Nottingham – A Swan’s Eye View.

I am a townie through and through. I love my city. Its location, its history, its appearance and its people. Nottingham is a fantastic place. My blog celebrates Nottingham and concentrates on postcodes NG1-5. No disrespect to NG6 onwards but NG1-5 has everything I need. It takes a lot to drag me away from the eastern half of Nottingham’s conurbation. When I travel away, it is likely to be either work or my wife that takes me out of my ‘comfort zone’

Today was one of those days when I succumbed to pressure. I fired up the ‘Quattro’ and took Lisa in search of lunch at the Windmill Inn, Redmile in the Vale of Belvoir. In the end, this was an inspired choice and I have to compliment the staff on an excellent lunch menu. What wasn’t an inspired choice was my selection of a circular walk.

My mindset is such that I am unable to justify driving a distance for a social lunch, without doing something in the area. When the weather forecast is good, a walk is a natural choice.

On a shelf at home I found the Pathfinder Guide which boasted 28 ‘tried and tested’ walks in the East Midlands. These ranged from Worksop in the north to Northampton in the south. A scan of the book revealed ‘Walk 6 – Bottesford and the Grantham Canal. A walk across the beautiful Vale of Belvoir, the views extend to the imposing profile of Belvoir Castle. The route includes a walk along the towpath of the Grantham Canal’.

Who could resist such a description?

Now I’m all for a bit of floral language but there needs to be a thread of truth in any sales pitch. The following is even more floral but with a golden thread of truth:

‘A pointless walk across a series of muddy fields, including a dash across the dangerous A52 trunk road. The views extend no further than your partner as he/she slides about in the grey mud that has the appearance of industrial slurry.  At various points (broken stiles) you can admire the imposing Belvoir Castle; something which every motorist on a five mile stretch of the A52 is also able to do! The route includes a 200m walk by a stagnant and disused canal where you may be lucky enough to see a swan with a sad face. Prior to the second dash across the A52 the walk follows a roadside ditch which reveals a plethora of discarded items including Lambrini bottles and a dead rabbit.  The walk ends near a pub that does not open during the day, at least not since Laurel and Hardy stayed there in 1952!’

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Now I know that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but surely, Walk 6 would never have been published had it not been for its proximity to Belvoir Castle.

Back in NG3 I can visualise a great five mile circular walk that would include great views, undulating terrain, impressive buildings, a working canal, a river, and a pub that is open.

Okay, I accept that Lambrini bottles are strewn all over the country and not just in NG13 but the last time I saw a swan on Victoria Embankment Nottingham, it was definitely smiling!

Oh, one more thing. As we dashed across the A52, a van drove passed bearing the name Belvoir Fruit Farms.  A great business that produces quality soft drinks and cordials.  I know this because I have bought several of their products; from my local shop on Mapperley Top.

Thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with this…..

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