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, March 9, 2017

Cranford, Grafton Underwood, Warkton

Thursday 09 March, 10.00 am. With Maureen.  Beautiful sunshine, though the wind still had an edge. Most of the mud in the fields was drying. Very little climbing, but slightly longer than I thought at 8.7 miles.

Near the Old Forge cafe we followed the road out of the village (not St Andrews Lane).  After about half a mile we crossed a line of pylons and a little further on, as the road bends there is a gap stile in the hedge on the right hand side. This is the footpath - the hedge was on our left, and we followed it as it turned left and headed more or less north.  There was a short wooded section, and after almost a mile we met the road.

A wooded section of the path from Cranford
 We turned left and followed the road round a bend to the left as far as the crossroads. A right turn took us into Grafton Underwood, with its stream and bridges, and its attractive church.
The church at Grafton Underwood

Spring is springing
 Just before the village boundary is a footpath sign. We followed the path to the left, through a field with a horse and pony - I blame them for the state of the ground near the gates.
A friendly pony
 The next field had more ponies, behind an electric fence this time. It left the path pleasanter to walk on!
 We had several stiles to negotiate, one or two needing some high-stepping on our part. The ploughed fields were drying in the sun and wind, and the paths had been made clear. We have seen much worse . . .
Mud is drying, and the path is clear
 It was a relief to arrive at a stile leading into a meadow. We crossed the estate road and walked along a field edge to the path which crosses the lime tree avenue.
The lime tree avenue near Warkton
 Next we walked along the footpath which emerges next to a house on the main road through Warkton. The little green opposite is putting on its spring clothes.
Chocolate box pretty

These look like some kind of cultivated celandine
We made our way to St Edmunds Church, which has a fine selection of monuments to the Montagues, but wasn't open. Thursdays after Easter, it says.  We took advantage of the sheltered porch, in the sunshine, to have a break. Five miles down, not so many ahead!

The next section of road walking requires caution, as this road is a bit of a rat run, though not too busy at this time. As you come out of the village there is a short hill and a bend, and the verges are narrow. Then there's a straighter section with wider verges. I saw a brimstone butterfly - the first I've seen this year.

We passed a road joining ours from the right. A little further ahead the road bends to the left, and our path turns off. It's a bridleway, more or less following the line of the road. It crosses the grassy ridged and furrowed field, and goes through a gate into a wide section marked as an avenue of trees on the map. It continues following field edges, heading slightly south of east, with a short dog leg over a stream, eventually joining a wider track, where we turn ot our right and head slightly west of south. We followed this until we were opposite the buildings of the Grange. We turned left (east) and the track takes us all the way back to Cranford.


Ida Jones said...

That sounds lovely even if a little challenging at times! Your spring flowers are way ahead of ours - but it's definitely coming soon!

aliqot said...

It was really pleasant, and yes, spring is moving in!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Celandine loves the bases of trees!

aliqot said...

So, that is what they are? They look big and showy!