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. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Brigstock-Stanion-Geddington-Brigstock

Thu, 2014 Aug 28 9:15 AM BST
With Maureen, Eddie and Gordon. Drizzly before start but then dry and warm. Some mud early on - ploughed field. About 8.5 miles.

We walk from Brigstock Village Hall, across the bridge and round the cricket field to the kissing gate, and followed the path. Just after crossing the brook and walking through some trees we have a choice of paths. Ours leads to the left straight uphill across the field, Then we go over more fields where the crop has been harvested. Eventually we reach a huge ploughed field, and decide to follow the line of the path this time, rather than detour round the edge. 
At the other side we go into a wood, emerging via a bridge into grassland. Another bridge and another small pasture brings us to the path into Stanion. We turn left and walk along the road until we reach the pocket park sign. Another left turn, and a walk through the park brings us to a small road where we turn left again. We cross a bridge on this road and soon afterwards find a footpath sign into trees.  The path is pleasantly mud-free, but lead out to a recently ploughed field. We follow the rather muddy track round the edge and uphill. At the top our sign leads to the left of the hedge, and we take this direction until we reach the wooded Geddington Chase.
We can see Chase Lodge almost half a mile ahead and walk towards it. The path goes behind the dog kennels, and round past the garden. The sunflower below caught my eye.



 We take the path keeping the garden on our left, and head gently southwest and downhill to the old brickyard, which is being converted to a community garden.
Directly after this we turn sharply to the left along the byway, known as Clay Dick Lane.  We follow this for around two miles until we reach Chase Farm, and Windrush Farm and the track becomes Dusthill Road.  Just before reaching the village we take a footpath to our left, which leads past a field full of vines. 
From here we reach the back of the cricket pavilion and make our way back to the village hall.

A stroll at Fineshade

Two or three miles with Marta - fine weather.

A round trip from the car park past the tree house and youth base camp, and returning along the main woodland track - for coffee and scones at the cafe.




Monday, August 25, 2014

Geddington to Weldon - Around Corby

Fri, 2014 Aug 22 9:34 AM BST
With Marta. Part of Around Corby route. Mostly fine with odd shower. About 12 miles. Some problems with route-finding. Ploughed fields etc.
Geddington ford
We pass the ford and narrow road bridge, and the Eleanor Cross on our way to Wood Street, which leads up to Geddington Chase. We take the footpath to the left of the old brickworks, ignoring the clearer bridleway to our right.
Old brickworks, soon to be a community garden
The path takes us uphill into the woodland, to Chase Lodge. We keep straight ahead to the right of the dog kennels. At the end of the trees we should have taken the path next to the hedge slightly angled to our right. The path runs along with the hedge on the right. You can see on my map where we had to retrace our steps - concentrate on the task in hand!  

Eventually the path turns left, down a slope and on to a track leading under two rows of electricity pylons. Keep straight ahead and meet a minor road. Turn left into Stanion. We paused for a coffee break in the pocket park, where we met a local volunteer doing some much-needed weed clearing.

Then we followed the road to a junction, where we turned right. After the road bent slightly left we almost missed the footpath sign to the right - it's slightly set back from the pavement!

sunflowers going to seed
The section between Stanion and Brigstock was a bit tricky, as parts of the path were poorly marked and overgrown, and one very large field had recently been ploughed. 
Hard to find waymarks
We eventually arrived at the path alongside Brigstock cricket pitch, and made our way to the Green Dragon for a sandwich.

From here we walked back past the tall old clothing factory, past Back Lane, Old Dry Lane and New Town, before taking a path to our right at an opening past some houses. At this point we were consulting Mel Jarvis's book , Around Corby, closely (p 17)!  The path tooks us north over a couple of fields, then across the A 6116. The path still heads north and enters the wood ahead about a quarter of the way along the edge from the right. We soon met a wider track where we turned left and followed this for about a mile. Then there is a rough track which leads on to the A427 between Weldon and Oundle.
We turned right, and walked downhill into Weldon, turning left into Church lane, with Willow brook running alongside until we almost reached Weldon Church with its lantern for forest travellers.
Weldon church
More info on this church here .
Here we turned right along a footpath and made our way back to the car.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Skeffington - Billesdon - Tilton - Skeffington

Thu, 2014 Aug 21 9:18 AM BST
With Gordon. Some fields now harvested, paths not so clear! About 8 miles. Fine.

