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!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


About 5 miles on a magical evening.

We set off after 3pm, just as the sun was settling behind the hills
The setting sun was reflected in the reservoir and in the windows of the big house.

Geese flew to roost on the fields after spending the day by the water.
There is a heron to the left of the trees.
Another goose on the wing.
The water was very still. The berries on the bushes glowed.
Water fowl leaving v-tracks in the water.

A pair of swans were dabbling in the shallows.
Evening was falling quickly, but the lake reflected what light there was.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Burghley House, Stamford and back via Torpel Way and Pilsgate footpath

With Marta. Not quite 6 miles.  Cool wind, grey day. No rain until we finished the walk. 

Coffee called before we set off. The Orangery was open, though the Garden Cafe was not. Suitably fortified, we attacked the walk. From Burghley House we walked down the path towards Water Lane, crossing the railway and then the River Welland. The River looks winter-full and muddy.
We walked past the Wharfe Street car park and turned right, following the road out as far as St Leonard's Priory, to the A1175.
Soon after the roundabout there is a small road leading downhill to the right. This takes you to the Mill and the Torpel Way.
Just after the Mill take the footbridge over the river, go through the gate and cross another bridge. 
The next obstacle is the railway, which has an unmanned crossing here. We didn't cross, but followed the Torpel Way to our left, keeping the railway alongside for almost two miles. We saw two trains in all.
There were views of the Welland to our left, as it meanders through meadows of grazing sheep.
We had hoped to cross the railway on the first path to our right, but this has been closed, so we walked another half-mile or so. The bridge over the river and the road came into sight. However we turned right before the road, soon after we had walked on a raised grassy bank. We made our way over the field and found the path through some trees, then over another field to the railway crossing. 
From there we followed the path, diverting to go round a large field. 
When we met the road we crossed over to the new footpath separated from the road by a hedge. This led us back to the entrance to the Burghley Estate.
Map and details

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hambleton Peninsula, Rutland Water

Thu, 2014 Nov 20 12:03 PM GMT
With Harry.  A misty morning turned into a fine early afternoon, and we grabbed the beautiful weather before the evening closed in with more fog and mist. Around 5 miles, anti-clockwise around the peninsula.
The start of the walk

Sheep enjoying the sun

One of several varieties of fungus

Black Hebridean sheep

There's still colour in the leaves

Conservation work in Hambleton Wood

When we finished the circuit, we watched a flock of long-tailed tits near the parking spot.

Map and details

Monday, November 10, 2014

Easton - Stamford - Wothorpe - Easton

Mon, 2014 Nov 10 9:26 AM GMT
With Tommy, Norma, Chris, Terry and Gordon. A fine dry morning, cool. Some mud underfoot. Around 5.5 miles.

An easy, pleasant short walk this morning, on good paths and in fine weather, if a little cool to start with.

We walked north along Church Street to the church, and turned right - not down Park Walk but along the next path.

Easton on the Hill house-scape

Flowers still blooming
 We crossed a few fields going north east, over the railway and under the A1. We continued in more or less the same direction following the Welland into Stamford, past the old Roman Ford to Town Meadows, where we made use of a picnic table for our break.
The Welland near Stamford

Stamford from Town Meadows
We turned south east, crossed the bridge towards the car park, walked up Wothorpe Road to the A 43 and crossed over. Next we followed the path to the right, parallel to the road and then going southwest over a field and along a narrow footpath with hedges each side. This brought us out into Wothorpe, with its very fine houses.
Walking through the posh part of Wothorpe
 As the road turned to the left Stamford came into view beyond the fields.
A more distant view of Stamford
We passed the other footpath near the end of the road (First Drift) , then arrived at the Old North Road. We crossed over and turned to our right, past the Wood suppliers, as far as the entrance to the golf course. Here we crossed the road again and took a bridleway southwest.
Along the bridleway opposite the golf course
 We crossed the A1 by a bridge, and continued past Old Wothorpe House. It must have been a fine place in its day.
Old Wothorpe House
 The path took us as far as the A43, which we crossed and followed the road back to the cars, in Easton on the HIll.
Coming back into Easton on the HIll

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Market Harborough and Lubenham circular via the Judith Stone

Marta and I continue our exploration of the course of the mighty Welland.

