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 second tour we guide you from Mansfield to Newark. If you have a route you would like to nominate, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.orgMansfield to Eakring and Newark, Stagecoach services 28 and 28b
Although this is a rather long journey – it takes about one and a half hours to get to Newark- it’s well worth the trip. The bus wanders through rural central Nottinghamshire through some quiet villages and, for a short distance, alongside the River Trent: Newark and its castle are very photogenic and steeped in history. What’s left of the castle dates back to the 12th century, the grounds having been landscaped in the nineteenth century.
Other notable buildings in the town include the Georgian Town Hall and the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
The church is a Grade 1 listed building and has the highest church spire in the county. Just outside the town are the Showground, home to six annual antiques fairs and the Newark and Notts Show, as well as the Newark Air Museum.
Newark’s market days are Wed., Fri., and Sat. for general produce, Thurs. for the antique and craft market and Mon. for a combination of both (not Bank Holidays). There are many cafes and restaurants, both in the town centre and on Castle Gate.
A word of warning ; service 28 has to traverse the A617 between Averham and Newark. This is a very busy road and prone to long delays if there is an accident or road works.
This could cause late running of the buses, so take precautions if you need to connect with another service back at Mansfield.
After leaving Mansfield bus station the 28 begins the slow climb out of Mansfield up Rock Hill and along Southwell Road. It does take a while to leave the built up areas behind, first by diverting via the Bellamy Road estate, then through Rainworth and, in Blidworth, via Appleton Road and Sherwood Avenue.
Then the bus heads east along Baulker Lane finally reaching the open countryside and soon passes Haywood Oaks wood (Forestry Commission) where there are waymarked walks.
The route continues to the main Nottingham to Doncaster Road (A614), turning left northwards to the White Post pub roundabout. Alight here for the Wheelgate Theme Park (an all weather theme park for children and the family), and a little further on, the White Post Farm centre (a farm park for the whole family). The route continues through the attractive villages of Farnsfield, Edingley and Halam before reaching the minster town of Southwell.
If you are a keen walker, you could leave the bus in the centre of Farnsfield and walk a short distance along New Hill, then Broomfield Lane to join the Southwell Trail which follows the track of an old railway line to Southwell.
In Edingley, look out for the small St. Giles’ Church on the right, a Grade II* listed building, parts of which date back to the 12th Century.
In Southwell (reached after approximately 55 mins.) the bus passes the imposing Southwell Minster, which is well worth a look. There are concerts and exhibitions taking place at the Minster throughout the year including organ recitals. Southwell is also an interesting place to explore and there are several places to eat including the Minster Restaurant, the Saracen’s Head and the Bramley Apple Inn.
After leaving Southwell, the bus takes a pleasant detour from the main road via some quiet villages. Before reaching the village of Fiskerton, we cross the railway line from Nottingham to Lincoln at Fiskerton station. In Fiskerton itself you will travel alongside the River Trent, as well as the new Trent Valley Way for a short distance.
Here, the Bromley Arms, with its riverside location, is a possible lunch stop. Next is Rolleston (where The Crown is another possible lunch stop) , Staythorpe and then Averham, home to the Robin Hood Theatre, currently being renovated. Standing in the grounds of Averham Rectory, the theatre is 100 years old in 2013.
After Averham, we join the main A617 through Kelham to Newark. In Newark, after crossing the river and turning right at the roundabout, alight for the castle and riverside walks as well as several cafes and restaurants; otherwise stay on the bus a minute or two longer for the bus station, from where the town centre is just a short walk. Note, the 28 normally continues to Newark Hospital after the bus station, so make sure you get off here if you want to visit the town centre.
28b to Eakring
If you haven’t got time to go all the way to Newark, then take the 28b to Eakring . The route takes you via Bilsthorpe and takes just under 55 minutes. Eakring is a very quiet village surrounded by a network of footpaths and is on the Robin Hood Way long distance footpath. Nearby is Mompesson’s Cross near Pulpit Ash where the Revd. Mompesson is said to have preached in the early 1670s, having recently been vicar in Eyam, the Derbyshire plague village.
Ordnance Survey Maps : Explorer Maps 270 Sherwood Forest and 271 Newark-on-Trent
traveline 0871 200 2233
Newark Tourist Information Centre 01636 655765
Southwell Minster office (mornings only) 01636 812649
http://www.rhtc.co.uk/index.shtml (Robin Hood Theatre Company)
http://newark.gov.uk (Newark Town Council)
http://www.eakring.org/ for information on the history of Eakring
For 28, 28b and 29 routemap: http://www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Map_24774_28.pdf