and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Nassington, Sulehay and the Glenn Miller monument

Wednesday 19 September 2018. With Marta. 7.75 miles. windy but warm.
We started near the shop in Nassington, and made our way via the Jitty and a footpath to Church Street. We turned away from the church, and took the Apethorpe road as far as a left-hand bend, where we carried straight on, along Northfield Lane. The footpath turns off to the left, just after a house called Frog Hall, but the signage is not obvious. it goes through a complex of cottages, then a gate.  Soon after this the path follows a narrow space between hedges before coming out into fields.  We saw a few swallows flying over the fields.

The path here is clearly marked and easy to follow,  crossing a bridge over the dismantled railway and passing an info board about Old Sulehay Nature Reserve.  Part of the forest area is an SSSI.  We heard what was probably a yaffle/ green woodpecker.
The bridge over . . .

...the dismantled railway
 We followed the path as far as the Wildlife Trust Field Station. The path opposite this, on the other side of the byway looked like a stream today, so we turned right along the byway to look for another path a little further on. We missed it, and so continued past Ring Haw woodland, and decided it was time for a break. After this we followed the small road ahead past Old Sulehay Lodge, as far as the junction with the Roman Road between Wansford and Kings Cliffe. Across the road, at the junction is a path/track forbidden to cars, though they'd have to be rather small to get on it. We took the first track left which led through Cocker Wood parallel to the road. Another left turn, marked with a footpath waymarker took us through some farm buildings and back to the road.  
Lovely industrial estate
 Across the road, and we followed the bridleway alongside Kings Cliffe Industrial Estate.  The path heads south.
The clay pits, marked on the map.

Accidental photograph - consulting the map I guess.
 Not much further and we passed Jack's Green and turned to the right to the small pillar
 which has the inscription:
Major Glenn Miller
conducted his Orchestra
for its last airfield hangar concert
Kings Cliffe USAF Station 367
3rd October 1944


According to Wikipedia, while Miller was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France in December 1944, his aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.

Unfortunately we were not in a position to play Chattanooga Choo Choo as a tribute, but we think we did a passable mime of conducting.

 in spite of the wind . . .
 We continued south along the track, and found the footpath on our left just after crossing a bridge over the dismantled railway. We saw some deer running across a field in the distance.
 The path rejoined our route - at the flooded section - not very deep, but not avoidable, and I was walking in trainers. Soggy, but i did spot a couple of blue butterflies. We followed the byway as far as the road at New Sulehay, then turned left along the road and walked back into Nassington.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Fotheringhay, Elton and the River Nene

With Maureen, Norma, Kate and Eddie. The same walk as last Thursday, with no false turns this time! Around 6 miles.

Walking past Elton Park

A glimpse of Elton Hall

Brightening skies as we return to Fotheringhay.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Elton circular

Friday 14 September - another almost 7 miles. With Marta.

As we approached Elton we noticed a garden centre close to Elton Hall. We're usually quite ready to be distracted by a cuppa and a snack before a walk, so we investigated. We shared a large slice of rather good banana and chocolate cake, to accompany our drinks.

The people in the café were quite happy for us to leave the car in their car park while we walked.
 The walk into Elton village is getting on for a mile, past trees
a slightly threadbare thatched duck and ducklings
 some picturesque tiles
 a war memorial with a difference
 the church
 a crab apple tree
a couple of pubs and a village shop

Near to the chapel we found the gate and public footpath which leads past the old mill to the lock gates, where we crossed the River Nene.
looking back to Elton Mill
Just after the lock we turned right, and crossed a footbridge. Then the path turned left across fields, then alongside a hedge and over the dismantled railway line. between Wansford and Oundle. 
We ignored th path which goes off diagonally to the left, and continued along the track with a blackberry-laden hedgerow on our right.

