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 28, 2016

Gretton to Harringworth Lodge

With Maureen and Gordon, about five miles. The same route as last time but in reverse.
Fairly warm, some drizzle, then a bit muggy.

Following tractor tracks over the wheat field.

Handy seating for a break .

There were lots of meadow brown butterflies, and in one field a fair number of common blues, often on birdsfoot trefoil plants.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Gretton to Harringworth Lodge

Around five miles, with Maureen and Gordon, and the weather was still hot and dry.
One or two of the fields had invisible paths, which made for harder walking than we anticipated.

It's just a question of following the Jurassic Way out of Gretton, over a couple of fields and the old railway track, then heading to the edge of the woodland, along a grassy open 'ride'.

At the end of the lake, we turned left, still following the Jurassic Way past the house and turning left again behind the tennis court. Over the stile and turn right, and at the next waymarkers turn left across a field.

Keep heading more or less straight (southwest). with luck you find the crossing points, stiles or a bridge, with less luck you'll need to find them.

We arrived at a track and found a shady spot for a break.  The track turns sharply right and shortly afterwards the path should lead to the left. These paths were not clear, but we busked our way across, eventually joining our original path to return to Gretton.

Wadenhoe, Achurch, Pilton, Aldwincle, Wadenhoe

With Gordon and Maureen, on Monday 18 July. Just under 6 miles.

We parked in the car park near the Mill . . .

. . . and followed the route from last Thursday, across to Achurch.

This time we took the Nene Way path through the Linches.
It's a bit overgrown, road-less-travelled, and still muddy in the shady sections.

Over Lilford Bridge across the Nene
and then the stile in the hedge on our right, and the path to Pilton, through a field of Jacob's sheep.
As the weather was so hot, we had a brief water pause on the bench in Pilton, before setting off along the road to Wadenhoe. Just outside the village we took a footpath on the left, through trees. When we emerged into a field we headed for the opposite corner, between two sheds, and found ourselves by the cottages near the war memorial.

Too hot to use the seat there, so we continued along the road to Aldwincle, following the second footpath on our left, marked as the Lyveden Way. After walking alongside the hedge through a couple of fields we reached the sharp left turn along the old road, now a bridleway. We followed this until we met another track which turned left and led us into Aldwincle.

We walked through the village as far as the Nene Way signs just before the church.
Welcome shade

And a good place for a quick break
This path took us right back to Wadenhoe emerging at the village hall car park.
Wadenhoe church again
Lunch at the Old Barn before returning to the mill car park and away.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wadenhoe, Achurch, Pilton, Stoke Doyle

With Maureen starting at 10 am. About 8 miles. We set off from The car park near the Nene Way at Wadenhoe Mill, and crossed the river by the footbridge.

Our path took us over a field and another footbridge. Looking back we could see Wadenhoe church on its hill.
We headed for Achurch church, and walked through the churchyard to the road. 
Soon we took the public footpath to the left, through woodland called the Linches, and emerged on the road near the gatehouses to Lilford Hall.
We turned left at the road junction, and noticed this disused gate.

We crossed the Nene once more over two small bridges.

We found a not very clear footpath beginning with a stile in the hedge on our right, and headed towards Pilton and its church. On the right we had a distant view of Lilford Hall surrounded by trees.

Pilton church
We had a brief look at the outside of the church, though later reading suggests a lot more to see. There are connections to the family of Thomas Tresham for starters. And the Manor house at the side was used by gunpowder plotters.   Another time . . .!
Afterwards we made our way back towards the village and found the footpath to our right leading towards Stoke Doyle. The Georgian tower is visible across the fields for some way. 
We headed for it, but had difficulty following the path through a field of long grass ( or skinny barley). Then we had to brave a large herd of cows and calves. These were curious, and a bit persistent, but no real trouble. 
We followed the path which cam out near Stoke Doyle, then found a bench opposite the Shuckburgh Arms. Time for coffee and a scone.
We walked along to the church, which is dedicated to St Rumbald.
St Rumbald was an infant prodigy of a saint. Son of Alfred king of Northumbria and Kyneburga daughter of King Penda of Mercia.  He was born at Kings Sutton, in Northamptonshire, and lived for just three days, dying on 3 November 662. He knew he was going to die, so miraculously asked to be baptised.

Cover for a ghost story?
 We decided to follow a footpath past the church and round the fields to Hatchdoyle Lane and back into the village
We passed two horses with zebra masks to keep off flies. . .

and an in-phone-box lavatera . 
 We returned to Pilton, partly along the road, and partly along the path.
where we passed a house with some stone carvings. I later discovered this is the Bede or Watch House
Then came a flowery wheelbarrow.
From Pilton we followed the road and then a footpath to our right to take us back to Wadenhoe.
After a quick look at the dovecote, 
outside  . . .

and in ,
we decided to call it a day and headed for the Old Barn for lunch.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Irthlingborough again

With Maureen and Norma. Just over five miles. A dull day with some fine drizzle. Just enough to keep putting waterproofs on, then taking them off again five minutes later. 

