Routes

There are 23 detailed routes within the book. Here is an example of one of them:

Route 9: Trent Lock
Distance: 25 miles, 68% off-road
Time: 4 hours
Maps: OS Explorer 260 Nottingham, OS Explorer 246 Loughborough, OS Explorer 245 National Forest

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Summary:
This is a route that follows the banks of the river Trent to the south west of Nottingham. It is one of the most pleasant rides going, apart form a short section near a power station where I have had to include some on road cycling to avoid the diabolically dangerous A453 and get to a bridge over the river. The section in the woods below Clifton is stunning, with steep cliffs on one side and the unusually fast flowing Trent on the other. The route back includes a trail through Attenborough Nature Reserve, and a short section beside Nottingham and Beeston Canal. With typical bad luck the route cuts across three OS Explorer maps. However, since 95% of the route is on the Nottingham map you can dispense with the other two if you put faith in my instructions! There is a good pub at Trent Lock, and an excellent café at the marina near Atenborough Nature Reserve.

The route is flat and easy going with good cycling surfaces. However, there are a couple of sections that become very difficult in wet weather and the whole route is best avoided when the Trent is in flood. Trent mud is particularly nasty stuff that sticks to everything, especially a bike. You can increase the bike weight by about 20lb and jam up the brakes easily if you do this route after rain. For this reason it is best tackled in hot dry weather unless you are a complete mountain bike nutter.

Starting Point:
There is free car parking on the Trent embankment near the suspension bridge. The OS grid reference is 4578 3375.

The Route:
Cross the suspension bridge and follow the shared use cycle path upstream keeping the river Trent on your right. The path rises to the top of a flood bank and drops onto a road that goes under a disused railway bridge. When you come to the Ferry pub turn left and follow the road through Wilford to the traffic lights. Don’t cross the main road. Just before the lights there is a cycle path on you right which goes round the building on the corner of the junction. Take this past the restaurant and return to the track that runs along besides the river. When you have passed under the arches of Clifton Bridge take the track to you right. This goes over a small stream and then bears left to follow the riverside all the way to Barton in Fabis. It is frequently signposted as the Trent Valley Way, and you can forget about reading route instructions for a while and gawp at the scenery. At a crossroads of paths go straight ahead and follow the bottom of the bank. Don’t be tempted to follow the path on your right that goes to the weir and a dead end.

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The Trent Valley Way enters Barton in Fabis by a gate leading onto a minor road. When you reach this road turn right into the village and follow it past the church. Take the second right after the church and look for a style beside a farm on your left. Take the track past the farm buildings, and then follow the path that goes diagonally across a field, dropping to a small footbridge at the far corner. Go over the bridge, turn left and follow the path around the pond and the edge of the field. Resume your direction at a small gate to the right of a hedge, and follow the path across the fields to Thrumpton.

Go through the village, past the church and up to the T-junction at Wood Farm. Turn right on the lane and follow it over the hill. Descend towards the power station and turn right at the first T-junction and left at the second, following the signs for Birmingham. This will take you under the A453. At the next T-junction turn right, and follow the signed road towards East Leake. Go under the power lines and continue up the hill until you come to the crossroads with a telephone box at the edge of New Kingston. Turn right, go past the long stone wall of Kingston Hall on your left, and bear right at the green as you enter Kingston on Sour. Go past the church and phone box, under the railway bridge, and then turn left at the T-junction following the signs to Kegworth. Go under the power lines, and bear right over the river Soar. Pass the anchor in and then turn right when you reach long lane, which is clearly signed at the next crossroads. Don’t be put off by the restricted access signs; this is a legitimate right of way for cyclists. The lane narrows to about 3m and is ideal for cycling. Watch for rabbits as you go over the A453 and bear to the right. The road then swings left at a right-angled bend near some large rocks and a bridleway joins from the right. Follow the road to the next T-junction and turn right. Follow the lane under the railway bridge, and around the left hand side of Sawley Bridge Marina.

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At the main road turn right and go over the River Trent, past the church and then turn right into Lock Lane which is signed to Trent Lock. Follow this lane over the level crossing, round to the right and on until it ends where it meets the river. Go past the car park, around the pub, over the canal bridge, and straight on to follow the towpath under the railway bridge. Avoid following the towpath of the Erewash Canal that goes off to your left. Continue following this path as it rejoins the Trent riverbank. For the next four miles keep the river on you right, passing through Attenborough Nature Reserve to arrive at Beeston Marina. Go past the café and the lock, and onto the road that follows the left side of the canal. After 200yds, where the road bears left, take the bridge to the far bank of the canal and continue towards Nottingham on the wide towpath. After ¾ mile leave the towpath where the canal bears left and take the cycle track on your right that ascends to join a road. Continue on the cycle track past the playing fields and five-a-side football pitches of the Power League. At the roundabout bear right on the cycle track and go under the flyover to the Park and Ride site. Pass to the left of the car park, and remain on the cycle track as it follows the river all the way back to the start of the route.