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 27, 2014

Skeffington and Tilton Circular mainly on minor roads

Thu, 2014 Feb 27 9:30 AM GMT
Led by Barry, with me, Maureen and Gordon, along minor roads and tracks. Quite hilly. Fine, sunny, some wind. 9 miles give or take a whisker.713 feet of climbing.

We leave Skeffington at its west end, joining a track which turns north towards the A47.

Once over the main road we continue on Skeffington Glebe Road, past some phone masts and Glebe Farm buildings, heading north towards Tilton, to the accompaniment of some birdsong, and some distant barking dogs. The way ahead is not flat.
When we reach Tilton, we have a look round the church, light and bright, with plain windows.

An intriguing inscription here - wonder what the "embarrassment" was.
Think I'll have to get hold of the history society's booklet
Not quite a permanent inscription here

We are tempted by the thought of a coffee in Tilton, but it's too early, so onward we go taking the road north from the pub towards Halstead. We follow this past Marefield Spinney, and keep on the road past Valley View Farm and Red Lodge Farm. After this the road becomes a farm track and we meet the first mud of the day.

The track goes downhill, over a disused railway bridge and then a ford - which is just passable.

We head up a fairly steep hill and join Hyde Lodge Road at a field gate close to a junction of three roads.  
We turn right and walk along the road looking for somewhere to sit down for a break. We find a splendid stile with a view by the gate to Owston Lodge.
The stile

The view
We're invited to help out with some maintenance work if we've got a couple of hours to spare, but we decide we're much too busy and carry on past a disused quarry, now used for horse jumps.
Ahead of us is Whatborough Hill with its phone mast. In the garden of White Lodge Farm we see a bridge over no troubled water - no water at all.
We follow the disused railway through Tilton cutting, expecting it to be a better option than the footpath past Colborough Hill. It's actually quite wet and also blocked at one point, but with a scramble up and down the sides we find the way through.

When we reach the road we turn right - uphill, surprise, surprise - towards Tilton. At the first junction at Wood Cottage we turn left and follow a narrow road downhill for some time, through Skeffington Wood, and since what goes down must come up, we have to regain the height.  We reach a large stack of straw on the brow of what we hoped was the last hill, and realise that although we are level with Skeffington, the land dips and rises again.
Long distance pole vault required?
A last effort takes us back to the A47, and the car is not far beyond that.
An excellent walk, along quiet roads, and with enough mud to let us know we've been out. Just over 700 feet of climbing in all. Quite a workout.

Map and details

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Empingham circular

Mon, 2014 Feb 24 9:41 AM GMT
 Large group - 14 of us. Led by Mel in spirit, me on the ground!  A little drizzle, but mostly fine - conditions underfoot drying out. Lunch in Ashwell.

 We set off from Empingham, near the White Horse pub.  Then it's across the busy road to Nook Lane and pick up the footpath between two houses.  
Sensible people keep eyes opened for yellow posts - those who let themselves get distracted by talking follow a sheep trail and have to retrace their steps.
The path goes through some fairly muddy woodland and emerges into grassland below the Rutland Water dam. For the sake of mileage we join the dam at the far end and turn sharp left to walk along the track.
 We follow this round, past Normanton Church, and then a spectacular display of snowdrops and then aconites, eventually reaching Normanton Car Park.  

The cafe isn't open, but the tables and benches are much appreciated.

Did I miss anyone?

We leave the car park and turn left along the main road for a short distance, then turn right along the minor road leading to Ketton.  We pass Oak farm on our left, and take a footpath to our left just before Top Cottages, and about a hundred yards before a road junction.  The path takes us more or less north, and we pass Normanton Lodge Farm and Whare Koa on our right before we join the minor road - there are views of the reservoir and the dam on our left.  When the road bends to the right, at Normanton Cottages,  a path continues ahead. We stay on the road, and turn right at the T junction.

After about 400 yards we take a path turning sharply left and heading North. This is part of the Hereward Way. It take us over the A606 and continues north, crossing another path, and meeting a track.

We turn left from the track and make our way over a footbridge and into Empingham.

 You can either follow the Hereward Way as far as the church, and then turn right, or you can turn right and hit Main Street a little earlier.

Great to be able to walk on footpaths without sinking ankle deep in mud!

Map and details

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The great outdoors . . .

After a couple of weeks of doing very little - blame cold and cough - I have managed to get outside this week. A gentle bike ride of seven miles or so, and then a wander round Fineshade of around five miles.

Not many photographs either day, but the weather was more spring-like than it has been.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A stroll to the Welland

A very gentle stroll of about two miles to have a look at the Welland - full, but not quite as full as a few days ago.