sister calls the mini toilets stops do to let other dogs know they have visited.
In December the park was also good fun for photos. We found quite a few mushrooms and although the trees didn’t have any leaves, but the park was still pretty bathed in winter light.
Elsa (and Marc’s parents) continued with their walk around Burntstump Country Park, while Marc and I made-up the rest of our longer walk…
Across the road from Burntstump Country Park is a huge area of forest that is full of possible pathways. When we visited, we didn’t see a single other walker in Sansom Wood. It might be good for shy dogs/walkers that fancy meeting up with fewer doggos.
This area was also not very waterlogged or muddy, despite all the recent rain.
Although we didn’t see other people, I kept spotting faces in the trees!
Part of Sansom Wood was covered in wilted ferns. The whole area must look incredibly lush and green during the summertime when these are all alive.
Once we’d left the wood, there was a footpath along the edge of the fields, that crossed the road A614. Be really careful when you cross the road. It seemed like most drivers didn’t expect pedestrians to cross here, so they were really zooming past!
As soon as you cross the road you can march straight into another woodland. There was a sign from the Forestry Commission, so it must be public-owned land. This would be a good place to walk dogs too!
There were good walking surfaces with plenty of drainage, and a huge range of paths, with many possible loops. This area seems like it is popular for mountain bikers (they have a whole bunch of fun-looking trails.)
On Christmas Eve, there was no logging activity, but we could see that this woodland is managed for logging. If you are here on a day when they are felling trees, be careful to keep out of the way of their vehicles!
There are a few small hills within the Watchwood plantation, so we got a few peeks at the surrounding countryside as we explored.
The only tough part was what appeared to be a path on our map, but that turned out to be overgrown with spiky brambles! I got caught in the bushes many times on this teeny section!
I always love fords. If my parents ever gave us the choice of taking a route via a ford when we were kids, we’d always choose the watery option! Luckily the ford on Beanford Road has a small footbridge, so walkers don’t have to get their feet soggy.
The Nottingham countryside is really pleasant and pretty green (if muddy) in wintertime.
Across the fields
We walked on footpaths through the muddy fields.
We found a small road along the back of the village of Calverton. There were quite a few horses around who watched us wander along.
The last few fields were incredibly soggy. We both had to waddle along the trail, trying to keep our feet either side of the stream-like path. I discovered that my shoes had a leak (noooo). I’ve only used those shoes for a few months, so I don’t recommend Merrell trail shoes!
This is the pathway, once it was a bit easier and less wet. Still the puddles were enormous!
Springwater Golf Club
There is a footpath straight up the hill in the Springwater golf course. There were no golfers out, as the sun was starting to set on Christmas eve. Once you’re at the top of the golf course, you can take another straight path back down the hill to the outskirts of the village of Woodborough.
Woodborough pub – Four Bells Inn
We were both a little cold by the time we reached Woodborough, so we stopped off for a drink, and called Marc’s dad to come and collect us. If you are ever in Nottingham, this pub was really lovely. There was a roaring fire as well as a huge selection of gins.
I loved their doggy bars too!
Marc chose a tasty stout, and I went for a gin that turned out to be really Christmassy. I think it was called Opihr.
Now we are getting used to the epic mountain-filled hikes in Canada, it is really nice to come back and walk in the UK. England is choc-a-bloc with pedestrian routes and footpaths. I love that you can plan a countryside walk to almost anywhere, just looking out for the local paths. Plus, you don’t need to worry about bears. 😉