Very similar to this walk three years ago, apart from the last mile or so. 
We walk along towards the village centre, but when Main Street turns right we carry straight on following the footpath past a very large house and out into the fields. We head south as far as Farm, then turn right along the drive - this seems to be a permissive path rather than a right of way. After about 100 yards we meet the small Skeffington to Rolleston Road, and join the public footpath directly opposite, signposted to Billesdon.
We cross three fields with no problem, but come slightly unstuck when we meet some woodland where the nettles have grown. We should have stayed closer to our left and crossed the stream, but paths were a bit ambiguous.
After this minor detour, we follow the path more or less northwest until we reach Harborough Road, then cross this and follow waymarkers through two more fields to reach the road going downhill into Billesdon. 


We walk along Church Street, turn right into Brook Lane, and soon take a footpath to our right. 
This heads east, then goes diagonally across one field, round the edges of another and emerges just beside the cemetery on Uppingham Road. 


Seldom Seen Farm

Billesdon Coplow
 We have to walk for about fifty yards along this road, with narrow verges, before our path goes off north, to the left. It climbs alongside the hedge, and then we have to cross the A47. We follow the hedge north until we reach the end of the field, then turn right, now heading northeast.
We continue in roughly the same direction, over two minor roads and eventually we reach the Melton Road, which we cross, following a path, leading to a driveway with an avenue of young horse chestnuts. At the bottom of the hill we leave the driveway and head across more fields uphill, keeping to the right hand side of buildings. We cross another minor road and two more fields before reaching Tilton's Loddington Road.
Tilton Church
 Time for a break! Then we turn right past a few houses.
 Our path is on the right hand side, heading south, next to a track and with a view of the moat below.
Moat outside Tilton
We follow the track for some distance, past some works buildings, decorated with these flowers! 
Soon after the "works" the track turns, and before long the footpath goes straight ahead while the track leads to a house.  The path is easy to follow for a while, until we reach fields which have been harvested. 
21st century haywain?
 Rather than keep wandering looking for the line of the path we take the Skeffington Wood Road, turning left and heading back to Skeffington.
Up to Skeffington
Map and details



Cycling from Stanwick Lakes to Thrapston - Wed 20 Aug

A gentle leg stretch on undemanding terrain. 

This was sparked by the BBC article about the changing Tracks artwork, which I noticed this morning.

The route crossed over the Nene Way footpath a couple of times, so linked up with a previous walk.


We cycled along the dismantled railway track as far as the Thrapston Road, then turned back, and called at Willy Watt Tea-room for lunch, before returning to Stanwick Lakes Visitor Centre and towards Irthlingborough as far as the A6. 

Map and details


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lubenham circular via Foxton Locks

Mon, 2014 Aug 18 9:35 AM BST
Led by Tommy. With Gordon, Barrie E, Marion, Sue, Chris, Phil, Ian and Carol and me. Fairly flat, over fields and along canal briefly. Fine and dry, tho' cloudy. Just over 6 miles.

We  walk along the Green in Lubenham and out of the village past Manor Farm, then across fields. The first one has been ploughed, but is dry underfoot - the rest still show clear paths through crops ready for harvest.



Our path heads north east, and when we come to a path junction we turn left or north west towards Gartree Prison. We turn right at the boundary then cross a road and continue north towards the canal. 
We cross via a footbridge, then walk through fields before rejoining the canal and walking to Foxton Locks.

Luckily our diet is not as rich as Richard III's!
We pause for coffee at the Top Lock Café, then take the path mor or less south east, after crossing the Gumley Road (before the car park).
The path takes us in a southeasterly direction,  over several stiles, past a fishing lake near Holmes Farm, through fields with bullocks and then these mini cattle, and comes out on the road into Lubenham.

We cross the road and take the footpath opposite. It brings us into Lubenham after a short distance. Then it's lunch at the local pub. Thanks for a grand walk, Tommy!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Holcot, Moulton, Pitsford

Thu, 2014 Aug 14 9:16 AM BST
With Gordon. Reverse of walk from 8 Aug 2011. I appear to have pressed the wrong button part way through, so about half of walk not recorded here. The later part was a little hillier. Just over 10 miles in total!
Almost the same walk as on August 8 2011, but in reverse, and with the added loop to Old St John's Church, Boughton Green. May be worth looking at the previous walk for some photos too.

We set off on the footpath from Back lane, alonsgside Brittens View, and headed southeast, along a track  then a path not quite blocked with brambles and nettles - memo to self - secateurs! Later we crossed a jungle of tall maize too. On a footpath.
When we reached Rectory Farm we turned right towards the south west.

I managed to miss the path when it went through a gate, then over a bridge, just before Marsh Spinney - a quick rethink was needed when we'd gone two hundred or so yards in the wrong direction. After that all was simple and we made our way into Moulton.

