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On the right track

 Route type

 Walk/ cycle/ horse ride (circular)

 Distance

 4 miles

 Surface and gradients

 mixed surfaces 

 Horsebox

 yes

 Starting point

 corner of Knowle Lane by the White Lion pub,

ride along Swingate.

 OS map number

 Explorer 260

A country ride for cycles, horses and walkers. This route, taking in Strelley and the Swingate area of Kimberley, encircles the old mining settlement of Babbington. Many of the tracks that this route follows were once railway lines that served local pits. In the 1860s there were an incredible nine coal mines in this small area alone!

Directions

  1. After passing Babbington Lane on the right, follow the road which becomes a surfaced track as it bends first right then left, now running between fields with a transmitter mast away to your left. Soon, the track splits into three, with our route continuing straight ahead. Follow this well-defined track as it runs ahead between fields. At the end of the first field follow the path ahead that runs between the power lines.

    Cross another track, following a field edge path to eventually meet the M1 motorway. At this point the track turns left to reach a bridge over the motorway (horse riders are advised to dismount for the crossing).

  2. Cross the bridge over the motorway and follow this track as it bends to the right and soon becomes a tarmac road at Strelley. Ride alongside this quiet road, with the complex of buildings at Strelley Hall becoming visible to your left. After a short distance, a gateway on the right with a small car park and bridleway signpost indicates our route out of Strelley. Before leaving the village it is well worth the short detour ahead to take in the church and other old buildings in this Conservation Area.

  3. When ready to leave Strelley, pass through the gateway and follow the track ahead as it passes over the M1 motorway on a bridge (beware of cars here as the track is used to access some fishing lakes).

    Having crossed the bridge, follow the track ahead and you soon reach a gateway on the left with a Woodland Trust sign. The path leads the way to Oldmoor Wood (access on foot only). If you wish to visit the wood, return to this point to pick up the route (and your bike or horse!) again. Our route continues ahead along this track. When the track is crossed by the driveway to a house, the path continues ahead but narrows as it drops downhill with an open grassy field to the left. It soon emerges on a wider surfaced road.

  4. Follow this road to the right, ignoring the farm access track immediately to your right. After a short while the road turns left but our route continues ahead on a gravelled, tree lined track. After half a mile this track reaches a junction, with the red brick Strelley Park Farm ahead. Turn left and follow this double-hedged track as it drops gently downhill for half a mile. The track then bends to the right and climbs up a short rise to emerge on a sharp bend in a narrow lane. Follow this lane to the right as it heads towards the hamlet of Babbington and after a quarter of a mile a track forks off to the left.

  5. Take this left fork and keep on this track as it passes a farmhouse, then begins to climb uphill. At the top of the hill, with a barn on your left, turn right along the track as it runs along the contour of the valley.

    Keep following this track as it passes some houses then becomes a tarmac road (Babbington Lane). Pass the large Water Tower and at the end of the road, turn left to reach the start point of our route.

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