This lovely walk takes you out of Bolsover on quiet footpaths, offering wonderful views over the surrounding open countryside. The route then follows the tree-lined Stockley Trail, part of the former Midland Railway line operating from 1866-1930, before reaching Carr Vale Nature Reserve, one of Derbyshire's top sites for birdwatching. This beautiful wetland reserve has a mixture of open water, marsh, grassland, scrub and trees, with a number of hides from which you can watch the wide range of bird species that live here. You return to Bolsover via the picturesque 'model village' of New Bolsover, built in 1896 by the Bolsover Colliery Company for miners and colliery officials. On your return to the town you're treated to magnificent views of Bolsover Castle on the hillside above you. Please note that parts of this route go over uneven ground and it may be muddy after wet weather. There are steps, gates and some 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. As the road soon bears sharply right, cross with care and take a public footpath on the left, passing the historic Conduit House. Follow this clear path for approx 150 metres until the path forks, at which point take the right hand fork leading downhill towards houses. There are wonderful views aross the fields ahead of you.
3. Continue on this clear footpath downhill. When you reach a road, cross straight over and carry on down, the footpath clearly marked and running between hedges on the right and fences on the left.
4. On reaching another road, cross straight over and walk along the road ahead of you (Dumbles Road) for approx 75 metres. Where the road curves to the left, continue straight on to take a footpath between high hedges.
5. After approx 75 metres the footpath reaches a T-junction with a stony track. Turn right on the track and then very quickly left, following a narrow footpath with fenced fields on either side.
6. Follow this path as it curves between fields. After approx 200 metres the path descends a series of steps to cross a pretty footbridge across a stream. Follow the path up again, to emerge at the edge of a wide field.
7. Turn right and follow the clear path along the edge of the field. After a short distance the path bears left, at which point it diverts slightly to run between hedges.
8. Go straight on through a gate after approx 100 metres and follow the path along the far left edge of a field. There are great views over open countryside to your right.
9. At the field edge the path goes through a gap in a hedge. Go through the gap and then follow the clear path diagonally right across the next field towards a footbridge.
10. Cross the footbridge at the edge of the field and continue straight on to follow a wide grassy path, initially with a fence to the left and a hedge to the right. Follow this path straight on for approx 275 metres.
11. The path eventually reaches a quiet lane (Carr Lane). Turn right on the lane and walk along the roadside for approx 275 metres. Take care as there is no pavement here, but the lane is usually quiet.
12. On reaching the entrance to the Stockley Trail, turn right and walk along the trail. This peaceful, tree-lined trail is now a multi-use trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
13. At a clear crossroads of paths after approx 575 metres, turn left. This path crosses a bridge and soon emerges at Carr Vale Nature Reserve, with a large lake directly ahead of you. There are wide grassy fields here and it's a great spot to relax and watch the wildlife.
14. To continue the walk, turn right and follow the clear path that runs to the right of the lakes. There are bird hides on the left all along this path, so take the time to have a look as you pass.
15. Follow this path for approx 650 metres, until you reach a set of steps leading to a wide arched bridge on your right. Turn right and cross the arched bridge.
16. Follow this path for approx 300 metres, with woodland to your left and a fence to your right. The path eventually reaches a metal squeeze stile and emerges onto a wide track which returns to the Stockley Trail. Turn left on the wide track and then almost immediately right, ignoring the signs for the Stockley Trail.
17. Follow this wide track through a small car park and then on between fields. You will see the model village of New Bolsover ahead and to your left, with Bolsover Castle above.
18. Follow the wide track as it bears left and runs past a row of garages. Continue straight on when the track meets the road ahead. The uniform rows of houses of New Bolsover model village are on your right as you walk.
19. Continue straight on, passing the large green on your right. Carry on past The Sportsman pub and cross straight over the road called 'New Bolsover'.
20. When you draw level with the entrance gates for Castle Leisure Park, turn right. Follow the path uphill with the houses of New Bolsover on your right hand side and Bolsover Castle ahead.
21. Continue straight on, keeping the houses on your right. After the last of the houses, carry on straight uphill on the public footpath ahead of you. Continue straight on when a second path joins from the right.
22. This path eventually reaches a wide grassy field with Bolsover Castle on the hill above. Turn right and walk uphill, keeping to the far right edge of the field alongside a hedge. Take the time
23. At the top of the grassy field, turn right to follow a clearly marked path between trees. After approx 150 metres the path emerges on to Castle Lane, which you joined at point 1. Turn left on Castle Lane and walk uphill. to admire the incredible views behind you as well as the spectacle of the Castle ahead!
24. When you reach the top of the hill, go straight on to join Castle Street. Continue straight on and you will find your start point at the entrance to Bolsover Castle on your left after approx 50 metres.