Trent Valley Way: Nottingham to Gunthorpe

Route Summary:

The Trent Valley Way is an 84 mile long distance footpath that runs through Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, following the course of the River Trent wherever possible. The route is currently in the process of being extended so that eventually, it will run from the rivers source near Stoke-on-Trent, to the Humber estuary. As it happens, it’s possible for me to utilise a section of this route to make a very scenic walk home from work! This description covers the area starting at Trent Bridge in West Bridgford, Nottingham to the village of Gunthorpe.

Route Information

  • Start: Civic Centre, Pavilion Rd, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5FE, UK
  • Date:19-04-2018
  • GPX File: Download

Other POI: Trent Bridge, Nottingham & Union Rowing Club, The City Ground, Grantham Canal, Lady Bay Bridge, The Hook Nature Reserve, Nottingham Sailing Club, Adbolton Lane, Skylarks Nature Reserve, Holme Pierrepont, Holme Lane, The Green, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Wharf Lane Recreation Ground, Railway Bridge, Steps, The Cliffs, Stoke Bardolph, Ferry Boat Inn, Stoke Ferry Lane, Shelford, St Mary's Church, Church Street, Water Lane, Shelford Windmill Ruins, A6097, Trent Lane, Gunthorpe Toll Bridge, Gunthorpe

Route Description:

From the starting point at Trent Bridge, the route follows the riverside path past the Nottingham & Union Rowing Club, and then The City Ground – home of Nottingham Forest Football Club. It then continues, still following the river, under Lady Bay bridge and past The Hook Nature Reserve on the right. Eventually, the first detour away from the river has to be taken at the Nottingham Sailing Club.

River Trent, approaching Lady Bay bridge
Approaching Lady Bay bridge
Passing 'The Hook' nature reserve
Passing ‘The Hook’ nature reserve

Take a right turn and eventually turn left onto Adbolton Lane. This is probably the most tedious section of the route as it involves a long walk along the fairly uninteresting road. The route on the map utilises this road all the way to Radcliffe-on-Trent, however it’s probably more advisable to utilise one of the footpaths in the Skylarks Nature Reserve instead for a part of it. Conveniently, one of these paths runs parallel to the road although a longer detour can be taken to see more of the Nature Reserve.

Walking down Adbolton Lane
Walking down Adbolton Lane
Skylarks Nature Reserve
Skylarks Nature Reserve

The route continues past Holme Pierrepont on the left and, eventually, the tarmacked road gives way to a short section of potholed dirt track that links the road to Radcliffe. Once back on the tarmacked road in Radcliffe, continue for a short while to the point where Holme Lane becomes The Green. Here, the road can finally be left behind as a footpath on the left leads between fields used for horse grazing and brings you out at Wharf Lane Recreation Ground.

Approaching Radcliffe
Approaching Radcliffe
Cutting through the middle of horse pasture
Cutting through the middle of horse pasture

Here, it’s a left turn down Wharf Lane just past the railway bridge where a path veers off to the right up steps to an area called ‘The Cliffs’. As you’ve probably guessed, this is an exposed river embankment, steep enough that you could just about get away with calling them cliffs.The path runs along the top of this but it’s surprisingly difficult to actually get a good view due to the trees.

View from 'The Cliffs'
View from ‘The Cliffs’

The path initially starts in Radcliffe and runs behind a row of houses, but this changes after a while as it leaves the town behind. The view opens up to reveal a landscape of gently rolling hills. The path eventually curves to the left and crosses sheep pasture to follow the course of the river which is on the left as always. To the right are fields of rapeseed adding a bit of colour to the scenery. Across the river, Stoke Bardolph is visible as is the popular riverside pub, the Ferry Boat Inn.

Crossing open countryside
Crossing open countryside
Across from Stoke Bardolph
Across from Stoke Bardolph

The footpath eventually reaches the farm road Stoke Ferry Lane which is followed past St Marys Church into the small village of Shelford. Head down Church Street to the junction before continuing straight ahead to a track named Water Lane. This is followed until it eventually leads to open fields. An incline is ascended to the road. A bench with a memorial plaque sits at the top of this hill should you with to rest weary legs and enjoy the view.

St Marys Church, Shelford
St Marys Church, Shelford
The Water Lane farm track
The Water Lane farm track
Colourful Rapeseed fields
Colourful Rapeseed fields

As soon as you’re on the road, it’s time to come off it again with a left turn onto another footpath that crosses fields as it follows the boundary line of Shelford Civil Parish. This next field contains the ruins of an old early 19th century windmill. The base is all that remains and it’s officially a grade II listed building. Continue past this, and then the next field which appears to be used for horse riding and jumping. A small wooded area is finally navigated which emerges on to the A6097. At certain times of the day – namely rush hour – this road can be extremely busy and difficult to cross so care needs to be taken, especially as there’s no path on this side of the road.

The old windmill in Shelford
The old windmill
Shelford Horse jumping site
Showjumping site?

Once over the road, there’s one final stretch of footpath that leads north to Trent Lane, emerging near the site of the old Gunthorpe Toll Bridge that was demolished in 1925. There’s an information board onsite by the river banking should that be of interest. From here, it’s a short walk back to the A6097 and over the main bridge – the only bridge between Nottingham and Newark that crosses the Trent – before arriving in the small, picturesque village of Gunthorpe. It’s a perfect place to finally rest your feet and enjoy a drink or two! The best way to return to Nottingham by public transport would be to walk up to the A612 roundabout and catch the number 100 bus back.

Gunthorpe Toll Bridge information board
Gunthorpe Toll Bridge information board
Gunthorpe
Gunthorpe
Bridge over the Trent
Bridge over the Trent
Route Map
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