Leg 4: Duddington to Cottingham

RV at SP846899 map sheet 141.
Walking from Duddington at SK988004 to the RV at Cottingham church.
Distance about 18 miles (28km).
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This leg takes you along the southern escarpment of the Welland valley with some really stunning views on a nice day, along past Rockingham Castle, once a base for King John.

Car parking in Cottingham is at a dead end by the church. There is room for several cars but care needs to be taken to avoid inconveniencing the local inhabitants.

From Duddington, head south into the woods up the well-defined track. After about a kilometre there is another well-defined track running west-southwest (SP993993). Follow this until you come out of the woods near Top Lodge (SP979983). Turn right on the road here and then immediately over the railway bridge the footpath is signposted on the left. This will take you down past the back of Fineshade Abbey to a stream. Cross over the bridge and head up to the A43. Cross the road with care and follow the path that continues to head southwest towards Laxton Hall (SP960970). You have to walk around the northern side of the hall as the grounds are private. After about two kilometres turn south at SP950970 down into the pretty little village of Laxton.

Leave Laxton on the Harringworth road heading west. At about one kilometre a footpath is available that just clips the end of the wood to your front looking west-southwest. This footpath runs on a bearing of roughly 240 grid, crossing 2 minor roads at SP937957 and SP923953, then on to the edge of Gretton at SP905945.

At the edge of the village you will pick up a metalled track that leads to a road and down through the village to a T-junction at SP899939. At the T-junction the footpath is straight in front of you, with a welcome pub on the right. (Not open on a Saturday lunchtime!).

The footpath now runs southwest almost straight towards Rockingham castle, perched as it is on the very edge of the escarpment after about four kilometres.

Once at the main road (A6003) turn right and walk down hill and just past the pub a short path cuts the corner across the back of the village to the Rockingham/Cottingham road (B670) and then left for about 2 kilometres to the RV for the leg.