Picturesque village

Sally Outram Walk: A wonderful walk around the picturesque village of Gringley-on-the-Hill

Some of the features that can be seen on this walk. (Photo: Sally Outram).

It showcases the peaceful tranquility of the Chesterfield Canal, which meanders gracefully through the scenic countryside of North Nottinghamshire.

You will start the walk in the charming village of Gringley-on-the-Hill, an area steeped in history.

With settlements dating from the early Bronze Age, Beacon Hill has been suggested to be the site of a small hill fort, or defensive motte.

The views from here are breathtaking, and on a cloudless day you can pretty much see York Minster, as well as Lincoln Cathedral, and far across the Trent Valley.

This pretty hilltop village has an eclectic mix of architecture, with quaint cottages, dovecotes and an array of old barns and buildings.

In 1252 King Henry III granted permission for a weekly market and an annual fair, and the stone remains of a superb medieval market cross can be seen in the village along the main street , which is worth a photo or two while passing by.

The parish church of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul impressively dominates the heart of the village.

Exact documentation of the early days of the church is scant, but there was an indication of a place of worship in the village recorded in the Doomsday Book, suggesting Anglo-Saxon origins.

Although there are no visible remnants of this time, the earliest surviving parts of the church are Norman and a blocked arched doorway is clearly visible.

A visit to the church is definitely worthwhile, as it’s usually open every day, but it’s best to check beforehand if you’re considering adding it to your walking itinerary.

If you decide to visit, look for the four carved roof bosses – a decoration where the roof or ceiling crosspieces intersect; and the 13th-century Pillar Piscina, said to have been used to clean ecclesiastical vessels after prayers. They are very impressive.

Continuing through the village you will reach the Chesterfield Canal, which skirts the outskirts and is utterly charming; the shore side abounds with a variety of wildlife, flora and fauna.

There’s a photo opportunity around every corner, so don’t forget to take a camera.

Each season has its own special offers, so don’t let the bad weather put you off.

Following this beautiful waterway you will eventually reach North Nottinghamshire’s iconic Drakeholes Tunnel and if you are having a good day the nearby grassy area is the perfect place to picnic, chat with the locals on the boat. or just to stop and watch the world go by, before continuing along the pretty towpath to Wiseton, Clayworth and back to Gringley-on-the-Hill.

Give yourself plenty of extra time to really enjoy this beautiful part of North Nottinghamshire.

The first tunnels were built without a towpath, and before the introduction of motorboats the boats would have been “legged”.

This involved men pushing the boat with their feet, which would have been an extremely difficult and dangerous task to undertake.

Duration: 3h45.

Stiles: None, but there are portals.

Path info: Trails, tracks, paths along fields, towpath, footpaths. Fields can get muddy so proper footwear is required.

Departure point: St. Peters & St. Pauls Church, High Street, Gringley-on-the-Hill. Parking – Roadside. DN10 4RF

Refreshments: Blue Bell Inn, High Street, Gringley-on-the Hill, Sun Inn in Everton, Blacksmiths Arms in Everton, The Yurt, Bawtry Road, Everton.

We start our walk at St Peter & St Pauls Church on the main street. Keeping the church on your left, continue along the main village street towards the stone monument. At the monument turn right continuing a short distance then turn left onto Westwells Lane.

After about 100m turn right and continue along the country lane, out of the village, towards the Chesterfield Canal. On reaching the canal, go down the steps you will see on the right, go under the bridge and continue walking along the towpath, past the lock chalet, continue for about 2.5 km, where you will come to a tunnel .

At this point, follow the side path, leading to the top of the riverbank, past the farm buildings and continuing along the track to a road junction. The old pub building (White Swan) rises to the right, crosses the road, turns left opposite the pub and joins the towpath just after the tunnel to the right of the canal bank.

Continue along the towpath towards Wiseton, notice the beautiful ornate bridge, known as Lady’s Bridge, and also look out for Kingfisher, as they are known to inhabit this vicinity. Continue over the bridge and past the small village of Wiseton, the towpath follows a road, continue to follow the path taking a left along the riverbank.

Walk along the path for approximately 2 miles, until you reach the moorings, where you will see an array of colorful narrowboats, the yacht club and the bridge. At the bridge, leave the canal towpath, go up the road and follow the path to the village of Clayworth.

After a short distance, turn right onto Mill Lane, then continue onto Toft Dyke Lane, continue as the lane becomes a path/track, for approximately ¾ of a mile, where you will reach a gate. Pass the gate and turn right through another gate and continue between the hedges, for about 150m, where you will meet a path. Cross the track and continue along the path at the edge of the field, passing through a small wooded area, to finally join a track. Follow this across the field to the hedge on the other side, where you will see a path marker for the Trent Valley Way.

At this point turn left along the field border path and continue to the corner. You will see a hole in the hedge, go through it and turn right, following the path to a wooded area, which is on your left, where you turn left, to follow the path that twists and turns through the wood, eventually emerging at a footbridge.

Cross the footbridge and turn left, following the field edge path, for a short distance, until you reach the corner of the field. Turn right at the corner and follow the path which veers left and around a corner, continuing on a grassy path/track.

Follow the track for about ½ mile, where it will eventually meet the main Misterton road and its junction. Cross the road, it can be a busy road so be careful. After a short distance, turn left on the main street and return to the starting point at the church.