A mixed day of running, saved by the trails of Clumber Park and Sherwood Forest. No sign of Robin Hood but plenty of other things to see along the route. The day ended slightly short of target but we arrived safely in Southwell, even after a flat tyre on the support vehicle.
After a great night in Sheffield staying with my brother Jamie, we packed up and drove over to Worksop for the start of day five. After a quick photo outside Worksop Priory I made my way out of the town. Once on the road it took a while to warm up, and my knees were feeling pretty stiff, but the sun came out and soon enough I found myself on the outskirts of Clumber Park. Clumber Park is part of the Welbeck Estate but is managed by the National Trust. With it being the half-term holiday for schools there were many families cycling around the park, but the trails were fairly empty and it felt great to be surrounded entirely by trees, with soft ground underfoot!
Crossing fairly quickly from Clumber Park into Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, the miles started to tick by. At one point a very gothic looking building appeared out of the trees, which turned out to the fascinating ‘Archway House’. The Duke of Portland, who was attempting to demonstrate the suitability of local stone for a new Houses of Parliament in London, completed the house in 1844. It’s now available to hire, as a self-catered holiday cottage!
Run-walking (knees unhappy at this point) out of the forest I eventually met up with Mum and the car at Ruffard Abbey. Another striking location also bustling with half-term activities. We made a quick pit-stop, but noticed that one of the back tyres of the car was looking abit low. I ploughed on but at our next arranged rendezvous point it was concluded that the tyre was too low to continue and so at that point we decided to call it a day – and the culprit of the flat was found, a nail lodged in the tred. We were just outside our destination of Southwell, but with some help from a local garage, we made it in time to meet up with our welcoming hosts for the next two nights, Al & Anna. Thankfully Georgie, my forward thinking sister had booked a sports massage for me with Southwell Physio & Sports Injury Clinic. An assessment from Emma at the clinic revealed that yes, my knees were inflamed but it was not a major injury or something that would cause long-term damage. After a gentle massage of my quads and a re-application of KT-tape I was set up and ready to go and prepare for the next day: Southwell to Melton Mowbray.