Welcome to our brand news series of scenic bus routes. Our See the countryside by bus series, written by Bill Purdue, aims to get you out and about and exploring our beautiful region by public transport.
As part of the series, we will also be giving you some top tips on the best places to eat off the beaten track and useful phone numbers to make your day of tourism that little bit better.
In our first tour we guide you from Mansfield to Worksop, using the yourbus service 9. If you have a route you would like to nominate, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
When people think about North Nottinghamshire, they usually think of Sherwood Forest and Robin Hood. A little further west of the main Sherwood Forest attractions, there is countryside that is just as attractive and what better way to enjoy it than from a bus, leaving the driving to someone else? Apart from Worksop and Retford, the north of Nottinghamshire is fairly sparsely populated, so public transport is not frequent.
However there is an hourly bus service connecting Mansfield and Worksop, which is the Notts County Council funded service 9, operated by yourbus (Mon to Sat).
It takes just under 55 minutes to reach Worksop. If you need to reach Worksop quicker, take the train, but It’s worth taking the time on this route , as it passes through some attractive north Nottinghamshire scenery and villages and calls at a number of places worth visiting: Dukeries Garden Centre, the Harley Gallery, Welbeck Farm Shop and Creswell Crags.
After leaving Mansfield Bus Station, the bus makes its way along Chesterfield Road South and then turns right at the Rufford Arms down Debdale Lane, passing Mansfield Woodhouse Station (Robin Hood Line) before calling at Woodhouse High Street. Then it’s straight on to Warsop and Church Warsop, turning left by the church along Bishop’s Walk.
Before the main road leaves Church Warsop the route swings right on to Wood Lane, leading us into a well wooded area. On the left is Warsop Wood, then after a very short gap, Cuckney Hay Wood and on the right, Park House Plantation. Turning left on to the
A632 towards Bolsover, the bus soon enters more woodland, offering glimpses on the right of Langwith Lodge Care Home and the lake in front of it.
This is a large Georgian house, which once belonged to the Bathurst family, but later passed to the Duke of Portland. After a fire at the end of the 19th Century the old house was rebuilt and had a succession of tenants. Before it became a care home, it was a diabetic hospital, where newly diagnosed diabetics would spend a few weeks acclimatising themselves to the condition.
A short distance beyond the Lodge, the bus turns right by the Jug and Glass pub to Whaley Thorns, where there is a heritage centre.
This is the only other point on the route where you pass very close to a railway station on the Robin Hood Line. After Whaley Thorns the bus enters open countryside once more and turns right at the junction with the A616, now heading east towards Cuckney. In Cuckney the bus passes the “Greendale Oak” pub, named after one of the many famous oaks in Welbeck Park.
The trunk of this oak was said to have been so wide (about 35ft in circumference) that a hole was made so that a coach and horses could be driven through it.
After Cuckney the bus makes for the little village of Norton and enters the Welbeck Estate. Look out for the typical Welbeck estate houses dotted about the landscape, built of pale stone and all of a very similar design, probably unique to this area. The Welbeck Estate is also home to a herd of white deer, the Welbeck Abbey Brewery and the makers of Stichelton cheese. From Norton the bus returns to the main A60 and heads north for Worksop without any more diversions.
What to see and where to eat
Just north of Norton and after turning right on to the A60 in a couple of minutes the bus passes the entrance to the Harley Gallery, Welbeck Farm Shop and the Dukeries Garden Centre. At the Harley Gallery you will be able to see temporary art exhibitions and displays of artefacts illustrating the history of the Welbeck area.
There are also craft workshops and a Christmas art market. The gallery is open seven days a week, but closed over the Christmas period and on Easter Sunday.
See the website for more details. The award winning Welbeck Farm Shop has a variety of local produce.
Snacks and light lunches are available at the Limehouse Café (open daily including bank holidays) in front of the Gallery or you can have anything from a coffee to a full lunch at the cafe in the Dukeries Garden Centre.
Just one stop further on is the place to get off for Creswell Crags. You won’t be able to see the visitor centre when you get off the bus, but all you have to do is walk along the path (part of the Robin Hood Way) through some trees to the west and after about half a mile you will reach the centre, which has a cafe, exhibition area and gift shop.
The Crags are just beyond the centre. Cave tours are also available: see the website for details. The centre is open every day from February to October and at weekends only in November, December and January.
In Worksop there are many cafes and pubs where you can get snacks or lunches only a few minutes’ walk from the bus station. Bridge Street is now the site of the market on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If you have the time, it’s worth a walk to Worksop Priory (founded in 1103) on Priorswell Road.
Ordnance Survey Map : Explorer Map 270 covers the whole route
yourbus 01773 714013 (www.catchyourbus.co.uk)
traveline 0871 200 2233
Creswell Crags 01909 720378
For the Greendale Oak pub: http://www.thegreendaleoak.co.uk/
For a short history of Langwith Lodge: http://www.yourhealthgroup.co.uk/homes/langwith-lodge-history.php
For the Dukeries Garden Centre: http://www.dukeries.co.uk