With Barry and Gordon. between 9 and 10 miles in reality. Weather - a shower before we started, then very windy, but sunny. Hard work in the teeth of hurricane Katia's tail.
Beware - ignore miles 5 to 7 on the garmin link- no way did our guided tour of Geddington church cover 2 miles! Nor was I running back and forward across the village! Technical hiccup. Then I left the machine running in the car for part of the journey back. Human error.
We started walking from behind Brigstock Village Hall, crossing the stream via a footbridge, and taking the right-hand of two paths uphill over several cultivated fields. The path runs parallel to and slightly higher than the A43 road.
|Making our way towards Stanion with a headwind|
|Crossing the brook|
|Walking uphill from Stanion|
The path cuts off the corner of the first field, then follows the hedges as it climbs up a hundred feet or so. It is well marked. Eventually we arrived at Geddington Chase, and followed the wide grassy avenue to Chase Lodge, a fine well cared for house and garden, ruined (for me, though I'm sure the owners have good reason) by their guard dogs, which bark enthusiastically as soon as they hear or see you.
We followed the clear footpath arrows around the house and took the path south-west - not the one directly opposite us. This leads downhill through the woods, past an abandoned building, and on to a track which becomes Wood Street leading into Geddington village. This is a village with a history far bigger than its size would imply. Its most famous attraction is the Eleanor Cross, built by Edward I to mark one of the resting places of the funeral procession of his wife, Eleanor of Castile, as her body returned to London in 1290.
We stopped to look at the information board outside the church, and local enthusiast and editor of the Geddington website, Kam Caddell, came to tell us about the village and gave us a guided tour of the church, which dates from around the eighth century, and stands on a previous pagan site, linked to the well beneath the cross, which is reputed never to dry up. The village was a favourite haunt of English royalty for most of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. For more information about this , go to the village website .
|The bridge over the River Ise was built in 1250|
We walked uphill through a couple of large cultivated fields towards an electricity pylon - the highest point of this section. The next stretch was downhill, under the railway bridge, and through a field near the old Great Oakley Station. Across the road and into a field next to the track the path has paving stones - the story goes that the landowner laid York stone slabs for the locals to walk to the station, which was far enough away from his land that it caused no disturbance. But once the station was no longer in use, the York stone was replaced by something cheaper - concrete.
We emerged into Great Oakley at the Row, and shortly afterwards took a footpath to the right, through the hall grounds, past a large pond, and past the church with its one-handed clock
We followed the road from the church, turned left, then right to pick up the footpath which follows Harper's Brook to the Spread Eagle.
Then it was about a mile to collect Gordon's car and get a lift home ( and a bag of apples!)