Heading west through the village, past church and primary school, we were ambushed, in the nicest possible way by a café! 


Next we followed the Boughton Road, along past Holly Lodge with its gates made of garden implement shapes, and on to the reputedly haunted ruins of Old St John's Church - the graveyard is still used occasionally.


Back to Holly Lodge, and we turned on to Spectacle Lane, a peaceful relief after the relatively busy Boughton Road. Past the Spectacle Folly, and through the ford, or over the bridge, and on to Pitsford Road.
Across the road to a footpath well supplied with more nettles - and a badger sett. The path turns left, going north west into Pitsford village.
Ah ha! A bench. Good excuse for another stop, and a cereal bar top up. 

From Pitsford we took Grange Lane, leading to a car park and the reservoir. We joined the round reservoir track for a very short distance before it turns left, but we carried straight on towards Moulton Grange.
Our footpath is along a private road, then along field boundaries with views of Pitsford Water from the heights.
The path goes north east, making a dog leg (clearly signposted here), then passing a well kept cricket ground with memorial cupola to a local businessman before we catch a final view of Pitsford Water.  
We emerged on the road to the causeway just outside Holcot. 

Around ten miles in all. 
Map and details

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hambleton Peninsula

Mon, 2014 Aug 11 9:18 AM BST
With Maureen and Gordon. Short pleasant walk for a breezy morning. 5.4 miles.
A fine breezy morning stroll along well-known paths.  Around 5 and a half miles.






Map and details

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Aldwincle, Titchmarsh NR, Thrapston, Islip

Mon, 2014 Aug 4 9:34 AM BST
Led by Gordon, with Mel, Norma, Tim, Jacqueline, Phil, Barrie, Sue, Marion, Maureen, and me. Pleasant, flat, dry underfoot. Around 6 miles.

From Aldwincle opposite Pear Tree Farm (coffee shop now closed), we walked along Main Street towards the school, then crossed over and turned left along the footpath through a field leading to the Lowick Road, a small road, and soon to a T junction. We walked straight on along a track to some new holiday cottages, and then gently downhill with the lake on our left hand side. We walked under some pylons and then turned right, between lakes and over the Nene.



Once over the bridge we turned right and followed the course of the river, until we crossed Meadow Lane and reached a grassy spot near the weir and a modern housing development. This was where we paused for a break. We looped round the houses and returned to cross the river to Mill Lane. Just after the mill we took a footpath to our left climbing up into Islip. We turned right along mill Road and then Ridge Road, which is only one car wide. This took us north east more or less, into some woodland. We turned right shortly afterwards, rejoining our earlier path in the opposite direction.


We didn't go as far as the Nene, but turned left to head back along the Nene Way, which we followed all the way back to Aldwincle. It just reamined to have lunch in Wadenhoe at the Old Barn Coffee Shop, which suited us perfectly.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A week near Sandleheath - more cycling than walking

'Hampshire July 2014
Arrived Friday 25/7 Ate at Damerham pub with its hippy enterprise feel but good food, altho' they seem to think vegetarians eat less.


Saturday 26/7 we met Jenny and Esther at Bursledon station car park and walked along the river Hamble to Manor farm Country Park and back. Then went to Esther's for evening meal.





Sunday 27/7 Esther did a 70 mile sportive from Waterlooville. We did a 20 mile ride to Cranbourne - stopped for large lemonade at Damerham. Map etc . Later over to Esther's.  Quick visit to the allotment.


Monday 28/7 - we met Esther etc at Moors valley Country park.



We drove there the back way, via Verwood. Ate at the Ship in Fordingbridge.


Tuesday 29/7- lazy morning, then ride into Fordingbridge to get b'day card for Aneurin. Onwards and up to Whitsbury and almost Coombe Bissett via byway, then returned via Rockbourne. Map etc.Tea and scone in Rose and Thistle. Not cheap but good.  About 20 miles in all again.


Wednesday 30/7 - went to Alderholt G C for coffee, then to Mockbeggar via Harbridge and ibsley. up the hill past Red Shoot and almost to Fritham, returning via the top road and down through Godshill and Fordingbridge. around 28 miles. Map etc.
Then to Esther's for dinner.


Thursday 31/7 - a lazy day, more reading than anything. Then to Esther's for a meal.

Friday 01/8 - returned home via Salisbury, and called at Crofton Beam Engine on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

While we were away we saw various birds, including reed bunting, a kingfisher, and some wheatears, we believe, flying from post to post ahead of us as we cycled on a byway.