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, July 24, 2014

East Carlton to Geddington

Tue, 2014 Jul 22 9:48 AM BST
With Marta. Hot - much more than 64 deg F! Sticky going and very overgrown in places, plus the odd ploughed field. I think around 11 miles.

A measure of the heat - I felt obliged to cover up bare arms before 10am! 

We were following the Around Corby route from Mel Jarvis's book. To begin with all was sweetness and light, though the fact that I've walked the route before was helpful too. We had no problems as we headed out of East Carlton Park, and towards the path which runs along the bottom of the park. We turned left along this part of the Jurassic Way, then crossed the road to walk between the two fences and out into the fields.

We followed the Jurassic Way to Wilbarston according to the directions in the book.  Then, when the Jurassic Way turns right at the crossroads near the Fox Inn, we continued to the bend in the road, turning left towards Springfield Farm. Facing the farm gate, there are two footpaths. We took the one through the farmyard, to our left.  We crossed one field, then took a gate on our left and followed the path diagonally uphill to a stile in the top right hand corner.

There is a gap in the hedge leading to steps which go down the embankment to the main Corby-Harborough Road.
On the other side of the road, the path restarts slightly to our right.  The stile at the top of the steps is a little overgrown, but not as bad as some we meet later!  The paths through the fields towards Park Farm are mostly easy enough to follow. We crossed over the driveway then the path goes along the field boundary on the right of the buildings.  There's an opening in the hedge ahead, and then the path continues with the hedge on the right.
There is a wood on the right.  The path goes through the hedge and continues south across another field. On the other side of the field is the old airfield, now used for agriculture. We followed the perimeter track round to our left for about a mile, passing some large hangars, a weigh bridge, a bend in the track, a road to the left and another bend before turning left to walk through the wood (between Pipewell Wood and Little Haws Wood on the OS map.
Once through the wood we turned left and followed the edge of the wood to Pipewell.

All went smoothly until we met the path out of the village and encountered "a small field that can in the season be badly overgrown with nettles". Luckily we hadn't decided on shorts today! It looked as though the path hadn't been walked for ages, though it is usually one of the routes for the Corby Walking Festival in May.  We did find the way-markers, but more by luck than judgement. 
By the time we reached the Spread Eagle near Great Oakley we were ready for lunch. 1.30 must be after the rush - the sandwiches were good and service rapid. 
Our route was under the bridge along the footpath. We made the mistake of crossing the first road and taking the obvious path, and ended up in the playground. Just as well school holidays hadn't started yet.
There's a seven year old trying to get out!
A quick back-track and look at the book, and we realised we should have crossed the road and taken the footpath a little to the right of the brook!  
Great Oakley church
This took us along to Woodlands Lane and eventually to a footpath with concrete surfacing leading uphill and to the old Station House. We followed the footpath across the field and under the railway.  Now that the new bypass road is in use it would be as well to turn right and walk along the road between Little Oakley and Great Oakley, then turn left along the road to Newton in order to use the road bridge. If as we did, you use the footpath, you have to detour back to the bridge in any case.

From here you find the footpath again and climb up to a plateau with a pylon at the top. There are several paths here, but we took the one leading southeast to the road between newton and Geddington. Our final stretch was along this minor road.

Geddington church from the tableland!
Map and details

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lyddington circular via Stoke Dry

Mon, 2014 Jul 21 9:13 AM BST
With Mel, Norma, Maureen, Tommy, Jill, Andy, Terry and Steph and me. In fact around 5+ miles. Warm . Good views over Eyebrook and Welland valley. Memo to self - switch machine off when stop walking!!
I also walked another mile and half towards Lyddington.

We walk through Lyddington towards Gretton and took the footpath on the right , just on the edge of the village. It leads through an area of farm buildings and then across fields towards the A6003. 
We turn right and walk along the grass verge for a couple of hundred yards, then cross over and take the footpath which leads uphill to our left.  At the top of the hill we arrive at a field with a fine view of the reservoir, with the village of Stoke Dry in the distance. 

 Time for a short break.

Our path goes downhill, and behind the woodland surrounding the reservoir, bringing us out on the road from Eyebrook to Stoke Dry. We follow the road past the church and back to the A6003, at a high point.

