Tue, 2015 Jul 21 10:06 AM BST
With Marta. Between 8 and 9 miles. Most paths fairly clear,apart from nr Hardwick Lodge Farm. Mostly arable or woodland edges. Warm, some cloud, some sun. Dry underfoot.
This is a very similar route to the walk we did on February 10 2015.We started from the church at Hardwick, walked north as far as the right hand bend in the road, and took the footpath on the left, which leads northeast. At this time of year the footpath was clear, through the ripening wheat crop, over a coupe of fields, and led us easily to the footbridge over the stream. There was a clear footpath going uphill, and slightly right. When we met the hedge, though our route to the left was not so easy, so we followed tractor tracks to the next hedge and picked the path up as it went through the hedge. From here until Hardwick Lodge the paths were once again easy to follow. Keep to the hedge until the corner, then go over the open field to the ruined brick building. Turn left, pass rusting machinery and continue through the field and round the small copse. Continue to the road.
Hardwick Lodge advertises itself as the home of Happy Hens. Unfortunately we didn't buy any eggs - thought they could end up scrambled before we got home.
It's a little tricky to find the right paths around here - we ended up following the footpath between the fence and a stream round the edge of the property and over a footbridge, where dogs barked from the other side of a fence. At this point the path is unclear on the ground, but heads diagonally left over the field. We end up in the right place, pretty much at the corner of Hardwick Wood. Then we turned left towards Hardwick Short Wood.
We followed the edge of the wood for about a mile, decided coffee was in order, then carried on to meet the road to Sywell near Wood Lodge Farm.
The stretch of road between here and Sywell is not very pleasant - a few hundred yards with no decent verge to walk along and fairly busy. At the Aviation Museum life gets easier as there is a pavement.
In a short distance we cross the road and take the footpath left just before Sywell Hall. The footpath sign is invisible in the hedge from our direction.
|that damned elusive pimpernel?|
The path behind the houses and the hall is short and soon turns left at a small road. Today we followed the path alongside the hedge inside the field. This meets the path we need to take, turning left again and slightly uphill to this very pleasant bench. A sip of water and a couple of minutes of relaxation are not to be resisted.
Paths are again made good and easy to follow at this season. We cross one small section of field and another long one, downhill to a wooded stream, over a footbridge and up gently towards Mears Ashby. We meet Glebe Road, and decide to turn left and walk the short mile to Beckwith's Emporium and garden Centre to pick up sandwiches. While we're there we are treated to an aerobatics display from nearby Sywell Aerodrome.
Our change of route means a stretch of road walking along a fairly busy road. We turn right and it's just over half a mile before we meet the footpath. We take this path to the left, and follow the hedge. The path goes to the left through the hedge, and divides into two. We take the right hand one, which crosses a bridleway (this can be a bit tricky, but the route goes along to the corner of a field). The path carries on and turns slightly right heading into the village of Hardwick.
A few slightly tricky sections here.