Skip to content

Ride + Stride Inspiration – Route 6

We take a look at one of Notts’ best traffic-free routes, perfect for walkers and cyclists to explore and enjoy this September for Ride + Stride.

Nottinghamshire is sometimes seen as one of those counties for simply passing through. The M1 and A1 motor through it on either side, whilst the East Coast train line whisks passengers away up to Scotland.

But there is another national route, quietly running through the middle of the county and passing its wonderful historic churches: Sustrans’ Route 6.

Route 6 runs down the middle of Notts,
passing many of our finest historic churches.

I headed to Worksop on the train from Nottingham having not really explored the north of the county before. But as I pedalled, all I could think was: what had taken me so long?

After leaving the quaint Worksop station, it did not take long before I was drawn to the impressive twin towers of Worksop Priory.

Heading out of the town, I soon stumbled upon the stunning setting of Clumber Park and the distinctive chapel of St Mary, its towering spire looming large over the lake.

St Mary’s Chapel of Clumber Park.
Photo credit: Andy Platt

Leaving the families enjoying the Easter holidays behind, I kept on the 6 through Sherwood Forest. I was joined by a hare running alongside me and could not stop admiring the vistas of endless greenery around me. I lost the 6 slightly (there are signs for all sorts of tourist trails here) but emerged, fortunately, next to St Mary’s in Edwinstowe. I was treated to a tour from Peter, a passionate local who guided me and other curious church visitors around. It was fantastic to see an open church receiving a steady stream of visitors – and even better to see their Ride + Stride poster from 2021, pinned proudly to the notice board.

A warm welcome awaits visitors at t Mary’s, Edwinstoe – and a tour!

I re-joined the traffic-free 6 again, passing through the mountain-biker magnet of Sherwood Pines before the landscape changed upon reaching Blidworth – eerie conifers were replaced by rolling fields populated by shire horses. There was even a Route 6(6) style refreshment stool operating out of a farm (sadly closed on Tuesdays when I went but open on Saturdays) – a perfect Ride + Stride stopover for when September comes!

They’re used to visitors round here!

The trail connected me to Ravenshead and of course, Lord Byron’s old haunt of Newstead Abbey. I took a stop here, admiring its beautiful arch (and resting the legs).

Newstead Abbey

The Byron connection continued in Hucknall’s St Mary Magdalene. Then, after a few more miles of well sign-posted, suburban path, I made it to my final church, Nottingham’s St Mary’s in Hockley. A fine ending it is too – Grade 1 listed and the largest remaining medieval building in the city.

Route 6 is well-signposted throughout, keeping map-checking stops to a minimum. Best of all, it is nearly all traffic-free, passing through endless green, woodland trails – perfect for all Ride + Striders and family days out.

While this route may not offer the tick-box quantity of churches for the hours spent cycling that some might like, it more than makes up for it with their sheer quality. There was a great sense of satisfaction having followed the same route from top to bottom. In one day I saw all the best that Nottinghamshire has to offer, including the trail itself. It is a credit to the charity Sustrans to have linked up these paths, making one long connection through the whole county.

Why not incorporate the route 6 somewhere in your Ride + Stride this September? Maybe it passes right through your town or village!

You can find more information about route 6 and other traffic-free routes in Nottinghamshire on the Sustrans website here.