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!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cycling round Rutland Water clockwise

Tue, 2015 Dec 29 12:58 PM GMT
With Harry. A leisurely ride - lots of people out walking, with and without dogs, and cycling. Cool, bright day with blue sky.

No records set today - plenty of pauses and switched garmin off late as well. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bradgate Park, Cropston Reservoir and Swithland Wood

Mon, 2015 Dec 28 11:09 AM GMT
With Harry. From Hunts Hill Car park. A bright day, wind on high ground, not much sun, pleasant walking with a fair amount of up and down. 5 miles.
 Old John beckons, and not just us!

 The views are wide, but hazy
 After a coffee stop near the Deer Park Café we continue past Cropston Reservoir
 Along the road the hedge is festooned with Old Man's Beard
 We cross the road and take a bridleway, turning left and left again to reach Swithland Wood, braving some muddy patches.

 The quarry has been fenced off with razor wire to deter swimmers.
The birch tree makes a V-sign 
 We reach the road and make a short detour along a permissive path, part of the National Forest Way, to see the horses, with their rock star hair and plenty of hay.

 We head back towards Old John

and it must be the season for kissing, as the gorse is in bloom!

Monday, December 21, 2015


Nine of the Gretton Striders enjoyed a walk round the reservoir this morning, before any rain came.

We saw quite a lot of lapwings over the water, along with the usual swans and several cormorants. A few people caught sight of a stonechat - it flew away before I could see it.

An excellent pre-Christmas walk.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pitsford Water anti-clockwise

 Thu, 2015 Dec 17 10:07 AM Greenwich Mean Time With Gordon, Maureen and Tommy.
Round the reservoir, at a fair pace. Weather dry, and some brightness through the cloud.
On the way round we could see plenty of birds on the water, ducks, swans etc, and of course the occasional human variant of wader.

This was a very sorry find, beautiful, dead and half eaten.Tommy has identified this as a red-legged partridge - a handsome beast.
 I was hoping to catch the lapwings along the causeway, but whether due to the wind or other factors there were none in their usual place. Instead there was a large group of them flying over the water.

 I am not sure if these are Whooper swans - their posture when swimming was more erect than the usual mute swans.

 A heron and a little egret were by this seasonal torrent.

The egret is the more nervous and flew away before long.

 Catkins - early?
Fungi on a log in the car park.

A satisfyingly brisk walk, and a decent sandwich in the cafe afterwards.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rutland Water from Lyndon to Sykes Lane and back

With Gordon. A dry if cloudy day - better than recently. As we were walking on the reservoir track, the surfaces were good apart from a little mud in woodland. Break at Sykes Lane cafe. All other devices say c.11.2 miles.
Cafes closed next week though.

This was really a walk for the exercise that was in it. The sky was grey, and distances misty. Lots of Canada geese and gulls, but I saw nothing exceptional and it was a little cool for staying still. Ideal for walking. 
Several cyclists out, and quite a number of walkers too - I think they're all seeking dry ground.

Map and details

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fineshade Woods, then Pitsford Water Reservoir

Thursday 10 December
A stroll of about four miles this morning, with Gordon.  Bare trees, some muddy tracks, not a lot of colour or light, but we stayed pretty well dry.
Finished off with coffee and muffin in the Top Lodge Cafe. Just a gentle stretch of the legs . . .

Friday 11 December

Pitsford Water from the café, anti-clockwise, with Marta. Jut under seven miles and we walked fairly fast.  A brighter day - you could even see the blue of the sky later on.
 Lots of lapwings, which took flight as soon as I stopped to take a snap.
 See, the sky is brighter.
More water than usual, and two herons 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Catching up

We've been away again, in sunnier climes, visiting family, and doing some familiar and some less familiar walks.

A few city walks in San Francisco, which is not a flat place.
View of the city from Buena Vista Park

Several walks around the reservoir in Lafayette - the shore trail is 2.7 miles long, and fairly flat.
Lafayette reservoir

from higher up

This is what Leonie calls "heart attack hill"

The rim trail is five miles long and involves climbing around 800 feet, some of which is exceeding steep.

A gopher snake basking in the sun

View over the bay from the high point of the Nimitz trail

We also walked with Brian,  Leonie and the children along the Nimitz trail at Tilden Regional Park, where there are wide views over the Bay area.

And I walked from Moraga to Lafayette along the walking and cycle trail - again around four miles, and fairly flat.