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Flat route with pleasant variety of scenery on mostley good paths.
Mostly good paths
Hazards and warnings
The route has a short section of Swarkstone bridge which is very narrow and busy. There was also one field with cows in.
Leaving Hardinge Arms turn left and cross the road you will see a gap and stile across the wall - keep to the edge of the field turning right at the corner and through the gap between the cottages. Turn right down the street and left at the crossroads.
You will come to a footpath sign on the left which takes you across a small field to an old railway track. Turn left down the track and follow this for some time until after crossing the River Trent you come to the canal.
Turn Left and walk along the towpath until you come to the bridge. Here take the steps up and take the footpaths across the fields towards Swarkstone.
Eventually you will come to the road follow this round and along the river bank towards another road and pub.A good place for a break.
here follow the footpath down past the bridge across fields and round the back of the sailing club. comming out between bungalows in the village.
turn left onto the road walk along until you reach the main road and turn left back towards the bridge the just after the house take the track to the right. This eventually becomes a bridleway and takes you all the way back to Kings Newton just a little way up the road from the start.
We were stayiing over at Hardinge in our motorhome, a long awated return for a really special meal. Arriving early in the day we set off on our planned walk - we went a litte wrong at the start as we had planned to cut a corner off but it didn't really matter.
It was a pleasant day and quite warm and the walk was a pleasant variety of scenes. i particulary liked the first stretch of the rail track and the towpath.
At Swarkstone the official route goes along the bridge for a way before dropping to the field through a gap in the wall. However this was very busy - on the map it would apear the footpath pretty much merges with the sailing club road so we decided to go this way only to find large sign making it obvious hikers were not welcome! Hence we took the decision to go through the farm gate and follow the edge of the field back to the path.
A second problem was encountered when after passing behond the sailing club we emerged in a field which was populated by young bullocks. We had three dogs with us and as soon as we entered the field the cows made a beeline from the other end of the field towards us. We retreated to decide what to do - our only options other then going on were to return the way we came or go back and cross the bridge which was too busy to be safe. We experimented a little with shooing and found that if one of us went ahead without a dog the cows retreated in this way the other could lead the dogs behind and past the cows. We did this but it was a little bit scary.
I do think something needs doing to address the issue of cows on rights of way.
Apart from this it was a very nice walk and so was the meal we had afterwards.
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