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Ashfield and Mansfield Trails (West)
|Surface and gradients||mixed surfaces and some steep gradients|
There are various starting points along the trail - see the PDF map above.
For directions, starting point and routes, see the attached leaflet.
These trails link Pleasley Vale and Kingsmill Reservoir, via Pleasley, Teversal and Sutton in Ashfield, a distance of approximately 5 miles, largely along disused railway lines. Apart from a steep descent on the Meden Trail, the route is mainly flat and passes through unspoilt countryside and farmland along the Nottingshamshire-Derbyshire border before emerging into Sutton Town Centre with some short on-road sections. Beyond Kingsmill Reservoir, the route reverts to off-road bridleways before continuing along the Timberland Trail to Mansfield Town Centre, and Rainworth (see Ashfield and Mansfield Trails - East).
The Meden Trail
Along this section, the route runs alongside the River Meden, using the former track of the old Midland Railway. The Meden valley, rich in resources of water, timber and stone, also provided the humid micro-climate and energy needed for early cotton mills, and became the home of Viyella, exported worldwide from this location in it’s heyday.
The valley was also though to be used as a hunting ground for Neanderthal communities living at nearby Creswell Crags during the Ice Age; in 1862 extensions to Pleasley Vale Hall unearthed a large cave with the skeletal remains of wolves, woolly rhinoceros and reindeer. Part of the route now runs through a Local Nature Reserve, managed by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
The Teversal and Skegby Trails
At the former Pleasley colliery, now a country park, two established routes run south to link into the legacy of the Victorian railway boom, now an established part of the countryside access network of the Teversal Trails. The route passes through attractive undulating farmland reminiscent of Derbyshire’s hills, alternately running through deep
cuttings, and crossing river valleys on steep embankments.
At Teversal, a brief diversion takes in an unspoilt and charming village whose manor house was immortalised as Wragby Hall in DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Located south of the linking section, the Teversal Visitor Centre provides an ideal stop for refreshments.
Sutton in Ashfield is a small industrial town of Saxon origins, although it’s name probably
derives from the Norman de Sutton family. Coal mining supported the local economy between the Middle Ages and the closure of the pits in the late 20th Century.