An unsupported ride to the River Trent sat on my bucket list for many years. So, in 2018 I rode this Mansfield to Gunthorpe Trentside Loop, setting off under a stunning sunrise, finally earning a very satisfying ✔️
Starting from the Widecombe Fair Pub you cross the dual carriageway and follow the A6117 till you reach the 3rd roundabout. Turn left and follow A617 to the bypass. Lucky, and you’ll be gifted with a sunrise (see photo).
Heading into Rainworth we face an assault course of poorly tapered speed bumps and un-maintained roads. Reach the traffic lights heading out of the village in one piece, and the road surface starts to improve.
Bearing left we make the A6097 our home for the next few miles, in fact it takes us almost to the riverside! After passing Robin Hood Hill and the villages of Oxton, Epperstone and Lowdham keep an open eye for your left turn which will gently roll you into the little village of Gunthorpe.
Taking in the boats, barges, fishermen and vastness of the mighty River Trent, here I took a break. Rice Crispie mallow bars, a juicy banana and a few (photo)’s later then it’s back on two and off we go.
There’s a petrol station at Lowdham to fill up on fuel if your in need, and very little else for the next 15 miles, without a detour into one of the little villages along the way.
Heading back to base camp ‘Widecombe’ we follow the same route back to the Oxton roundabout then deviate left, immediate right and follow a few back country lanes before crossing the A614 onto Longdale Lane.
Settling in to a couple of miles we skirt the southern edge of Ravenshead, grinding up a steady gradient before we pop out onto the main A60 Mansfield Road.
Tiring a little, the hill climb dissecting Thieves Wood from Harlow Wood is narrow and I made use of the pavement/cycle path despite poor repair. Central bollards on the road squeeze riders out of play up the slow climb, so personally I climb on the path then descend on the road.
To the incredibly wide traffic light junction, facing West Notts College, we finally flip a right on the A617 and cruise back over the series of roundabouts to one final steep sprint to the finish.
Doors open, lights on.. time for a well earned swift one! ..maybe a lite bite too?
Caution through Rainworth as the roads have lost surface lamination and it creeps well into the carriageway in places. Longdale Lane too seems to attract some drivers with little regard for speed limits or others. Otherwise, just consider the climb up the A60 through the woods, it’s speed regulated but no wider for it.
Take good energy and hydration supplies as there are very few places to refuel (part of the routes charm I found).
If your a walker or interested in exploring the area on foot sometime, take note of Robin Hood Hill on the out ride. It’s a unique walk I have scheduled to map in 2019 so it may make a nice compliment later on sometime?
Average Pace 10.0mph
Duration Estimate 03h 29m
Total Ascent 1492ft
Surface Type Road · Path
Surface Condition Fair
Steepest Ascent +5.6% (at 0.8mi.)
Steepest Descent -13.3% (at 30.0mi.)
Total Uphill 12.6mi. (39%)
Total Downhill 13.3mi. (41%)
Grid Reference SK 56438 59689
Start Latitude 53.131379
Start Longitude -1.1579311
Nearest Post Code NG18 3HD
This lovely U-bout elevation isn’t nearly as dramatic as it appears above. Covering 32mi. or a little over 50km. this ride is a joy in the dry. Wet and it can be arduous with areas of wide open land all around providing no protection from the elements. I’d certainly suggest planning a dry ride if possible.
The open countryside, mostly wide roads and halfway point marked by the mighty Trent, make this route one I plan to repeat quite often. You can spice up the scenery by hopping into each of the villages along the route, sleepy Sunday mornings can easily be mistaken for a step back in time.
It’s a fun ride in beautiful rural country, on fast open roads with rolling water at the midway! Enjoy…
This rating is subjective and out of 100, taking into account a unique set of criteria. Whether it’s a walk or ride I consider; Terrain Condition, Variety, Seclusion, Services/Pub, Exploration, Photography, Wildlife, Points of Interest, Natural Beauty & Wild Camp Potential. I assess difficulty based on distance and elevation profile (above).