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 16, 2017

Chelveston, Yelden, Melchbourne

Tuesday 14 February 2017.  With Marta. Paths mostly good, though we could have avoided one muddy field. A bit of road walking involved, but none busy. Just under 10 miles.

Before we started the walk we called into Chelveston churchyard to admire the snowdrops and aconites - they should be in peak bloom for the Snowdrop weekend (18th and 19th).

We walked along the road from the church away from Chelveston, through Caldecott and past the Crescent. Shortly after this the road turns 90 degrees to the right, and a track/bridleway continues ahead - this is what we took. Wind turbines were on our left.  There is a short muddy section, then the track is surfaced again and leads into the pretty village of Yelden, which is in Bedfordshire.

 Yelden has the remains of a Norman motte and bailey, considered to be the finest archaeological monument in Bedfordshire, according to the information board.  The remains are yet to be explored and excavated.  The castle had fallen into disuse by 1360.
The church sporting a wind turbine hat

One view of the castle site
The notice board showed the route of a local walk to Melchbourne. Seemed like a good idea, so we decided to try part of it. We took the footpath to the right of the castle mound heading south east across the meadow.
The signs are very clear at this point.  When we had negotiated a stile we followed the path to our left along the field edge - conditions were ok. We couldn't see the mapped footpath across a ploughed field, so continued to the fairly quiet road and turned right. A couple of hundred yards later we turned right along a bridleway close to a strip of woodland called Yelden Spinney. In future I will carry on to the next track if the weather has been wet!

The path running left to Crowfield Farm, though clearly marked was muddy. Heavy, sticky stuff.

 Crowfield farm appears to be mainly used as barns. Our path from here to Melchbourne was easy to follow and there was no more serious mud. We passed a few animals.

and a pre-school in a farm.
We crossed a road and continued on the footpath , turning left at the end to Melchbourne church, where we had a break, in sunshine.
Trees through the porch window

The church of St Mary Magdalen, mostly rebuilt in 1779.Pity about the funny upper section.
A row of cottages carefully photographed to avoid the unattractive car element.
We took a slightly different route back to Yelden.

We took the road (from Knotting) to the junction with the Swineshead-Yelden road, where we turned left, at the St John Arms pub. We walked for maybe a mile along the road, then rejoined our previous route by turning left - the turn after the spinney.
Yelden again
from Yelden we took the Three Shires Way for a short distance, past Bottom Farm, turning left at the sign to Middle Lodge.  The path must pass near the area with caravans, but we mistakenly continued along the track to Manor Farm house and had to turn left again to rejoin the path.
This goes directly though the middle of the large wind farm and solar array, a section of well over half a mile, before leading alongside farmland and back into Chelveston.


Ida Jones said...

Very pretty countryside, some interesting scenes and lovely photos. Donkeys are so photogenic and the spring flowers are beautiful. I enjoyed your walk!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

That's aclose as you can ever get to a Fieldfare!

Is that little pink flower a vetch of some kind?

aliqot said...

That's a violet - the colour may have changed slightly somewhere along the line. There are a few peeping through the snowdrops.
I've seen fieldfares closer, but not often.

aliqot said...

The villages around there are very attractive, and with the sunshine and flowers it feels as though the season is moving toward spring!