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, February 27, 2014

Skeffington and Tilton Circular mainly on minor roads

Thu, 2014 Feb 27 9:30 AM GMT
Led by Barry, with me, Maureen and Gordon, along minor roads and tracks. Quite hilly. Fine, sunny, some wind. 9 miles give or take a whisker.713 feet of climbing.

We leave Skeffington at its west end, joining a track which turns north towards the A47.

Once over the main road we continue on Skeffington Glebe Road, past some phone masts and Glebe Farm buildings, heading north towards Tilton, to the accompaniment of some birdsong, and some distant barking dogs. The way ahead is not flat.
When we reach Tilton, we have a look round the church, light and bright, with plain windows.

An intriguing inscription here - wonder what the "embarrassment" was.
Think I'll have to get hold of the history society's booklet
Not quite a permanent inscription here

We are tempted by the thought of a coffee in Tilton, but it's too early, so onward we go taking the road north from the pub towards Halstead. We follow this past Marefield Spinney, and keep on the road past Valley View Farm and Red Lodge Farm. After this the road becomes a farm track and we meet the first mud of the day.

The track goes downhill, over a disused railway bridge and then a ford - which is just passable.

We head up a fairly steep hill and join Hyde Lodge Road at a field gate close to a junction of three roads.  
We turn right and walk along the road looking for somewhere to sit down for a break. We find a splendid stile with a view by the gate to Owston Lodge.
The stile

The view
We're invited to help out with some maintenance work if we've got a couple of hours to spare, but we decide we're much too busy and carry on past a disused quarry, now used for horse jumps.
Ahead of us is Whatborough Hill with its phone mast. In the garden of White Lodge Farm we see a bridge over no troubled water - no water at all.
We follow the disused railway through Tilton cutting, expecting it to be a better option than the footpath past Colborough Hill. It's actually quite wet and also blocked at one point, but with a scramble up and down the sides we find the way through.

When we reach the road we turn right - uphill, surprise, surprise - towards Tilton. At the first junction at Wood Cottage we turn left and follow a narrow road downhill for some time, through Skeffington Wood, and since what goes down must come up, we have to regain the height.  We reach a large stack of straw on the brow of what we hoped was the last hill, and realise that although we are level with Skeffington, the land dips and rises again.
Long distance pole vault required?
A last effort takes us back to the A47, and the car is not far beyond that.
An excellent walk, along quiet roads, and with enough mud to let us know we've been out. Just over 700 feet of climbing in all. Quite a workout.

Map and details

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