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 28, 2013

Burrough Hill

Burrough Hill-Little Dalby-Somerby-Burrough-on-the-hill-Burrough Hill
Thu, 2013 Feb 28 9:47 AM Western European Time
Led by me, with Barry, Gordon, Maureen and Eddie. Sunny, but chilly wind. Muddy underfoot in places. Quite hilly, with 641 feet of ascent in all.  Good views, but not crystal clear. Around 7 miles. 

We can see for miles and miles . . .

We set off from Burrough Hill Car Park, between Somerby and Burrough on the Hill.  It costs £2.50 to park, but there are decent toilets, and a picnic area too. 

I decided this walk was going to be a "save the best till last" walk, and after a couple of hundred yards along the farm road we took the first path signed to the right, down across some rather muddy fields, passing a farmhouse on our right.  We continued to follow the marked path. It can get a bit confusing around here as there are lots of yellow posts! 

With the help of the map we avoided the temptation of the Dalby Hills walk thorugh the woods, and struck out downhill across a field towards Burrough Road, a very quiet narrow lane.  We joined it just after a farmhouse, turning right towards Little Dalby.

Soon after this splendid wall and path, and a sign to Treedale, the road bends to the right, and there is a sign marked "Jubilee Way" . This is our route, across a field, and then joining a muddy track uphill. 

 It passes the other end of the Dalby Hills Path woods, and climbs steeply, eventually reaching a 56-step staircase (Thanks, Eddie) which emerges through more trees to a ridge.  At this point rather than follow the direction of the path over muddy fields we wend our way successfully along the edges, picking up our markers and following them through a swampy section, over a bridge and then up to a narrow path between houses into the village of Somerby. 

Time for our break on a convenient bench near the Stilton Cheese pub.  We decide to keep the walk fairly short, since it's been fairly muddy and hilly. So, through Somerby we go, and pick up the path just after the junction with Field Road.  The path goes left and crosses a field before reaching a disused gravel pit area.  The path skirts this and is then well marked most of the way to Burrough on the Hill.

The path we want is in the far right corner of the churchyard, and we soon catch sight of Burrough Hill itself, looking quite something from this angle. The path is clear - there are a couple of possible routes here and we take the right hand one.

A steep pull to the top of this Iron Age hill-fort,  and we can enjoy the huge view from the toposcope.  Then it's a wander over to the trig point further over, and we're ready to head back to the car park. 

 Leicester University has been excavating sections of this hill, and studying their finds. More info here.

A grand day out.

For more pics and details of the last time I did this walk (almost the same route, though not quite - see here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tilton-on-the-hill, Marefield,Owston, Halstead, Tilton

Led by Barry, followed by me and Gordon. Drizzle before we started, then just grey, with moderate visibility. Hilly, some mud in the fields. Break at Owston church. Just under 9 miles.

Looking back at this walk, one of the few things which added colour to the day was snowdrops - everywhere, in small clumps, in neat patches along the roadside, in drifts in the gardens of some of the grand houses. No blue in the sky, and all the greens, in fields and woods were muted through a grey filter.  

We set off along Marefield Lane, following it round to the left as it turned into a rough track, losing height all the while. It crosses a dismantled railway line, and eventually meets a minor road. Here we turn left into Marefield.

We carry on over another section of railway, then turn right along another unfenced road, which wiggles its way more or less north and uphill for almost a mile, joining the Twyford Road.  We turn right again and walk past some farm buildings and under a viaduct, before crossing several large fields towards White House Farm.

Then we cross the road (Dawsons Lane, or Marefield Lane, depending on your map). We go through a gate advertising Owston Equestrian Centre, following the path for a short distance before heading off uphill to the left towards Newbold Grange Farm.  The path goes through a field here, not along the drive, as we were told, when we'd taken the trouble to report a very sick-looking sheep in the field.

When we reach the road we turn right and follow it past a turn off to the right to Newbold Farm, then as the road swings to the left, we go through a gate along Newbold Lane towards Owston. 
We turn off along a footpath to our right, which leads through fields and over a small stream, then passes the remains of the old priory fishponds, before arriving at Owston Church.  The golden ironstone must look lovely in the sun.

After a coffee break, we take the permissive footpath from the church, through more bumps and hollows marking the site of the old priory of Owston, and looking back we can see the pond which probably topped up the fishpond area lower down.

We hit some muddy fields for a while, but the way is well marked and eventually we come out at Halstead House Farm, and follow the drive to the main road to Tilton. Another mile or so takes us back to the start. 

Map and details of the walk

Friday, February 8, 2013

Deerleap circular

With Harry and Esther. Fine, not too cold, bright. big puddles, but generally good underfoot. Just over 4 miles.

After a caffeine and scone boost at the Wildlife Centre's café, we walked to Deerleap car park , and along the track.

There is sun, somewhere
Then we turned right to follow a track through the woods, carrying straight on at the first junction, and eventually turning right.

None of us has seen ponies here before, but there were three, all with magnificent winter coats.
It was simply a question of following the track until we arrived back at the gate. From here it's about a mile back, retracing our steps. 

Reflections and puddles:

Map and details of the route