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!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Burghley Park, Stamford to Pilsgate circular

I've done this walk three times recently, and both clockwise and anti-clockwise! 
This is the route, anti-clockwise, with no inadvertent divergence from the route. almost 6.5 miles.

Walk 1 
Monday 4 June, with Kate.
Four or five stiles, but not like the Marston Trussell walk!
We parked in the main Burghley Park car park, then walked back down the drive to the Barnack Road, and turned right to follow the footpath alongside the road, but separated by a hedge. This extends for about a mile and emerges very close to Pilsgate.  We crossed the road and continued with it on our right, past the bus stop and out of the small village. We took the first road on the right and followed it to the end, passing Windmill Farm on our left.
At the next junction a public footpath goes into the corner of a field on the right. 
This took us diagonally across a field, probably of wheat, and in the next field the path continued close to the hedge on our right.
It then goes through a short stretch of woodland, before crossing some hay meadows - lots of flowering grasses, and a few nettles. The yellow posts mark the route clearly, particularly in this direction, taking us over a footbridge and eventually to the golf course. 
We walked through, looking for a suitable place to perch for a break, and eventually decided on this luxury tree stump not far from the road. It was actually quite comfortable, with a mat!

From the golf course we simply followed the road as far as another entrance to Burghley Park,
Sweet chestnut - castanea sativa
and made our way to the car park, and the Garden Cafe, for lunch. 

The aliens landed a while ago, I think!

Walk 2
With Marta, Thursday 7 June.
We started quite late - 10.45, and this time walked anti-clockwise, along the drive past the big house, turning off to the right to pass the cricket ground on our left, coming out on to Burghley Lane, through a small wooden gate, and walking past this sign, before joining the London Road.
The Lady Anne's House - Tradesmen's Entrance
We crossed London Road and took the Kettering Road for a short distance as far as the point where a footpath goes off to the right, through a kissing gate.  You should make for the opposite corner of the field, and not be tempted to go straight ahead. A rather overgrown section, quite well marked at the gates led us up the gentle slope and out in Wothorpe. A convenient bench - not to be resisted after our late start - and we hit the caffeine! There's a grand view of Stamford from this point.

We walked to the London Road, crossed it and turned right, walking slightly uphill to the entrance to the Golf Course. Just after one of the old entrances to Burghley Park we climbed a stile and made our way past one of the jumps used during the horse trials.
We walked across this fine Avenue - Queen Anne's Avenue on the map, which must lead up to Burghley House .

 On across the grassy fields, and the overgrown footbridge. It's a bit rough underfoot too. A few small brown butterflies and iridescent blue damselflies, but not as many as I expected.
The wild roses are blooming.
 We emerged from the fields on to the road, and passed Barnack windmill on our right this time.
When we reached Pudding Bag Lane in Pilsgate, we succumbed to the urge for another small coffee.
We took the path alongside the road and back to Burghley Park and the Garden Cafe once more.

Walk 3
Monday 11 June.
With Kate, Norma, Marion and Eddie.  Anti-clockwise - route as for Walk 2.

We thought the semi-semaphore would work - we were tramping after all.
The jolly crew having a breather at Wothorpe. After that we went on as far as Pudding Bag Lane before a break. The Garden Cafe wasn't serving food, so we headed back to Gretton and Lydia's cafe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Foxton to Marston Trussell and return

Monday 21 May, 9.30 am, with Maureen, Kate and Eddie.
Just under 8 miles.
As previous walk on 26th April. 
we started from Foxton top car park, headed to Lubenham, then past Lubenham Thorpe Hall to Marston Trussel, returning to Lubenham and taking the alternative path over Mill Hill and back to Foxton.

Masses of red campion

One of the 33 stiles!

Lubenham church

Maureen, Eddie and Kate

Maureen, Alsion (me) and Kate

Pink hawthorn

The Welland

Sorting the sheep from the goats

The view from the fields near Foxton School

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The return journey to Glasgow.

No "proper" walks to report here, though we covered a few miles on foot in Glasgow.
Sunday 13 May Carradale to Glasgow.

We had to go through Campbeltown, to reach the western side of the Kintyre peninsula. The road is wider than the one on the east and the scenery included views of the islands of Islay and Jura, set against a blue sunlit sea today.

The Paps of Jura on the horizon

The beach where surfers and families spend fine days

Sea pinks (thrift) and surf

Blubells and the sea.
All this visual delight plus the sound of the cuckoo and the scent of bluebells.

We stopped for lunch at Tarbert - the point where Kintyre joins the rest of the mainland - just. The name comes from a Gaelic word meaning isthmus. Very photogenic on a fine day.

Then on to Glasgow's Sunday playground of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

and a pause for a cup of tea, before heading to Scotstoun , a suburb of Glasgow.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Campbeltown, Mull of Kintyre, Southend, and Carradale.

Friday 11 May - a poor weather day

We had a brighter morning than expected. I did the short walk to Carradale harbour, along the shore and up the hill before breakfast. Not my usual routine!

The old water wheel - Carradale village hall has been converted from the water mill.
From an information board nearby - “Little is known about the early history of the mill building. it was used by the Paterson family for threshing oats until the Mitchisons who bought Carradale House and lands from the Forestry Commission in 1939 decided to convert the building into a village hall."

We drove into Campbeltown, enjoying the views this time, as the mist had lifted. 

We did the town trail more or less, following a leaflet found in the cottage, and ended up with a coffee in the Wee Picture House as the rain came down heavier. A little essential shopping completed the excursion.

Saturday 12 May - Mull of Kintyre 

This was one of those beautiful days that western Scotland enchants us with. . We set off at 10 to drive to the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse car park. The last seven miles or so are a single track road, and the road down to the lighthouse is private. You have to walk.
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The car park is at about 1000 ft and the lighthouse is almost at sea level - the distance is a mile and a bit. 
A first view of the lighthouse from the road

We went up to look at the Chinook crash memorial from 1994. 

Then down to the lighthouse, where we had coffee from our flask, and sketched a bit. There were great views across to the coast of Northern Ireland, about 12 miles away, and further north along the coast of Kintyre.

Some people had obviously got permission to come down the easy way, in a land rover.

It turned out that they were filming for the BBC, about "a very old man who walks"...

No lift up to the car park for us though. Quite a climb.

and Southend
Not the one in Essex, but the southernmost point of Kintyre, south of Campbeltown, We had some lunch on picnic table overlooking the beach.
Afterwards we parked at Keil cemetery, where we saw the film crew again.
Along the rocky shore seals were basking and oystercatchers whistling.
Beyond this are caves with evidence of occupation going back to 2500 BC, and also St Columba's Well and footprints.

 He is supposed to have landed here in 563 AD. 
Further on is another beautiful almost deserted beach. 
We stopped in Campbeltown for an excellent Indian meal at the Taj Mahal, before driving back to Carradale.
To round off this rather lovely day we walked round Carradale harbour and up the back way in the evening light.