GRINGLEY ON THE HILL, WISETON & CLAYWORTH CIRCULAR
HILLS, VALLEYS & WATERWAYS
Join me on this beautiful summer walk, and enjoy stunning panoramic views, rolling hills, and the peaceful tranquillity of the Chesterfield canal, as it gracefully meanders through the picturesque North Nottinghamshire countryside.
We begin our walk in the delightful village of Gringley-on-the-Hill, an area steeped in history. With settlements dating back to the Bronze Age, it has been suggested that Beacon Hill is the site of a small hillfort, or motte fortification, the views from which are breath-taking, and on a clear day, can see York Minster also Lincoln Cathedral, and far across the Trent Valley. This pretty hilltop village has an eclectic mixture of architecture, with quaint cottages, dovecotes, and an array of ancient barns and buildings. In 1252, King Henry III granted permission for a weekly market and an annual fair, and the stone remains of the medieval market cross, can be seen in the village, along the High Street.
The parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul towers impressively in the heart of the village. The exact early documentation of the church is scant, however, there was mention of a place of worship in the village recorded in the Doomsday Book, which is indicative of Anglo-Saxon origins. Whilst there are no visible remains from that era, the earliest surviving parts of the church are Norman, and a blocked arched doorway can clearly be seen. A visit to the church is definitely worthwhile, as it is open every day; look out for the four carved roof bosses and the 13th century Pillar Piscina, which would have been used to cleanse church vessels after prayer.
Next, we join the Chesterfield Canal, which runs by the village and is utterly charming; the bank side is bursting with a variety of wildlife, flora and fauna, there is a photo opportunity around every corner, so do not forget to take a camera!
As we follow this dreamy waterway, we approach Drakeholes Tunnel; the early tunnels were built without a towpath, and before the introduction of motorised vessels, the boats would have been ‘Legged’ through, by men pushing the boat along with their feet. I imagine an exceedingly difficult and dangerous task! This area is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and has previously been awarded the esteemed Green Flag award for being one of the finest green spaces in the UK. There are picnic benches and moorings for narrowboats, the perfect spot for an alfresco lunch, chat with the boat dwellers. or just to stop and watch the world go by, before continuing along the pretty towpath to Wiseton, Clayworth and back to Gringley-on-the-Hill.
This fabulous walk encapsulates North Nottinghamshire village life, the beauty of the Chesterfield Canal, and far-reaching views over neighbouring counties, with an abundance of wildlife, flora, and fauna. It is great for most seasons and a peaceful and simple way of connecting with the great outdoors.
Allow yourself plenty of extra time to really enjoy this beautiful part of Nottinghamshire.