We crossed the minor road and went over the stile on the opposite side, across the field and through the farmyard of Park Lodge. We had to walk over the two recently ploughed fields, but they were not wet or sticky. At the other side, through the trees of Park Spinney, we joined the Nene Way. We turned right and continued to the point where four paths cross. Here we turned slightly to our right, as the Nene Way headed off straight ahead.
Before long we met another road, at a junction.  Large tree trunks provided a good place to sit and indulge in another short break.

We crossed over and took the small road leading directly east.  It runs south and then east again and after a mile or so reaches Elton Bridge.

Autumn berries

autumn leaves

and us, looking slightly bemused.

We followed the road back into Elton and on to the garden centre, though we could have taken a footpath by the river.
Soup and bread at the garden centre café made a very satisfying end to the walk.  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Fotheringhay, Elton and the Nene.

With Maureen.  This is a walk we found in Market Harborough Living magazine. Advertised as 5 miles, but my measuring apps put it nearer 6.

A very pleasant walk, almost entirely flat, with very few stiles. Fotheringhay is the birthplace of Richard III, and the site of Mary Queen of Scots execution.

We parked in Fotheringhay, and walked away from the church, past the pub to a footpath just before a red phone box. The path goes to the Willow Brook.
 At this bridge you turn left and follow the brook until you reach the Nene Way.

Turn right along the Nene Way, ignore the footpath to the left, and take a path to the right shortly afterwards, through some trees and across a field. Aim for the right hand edge of the coppice ahead.  There is a small pond, though it was dry when we walked the route. Head towards Park Lodge farm, across a smaller field, and go through the farm yard.
Go past an overgrown orchard, and over a stile into a field. The farm drive turns slightly to the right at this point.  At the other side of the field go over the stile and cross the road.
Follow the track on the other side of the road - this continues to the River Nene.
Cross the bridge with the locks.
At this point we had a break, on the steps by the river.

There were a few boats around, one waiting to go through the lock.

We went past the disused Elton Mill, and through a gate into the village. We turned right and then right down Chapel Lane, past the Methodist Chapel.

In Elton we saw a fair number of martins wheeling around. I guess their bags are packed and they're checking in for the flight south.

We ignored the first footpath on Chapel Lane, continuing along the bridleway, with Elton Park on the left.

After a mile or so, you approach the A605. We saw this little creature on the blackberries . . .

The path continues on this side, and goes past Warmington Gravel Pit, and on to Warmington Mill. 
Turn right just before the mill building, then left and rejoin the Nene Way. This takes you all the way back to Fotheringhay, over a footbridge and Warmington Lock.

Fotheringhay Church in the distance, with the Castle Mound to the left
After the lock aim for the gap in the hedge to the left of the church. On the way into the village you pass the Castle Mound.

We had lunch at Barnwell Country Park, near Oundle.

Hambleton Peninsula, Rutland Water clockwise

Monday 10 September 2018

With Maureen, Norma, and Marion. Just over 5 miles.

 A pleasant gentle stroll, followed by lunch at Wellies.

Pitsford Water from the cafe anti-clockwise.

With Maureen. About 7 miles. Decent weather,  though some rain arrived just after we'd had our lunch.

Rejuvenated after a short break . . .

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cycling the Tissington Trail

Bank Holiday Monday, August 27th 2018, with Harry, Dan, Isaac and Rose.

We started from Mapleton Lane Car Park, had a quick coffee and teacake, using a brief rain shower as our excuse, then did the short section through the tunnel, before heading north.

A lovely ride along a disused railway track from Ashbourne as far as Hartington signal box, for three of us, while Harry and Isaac did the extra four miles there and back to Parsley Hay.

The trail climbs gently,  a total of around 700 feet in all, over its 12 ish mile length. Not too hard, but we had to keep pedalling on the way out.
We had plenty of short breaks along the way, and considering the fact it was bank holiday, the route didn't feel overcrowded - though I'm not sure the occasional horse rider would agree.

By contrast the return was easy, and the wind was behind us most of the way too.