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!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Braceborough, Shillingthorpe Park and Wilsthorpe

Mon, 2015 Oct 12 9:35 AM BST
With Gordon, on a fine autumn morning. Excellent underfoot, good views. Around 9 miles. Some sections of quiet road.

We set off from the church and walked along the road out of the village (signposted Greatford) to the main Greatford to Carlby Road. 
Braceborough Church spire with a blue sky background

Another thatch animal
At that point we took the footpath next to the road sign which heads gently up the mini-hill, round the field the farmer was working in, across one dry ploughed field
The farmer is busy
 and into the woods of Shillingthorpe Park.
Heading into Shillingthorpe wood.
Shillingthorpe Hall was used as an asylum for the insane, and a convalescence home during WW2.  It was demolished soon after the second world war. For an old photograph and some information see here.
More subtle autumn colours
We turned left and followed the track through the woods, past some lying-down cattle and down over the River.
River West Glen in Shillingford Park
The path comes out opposite a private road. We turned right and walked past the level crossing. There is a notice saying that the authorities are considering closing the crossing altogether - probably to reduce accidents. (More of this later).
We continued along the road until we reached a by-way leading to a ford, which now has a footbridge, and then a bridge over the railway.
Near the "ford" by the footbridge over the main line
After negotiating these, we followed a bridleway northward, mostly along field boundaries and very clear. There are fine wide views all around, but not very eye-catching for the camera.  This was the highest ground on the walk, and certainly caught the wind today.  We found a sheltered spot in the sun for a break, before continuing to the road between Greatford and Carlby. 

A few hundred yards along the road we were able to turn left on another footpath, just after Grange Farm. It looks as though the path should go diagonally over the field, but two sides of the triangle round the edge were much simpler. It passes south of Braceborough Wood, which is accessible to the public, then heads east over the fields to Braceborough, close to Spa Road.
Here we were tempted by free apples, and fell into conversation with the owner of the house. He recommended a couple of nearby walks, including one to the Bowthorpe Oak, which has to go on the "to see" list. 
He also said that when the level crossing mentioned above is closed, there will be an alternative route for walkers. The Macmillan Way uses the route. 
We followed one of his recommendations and extended our planned walk by another mile or two, by walking out of the village on Spa Road, as far as the old Station House, taking the drive to Spa Farm, and finding our way from there on to the disused railway - this is not an official public footpath, but makes a pleasant walk, once you've found your way down to the track.
Dismantled railway track from Braceborough Spa

Not quite as bad as it looks! Bridge over East Glen River
 We left the railway track at the road into Wilsthorpe, turning right past Gate house, Waterworks Farm and Coombe Farm Kennels, passing the road to Braceborough, walking as far as the church. There was an exhibition in the church, but we didn't visit it today.
Wilsthorpe Church
Instead we went along the footpath opposite, to our right, which took us over fields, and across the East Glen River, then turned right along a farm track which took us back to Braceborough Church.
Braceborough church, still sunny


Ida Jones said...

You brought the sunshine in! I enjoyed your walk - thanks for sharing.

aliqot said...

Thank you, Ida. The weather was lovely, ideal for walking!

Nina said...

Looks a lovely walk, especially along the dismantled railway track, almost feels a bit surreal

aliqot said...

We wouldn't have tried the railway track if we hadn't spoken to the apple man!