Thu, 2013 Aug 8 10:03 AM
With Barry, Gordon and Eddie. Very hot. One or two unclear footpath experiences, including one that disappeared completely. About 11.5 miles. Lunch at Boat Inn SB. Too much road as well, though they were mostly quiet ones.
From the main visitor car park, we walk along the road and over the M1 towards Hartwell. Here we turn off to our right on the path towards Rowley Wood. We have to skirt the wood and we end up back in Hartwell, since the other route is likely to be longer. We decide on a footpath leading southwest past a farm.
This is where we have the disappearing footpath experience though we think it may be due to very poor signposting. We waste a good half hour, then retrace our steps and head off towards Ashton, turning right along the Roade road - yes, I had to write that. We take a footpath opposite a house marked as Colmarel Kennels on the OS map, and follow it without too much trouble. It leads towards the main Milton Keynes to Rugby railway line, and emerges on to the road into Ashton just before the bridge.
|under the mainline railway bridge|
We walk through Ashton, turning right, going past the Old Crown pub and then taking a footpath to our left between two houses. The path turns right/west very soon, gradually making its way over several fields downhill gently to the canal. We wander a little because of crops, but no real problems in this part.
|A disreputable crew?|
We meet the canal at Lower Lock Farm, and turn right along the towpath. It's a short mile to Stoke Bruerne past locks, and canal boats.
|moorhen and chick|
|on boat veg garden|
|The view across the canal|
|Wellingtonia and house|
From here we walk back along the road to Salcey Forest.
Altogether we've walked just over 11 miles - it's been pretty flat, and quite hot.