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, April 6, 2011

Fineshade Top Lodge - King's Cliffe - Blatherwycke - Top Lodge

Wednesday 6 April.  With Harry. About 6 miles - 2.25 hours.From car park at Top Lodge, go back past the entrance, and turn left, following the main track. Keep straight on past the Westhay Wood sign, ignoring all turns until you reach the wood yard above King's Cliffe.  Follow the road downhill to the village, and cross the main road.  Or you could call at the shop a couple of hundred yards to the left if you need supplies.

There is a path parallel to the main road, between it and the Willow Brook. Follow this p[ast allotments, and through a couple of fields until you come to a footbridge. Keep the stream on your right until you reach Alders Farm - the path is clearly marked.  You have to cross a ploughed field at this point, then keep along the hedge until the path divides. Follow the left-hand branch through the break in the hedge and along to Blatherwycke Lake.

There are plenty of 'Private - Keep Out' signs to keep you on the straight and narrow, although glimpses of the lake and a statue high on the hill at the possible site of Blatherwycke Hall could tempt the less law-abiding to stray. The Hall was used by the armed forces during World War 2, and an interesting episode is related by the daughter of a Polish airman who was stationed there:
Antoni was stationed with the P-panc at the Georgian-style Blatherwycke Hall, where all of the Battery’s training in the use and maintenance of 6-pounder guns took place. The Hall stood near an artificial lake into which the stream of Willow Brook ran down from the village and under a sand-coloured stone bridge. The grounds had a walled garden and the medieval church of Holy Trinity stood nearby. It was an idyllic slice of England and my father loved it. The Poles also had one-up-manship on other Allied troops in the area: they discovered a stash of wine and port bottles in a tunnel that led from the Hall directly under the church. Apparently the British never did work out how the Poles could merrily get drunk without leaving the compound.
A rather fine building and the church lie to the left of the path.  The path itself leads to the southern end of the village of Blatherwycke.

You walk along the road - you may like to pause for a break at the bridge, or on a seat just the other side.
You walk on, past Glebe Farm, and at the second turning to the left the footpath follows the line of the approach road and again is clearly marked across three fields, and follows the edge of a fourth round to the corner of Lynn Wood, where it joins the Jurassic Way from Wakerley Woods.

Fineshade Abbey stables come into view, and you take the path uphill towards a small building, climb the stile and follow the narrow path between two fences - with views of the ornamental lake, complete with a platform with Adirondack style chairs.

Follow the well signed path across meadow, into the woods and finally through a ploughed field until you reach the road from the A43 to Top Lodge.

For details of the route via Garmin 

1 comment:

Harry said...

The weather for this walk was magnificent. Sunny and warm with a Spring breeze. The sloe bushes which occur all along the walk were covered in white blossom. Near the lake we spotted a grass snake moving off from its basking place at speed into the wood. We also saw a number of kites and buzzards. The skylarks too were out in force.
A lovely walk.