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!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

From Woodfalls to Pepperbox Hill

We set off along Slab Lane towards Downton, then turned right along Primrose Lane,  climbing up towards the Tower House (below). Primrose Lane becomes Morgans Vale Road and leads into Redlynch. When we met the main road we crossed over and walked down Bowers Hill and Grove Lane, past the Kings Head pub, then turned into Sandy Lane.

This lane turns to the right, and we turned slightly left to take the footpath through a field. At the other end there is another track leading past Templeman's Old Farmhouse, through the yard and on to another track which we followed north eventually reaching Cheyney's Wood. The path runs just inside the western edge of the wood.

There were good views, but not very clear today in the low cloud and haze. We passed privet Farm a little way on our right, and continues north past a reservoir and a radio mast.
 The path swings round to the right (northeast) and we meet the biggest obstacle on today's walk - the A36. We cross at the brow of the hill, but it's a busy road.
We follow the track to the Nature reserve, complete with Eyre's Folly - the Pepperbox. All boarded up and inaccessible. But again, fine views toward Salisbury. 
From information online:
The Pepperbox is a hexagonal folly built in 1606 by Giles Eyre, reputedly so that he could look down on his neighbours. It may have served as a viewpoint for ladies following the hunt, a haunt for highwaymen and a lookout post for the home guard. 
The summit - a mighty 157 metres high - is marked by a trig point in the middle of a rather flat, freshly ploughed field. We wave to it, but decline to walk over there.
 The return journey covered the same ground, but this time with a stop for coffee at the Kings Head.
 A good morning's walk. 8.5 miles.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Part of Avon Valley Path

We set off from where we stayed on Slab Lane, joining the footpath up from the road, along a tree lined footpath which emerges at an open field with views as far as Salisbury Cathedral. Here we turned left along the Avon Valley Path. We kept the hedge on our left and when we met a farm track we crossed it, to walk downhill in another field - this time with the hedge on our right. We continued through woodland then followed a bridleway to our left, then a track to the right, eventually coming out at Hatchet Green. We turned left and over a cattle grid towards Hale Park, and Woodgreen., 

This building is called Hatchet Lodge. We followed the road, turning left at Home Farm, then right at a very long avenue of lime trees. At the end we could see Hale House, a Georgian Mansion.

The path skirts round the mansion and lead through more woodland to St Mary's Church, which was open.

Down the steep footpath, covered in fallen leaves and to the road. A quick diversion to look at the river from the bridge, then we turned left to Woodgreen.  We walked into the village hoping the pub was open for lunch, but it seems to have shortened its opening times. We walked up and out of the village and back to the Avon Valley Path as it goes along a quiet road, Castle Hill.

A fine viewpoint on Castle Hill, over the Avon valley and into Dorset. Then we turned right along a footpath through the water meadows to the suspension bridge at Burgate Manor Farm, and into Fordingbridge.

We caught the bus back to Downton, and walked the mile and a half from there.
On the way we saw swallows and the odd martin, two flocks of long-tailed itts and a couple of egrets.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hambleton peninsula, Rutland Water

Tuesday 26 September, 10.45 am - 12.45 approx.  With Marta, on a fairly grey misty morning, but dry.
Just over 5 miles, following the shoreline. 

We walked at quite a speed for most of the way, with a couple of pauses on the way.
Plenty of swans and other waterfowl, plus the occasional squirrel.

Autumn is kicking in now.

The route:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thorpe Langton to Glooston and back

Thursday 21 September 2017, setting off at 10 am. With Maureen.  6 miles. 

This was a combination of a walk for fun, and a check of "my" section of the Leicestershire Round. Most of the route is clear and well signed, but I tried to re-erect one post which was slipping into the bushes, and to clarify directions from the trig point towards Thorpe Langton. The footpath is very close to a bridleway up here and it's very easy to be misled, especially as there is no official sign to the path, but the bridleway to Welham is marked clearly.

