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Visit Historic Bestwood

 Route type

walk (linear)


6 miles

 Surface and gradients

mixed surfaces and some steep gradients

Number of stiles


 Parking nearby


 On bus routes

yes - plan a journey

 Starting point

Bulwell train station

 OS map number

Explorer 260

A route between Bulwell and Hucknall Station on the Robin Hood Line. Featuring the historic Bestwood Park.


  1. From the southbound platform of Bulwell Station, exit the station using the narrow path which leads directly up to the main road opposite the church. Cross carefully, walking down Church Street opposite, then continue past the Police Station. As the street ends in a cul-de-sac, continue along an alleyway by the railway line, but after a few metres turn sharp right up steps which lead into Northholme Avenue. Continue past 1930s suburban houses onto Cantrell Road and turn left. Walk past the primary school, to the main road 400 metres ahead. Cross to a tarmac path which leads between houses into Bulwell Forest.

  2. As you approach Bulwell Forest golf course, turn sharp left up a flight of steps which leads to a broad green track enclosed by hedges. Follow this track to climb steadily before entering a cutting between gorse bushes. This was formerly the Great Northern Railway's Leen Valley line, with a station specially built for the Duke of St Albans to reach his estate at Bestwood Park.

  3. The path descends to rejoin the golf course. Keep to the path with the old concrete posts of the railway line on your left, to emerge at the main Hucknall Road near a junction. Cross with care via the refuge to continue straight on into the wood, soon bearing left along a section of tarmac path to reach the top of the old railway embankment. After 800 metres the path forks. Take the right fork, through a barrier then follow the gravel path ahead as it crosses several others and turn right then left over a wooden footbridge. Head uphill along the path to the top of the hill where there is a bench.

  4. The hilltop is the summit of the restored pit tip of Bestwood Colliery, which lies within Bestwood Country Park. Follow the gravel path to the right as it circles the area planted with trees, before curving again to the left and passing close to houses, finally descending to a triangle of paths at the park entrance. Take the track along the edge of the park, signed Big Wood and Alexandra Lodge following it for 800 metres.

  5. Big Wood, within Bestwood Country Park, is a magnificent area of mature woodland. Generations of royalty hunted at Bestwood and Charles II gave the then 3,000-acre estate to his mistress, Nell Gwynne. After passing the school grounds on your right, at the next major junction of paths, bear left along the Woodmans path with the signs to Alexandra Lodge, (unless wishing to visit the Lodge gardens, reached by the path to the right) following a wide gravel track as it gently descends past the playground towards the ornate red brick archway of Alexandra Lodge.

  6. Turn left along the main drive, past the old Rectory to the park exit. Follow the lane towards Bestwood village for 120 metres, (take care as this lane is used by heavy lorries to reach a nearby tip) to reach a stile on the right. Follow this public footpath across two fields, into an enclosed path by houses. At the end of the path you will reach a T-junction - turn right to emerge at the end of a cul-de-sac called The Spinney.

  7. Follow this road to reach the Papplewick Road. Cross carefully and walk a few metres to your left where you will see a green public footpath sign to Hucknall. Follow this footpath to a kissing gate where if forks left, and follow the gravel path as it heads clockwise around the lake. Walk almost all the way around the lake and on reaching a metalled track, cross over to head through a 'gap stile'.

  8. Follow the surfaced path as it goes left under the concrete railway bridge. This leads onto Wigwam Lane, with Hucknall Golf Course on your right and an industrial estate on your left. At the end of Wigwam Lane you will find Hucknall Station immediately on your left.