==THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS===
The lack of a direct link between Worksop and Retford is a major gap in the East Midlands cycle network. The Chesterfield Canal is quite direct but the towpath has not been improved for cycling. This is a circular leisure ride between the two towns. I’ve only ridden the southerly route so far so I’ll add the northerly one once I’ve checked it out.
You can start this ride at Worksop or Retford Stations or from Sheffield using NCN627 & 6 or anywhere along that route – there is direct access from Shireoaks station.
From Worksop station, leaving the station turn right towards the town centre. Just past the traffic lights, turn left onto NCN6, running alongside the canal. At Bracebridge, turn right and continue to follow NCN6 across Retford Rd and through the Manton Estate – watch out for the path that takes you across the A57 bypass. On Windmill Lane, watch out for the trail leading into Clumber Park. The signs can be hard to spot in the park so keep your eyes peeled – if you end up at Carburton , double back and there is a shortcut that will take you to Clumber Bridge.
A gentle climb flanked by beautiful trees leads you to South Lodge – turn left onto NCN647 which goes through to Lincoln, and follow that to Bothamstall. – the section through the park was quite puddly when we did it. By the church, turn left onto Redhill Lane and keep going as it turns from road to track, through to the crossing of the River Poulter – choice of ford or bridge.
For the next short section you have to share the road with trucks accessing the nearby Plevin & Son works but you soon leave them behind as you head up Cross Lane, linking with a bridge across the A1. Head down to the roundabout , turn right on Brick Yard Rd past the “airport” more of an aerodrome really – & through Ordsall. Turn right onto Ordsall Park Road – if you hit busy Babworth Rd you’ve gone too far – and at the end take the bridge over the East Coast Main Line, then turn right along a track that becomes quite rough but brings you out by the station. For the town centre head up Victoria Rd and then right on Albert Rd, appropriately enough. Mamma Giusi’s on Carolgate is alleged to be worth a visit but it was closed for holidays when we visited – Cafe de Bella met our needs. The town centre merits a look round If you are heading back to Sheffield or on to Lincoln on the train leave plenty of time as those platforms are a long way from the entrance!
to be continued…