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!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Badby to Nether Heyford along Nene Way

The journey begins

Friday 17 June 2011.  With Marta.  Approx 8 - 9 miles.  Slightly humid and showery, but pleasant underfoot.

We took the (metaphorical) bull by the horns of our dilemma, and decided to attack the Nene Way from the South-West, starting at Badby.  Not quite the source, it seems, so that is for another day - we intend to track that down when we've completed the whole route.  That could take some time, since the next available date is at least a fortnight away.

We didn't set off until about 12.30, and for future expeditions we must do better. 
The start is clearly marked from the Green in Badby, past some cottages, then through fields by a small stream.
The infant Nene?

The path leads to the road into Newnham, climbing the hill
Alfred Angas Scott was a famous motorcycle manufacturer and he stayed at the New Inn in 1908.  The Newnham hill climb was a regular motorcycle event before World War 2. It was held on Good Fridays. On Thursday 20 July 2000, a similar race was held.

The path goes through the churchyard and downhill past a large monument, overgrown with vegetation - the path leads through to a cottage with a well outside, then down hill, along the streets.  Some of the signs are not exactly obvious, but all went well until we came to a gate into a field where an obvious concrete track led down to another gate on our right, towards trees by a river... eventually we realised there was no way out, and returned. A local farmer set us right, saying that we really should have noted the way the arrow before the gate was pointing - up to the left past a telegraph pole and through various gates with a white disc waymarker. 

This section was hillier than we expected, and the more scenic as a result.  We came out at Little Everdon Hall, set in parkland, with a Countryside Stewardship sign on the gate.  Very attractive hamlet.  After the last house there is a sign to the left - as we walked we passed one or two places where there are turns to the left from the path, and a few confusing signs.  
Every WHICH way?

Marta has a well-earned coffee. There was no bull today.
Through fields of barley, and rapeseed with poppies, we passed a gate where swallows were perching. They let us get pretty close to them before flying off.

We arrived at the road to Weedon Bec.   We called in to the first pub for a drink, and were amused by a small child with a remarkably placid puppy in a room which looked more like a living room than a bar.  In the local mini-supermarket we bought a sandwich 'meal deal' and took this along to eat where the Nene Way follows the Grand Union Canal towpath briefly, past Weedon Wharf to Bridge 25.  We lost track of the actual path in Weedon, but found it near the cemetery under the Canal Aqueduct. We managed to orientate ourselves by the position of the Canal and the very busy West Coast Mainline railway beyond.

At Bridge 25 we left the canal towpath, and made our way towards the A5. Not the most scenic part of the walk, but not quite as tricky to cross as we thought.  We went slightly to the right of the footpath to get a better view of the traffic!
At this point be careful to go straight ahead, avoiding the clear path diagonally to the right.  The Nene Way and the Macmillan Way follow the same route here for a short distance. You go over a footbridge and across a wide field towards Flore church.
All Saints Church, Flore
You walk through the churchyard, and go to the right past the school, along Nether Lane and Kings Lane.  At this point we just missed seeing a fox and cubs playing in a field, according to a couple who had been watching them.

The Nene Way leaves Flore between two thatched walls
The path continues across fields east, then south-east, then south into Nether Heyford, crossing the slightly wider river.

The Nene near Nether Heyford

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