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, October 13, 2011

Gretton - Deene - Bulwick - Gretton

Just over 10 miles. With Barry, Eddie, Gordon, Maureen.  Weather dull, but fine.  We did the route from last week in reverse. No garmin track - I hadn't charged it up.

From the village hall, take Southfield Rd and the unsurfaced Fullen Lane track to the gate then down the hill to the four stiles, diagonally uphill to the right to the broken stile above Kirby Hall. Down through the gate next to the shop and entrance to the Hall, then along the road, over the cattle grid, past the car park and up to the entrance gate on Kirby Lane.  Cross the road - go through the deer-proof gate, and follow the path downhill until another path crosses at right angles. Turn left along this path and follow the signs a fair way above the brook.  There is another deer-proof gate. Go through this and cross a narrow band of trees - the path is visible across the field, no need to go too close to the wood called the Rookery. 
The path leads to the corner of an outbuilding of Home Farm.
Join the farm road and walk through the gate, past some metal sheep pens, and out on to the village street. Follow this as far as the old school - now part house, part village hall.

Over a stile and up across the field towards the 'tea-pot' (Aladdin's Lamp?) monument. (I'm told the man to whom this monument is dedicated loved his cups of tea!)   After this you cross a couple of fields with stiles, and come to a boggy section with a small building near by.  The path leads through trees and over three footbridges to the A43.

Cross the A43 and a very short walk to the right (towards Corby) brings you to the somewhat hidden footpath sign.
Looking back to where the Willow Brook goes under the A43.
The path follows the edge of the field, by the woods, and then over a stile to some pasture with trees.  Don't be tempted (as we were last Thursday), by the gate and bridge.
The path continues through the field, where there are a lot of bumps, which are probably the remains of a settlement deserted by the eighteenth century. [DMV = Deserted Medieval Villages. The DMV we passed on the way into Bulwick was called Henwick and is one of the 75 DMV' s in Northampton.  Pronounced Henick it is a farm/land where hens were kept. Bulwick, (yes you guessed it correctly) was where bulls were kept.  Info from Peter Hill, via Barry - many thanks!]
The path emerges into Bulwick over a stile between some houses and the Queens Head pub.
We took a break at the church - the village shop which sells food and coffee is almost opposite.

From the church we turned downhill past the old school, past the Mill House, and turned left into Red Lodge Road. We followed this across the bridge over the A43, and then turned right along a bridleway.  This climbs gradually, then turns left. At a hedge it runs right again, climbing a little more.  Laxton church spire comes into view ahead. The path runs left and crosses a couple of fields to meet the road from Deene to Spanhoe. Cross the road and continue bearing very slightly to the right.  After crossing two fields you arrive at the lake at Harringworth Lodge.  We saw plenty of birdlife today, including two or three herons. 
From here the path follows a track alongside woods, past a field of cows. The track turns right, but the path continues along the grass. Just after the end of the woods you turn right to join a track by what appears to be a disused railway cutting.
This turns right, and you go through a gate and across a large field.  The path passes through two gates in the corner of the next field, and then across two arable fields, through gates. Finally you cut across the corner of another field, near some agricultural buidlings, before turning right along a track which leads to Gretton's Kirby Road. Turn left here and continue to the village hall.

Map and details (in reverse)

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