It's a wet and windy morning in Market Harborough
But lo, a glimpse of the sun !
Maybe they should have lit their bonfire last Wednesday? 
 What is this? 
Part of the corset factory which produced parachutes in WW2
The stepping stones are tempting . . . but we resist and make our way out of Welland Park, and out of the town.
The path crosses the river and the disused railway line,  goes past an emerging housing development and on and up a bit, passes some polytunnels and crosses the Lubenham Road. Now we've got this far we may as well seek out the Judith Stone
I mean, how difficult can this be?
We walk though a corner of this field of grazing sheep and on a bit, check the map, and the garmin to check our location. . . and then turn back towards Harborough, and walk through the field again.
A quick google on the move isn't a great help just now. Ha, there's a map pinned to the fence. It says we're almost next to it. ???? As a last resort we clamber through a gap in the hedge, negotiate barbed wire and find ourselves . . . back in the field with the sheep.
Who are these idiots???
Finally we notice one of the "sheep" is not moving.
Could Amundsen have been more delighted?

We finish with a sandwich in the pub in Lubenham, and then a mile and half's walk in the rain back to Harborough.
Well now, altogether that was about 6 miles - not bad considering the weather had almost scuppered the walk to start with.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Four spires - Broughton, Great Cransley, Loddington, Thorpe Malsor

Thu, 2014 Nov 6 8:58 AM GMT
With Gordon. The first frost of the winter soon melted and conditions were v good for walking. Little sun, but dry with a chilly breeze. Around 9 miles. Elevation details ok. Not sure how the max speed is less than average moving speed!
We have walked this way before, in the opposite direction in September 2012 and in August 2012. Time to revisit.

Start from Church Street, walking west past the church (Spire 1), and then along Gate Lane as far as High Street. *Cross over into Cox's Lane, and very soon take the narrow footway on the right,  just by the decorative gate made from garden tools. The path crosses Crane Close and comes to a grassy field which you cross to reach the A43. This has to be crossed. The path is directly opposite and takes you diagonally to your left to reach a gate and steps down to Broughton Hill which goes up into Great Cransley.
**This can be avoided by walking along Cox's Lane and turning right at the end on to Broughton Hill/Cransley Hill. This road goes under the A 43.**

A garden tool gate
 At the top of the hill, just before the Three Cranes pub, turn left along Church Lane, past Cransley Hall and several houses.
Skulking in the shade, two lions guard Cransley Hall

On the sunny side, there are two miniature Chinese-style lions
 The church (Spire 2) is off to the left, through a blue gate and downhill - easy to miss if you're not looking for it.
Church Lane is surfaced, and marked not a through road to Mawsley. Turn right at a bridleway sign on a left hand bend. Go through Cransley Wood. The footpath is clear. At the end of the wood, turn left along the edge, the  right along a field boundary to reach a dismantled railway line. Turn left along this and follow it for a while. You come out just before Mawsley Lodge Farm - an uninhabited building.

Mawsley Lodge Farm buildings
The path goes round this, always well marked. You should have the farm on your right hand side as you turn west, then after a couple of fields turn right when you  meet a cross path. You are now walking northeast.  The grass track becomes surfaced and you go through two or three gates.
Follow the track as it bends to the left and goes past a few rather secluded houses. Ignore the junction to the left and continue along the road, now called Mawsley Lane. It goes downhill, crosses a stream and then climbs up into Loddington, past the playground and cricket pitch.
Turn right at the crossroads along Harrington Road. The church (Spire 3)  is visible to the left. the next mile or so is along Harrington Road with its overgrown pavement for pedestrians, until the right hand turn into Thorpe Malsor.
The porch at the back of Thorpe Malsor church
 Go as far as the church (Spire 4) and green, and take the footpath to the right just before the churchyard.
Ivy-shrouded churchyard

Thorpe Malsor Church
 This bridleway gets quite muddy through the trees, then come out into a field. At the end of the first field turn left at the hedge and follow the path downhill to Cransley reservoir, which comes into view.
Cransley Reservoir
 Turn left at the water's edge, then right to walk along the dam. Turn right in front of the sailing club building, and follow the path as it goes through a gate then turns left uphill along the field edge to Northfield Road.
We leave it behind and climb to the road
 Turn right and follow the road past White Lodge Farm. Just before Great Cranlsey there is a path across a field on the left, which cuts off the corner and brings you out into the village. Turn left and walk past the Three Cranes, down Broughton Hill, up towards Broughton and under the A43.

Continue into the village and turn left at the Red Lion into Church Street.
As we went past the blacksmith's shop we could hear the clang of hammer on metal - I wonder if they made the gate in the first photo?

Map and details