Enjoy an escape into a time-capsule of Victorian nature.
This route brings you through Wilwell Cutting Nature Reserve, a plot of land that has been dedicated to nature since the construction of the Great Central Railway during the Victorian era. A picturesque walk through untouched woodland featuring numerous varied environments worth venturing off-path to see and explore. The old railway line and neighbouring paddocks have been fully reclaimed by nature and transformed into a beautiful nature reserve of meadows and marshes featuring an abundance of rare orchids.
Mostly off-path area with difficult stiles and rough terrain not recommended for wheelchairs/pushchairs..
- Wilwell Cutting
- Wilwell Farm
- Margaret's Meadow
We suggest you start at Ruddington Lane Tram Stop.
Turn left out of Ruddington Lane Tram Stop, continuing past Landmere Lane and underneath Clifton Boulevard. Shortly after passing below Clifton Boulevard, you will see a track leading to Wilwell Farm Cutting on your right-hand side - across the road. Cross over when safe to do so, to reach this track and entry to Wilwell Farm Cutting Nature Reserve.
Follow this track, passing the green gate blocking road entry, remaining on the path as it continues around the corner to your left and slowly bends to the right to meet the tree-line. Passing through the tree-cover, you will shortly see a gate to your left - slightly downhill - bringing you into Wilwell Cutting Nature Reserve. Enter here.
Passing through the gate/stile, follow the path straight forwards as it goes gently downhill and passes a meadow on your left. Eventually, you will reach a T-Junction marking Wilwell Cutting, the old route of the Great Central Railway between Nottingham and London. You may wish to view the Victorian railway bridge on your right up close. When you are ready, turn left to follow the main straight path. Remain on this path for 0.4 miles (roughly 8 minutes).
Whilst walking you will pass several remnants of the Victorian railway line - cement bases for signal boxes, sleepers and ballast (crushed stone). On your left, you may spot the rare pink/purple Southern Marsh Orchids. On your right, after 0.4 miles (roughly 4 minutes) you will pass Margaret's Meadow which features a nature walk accessed via a small gate/stile and exiting via a second gate nearer the end of this straight 0.4 miles long path. After 0.4 miles, the path will bend sharply to the left with an informal path continuing straight forwards into Wilwell Farm fields. Follow the turn to your left.
Follow the path through the wooded area for 0.4 miles (roughly 8 minutes) essentially parallel to the previous straight path. This path will eventually bring you to an opening with a beaten/ploughed meadow until you reach a T-Junction - turn right, bringing you to the gate/stile encountered at the beginning of Step 3. Pass through the gate/stile then take the next immediate left-hand turn bringing you to a second open meadow area. Continue along the path, bringing you to the railway bridge also viewed in Step 3 - in front of you, in the distance, you can view Clifton Estate and Southchurch Court flats.
Having passed over the bridge, take the rough path immediately on your right to walk alongside the farmer's field and bringing you to the tram tracks. Upon reaching the side of the tram tracks, turn left and follow the tracks for 0.1 miles (roughly 2 minutes) until you reach the crossing and are able to cross the tracks. Having crossed, turn right to follow the path alongside the tram tracks for 0.3 miles (roughly 5 minutes) as it bends to the left and goes below Clifton Boulevard. When you reach Ruddington Lane, cross over to bring you back to Ruddington Lane Tram Stop and you will have reached the start point.
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