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!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rutland Water ( Whitwell) to Exton, Fort Henry and back

Monday 23 May 2011. With Eddie and Barry O. Just under 10 miles, about 3 hours. Weather conditions:  strong winds! 

From Whitwell car park, out along Church Lane in Whitwell, across the main road (A606), through the Noel Arms car park, along the Viking Way, waymarked by a tiny viking helmet.  Through a stile into a field, labelled Bull in Field - though there was none. Stile at other end.  Carry on up hill, over another stile (?). The path is clearly marked as it climbs gradually then descends towards Exton.  You reach a minor road which you cross, then continue straight ahead for a short distance before turning right (leaving the Viking Way). Follow the footpath slightly to the right down towards a stream. The stream is on your right.   Follow the path across a footbridge, and keep the stream on your left until you cross another footbridge. The path climbs briefly and continues west, passing Cuckoo Farm a little way off.  It curves south towards the minor road which we crossed earlier.  Less than half a mile of road walking, takes us round a right hand right-angled bend
and on to Horn Mill and the Trout Hatchery.  Just before this, take the footpath to the left, marked Footpath to Fort Henry and Greetham.
Follow the path over another stile, and over a stream towards the private woodlands. The path hugs the edge of the woods, then make for Lower Lake. Follow the path until you reach the metalled road. Turn right, then take the footpath to Greetham on the left.  This passes Fort Henry and the lake, covered with water lilies in May - with an artificial heron looking out for the fish.

From the lake we walked along the path through a wooded area, until we reached steps leading up to a track.  At this point there is a path more or less straight on leading to Greetham across the golf course. Instead of following that we turned left, then slightly right along a path which has been filled in with chunks of stone - hard underfoot.  This goes directly east for almost a mile, then turns left and shortly over a stile into a field where we should once again beware of a (non-existent, again) bull.  At the other end of the field, turn right and follow the Viking Way signs for a fair distance, past the R.C Cemetery and the Estate offices into the village of Exton.

These animals can bite!
  Follow the main road through, passing Pudding Bag Lane, the old school, avoiding the pub and green.  You rejoin the minor road and cross it before retracing the route we followed at the beginning of the walk, up the incline, down to the Noel Arms in Whitwell, along Church Lane to the Whitwell car park.  For the sake of mileage, and the ritual that's in it, we went to the Water and dipped fingers in.

There is a slightly longer (11 mile)  walk on Ken Brockway's Walking Englishman website, which covers some of the same ground, though not all.

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