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!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lyddington - Seaton - Bisbrooke - Uppingham - Lyddington

Thursday 14 February., a very fine day, with a film of fraost on the path to begin with, then beautiful sunshine.   With Eddie. Just over seven miles. We followed exactly the same route as on Monday 11 February as far as Uppingham. Same coffee stop at Javawocky.

Lyddington church from the path by the medieval fishponds

Approaching Bisbrooke church from the field path

A strange metal cow on wheels as we leave Bisbrooke.
We were pleased to note that the route was considerably less muddy than on Monday, and our route into Uppingham quite pleasant in the warm sun.

Approximately five miles done - not that our mileage apps ever agree! The coffee shop beckons.

We decide it's worth trying the footpath route today, and it turns out to be easier and less muddy than we'd thought. We started by going through the Uppingham churchyard with its flights of steps, then left and across the road to turn right, just past a new housing development.  Then it was uphill and through a short woodland section. 
A left turn and very soon a right turn brought us to the smallholding. The animals were enjoying the sun as we passed by.
Pigs seem to love sunbathing in winter

One of the wooliest pigs I've met.
The path dropped quite steeply, then climbed again to emerge at Uppingham Community College playing field. It goes straight across, between tennis courts and football pitches, then over two or three fields and downhill to the road between Lyddington and the A6003.

This section has three or four stiles. Many stiles have now been replaced by gates, but not these. The views of Lyddington and the rolling countryside were excellent today, if a little misty.
You can see Lyddington church just right of centre here.

 We crossed the road at the bottom of the slope and took the path opposite. This goes behind the village, running parallel to the road. There was a very wet patch in the first field, but our boots held out and kept us dry.

Some rather attractive looking sheep
When we met our outward route we continued along the track and into the village.
The route

The elevation profile looks impressive, if you don't read the numbers!!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Lyddington - Seaton - Bisbrooke - Uppingham - Seaton

Monday 11 Feb 2019.  With Maureen, Norma, Marion and Kate. Seven miles.
The first 5 miles to Uppingham followed our standard route, as on this walk just over a year ago.  Conditions today were not so crisp, and an early clear sky gave way to some cloud, before it cleared again.

From Lyddington village green, on the opposite side of the road from the White Hart, we head north past the ancient fishponds of Lyddington Bede House.

We turn left through a gate, and another one. Then we turn right and uphill to open fields. The path is clear and well-marked, under a line of pylons, and soon turns left slightly and over a stream to Seaton Grange. From here a road climbs up into the village. This has been about 2 miles of walking.

At the top of the road we  turn right and walk until we find the footpath sign and steep steps up to our left.  A dog walker warns  of slippery mud ahead.

The signs are very good, and we ignore a path to our left which leads to the Seaton Road.

Our path goes straight ahead, north as far as the dismantled railway, then turns slightly left to the northwest.   We can see Bisbrooke church with its tower away to our left before we go downhill then across a new footbridge. A lot of the stiles have been replaced by gates. That makes life easier!  
One muddy section conquered!

I wish she'd stop taking these photos!

The path goes between hedges, which have been savagely cut back,  and brings us out close to Bisbrooke church.

We cross the Glaston Road, ignoring Baulk Road, turn left then right onto  a track (labelled Inmans Road at the start). This track heads directly west into Uppingham. Some of this section was unpleasantly muddy, where a tractor had churned the soil up.  It comes out on another Glaston Road and takes us into the town centre, past the cricket ground. 

We have a luxurious cup of coffee at the Javawocky cafe, then decide to walk the final two miles beside the road, since the pavements are good and we know there's a mudbath on the other route.
Snowdrops in the cemetery
So along the A 6003 towards Corby, turning off at Uppingham Community College to walk downhill into Lyddington.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Gretton, Rockingham, Great Easton, Caldecott, Gretton

Thursday 31 January 2019.  9.5 miles with Harry and Eddie on a very cold frosty morning, with mist in the valley, then glorious sun. We  followed the path to the end of Huntsfield Drive, then continued through the ginnel, jitty, alley way and picked up the path alongside the hedge. When we reached the track at the end we turned right. This took us to Corby Road. We turned right to walk a short distance along the road verge, before taking the track on the left hand side. 
When we reached a gate and some woodland we turned right, with a hedge on our left and followed the path.  Today the fields were white and frozen, with a smattering of overnight snow.

 As we reached the highest point, the valley was hidden in mist - magical.

A floating pylon

We walked along the mini escarpment and then downhill to cross the railway line. The path continues in this direction. Look out for a gate over on the right as you come through a hedge. At this crossing of paths, we turned left, in the direction of Rockingham, along the route of the Jurassic Way. There are one or two places where the path is not clear.  And we still haven't worked every step out...
Onward to Rockingham
We turnright down Rockingham hill, and cross the road. We make our way to the tea-shop just after the Sondes Arms for a welcome coffee and snack, at about 4 miles into the walk. We've warmed up and don't need to sit too close to the fire!
We continue along the Jurassic Way, which goes over a field and crosses the Rockingham_ Cottingham Road, heading on northwest towards the Welland.  The mist has lifted by now.

