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, July 23, 2012

Nassington circular via Old Sulehay

With Jill, Barry O, Barrie E, and Gordon.  Led by me.  Sunny, very warm.  Some muddy sections.  6.8 miles - should be around 6.5.  The same walk as yesterday, with very slight variations - one intentional, one unintentional!

We walked through Nassington, on the Apethorpe road as far as a left-hand bend, where we carried straight on. The footpath turns off to the left, just after a house called Frog Hall, and goes through a complex of holiday cottages, then a gate near a chicken pen.  Soon after this the path follows a narrow space between hedges before coming out into fields.

The path here is clearly marked and easy to follow,  crossing a bridge over the dismantled railway and passing an info board about Old Sulehay Nature Reserve.   

The path leads past a Wildlife Trust Field Station, where we crossed the muddy byway and went through the gate to take the footpath opposite.

All went well as we turned into a field and headed north-east, then curved round east then southeast – the path hugs the edge of a small wood, and leaves another on a little way to our left.
Then, if you check my garmin traces, you’ll see that we went too far south, to the edge of a water filled ex-quarry/clay-pit.  My mistake – I knew I was heading for the woods, but I chose the wrong ones. When we sorted ourselves out, thanks to a grid ref from Barry, and even compass work, the path looked very clear. I hadn’t missed it yesterday . . .

So, there we were on the track through Great Morton Sale, heading north, as we should be!  Next stop the memorial marking the spot where Glenn Miller played his last hangar concert in October 1944, before he disappeared over the English Channel in December of that year.

Glenn Miller memorial - unfortunately Barrie didn't bring the trombone.

We followed the track, and stopped for a break at the end of the wood, grabbing the last bit of shade for a few hundred yards. On the other side of this track are the remains of sand pits.  The sand used to be used for casting metal.  

The path passed by Kings Cliffe Industrial Estate, which has a café, open in the morning (not on Sunday, I think).  We crossed the Roman Road between Kings Cliffe and Wansford and walked past a woodyard and farm before turning right into the woods of Bedford Purlieus, which contain Roman remains and have been investigated by Time Team. 
We followed the path,  ignoring a right turn. After another rather muddy trudge, we came out more or less opposite Sulehay Road. There’s a rather surprising sign forbidding motor vehicles on the path, which is about two feet wide.

A little bit of road walking took us past Sulehay Cottages, and then opposite Old Sulehay Lodge we turned left into the nature reserve’s disused quarry. There are masses of wild flowers - some very striking deep blue ones among them.  We followed the paths and came out at the diagonally opposite corner and crossed the Sulehay Road again to the footpath over the road.

For a couple of fields we walked between fences, then across a field, through a mini-jungle of a hedge . . . 

emerging through the hedge
through a couple of oilseed rape fields, with good wide, though muddy paths . . .
golden barley
across meadow-style grass, past barley fields, and after following the path with no difficulty, we arrived at a muddy byway.  The path formed a bridge over the ford, and we came back into Nassington just below the footpath where we began the walk.
Map and details

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