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, August 11, 2011

Kings Cliffe - Apethorpe - Blatherwycke - Kings Cliffe

A last minute route, led by me, with Maureen and Gordon. Just over 8 miles, Dry, windy, some sun.

We set off from Kings Cliffe church, following the road down to the crossing of Willow Brook,  where it became a path shortly after an open area where an old lorry has found a home. The path leads rapidly to a track (Morehay Lane. We turned right and very soon left the track for a path to the left.  This leads up and then past some clay pits, through fields. You can see Apethorpe church in the trees ahead. We didn't go right into the village, but when we arrived at a threeway junction took the road signposted Lodge Farm and Spa Farm.  After a fair walk we met a turn to the left 'Private Road - Lodge Farm only' . This told us that we'd not taken the track we expected to take, so a bit of map-thinking was needed.
Quick change of plan, and we continued towards Spa Farm Cottages, and Spa Farm itself. 

The path carried on in the same direction (S.W - ish) and just after a hedge,  we found a trig point 85 metres above sea level according to the map.

 On along the clear path through the cornfield, touching the corner of Briary Wood.
A slight change of direction to our left ( more to the south now) took us past the corner of Hostage Wood and in the direction of an abandoned building. 
Nice place - how do I get the furniture in though?
 We didn't cross the stream, but continued round the edge of the field, turning sharp right. 
We were slightly off track, as we follwed the stream rather than the edge of Bushey Wood, but there is a gravel track which led us up to Hostage Wood again.  We kept the wood to our right and followed the path slightly up hill, until we turned a corner and found a convenient bench for a snack break.

Straight along the path still, in the middle of trees forming the field boundaries, past Keeper's Cottage, with its crowing cockerel and barking dogs, and down to the road into Blatherwycke.  A hundred yards or so along this road, past the alpacas in the field, and on the corner we followed the footpath off to the right.
Cool haircut

Wistful thinking?

The path passes Blatherwycke church and a large building where a lot of work is being done.  We saw the statue on the skyline to the right.

Apollo Belvedere

I found this picture I took in Feb 2008, with my comments: 

" I wonder who he is, with his cloak, and 
fig-leaf. His right arm is leaning on a 
tree trunk with a snake coiled round it. 
He stands on a hefty plinth with carvings.
He probably belonged to Blatherwycke Hall,
which was demolished in 1948. 
The Hall was used by troops in 
World War 2, and was in a poor state."
My thanks to Barry for pointing me to this information on East Northants website):
Sir Humphrey Stafford and his wife built Blatherwycke Hall in 1713, but it was pulled down in 1948 after irreparable damage by troops billeted there in WW2. The only remaining remnant of the estate is a statue of The Apollo Belvedere in an adjacent field.
Today we carried on along the path, past the recently  planted trees and views of the lake and a house by the water.  At one point we had to turn slightly to the left through a hedge, to keep on the path towards Alders Farm.  The path is clearly marked from here - some small trees have been cut down since I was here last.  

On through fields, keeping the brook to our left,  over stiles or through gates, over the brook by the footbridge.   We went through a field of cows, and another grassy field, along at the bottom of the allotments, and followed the road/track through the back end of the village until we reached the church.
There's something about allotments.

Map and details

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