This countryside walk starts and ends in the market town of Bolsover and links together two historically significant buildings, Bolsover Castle and Sutton Scarsdale Hall. The route takes you from Bolsover Castle, out past the model village of New Bolsover and onto the Stockley Trail, part of the former Midland Railway line. From there it goes through Carr Vale Nature Reserve and across fields that offer magnificent open views, before reaching the ruins of Sutton Scarsdale Hall. The walk returns on the other side of Carr Vale Nature Reserve and rejoins the Stockley Trail briefly before heading back up to Bolsover Castle, with incredible views as you approach. Please note that parts of this route go over uneven ground and may be muddy after wet weather. There are gates, step stiles and moderate ascents and descents.
1. Start your walk at the entrance to Bolsover Castle. With the Castle behind you, turn right and walk along Castle Street. Where the road curves left and turns into High Street, continue straight on along Castle Lane, heading downhill.
2. Castle Lane bears first right and then left. As it curves left, take a public footpath on your right. Where the path emerges at a wide grassy field beneath Bolsover Castle, turn left and walk downhill with a hedge to your left. There are fantastic views in all directions.
3. When you reach the bottom of the field, turn slightly left and then right to continue heading downhill until you reach the houses of New Bolsover village on your left. Continue straight on with the houses on your left and a grassy playing field on your right.
4. Where the houses end, turn left and walk along Villas Road for approx 250 metres, passing The Sportsman pub and then the village green on your left. Where the houses eventually end and Villas Road bears left, cross the road and continue straight on, following a wide track past garages on your left.
5. Follow this track as it bears right between fields and eventually meets the Stockley Trail. Turn left on the Stockley Trail and follow this pretty, tree-lined path under a bridge.
6. After approx 600 metres on the Stockley Trail, turn right at a crossroads of paths. This path soon enters Carr Vale Nature Reserve, emerging at a field with a lake directly ahead.
7. Walk to the left of the lake and follow its left edge around to a stile in the hedge beyond. Follow the clear footpath diagonally left through the field ahead, with incredible views in all directions.
8. Continue heading diagonally left on the path, changing angle slightly after crossing under power lines. After nearly 1km the path joins a track at a tree line. Turn left on the track. After approx 100 metres, emerge on to a road, Carr Lane, and turn right to go over the M1.
9. Continue on Carr Lane as it winds gently uphill between fields. Just before reaching a house on the right, turn right off the lane on to a footpath that starts through a gap beside a wide metal gate. Continue straight on this footpath until you see the imposing ruins of Sutton Scarsdale Hall ahead of you.
10. Continue following the path which leads to the right of Sutton Scarsdale Hall. As you draw level with the Hall, your return path heads off downhill on the right through a field, past two prominent trees standing on their own.
11. Unfortunately the ruins of Sutton Scarsdale Hall are currently fenced off (correct at the time of writing), but if you wish to visit the site to see the Hall more closely, continue straight on through the farmyard ahead of you, with farm buildings on your left and Hall Farm House on your right. At the end of the path go through a wooden gate in a wall to reach a road (Palterton Lane). Turn left on Palterton Lane and after approx 100 metres turn left again on Hall Drive. The entrance to Sutton Scarsdale Hall is ahead of you at the end of Hall Drive. To continue the walk back to Bolsover, retrace your steps back to the return path mentioned in Point 10.
12. To return to Bolsover, take the clear path which leads away from Sutton Scarsdale Hall through a field, past two prominent trees standing on their own.
13. After approx 500 metres the path bears left, and then soon heads right through a field. It is clearly signposted.
14. Follow this path for approx 600 metres through a field with the M1 obvious ahead of you. When you reach a metal kissing gate, go through the kissing gate and then turn immediately left, walking with a fence on your left.
15. Follow the path beside the fence as it curves right and then left. The fence on the left eventually ends but continue following the path straight on. It passes through a series of fields
16. After approx 500 metres the path reaches a T-junction with a farm track. Turn right on the farm track and go under a bridge over the M1. Continue following this path roughly straight on along field edges for approx 750 metres, ignoring a number of field entrances to the left and right.
17. Soon after passing beneath power lines, the line of the field goes downhill and starts to bear right. At this point look out for a footpath sign in the hedge on the left. Turn left and follow the footpath in the direction of the arrow, going straight across the field ahead. and over a stile, always with the M1 to your right.
18. At the edge of the field, just over the brow of the hill, follow a further footpath sign straight on across the next field. At the hedge line, before entering another field, turn right and walk downhill with the hedge on your left.
19. At a crossroads of paths at the bottom of the hill, go straight on. Follow this path for approx 400 metres, passing the other side of Carr Vale Nature Reserve, now on your right. Follow the path as it bears sharp left at a picnic area and down to meet the Stockley Trail.
20. Turn right on the Stockley Trail and walk straight on for approx 200 metres. Go through a gate, and you will find yourself at the point where you first joined the Stockley Trail at Point 5. Turn left and retrace your steps along the track to New Bolsover village. Turn right after the houses and return on the path uphill towards Bolsover Castle. Follow the footpath right at the top of the hill beneath the Castle, and then turn left on Castle Lane to return to your start point.