Once we've crossed the road again we take a path downhill through fields, and leading to a road into Lyddington for a short distance.

A short walk, but varied and with great views.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gretton-Deene-Bulwick-Harringworth Lodge-Gretton

Thu, 2014 Jul 17 9:00 AM BST
With Maureen, Gordon and Eddie. Coffee and sandwich at Bulwick before return. V. marshy before A43 and overgrown after crossing. Hot and quite humid. 10 miles approx.

We walked down Southfield Avenue and the dusty track towards Kirby Hall, then followed the drive up to Kirby Lane, before crossing over, and going through the deerproof gate. At the junction of tracks we turned left and followed the footpath across fields, through another deerproof gate into a narrow strip of woodland. We had to cross a field with a large number of cows and calves and a bull to reach Deene. Luckily they did no more than show mild curiosity from a distance.
We walked through Deene and took the path up to the "teapot" memorial, with views of Deene church down on the right.
Our first crossing of a newly ploughed field - a rape seed crop, I think. Not too dry, and not too wet and sticky for once. After the field comes the marshy boggy section, which was still pretty wet aven after all our recent dry weather. The A43 crossing is ok, so long as you are patient, but finding the footpath slightly to the right is tricky. The sign is almost hidden and the path is very overgrown - lots of nettles and the signage is none too clear. Once we'd found the way through it was a question of keeping straight on around and across fields to Bulwick.
Excellent coffee/tea and sandwiches at Bulwick village store - home of The Pickled Village pickles.
We returned by walking through Bulwick to Red Lodge Road, turning left and following this to cross the A43 via a bridge. A bridleway leaves the road to the right, and we took this as far as Harringworth lodge lake, where we turned left along the Jurassic Way and back to Gretton village hall.

The walk is the same as this one from October 2011.  We did it in reverse on Oct 6th 2011 - more details about the teapot on that blog entry!

Map and details

Friday, July 18, 2014

NR 10 (kinda) plus Pitsford Nature Resverve

Wednesday 16 July 2014. With Marta, on a hot and humid day. About seven and a half miles.  We get permits for the Nature Reserve - just as well, since for the first time we have to produce them. 

Then we walk along the road to Holcot, and take a footpath and road through the village, walk along the Walgrave Road to where the Northamptonshire Round all began for us on 11 August 2013. It's taken us almost a year for one reason or another!

Then we continue along the Walgrave Road until we reach an entrance to the Nature Reserve, and follow the path round by the water anti-clockwise. 
We stop at a hide with a great view of a grebe on a nest.

After walking a little more we go into a hide where there are two workers who have been ringing birds - they show us a garden warbler, and explain just how far this less than robin-sized bird migrates each year. 

Lots of other birds - heron, egret, terns, geese, ducks - but one of the highlights of the day was the coot family,  very close to one of the hides.  
Then there were the great crested grebes.  For the first time I've seen a young bird riding on a parent's back. We saw a grebe pair with three youngsters.
Then first one, then another of the juveniles "disappeared". The photographs are not by any means perfect, but they confirm what we thought was happening.

We finish our walk with a sandwich and salad in the White Swan in Holcot - very satisfactory! 

Click on any pic to enlarge

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thorpe Langton circular, via the Caudle

Mon, 2014 Jul 14 9:06 AM BST
With Gordon and Eddie. Around 9 miles in all.

A fine Monday morning sees us parking in Thorpe Langton, before setting off downhill past the pub car park, along a farm track. When we reach the ford, we need to walk down the right hand side along a grassy, slightly overgrown path  before using the yellow waymarkers to navigate into the long field with cows and a few calves. This is part of the Leicestershire Round, and I've walked it several times in the other direction!

We head through the field, as the path goes uphill towards some woodland.  We follow the way markers, keeping the hedge close on our left as we make the final climb to the trig point - it's not very high, but the views of the surrounding countryside are good.

From the trig point we go down to the hedge and turn left following the bridleway along. After going through a gate the path goes downhill towards Stonton Wyville. We walk a little way along the unsurfaced road, the  over the crossroads and into the small village. 

We turn right opposite the church, then turn left and very quickly right to follow the path across a few fields and into Glooston. All well marked along here. 

