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!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jurassic Way 8 :Cottingham-Bringhurst-Gt Easton-Rockingham-Gretton

This is the same route as this walk from September 1st 2011, but we started from Cottingham, and picked up the Jurassic Way on Mill Road after the school and playing field.
The footpath hugs the edge of the playing field, before going along between hedges and emerging at the junction of a road and a track to the right, marked on the map as "Occupation Road".  We followed this over a bridge across the Welland. 

There is a left hand bend and before long a footbridge where we turned right to head towards Bringhurst high on its hill.
This stile is not very welcoming with the extra crosspiece!

and this way marker isn't very clear

Three fields of overgrown wet oilseed rape up to Bringhurst
The section from the dismantled railway and through the fields to Bringhurst was very hard work, and we ended up soaked, even though no rain was falling.
Looking back from the edge of Bringhurst

 From Bringhurst, we turned turned right at the road junction. A couple of hundred yards down the hill is a footpath sign to the left, and the path goes round the hill, below the site of a Roman villa, and then behind Bringhurst primary school and across a couple of fields before reaching the road at Great Easton.  

Possibly the oldest cottage in Great Easton

Turn right and over the stream, following the road to the centre of the village.  Turn right at  the Sun Inn, and continue along the road towards Caldecott, past a house with horseshoes on the wall.
A little farther on there is a small cemetery with the graves of the Cave family. After this we took a track to the right, with recycling banks at the start. The track leads across the dismantled railway and behind some buildings, across a footbridge over a stream, and then a bridge over the Welland. 
Just after crossing the river, you turn left and go through a hedge to follow the path between two hedges. This leads to the road between Rockingham and Cottingham.
Slightly to the left across the road is another footpath sign.

The path takes you thorough a couple of fields and gates to Rockingham's cafe and shop, where we stopped for an early lunch.  We sat outside, although there were a few sudden gusts of wind.   The path emerges on to the main road by the Sondes Arms.  
We went up the hill, and turned left at the sign for the footpath to Gretton.  This goes to the right of Rockingham Landrovers yard.  We went through two gates, then diagonally down the field.  From here it was mostly a question of following the path, keeping a look out for gates, and avoiding the path which crossed our route.
From West Hill, Gretton, looking over the Welland Valley

More changeable June skies
The walk ends with the steep climb up West Hill and into Gretton.

Map and details

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cold Ashby - Winwick - Cold Ashby (via Thornby Grange)

View on the way down Honey Hill
We set off from the village hall, along Main Street, then took the right fork along Stanford Road, past the entrance to Cold Ashby Golf Club, and Bunkers Hill Farm.  In a field there is a trig point marking a height of 210 metres.  At the top of Stanford Road, on Honey Hill,  you turn left along the small road past Honey Hill Farm, and along a narrow track beside trees, then across a field down to the golf course.

The path is clear

This part of the walk is part of the Jurassic Way - which I walked in reverse on May 30 2012. There are excellent views, though today it was a little hazy.

On the other side of the golf course the path is clearly marked, along the edge of a couple of fields, then over some meadow, until you join a wider track, which leads to Winwick.  A farmer was herding sheep using a dog and a car.

Before long you can see Winwick Hall ahead, and emerge on to the road.  The brick wall and gateposts are curved.
Is Barry nostalgic for days on sentry duty? 

 We had an early snack break by the pond, making use of the millennium seat constructed by students from Rugby School. A few drops of rain encouraged us to take waterproofs out, but stopped before we even put them on.

We walked down the hill  past the black VR postbox, a door in the wall, and some well-tended flower pots to the crossroads,  where we turned left along the gated road to West Haddon.
Red dog-rose or feral flower?

a door in the wall
After passing another Rugby School millennium seat of a different design, we turned left off the road, and followed a footpath, which becomes a track, and leads towards White House Farm.  We joined the road for a short distance before taking a footpath/track to the right. This took us towards Grange Farm and Thornby Grange.  Just before these buildings,  in the valley there is another 'unsafe' building, which we learned is an abandoned watermill for flour. It was never used since someone was killed while the construction was being finished - though there may be more to the story.
The derelict mill
As the weather was so sultry, we stopped for a second short break beside the road to Thornby Grange, then continued to a small crossroads. We took the left hand road towards Cold Ashby, ignoring the road into Thornby.  This soon bent to the right and joined the Cold Ashby road from Thornby, and led us into Cold Ashby towards the church.
 St Denys Church, believed to date from the twelfth century - and the garden flowers are beautiful

This stark reminder of mortality /immortality?  was built in 1883, by "Gregorius Bateman'
More info and pictures of the church are here. From the church we walked up to the road junction and turned left to our starting point.

Our thanks to The Cold Ashby Rambler for this walk
Map and details

Monday, June 18, 2012

Elton circular via Nassington

We left Elton from River End, past the disused watermill (dangerous building, keep out), over the lock and footbridge , and followed the river for almost a mile, past a footbridge, and on until the path turned left (north-west) across several fields. Conditions were a little damp - mainly from long wet grass near the river, and sticky mud over the fields. 

We reached the road at Nassington, and were pleased to pause even though we had walked little more than two miles.

A quick change of plan to avoid too much mud and long grass was called for, and we decided on an alternative route. Our way through the village took us through the churchyard. The church porch offered tempting seats for a snack break. 

We were able to have a look inside.

Nassington church from Woodnewton Road
Then we walked out of the village on the Woodnewton Road, which climbed to Newton Hill before reaching a bridleway at a right-hand bend.  
Onwards and upwards in sunshine
We turned left along the bridleway, which was a bit soggy in places, but passable.  The track joins the Nene Way. We followed this for a hundred yards or so, before taking a left turn through a strip of woodland and across more fields.
Barry leads us into the woods
The path continued over fields - not so slippery as the previous ones, though a trifle sticky.
We could see Fotheringhay church over to our right.
Distinctive but very distant
The path took us past Park Lodge, across a minor road between Nassington and Fotheringhay, then on and by a dismantled railway. Looking at the map this was where we had to avoid a very large 'puddle'!  On we went until we reached the footbridge we crossed earlier.  We were almost back to Elton.

Plenty of water in the Nene, and clouds looming 
Then back past the lock and the watermill, to the car.

Map and details

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sutton - Ailsworth - Ferry Meadows

Open bell-tower at Sutton

If you can't live in a castle . . .

'Antique' way marks

Thorpe Lodge - beautiful, but there's a lot of traffic noise!
Gunwade (?) Ferry Bridge
Footbridge near Castor Mills
Castor Watermill

Nene Valley Railway
Water Newton Weir

Towards Wansford Station 
Close to the Nene we saw a green woodpecker - it flew up from the ground showing off its yellow rump, calling as it flew in typical green woodpecker fashion.

This walk covers some of the ground I walked on September 23 2011

Map and details