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, March 3, 2011

Manton - Brooke - Manton

Approximately 5 miles - 1 hour 30-40 mins.

I walked this for the second time today. We parked near the pub in Manton, walked down the hill past the new section of cycle track, under the railway bridge and along beside the A6003. At first there's a good path - part of the cycle route. Then there's a shortish stretch of fairly wide green verge. A footpath crosses the main road, so we braved the traffic to reach the other side. Patience is indeed useful. This path leads across the railway line, and through some woodland. A lot of this has recently been felled, so the path is a little tricky and indistinct. We went across a field and through a gate on to the small road to Gunthorpe. Daffodils not yet out, snowdrops still there. At a junction we followed the right hand fork to the farm, and picked up the path through a gate at the end of the road. All fairly clear leading straight along a track, then fields. As we approached Bridge Farm in Brooke we are channeled into a well marked path with fencing on either side, and a myriad of stiles. Two distinct varieties of sheep here - one rather like the Lake District Herdwicks with slender legs and faces, the other more like cuddly toys with furry trousers.
In the village we walked past the church to a junction, where we turned left. There's a fair bit of road walking here up to the top of the ridge. The wind cooled us down pretty quickly, as we passed a big sign advertising rare breeds and Rutland sausage, then a farm called America Lodge, before the road surface turned to mud track.
All straightforward until you reach an information board about the deserted village of Martinsthorpe.. The hall was demolished and all that is left now is a chapel with bricked up windows. The walls and stones near this board are an ok, if a little cold, place to stop for a coffee from the flask.
The first time I did the walk I carried blithely along the track down the hill. This time I had learned my lesson well, and we took the path to the right of the chapel - across another field, and then on to the track leading back to the A6003. You hit the road just at the junction to Manton and Rutland Water.
A good short walk, if rather muddy today.

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