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, May 9, 2013

Offord Cluny, Paxton Pits and the Ouse Valley Way

Thu, 2013 May 9 9:27 AM Western European Time 
Led by Barry. Maureen, Eddie and me. Fine with a few drops of rain. Quite windy in parts. Lovely flat waterside walk - Paxton Pits and Ouse Valley Way. 10.5 miles. 71 ft of "climbing".

We set off from Offord Cluny, taking a footpath past the church, which is open, so we go in.
The church is fairly plain, but I like this window.
The window is dedicated to the memory of all those airmen and airwomen
who served with 35 squadron RAF Graveley 1939-45
The path continues across another field towards the mainline railway - a quick pause to say hi to this foal.
hoping for food no doubt - and disappointed.
We note that the light for the rail crossing is green, so we follow instructions and cross quickly. It's a pretty busy line.
Then a bridge over a couple of weirs, and over the locks to the narrow road by the Old Flour Mill and the road bridge, with views over some riverside bungalows.
We turn left and follow the footpath marked on the OS map as following Diddington Brook. It goes southwest for a while then turns left and heads south to the tiny village of Diddington.
We walk past a row of semis and a thatched cottage, before going diagonally left over a field then following the field boundaries,  right, left, right and walk south past the bumps and hollows of the site of the medieval village of Boughton.
medieval village – site of
Shortly after this we pass a farm with a dovecote and a collection of outbuildings.
Soon there are signs of a disused gravel pit - still plenty of gravel there.
We follow the path south through woodland with glimpses of watery ex-gravel pits, look around for woodpecker holes, and then go to the Visitor Centre for a welcome cup of coffee.
It's Little Paxton Scarecrow Festival on Saturday, and these characters are in evidence.

Ok, which ones are the scarecrows??
There are various exhibits in the centre, including this magnificent mammoth jawbone which was found in the quarry workings at Paxton Pits in August 2000.
We leave the visitor centre and make our way through some streets on the edge of Little Paxton - scarecrows are still hanging around.

We don't have time to look for Bo-bo the clown today, so we follow the footpath until it meets the Ouse Valley Way.
We turn left and follow the river Great Ouse downstream for three miles or so. All very peaceful, with a few water birds - geese (not sure if they were greylag or pinkfooted - I couldn't see their feet anyway!), and swans on the river.
Eddie strolling before he puts the hammer down.

Offord D'Arcy church
Unless we're prepared to swim, we have to go the long way round.

We were told that this heron spends a lot of time here.
We follow the Ouse Valley Way until it meets the road and we retrace our steps to Offord Cluny.
The road bridge
Brown Bonnet Cottage
Wildlife - lots of birdsong, including some very striking singing, just inside one of the woodland areas - quite a small bird, but it was against the light and high up, so I haven't much to go on. Should have recorded its song - that's what phones are for! Lots of birds on the lakes - tufted duck, geese, swans, a couple of great crested grebe - oh and the heron, who posed for ages, but was just too far away.
Map and details


Roy Norris said...

A scruffy bunch you get around with Alison.{:))

aliqot said...

Just a sorry set of fashion victims, Roy!