This time we walked down from the church to the railway track, turned along the river, as far as the sewage works, then back. 

We strolled round the Ring reservoir, with mits carved animals on stones, and had a snack stop at the corner, then made our way back to the main track. We turned left at the Greenway and back into the town for a coffee and sandwich at Cafe @25.

Friday, July 8, 2016

An orchid - or two?

Pretty sure this is a Northern Marsh Orchid seen at Ettrick Marshes, Scottish Borders.

This may (or not?) be a fragrant orchid - it was certainly very fragrant, but three of us were not sure whether it was an orchid.

Lyveden Way from Wadenhoe

Thursday 7 July 2016 . Started at 9.30. Just over seven miles. With Maureen and Gordon.

From the car park near the village hall we climbed up to the church on the hill.

From Wadenhoe church we followed the path , along the avenue of hornbeams and over a couple of cattle grids to the road to Aldwincle.
turned left along the road, then right on a path which took us to another small road.
Here we turned left through a metal gate and walked along a wide grassy track, which used to be part of the road from Thrapston to Oundle. 
Lots of meadow browns in the grassy parts.
Just over half a mile down the track, a footpath goes to the right, heading for the woods.The path through the edge of the woods is quite narrow and overgrown in places, and can be muddy. Today there were plenty of annoying horseflies too.

After another half-mile or so the path became wider, and joined a track, which we followed to the right through the woods.

Beside the track in the grass were a fair number of common spotted orchids.
At a gap in the hedge we turned right following the path along the edge of the wood, and turning left then right at the next hedge, to go behind Lyveden New Bield.

We made use of a picnic table to have a break, before heading across a field and directly through Lilford Wood.  At the other end of the wood, we crossed a small grassy field, then a footbridge, walked uphill through another field, until we reached a metalled track. This took us  for a couple of miles or so back to the small road we crossed much earlier in the walk. Here we turned right, then left soon afterwards, taking a footpath alongside a hedge. Muddy gateway alert.
The path is well signed and leads into `Wadenhoe village, coming out between two houses and on to the main street.

Lunch at the Old Barn before returning to the car.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Thorpe Langton to Foxton Locks

With Maureen and Gordon. We set off shortly before midday from Thorpe Langton, and followed the Leicestershire Round. 

Walk along Church Lane, opposite side of road to pub. Turn R to pass church. Follow path over field to redbrick farm. 
Turn L. Follow track to open field. Turn R through a gate. Follow path over several fields, heading west. Park Hill Farm is uphill on R. Follow waymarked posts over fields - the last one is quite hummocky and leads into a hedged path and out to a road. Walk to road junction, then turn R uphill towards the Bell Inn. Take the first street L, going downhill past E.Langton Grange. Follow road to the end. A convenient bench  near a Leics Round signpost makes an early coffee stop inevitable.  
Then climb stile to footpath. The path heads south, and all the field boundaries are crossed by gates and clearly marked.
Pass stone to Lottery -the first winner of the Grand National, with a fine pedigree and descendants - see this entry, with pictures and details, in Thoroughbred Heritage
Cross a footbridge over Langton Brook  - 
Not ours!!
and go underneath  mainline railway. 
Not insurmountable
Cross another two fields and strip of trees, then two more fields. Ahead is the factory by the canal, a useful directional landmark for a while. Down steps to A6 - a busy road to cross. Up steps at other side. Through one more field. At hedge turn R and head towards B6047. Just before road path gets a bit overgrown, but passable.  (Better today than I have seen it at this time of year!) 
Well, we got through this easily enough!!
Come out on road, walk short distance to Bowden Inn Farm and cross. Go down concrete slope and turn R into field. Follow waymarked paths over fields in direction of Gartree prison. Go through a hedge and keep hedge on left for two fields, then on right. 
A brief pause before Foxton
Cross a bumpy field - can be muddy - to gate and stile by farmhouse and come out into Swingbridge Street, Foxton. 
 At this point we headed for the canal and walked along the towpath to the Locks.

We had lunch at the Bridge 69 Pub, then made our way up the 75 foot rise (so we were informed) to the top car park.

Pleased to say that the path was mostly pretty clear, though I did use secateurs to clear brambles from a stile, and the trusty trekking pole to slash some large nettles. But it looks as though people walk it fairly regularly.