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 2, 2012

Helpston circular

Helpston, in Northamptonshire at the time, was the birthplace of the poet John Clare.  We started our walk from the John Clare Cottage and museum. Apart from the information about the poet, this is another useful stop on the coffee-shop circuit.

We walked towards the village cross for a few yards, then turned left into the yard of The Blue Bell pub. At the back of the car park there's a stone stile leading on to a footpath which goes behind the village primary school, then across a couple of fields to reach a minor road. We turned left, and walked along the road for a few hundred yards, past another small road, until we came to a footpath leading off to the left.  We followed this path east with a hedge on our right, then slightly south until we met yet another small road.  Here we turned right, then after a couple of hundred yards we turned right, taking the footpath, not the bridleway. They are very close - the footpath is about three yards beyond the bridleway.

The path goes south west across a field, then south along the edge of a wood, then south-west again, before reaching the Stamford Road. Just opposite this point is The Granary - a farm shop and another one on the coffee-shop circuit. We decided we had plenty of time to indulge ourselves today!
What d'you mean -  we've only walked three miles!
we left the Granary, and turned right along the Stamford Road.  After about half a mile of road walking, and one crossroads we took a footpath off to the right, along a field boundary, and down towards the edge of a small wood. Shortly after the wood the path turns from southwest to north west then curves round following a field boundary then along the northern edge of some more woodland - Foster's Coppice.   After a short distance we turned left (north) along a track which took us back to the Stamford Road.  

We turned left along the road for a very short distance, then right along a path, which skirted Hayes Wood, then turned south east to the Stamford Road again, turning north-west just as the path meets the road.  We followed the path along the edge of Simon's Wood, and decided we could afford another short break - Maureen's scones, a nearly forgotten treat over the last three weeks, were welcome. 

We followed the edge of the wood, which became Oxey Wood.  The path ruined slightly north east at the end of the woodland, and led to a wider track running east. We followed this for about half a mile, then turned left past College cottages.  This track took us directly to the road into Helpston, very close to the railway crossing.  From there it was a straightforward road walk back into the village, past the church, the John Clare monument and the market cross.
St Botolph's church

John Clare monument

Helpston Butter Cross, where markets were held
Ho ho! Just back  - I took the washing in,  soaked myself,  then looked outside - wet stuff from heaven again! Perfect timing.

Map and details

For a similar walk on 10 October 2011 click here.  In reverse, with slight variations.


Harry said...

Nice pics again. The group photo outside the house could serve as a publicity shot for walking groups in general!
'.....the path ruined slightly north east' has a poetic resonance which may be unintentional!

aliqot said...

I blame the 'auto-correct' nonsense. Much too good a line for me!

Roy said...

Nice walk Alison, you are getting onto some of my cycling routes here.
Rain, what rain.{:)

aliqot said...

Am planning to take the gang round Castor Hanglands and Southey Woods some time fairly soon. Rain? - Just the odd shower ;-) . Some lovely thunder rumbles this afternoon as well.

Roy said...

I have not had a dry mud and water free walk in Castor H yet this year.

aliqot said...

Almost everywhere in the area has some muddy patches this year. A real contrast to the last two or three years.