GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Idle Valley Nature Reserve

8 miles (13 km)

This splendid nature reserve in Retford has several waymarked walking trails to try. There's lots to see with waterside walks along several pretty lakes and the River Idle which runs right through the site. The expansive reserve covers 450 hectares with hundreds of species of wetland birds to look out for. These include gadwall, wigeon, pochard, lapwing and redshank. There's also streams, woodland trails and lots of interesting plants and flowers to enjoy.
You can park at the car park just off the Great North Road at the southern end of the site. From here you can pick up the trails around the lake to the River Idle. There's several colour coded trails to try of varying lengths. Facilities include the Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre and a childrens bronze rubbing trail.
This circular route is designed for walkers but there are bridleways and country lanes running through and around the site which are suitable for cyclists.
To extend your walk you can pick up the Cuckoo Way along the Chesterfield Canal. The canal towpath runs just to the south of the reserve.
Only a mile to the west you will find Daneshill Lakes Nature Reserve. There's more nice footpaths to follow around attractive wetland with lots more wildlife to see.


DN22 8SG - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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Idle Valley Nature Reserve OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Idle Valley Nature Reserve Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The Retford Canal Walk uses a section of the Chetsterfield Canal and the Trent Valley Way to create a circular route through the area. The route takes you along the canal towpath before heading through the countryside to visit some of the local villages.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Nottinghamshire Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Across the lake alongside the river - panoramio

Across the lake alongside the river

Bend in the River Idle - panoramio

Bend in the River Idle

River Idle heading north - panoramio

River Idle heading north

Bug Arch at Idle Valley Nature Reserve

Artistic metalwork arch to mark the entrance to one of the woods around Belmoor Lake on the Idle Valley Nature Reserve

Bridge across the River Idle - looking north - panoramio

Bridge across the River Idle to the north of Belmoor Pits - looking north. Taken in late spring.

Idle valley footpath - - 2452923

Wildflowers line this pretty path in the summer months.


GPS Files

GPX File

Idle Valley Nature Reserve.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Idle Valley Nature Reserve.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)