Parklands and a panda
START the walk from the Nowton Park Centre next to car park. With your back to the centre, turn right on a Tarmac path. You will cross a small humpback bridge and the path will swing left – go straight on by a post with blue, yellow, red and white circles, walking on grass. When you come to a post with a red circle on it, carry straight on in the same direction. At a wooden post with a circular sign saying “Woodland Welcome”, continue straight on into a small wood, walking on a path between the trees.
When you come to a fork in the path, go right and you will arrive at a wooden post, again with the Woodland Welcome sign on it. Turn left, walking across some grass, and you will soon come to some longer grass. Turn left here, keeping the longer grass to your right and a football pitch to your left. By some trees near a post with green, yellow, red and blue circles, turn right, having the trees to your left.
You will soon come to another post with yellow and blue circles. Carry straight on, along the same path, keeping the same trees to your left. At another post with yellow and blue circles, carry on in the same direction. You will come to a fork of paths. Take the left, soon coming to a circle of upright wooden logs to your left and some some trees in front of you.
Go through the gap and continue in the same direction, with a sign saying “Arboretum West”, soon passing a woodcarving of a giant panda on your right. Soon after that you will come to a T-junction of paths: turn left, walking on a wide green path and immediately passing a wooden bench. After about 50 yards you will come to two paths to your right, close to each other. Take the first one, walking on a woodchip path through some trees before arriving at two gates, a large and a small one.
Go through the small one, which will almost immediately bring you out onto the road. Turn right here and you will then soon come to a large concrete area to your left. Walk onto this, immediately bearing right with a Bennett Homes building to your left. After this building turn left, still walking on a concrete area with “Independent Studio Services” to your right. Once the concrete area ceases, carry straight on by a footpath sign on a wide green path with fences both sides.
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After a while you will come to a footpath sign to your right. Carry straight on, at the time of walking between electric fences.
You will eventually come to a footpath sign. Go down a slight bank and turn right on a wide green track with a hedge to your right. When the hedge ceases, turn left on another wide green track with sporadic trees to your right. This will then take you out onto a road, where you should turn left. You will eventually come out onto the A134. Turn right on a pavement just for a few yards, then cross the road to a footpath sign. Carry straight on along grass that will take you into the car park of the Rushbrooke Arms. Cross the car park slightly to the left, with the pub to the left, aiming for some steps in front of you.
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Go up these steps, along some grass with a fence to your right by a children’s playground. Follow a straight line that will take you onto a path with a fence to your right before crossing a wild meadow. Keep to this path as it takes you into some trees. Once you emerge from the trees, carry straight on, walking on a wide green path. After a while this path will join a track coming from the left. Continue in the same direction, walking on the track. After roughly 200 yards look out for a green path forking off to the left. Turn left here on a path between trees, soon having a pond to your left.
This path will take you to a semi-hard track. Turn left here by a footpath sign, walking on a track. About 10 yards before you come to a concrete road running diagonally in front of you, turn left by a footpath sign beside an electric pole – walking on grass and then picking up a wooden fence to your right with a footpath sign on it. Carry straight on, walking on a grass path with that same fence to your right.
Follow the fence as it swings right by a footpath sign on a green path. This path will take you out onto a semi-hard track running parallel in front of you. Turn left, with hedges both sides. Walk to the left of a metal gate in front of you. There is a gap between the gate and a post; go through the gap and carry on walking on the same track. You will come to another gate. Carry on through a gap in the middle of the gate which will almost immediately take you out onto a road. Cross this and carry on in the same direction, now walking down Rushbrooke Lane.
After passing some 30mph signs look to the right for a footpath sign partially hidden in a hedge. Turn right here, walking on a path with a ditch and hedge to your right. When you come to the field boundary turn left by a footpath sign on a green path with a hedge to your right.
You will come to a track running parallel in front of you. Cross this and continue walking on the same green path, now with open fields both sides. You will soon have a hedge both sides. Continue in the same direction on the same path. The hedge to your left will be replaced by large net fencing with a golf range the other side of it. Immediately after you have passed the golf range you will be back with hedges both sides, with a footpath sign to your right. You will come to a gap in the fence by a footpath sign. Go through this, carry on for a few paces and turn left on a road going downhill.
Ignore the road to the right and carry on in the same direction. When you get to the bottom of the hill turn left into Rushbrooke Lane for a few paces, then right into River Lane.
Go through some metal barriers and carry on in the same direction. When you come to a T-junction of pavements, turn left, now having a busy road to your right. Ignore Vale Lane on your left and carry on, having Bury Rugby Club to your right.
At a large roundabout carry on in the same direction on Cullum Road. At the next roundabout turn left down Nowton Road. Shortly after passing the last house to your left look for a gate in a flint wall to your left by a sign saying “Welcome to Nowton Park”. Go through this on to a Tarmac path between trees. This path will take you back to the car park where you started the walk.