Here is my effort - how long will it last?
Bridleway goes slightly to the left, Footpath straight down the hill, close to the hedge - on your right

"this side - by the hedge"

Ok, the walk! We set off from the Welham Road in Thorpe Langton, and followed the Leicestershire Round sign downhill along the field road, past Caudles Cottage and the pub car park.   At the point where there is a ford and two footbridges over the stream, the official LR path goes to the right and over a stile.

Conditions today were muddy, but less so than on a previous occasion, in February 2016!
We made our way up following the yellow posts. You need to be a bit careful not to get tempted by other posts on the right, but with a map and by following the waymarker directional arrows, you should be ok. At a stile the path keeps close to hedge and climbs up to the trig point. 

Just after the trig point our path turns left and joins the bridleway between Stonton Wyville and Welham.  Lots of way marks as you follow the path to a gate. The path downhill over an arable field is clear, and easy enough to walk. Follow it down and you reach the farm track between Thorpe Langton and Stonton Wyville, where you turn right towards a road.

Cross the road and go into the small village of Stonton Wyville.  Just before the church turn right. There's a bench here - I've made good use of it in the past, but today we carried on. Follow the road round and pick up the LR sign on a finger post "Glooston 1 mile".  This is a flat path,  and easy to follow across a few fields and to the small church at Glooston, which is half hidden on the right hand side just by the village hall and before the Old Barn pub.

 There is a choice of seating here - a bench if it's sunny, or the church porch out of the wind. We chose the porch today.
 For the return leg we retraced our steps as far as the point where the path to Welham and the Caudle leaves the no through road. We stayed on this lower level track which took us back to Thorpe Langton without tackling any more mud. 

We had lunch at Langton Garden Centre - it was very busy, and we had quite a wait. Not the ideal time to visit it, though the sandwiches and coffee were good.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Great Cransley, Loddington, Thorpe Malsor

Walked on two occasions -Thursday 14th September and Monday 18th September 2017(with Norma and Maureen).
Just under 7 miles. Good conditions underfoot, and on both occasions we avoided the rain.

We parked on Church Lane. At the end just before the sign saying no through road for motor vehicles, we took a path through a wide gate, passing some waste ground on our right and then a cemetery. After the cemetery the path goes downhill through a field of sheep, then up again close to Old Lodge Farm. When it meets a track, you turn right and  follow the track downhill and up again.
Red admiral making full use of the ivy flowers

 At a T-junction you turn right and continue for a short distance until you see a signpost. Turn left here through Cransley Wood. The path may be a bit muddy, but on both occasions I walked it was very  pleasant.
 At the end of the wood, follow a grassy track to the left, and follow the field boundary round to the right a little while later.
 It is easy to follow the path, as it turns left along a disused railway line and 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.
There are a couple of cattle grids like the one in the picture, but there are gates at the side!

  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 - no benches here, though there are some along the road.

 I had a little trouble waiting for a photo-opp here - avoiding including the bins, and waiting for the sun!
The second photo was on Monday - different sky!

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

This section is about a mile of walking along a pavement next to the road - luckily not a very busy road. It passes Three Chimneys. At a crossroads you turn right into Thorpe Malsor. 
Not quite yarn-bombing, but very pretty!
You walk downhill and just before the church turn right.
 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.
 There's a perfectly sited picnic table just before the dam. On Thursday there were dragonflies, and plenty of birdlife - grebes, swans, the odd coot.

 An excellent spot for a break, before crossing the dam.

 and the sailing club.

The footpath goes through a gate, then slightly uphill with a hedge on your left, to meet the road back to Cransley. 
At the road turn right, go past White Hill Lodge, and follow the road. A short distance before the village a footpath cuts the corner, through a field of sheep, where three or four tups had been fairly busy. 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, and Church Lane.

We finished our outing with a sandwich and coffee in the Dunelm store in Kettering.