A pleasant walk with several options and potentially many stiles.
Leave The Square via Selby Lane. When you reach Willow Brook, cross the stile in the hedge next to the BT cabinet, and follow the footpath all the way through 3 metal gates (across the back of the Catholic Church and Willow Brook Primary School).
This will lead to Stanton Lane. There, turn right and cross the road. Just after house number 44, Hillcot, take the footpath which leads to the golf course. At the golf course, turn right to follow a route round the edge of the course (marked with yellow topped posts).
On the far side (after passing behind Stanton Parish Church and ignoring a metal footpath gate on the R) find a footbridge and stile, behind one of the greens, leading to a path across a field.
Go over the next set of twin stiles and head to the top left corner of that field and over another set of twin stiles, and then follow the left edge of this field to the metal gate at the end. The whole route is well signed by yellow markers. You arrive at a junction of footpaths on the edge of the wood, and once there, you have several options.
1. Go to Moores Garden Centre and Gillmoores Café.
For this, take the path straight ahead, narrowing between gardens, to reach Melton Road at house No 122 (Brook lane is opposite). Turn right and up the road until you get to Moores’ entrance.
On leaving the Garden Centre, turn R and go along Melton Road to the garage on the corner. Walk R down Browns Lane, towards Stanton, as far as the sharp right hand bend by the village sign. At the junction with Thurlby Lane, take the footpath through the metal gate on the RH side of a drive leading to stables. (1 on the map). Go over the stile and across a cinder ménage to the well-marked stile and path in the RH corner. This will eventually bring you out on to Widmerpool Lane. Turn R to Selby Lane and then back to The Square.
2. Finish the loop via Browns Lane.
For this, turn R and go up a set of wooden steps to re-join the footpath going east. It will end at Browns Lane. On the way, you will pass 2 large brick towers which are ventilation shafts for the railway tunnel. From Browns Lane there are alternative routes back; you can re-join the golf course at 3 different points.a. After the houses, past the second field on the RH of the road, take the first stile you see and follow the path and markers to the back of the church. (2) On the map.
b. When you reach the first group of houses on the RH of the road, take the paved lane in the middle of them. It leads to Stanton church entrance, as per sign. At the church car park, keep left, and follow the footpath through the graveyard to re-join the yellow marked way behind the church and onto the golf course. (3) On the map.
c. Take the narrow footpath by 9, Furlong House (before Slaters Garage) until you reach the golf course. (4) On the map.Once on the golf course you can retrace your outward route to the entry point.
As an alternative, you can continue to follow the route marked with yellow markers all the way round and through the golf course, as signed. You will cross some maintenance buildings and see the main entrance and car park on your left. Ignore this and continue to follow the markers more or less in a straight line, heading to the west. This will ultimately bring you to the farmers’ track leading to the intersection of Willow Brook and Stanton lane. There are no stiles in this last section.
3. Return to Willow Brook following the railway line and new footpath. For this, turn L and follow the footpath through the wood which runs along the bottom end of the golf course and comes out onto a field. Continue to the R side of the field, following the well-marked footpath running alongside the railway line. Just before you get to the railway bridge turn left to continue on the footpath skirting the left side of the field. Follow this all the way up to reach the intersection with Willow Brook, Nicker Hill and Stanton Lane.