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!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Manton to Normanton Church - Rutland Water

A weekend away and a drive back through the rain meant that I didn't walk on Monday. On Thursday 15th, Maureen and I were loth to tackle any sodden field paths, so off to the reservoir we went.
A hot drink at Wellies Garden Centre set us up, and we were able to park there while we walked.

Remarkably, the worst weather we had was some light drizzle, and the paths round this section have improved recently. There are still masses of snowdrops in evidence.  We walked as far as the church, had a break there, watching grebes diving, though they weren't indulging in any courtship weed dances. 

Four miles there and four miles back, and we were ready for a lunch of hot soup and bread.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Manton, Egleton, Hambleton - Rutland Water

Thursday 08 March.  With Maureen.  A mixed forecast, so we set off on spec to see how far we'd get. In the end we walked almost ten miles.  We parked on the road near the Horse and Jockey and walked north, downhill following the cycle route round Rutland Water. 

As the trees are very bare the views of the reservoir were good from here, in spite of the generally grey outlook.
 However we were surprised how much snow was still around on the pathway.

 We persevered and followed the track, walking alongside the busy A6003 for a short distance, then turning right along the track past the nature reserve and the lagoons, and into Egleton.
 There are still masses of snowdrops, particularly in Egleton churchyard - they've been around for a month or so and still look fresh. 

When we came to the junction with the road to Hambleton we decided to turn right and walk up the hill to the village - quite a long section of roadside walking here, but the prospect of a break spurred us on -  either in the churchyard, or with luck,  in the porch.

In fact the church was open, and has some fine Victorian stained glass windows. For some history look here.

 The porch sheltered us from any wind, and we had a leisurely hot drink and scone before continuing. The next section was rather unpleasant today, as we had to walk into the cold wind and rain. 
It was downhill towards the reservoir, then we turned right along the waterside track. Usually this is lovely, but we hardly saw it today, concentrating on keeping our heads down and our feet moving. A solitary cyclist shouted a wry greeting, "Lovely day for it!"   - "Yeah, beautiful!"

By the time we reached Egleton again the sun was almost visible, and we ended the walk at Manton in bright sunshine.
The Hebridean sheep do well on the fields near the lagoons. Ans see, they have shadows!
 We finished the walk with a well-earned lunch at Wellies. 

Pitsford Water again

Monday 5 March. With Maureen, Eddie, Kate and Norma. What options did we have after the snow? And the cabin fever was getting intense. The usual 7 miles approx.

Across the dam

Ice on the water - the gulls were walking on it
 At this point there was a sign claiming the footpath was closed. We asked a passing official who said it wasn't too bad, but the responsibility was ours. Snow and a flooded section because of a burst water main. We assured him we'd turn back if it looked too dodgy.
Not as simple as we'd expected
 The flood had already pretty well subsided, and we had no real problems.
Coats on for the snack break
As ever we ended the walk with lunch in the cafe.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Gretton to Harringworth Lodge

Monday 26 February 2018. With Maureen, Kate, Norma and Marion. A short pre-snow walk, in a fierce wind, followed by lunch at Lydia's cafe in Gretton. Just over 5 miles. A route we have followed many times, with variations.

As you can see, we were all well wrapped up and stylish today.

New Forest Jaunts 5 - Bolderwood to Woods Corner on forest track

Friday 23 Feb 2018. We parked at Bolderwood car park, and walked along tracks heading roughly south west, from the deer viewing area. We walked until we reached Woods Corner which is on a road to Burley.  Good clear tracks, also decent for cycling, sunny, and sheltered from the wind. The complete distance was about 7 miles.

New Forest Jaunts - 4. Hatchet Pond

Thursday 22 Feb. On our return journey from Milford on Sea, we paused here for an extra coffee, since one flask was still full. I did a short wander around - this is the largest body of water within the forest. The pond was full of birds, swans, ducks, a cormorant or two, and many gulls.