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!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hardwick, Sywell, Mears Ashby circular

I decided on this walk, as we hadn't done it since 2013, when Barry led it for us. It's at least 8 miles, but felt longer because of sticky, muddy, recently planted fields. OK, maybe nearly 9 including occasional rerouting around fields. Beautiful weather, and very little wind today.

We set off from Hardwick church
Take the road opposite the church, and when it bends to the right, take the footpath going off to the left. This heads away from the track and alongside the hedge. In the next field, keep walking in the same direction until you reach a footbridge over a stream. We walked uphill with the hedge on our right, and when we reached the next field boundary turned left, keeping the hedge on our left.
 When we reached the end of the hedge our true path was directly across the recently ploughed field, to a marker near a small ruined brick building . Horses and people had gone before us around the field edge, so we decided to follow - the going was not easy, but easier.

We've already diverted round the edge of a large field to avoid mud! Onward toward Hardwick Lodge.
 We met the path at the point in the photo above, marked by some rusting machinery. We followed the route over the field and round a small copse with a pool, and came out at the road and a junction of paths near Hardwick Lodge, which sells eggs, and is well protected by dogs, who barked until we clearly showed that our intentions were honourable. The footpath has been routed round the edge of the properties. 
Now the path goes towards Hardwick Wood, turns left and makes for the corner of Hardwick Short Wood. We follow the edge of the wood, as it becomes Sywell Wood and then continues behind Wood Lodge Farm to meet the road into Sywell.
A left turn and a short section of road walking with no verge takes us past the Aviation Museum and some industrial buildings. Just before Sywell Hall our footpath turns off on the left - the sign was obscured from our direction, so involved a few yards of retraced steps.
The path soon comes out on a small road. Turn left here and before long left again to pick up the footpath to Mears Ashby. It goes uphill to a bench, before heading diagonally and downhill over a field towards Sywell Bottom. It may be possible to go further to the right and pick the path up. We went through the trees - see picture below!
Time to practise our limbo dancing? Near Sywell Bottom.
 Next we turned right for a short distance, then left to climb gently towards the village of Mears Ashby. Here we followed the road past the school, and through to Highfield Road.
Mears Ashby dog - the quietest one we met today.
 The path goes to the left from Highfield Road, just where the road bends to the right. The next big fields were pretty sticky - we ended up with extra boots, made of mud. Heavy workouts for the legs. Even after crossing the Sywell to Hardwick road, the going was - soft?  At one point we wandered slightly from the official footpath, by following the hedge. Luckily the magic machine showed us what we needed to do, and we were soon back on track and heading back to Hardwick. 
Very large snowdrops - or a vey small tractor? I think the leaves are a giveaway.

Another crocodilian

Still smiling after all I've led them through today!
Map and details


Ida Jones said...

The mudlarks!

You make light of the heavy-going, Alison, in this entertaining description of your walk. The sunshine must have helped keep spirits up! As ever, good photos too.

Good luck with the "de-mud"!

aliqot said...

Thanks, Ida. The sunshine was wonderful - the first time for ages when we were tempted to linger after our snack break!
Luckily it was warm enough to de-mud outside when I got home.

Roy Norris said...

You are such a 'Taskmaster' Ma'm.{:))

aliqot said...

C'mon, you lot, look happy!