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!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Northamptonshire Round 4 (Salcey-Ashton) + Ashton-Blisworth (shortened)

Wed, 2014 Mar 5 11:28 AM GMT

With Marta. Around 9 miles in all. We shortened the route from Ashton because time was a little short. Next leg will start from Ashton and do it properly!

Not an auspicious start, when we both got caught up in traffic jams this morning. So what should have been a 10.15 ish start, ended up, after a coffee and teacakes for me, as an 11.30 start for the walk. 

From Salcey Forest Café we walked on to the road, turned left, then right at the junction towards the M1. We'd just decided that the path in the forest looked far too muddy, and were looking at the map when a helpful man appeared.  Funny how person looking at map = lost.  Still he did tell us about another path, which turned out to be the one we wanted.
It's very close to the M1, and quite noisy, but is open countryside and otherwise pleasant, then a section of woodland which takes us to a road under the M1. We turn right under the motorway, then left into more woodland which gradually leaves the noise and traffic behind us.
The path is marked pretty well and we walk along the path coming out at Hartwell End Farm and House. We walk past a large pond, and through a gate - at this point I switched my garmin off by taking my coat off, so the mileage recorded isn't accurate.How many times have I done this?
We follow the path, diverting slightly round a field edge and come out, as we intended at Stonepit Farm.  Here we turn left along Hartwell Road, and after a couple of hundred yards we take the footpath to our right, soon turning right again with the hedge.  We follow it to Chapel Farm, where we see our first outdoor lambs of the season.
We turn right along the farm road and at the next bend take the footpath to our left.  We ignore the first footpath coming in on our right, and carry on until we cross another path. Here we turn left, and follow this path just north of west, across a minor road, then as far as the Hartwell Road coming out of Ashton.  We turn left and walk a short distance along the road, then take a bridleway heading northwest at a left-hand bend in the road. This makes a right-angled turn left and brings us under a railway bridge and into Ashton near the school and church.

We turn right at the Old Crown and walk through the rest of the village.
Spring is springing!
At this point we have a rethink of the original plans for the walk and decide to take the shorter route to Stoke Bruerne by minor road.
 A good move - it's already well past two when we stop for lunch at The Navigation, right by the canal. It's warm enough to sit outside in a sheltered and sunny spot, the sandwiches arrive very quickly and taste good - ideal!

We take a short route to Blisworth, leaving out Shutlanger (until next time, anyway) and taking the Grand Union Canal walk, along the canal and the road.

When we reach Blisworth Tunnel entrance we have to climb up to the road, which is a little busier than I like, but nothing too bad.

We pass several farms and just before we go downhill towards Blisworth we pass this air shaft for the tunnel.
At Blisworth Tunnel car park we go back down to the canal. At this end of the 2821 meter long tunnel the tunnel hut has been restored and decorated inside.

We walk along the towpath until we reach Blisworth Mill (once a spice mill), and the road to the car.
Approaching Blisworth
The church stands on a rise and there's an overspill cemetery with fine gates just across the road.
We reach the car, and have plenty of time to pick up the other one from Salcey Forest well before they shut their gates at 5pm.

So, not entirely Northamptonshire Round, but a fine walk in beautiful weather. 


Roy Norris said...

Lots of interest on this walk Alison and it reminds me to go hunting for Lambs (Photo opportunities).

aliqot said...

Good to see the lambs outside at last! Too cute to eat.