From Glooston we follow the road - a very quiet one - as far as Cranoe.
We give the church a miss this time and decide we'll have a break when we turn left on to the footpath, just after Churchfield Farm.  We follow this path until it meets a side road into Welham, the take another footpath, through an overgrown gap with two stiles, and through a field of rather large though reasonably placid bullocks, then into the village. 

We walk past the pub on our right, then  the church on our left, we carried straight ahead into Bowden Lane, the minor 'no through road' leading southwest parallel to the Welland. After about a mile we turned right along the bridleway and followed this northwest to Great Bowden Road, where we turned right and walked back to Thorpe Langton.

Map and details

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Peterborough walk

Taken from Market Harborough and Rutland Living Mag. One or two of the street names were not quite correct in their original instructions . . .

Thu, 2014 Jul 10 9:36 AM Western European Time 

The distance is clearly wrong according to the machine, here. - I suspect the fact that we went inside a coffee shop and then spent almost an hour inside Peterborough Cathedral is to blame! I think we  walked 7 or 8 miles max. rather than over 12! 

The walk begins at Thorpe Wood Nature reserve car park, at the corner of Thorpe Road and Holywell Way, Longthorpe.

We head south through the wood, and turn right taking the footbridge over Nene Parkway.

Then we cross Thorpe Park Road, turn briefly right towards the police station, then left along the footpath towards Ferry Meadows Bluebell Bridge. We cross the bridge and follow the footpath west to Ham Bridge, cross over then turn back east, then south.

We follow the path as far as the Goldie Bridge, where also cross the Nene Valley Railway line. We turn east (left) alongside the tracks towards the city centre.

We have to recross the railway, then the river with its lock and sluices, before the path goes underneath the Nene Parkway.

Our route is now northeast, along the south side of the rectangular Rowing Lake, through Thorpe Meadows with its collections of sculptures.

When we reach the pub at the end of the lake, we turn right over a bridge into Shrigley Wood and the Boardwalks, a reserve for amphibians.  We take a grassy, then muddy path south to join the main Nene Way footpath beside the river, and follow this east towards the city centre.
At first it's grassy, but turns into a surfaced walkway behind some waterfront flats.
We walk under road and rail bridges, and just opposite Charters Bar (an old barge from the Netherlands) , at Town Bridge, we turn left up a ramp to a city street. We head left into town in search of coffee.

Gordon has never visited the Cathedral, so we spend an hour wandering around. There's an exhibition about the construction of the building, and another of portraits of various refugees who have made their home in the city - from Europe, Africa and South America.
We see the grave of Katharine of Aragon, and the one-time grave of Mary Queen of Scots. 
We admire the ceiling.
Of course an hour is not long enough, but what we see is impressive.

From the cathedral we walk west towards the Guildhall, and along Church Street, then Cowgate, before taking the subway under Bourges Boulevard to reach the road bridge over the railway. We end up on the wrong side of the road and have to cross so that we can go down the steps to the left, just after the bridge.

these take us into River Lane, where we turn left and walk round to the right parallel to the railway, swinging right again for the footpath to Thorpe Meadows. We walk along the north side of the meadows as far as the hotel by the Rowing Lake, where there's a convenient bench for us to eat Maureen's scones.

We leave the riverside area and go to the roundabout past the hotel. We cross to find the footpath between Longthorpe Parkway and the section of Thorpe Road heading north. a narrow gap in the hedge. It crosses a field and heads towards the Sue Ryder Hospice at Thorpe Hall.

We turn left past the main entrance and there is a path to the right of a car park just past the buildings.  This leads to Thorpe Road. (It's a long and winding road!)

Here we turn left, then right into Thurlaston Close. This appears to be a dead end, but there is way through for pedestrians on the right hand side, leading into Stoneleigh Court, and then to Harewood Gardens. We follow Harewood Gardens past Melford Close back to Thorpe Road - at the T junction. 

We turn right , then cross over and past the Post Office and The Leys. Then it's a left turn along a path past Longthorpe Tower. The pedestrian route is straight on until you reach Nene Parkway. We don't take the footbridge this time, but turn right and pick up the path north through the Nature Reserve and back to the car park.