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, October 17, 2011

Fineshade - Blatherwycke - Fineshade

5.5 miles. With Sue, Kate, Norma, Jill,Maureen, Steph, Terry, Barrie, Barry, Phil, Gordon. A much cooler day, we almost saw the sun, and had shadows for a few minutes. Most of the photos were taken on Saturday.

From Top Lodge car park, we walked back down the road towards the A43, turning left just after the bridge to take the path across a cultivated field, downhill then up towards the woodland.

Down through the woods, then follow the path across grassland, then through a stile and between fences to another stile above Fineshade Abbey stables and the house with a lake.

There's a fine statue of a magnificent stag,  and a (live) flock of Jacob's sheep.
We took the path downhill, and just before the bridge we turned left and uphill through a field with woodland on the left.
After another field or two you come to a gap in the hedge and the path leads across a cultivated field diagonally to the right.
From here there are views of Blatherwycke Lake
The only photo taken on Monday - note greyer sky.
The path continues downhill and over a stile to a minor road junction.  Follow the road round into Blatherwycke village, and across the Bridge, past the entrance to a private road.  Just as the road makes a right hand turn to the right, there is a footpath sign to the left. Follow this track which passes behind the church.  On the hill, just after a second private track goes left you can see the statue of Apollo Belvedere. 
Ripe for a caption competition?

The path continues past the lake, which you can glimpse through trees.  Before long, you come to a gap in the hedge where you have a choice of two directions.  On this walk we took the left-hand alternative, downhill to a footbridge over the Willow Brook.
Looking back to the gap in the hedge (where's the sky gone?)

Footbridge over the Willow Brook
The path goes through some strips of maize plants - left as shelter for the pheasants -
- and then across grassland to a gate in the hedge, where we turned right towards Blatherwyck.  After a couple of hundred yards there is a bridleway sign, between agricultural buildings
shortly before the restored watermill house.
From here there is a wide track leading up towards the woods.
You follow this until it enters the wood, turning slightly left and leading down towards a field gate.  From the gate you can see the top of Fineshade Abbey buildings. 

It is possible to cross the field without losing any height, arriving at the stile above the stables, from where you follow the narrow path between fences, cross a field, and walk back uphill through a section of woodland, before crossing the cultivated field where we began this walk.

Map and details

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