Walk 1. With Eddie, Maureen, Norma and Kate. Just over 8 miles. We started from the car park between Arthingworth and Kelmarsh, and headed north towards Market Harborough. We followed the dismantled railway track for about two miles, walking through the Great Oxenden tunnel, helped by my head torch, and phone torches.
Just after the tunnel we found a path heading steeply upwards to join the Jurassic Way/Macmillan Way footpath above the tunnel. A bit muddy and slippery... but conquered with elegance and good grace.
We turned left, heading east, then north east, following footpath markers mostly, though there was a short section which was not clear. We passed Waterloo Lodge Farm - I had mistakenly thought this was a place with a tearoom, but it clearly was nothing of the sort, so we continued, unrefreshed. The path headed downhill and then up, heading east again.
When it came out there was a choice of left or right. Our route led south, to the right, between hedges, and muddy in places.
We crossed a minor road, close to a trig point (146 m above sea level), and continued south, with a turn to the left at the top of a slope, leaving a small spinney, Coldmeadow Spinney to our right. At the bottom of the slop we should have stayed on this side of the hedge, keeping it on our left. It looked more sheltered on the other side, but this was not a good choice - at one point we would have had to cross a very wet ditch.
A local dog-walker let us know that we were on private property, and the combination of obstacles decided us to turn back. and follow the correct route.
When we arrived in Arthingworth the pub was closed, but its outside tables were tempting. Scone break! The landlord arrived soon afterwards, and was happy to serve us coffees. Luckily there was a loo, too!
We followed the road signposted Harrington - a very quiet road, with a few ups and downs. At the road junction we turned right and immediately left through a nature reserve, and then briefly alongside the A14.
|Not the most scenic footpath|
We all met up at the car park, and headed for the real Waterloo Farm Tearoom for lunch.