 There is ice by the river
...and some fine reflections.

The Jurassic Way path continues as far as the road from Great Easton to Caldecott. At the road, it turns left, but we went right away from the village nad towards Caldecott. There's a bit of road walking here, where we had to keep hopping up on to the grass verge.At the A6003 we turn left and walk into Caldecott, turning right when the road bends round to the left. A couple of hundred yards past the houses our footpath is signed, and we head northeast, eventually arriving at the river, after a few fields.  

We take the path just after the river, and head uphill toward the railway line. Once that is crossed it's another uphill drag to Church Gap.

But waht a beautiful day for a walk.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Kings Cliffe, Bulwick , Blatherwycke, Kings Cliffe

Thursday 24 January, with Eddie and Maureen. 8 and a half miles, but it seemed longer, and quite demanding.

A dull day, quite cold, with ice underfoot at the start, and a chill wind. 

We set off from Wood Lane n Kings Cliffe and crossed the main road to walk downhill along Orchard Lane. We passed the footpath alongside the allotments and followed the road uphill to Morehay Lane, which is just a track, where we turned right. we eventually came to a place where a permissive path was marked. In retrospect we would probably have done better to follow that route. With the help of the map and my phone app we made our way over several rather muddy fields, arriving at a trig point, all of 85 meters high. 
 we were bale to find our way, but the paths and underfoot conditions were not good here.

The summit trig point, at the dizzying height of 85 meters above sea level...
I'm not sure we'd have found this without the phone app..there were alternative routes. 
After the trig point we aimed for the corner of Briary Wood, then the corner of Hostage Wood, then the smaller Bushey Wood, all the while walking across fields in a southerly direction. 
A small hiccup around the deserted building, but we found the path and headed slightly north of west towards Bulwick, going past Cadge Wood, then heading down. we turned left along the road into the village, and made for hot chocolate or coffee and fruit cake at the Pickled Village in Bulwick, to recover some energy. 

We left Bulwick along the path beside the church, keeping left and going north east to Blatherwycke.  The later section of the walk was more sheltered,and pleasanter walking, close to the Willow Brook, but had a dozen stiles, some of them were very awkward, quite high and the wood was slippery today.  At least one seems to be broken.

Along the Willow Brook, not far from the lake we saw a pair of black swans and a pair of white ones. By this time my phone battery was low, so no photos!  Just before Alders Farm there was a track to the left, but we continued to the farmyard and on. Eventually we crossed the brook and made our way back to Kings Cliffe via the path near the allotments.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Exton, Greetham, Fort Henry again

Monday 21 January, with Eddie and Kate. 7 miles, sunny, cold but not windy.
Route as on two recent walks. Most of the chickens were either inside or had been moved further on.  Coffee pause at the golf club - again! 

Lunch at the Orchard Cafe in Welland Vale Garden  centre, Uppingham.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Great Cransley, Loddington, Thorpe Malsor, Cransley Reservoir.

With Maureen, Thursday 17 January, six and a half miles. Bright sunny weather too.

We parked on Church Lane.  We followed the no through road round to the right and turned right at the footpath through Cransley Wood. The path was a bit muddy, but very pleasant.
At the end of the wood, we follow a grassy track to the left, and the field boundary as it turned round to the right a little while later. The path turns left and along a disused railway track, over a footbridge.

This path emerges near Mawsley Lodge, a disused farm which is fenced off. Go past the farm, and turn right through a gate, along the edge of a couple of fields. The path meets another one, and here you turn to the right and continue in a northeasterly direction, going under a line of electricity pylons.

 The track bends to the left and is surfaced as it passes a large house and continues into Loddington, entering close to the Cricket ground.  You can take the left hand road at a junction, and vary the walk a little by passing the church. We stopped for a break in the sun, just before the church.

We walked through the churchyard and across the field to the main road out of Loddington. 

Next we had to walk along a pavement next to the road - luckily not a very busy road. At a crossroads we turned right into Thorpe Malsor.   Downhill a short distance and we turned right along a track just before the church.

  A wide track goes along the edge of woodland, then at the end of the first field it turns left.Before long Cransley Reservoir comes into view at the bottom of the slope. We walked across the dam and past the sailing club, then took the footpath through a gate, then slightly uphill with a hedge on your left, to meet the road back to Cransley. 

At the road we turned right past White Hill Lodge, and followed the road. A short distance before the village a footpath cuts the corner, through a field. To reach the village aim for the farm, but go to the right of it, and there is a stile.
This is close to the Three Cranes pub, which is now closed, and Church Lane.

We were greeted by the first mass of snowdrops I've seen this year. 

 There's a beech tree planted to celebrate George V's silver jubilee.
We took a short walk down to the church and caught a glimpse of the small lake behind Cransley Hall.

Hallaton, Cranoe again

Wednesday 16 January, with Marta. The weather was grey, and the slight drizzle we had during the first half turned into more persistent rain later in the walk.
We started the walk from the village green this time, and followed the same route as on the previous walk.

A break in Cranoe church porch again, and lunch at the Hare Pie Cafe this time.