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, August 28, 2018

Cycling the Tissington Trail

Bank Holiday Monday, August 27th 2018, with Harry, Dan, Isaac and Rose.

We started from Mapleton Lane Car Park, had a quick coffee and teacake, using a brief rain shower as our excuse, then did the short section through the tunnel, before heading north.

A lovely ride along a disused railway track from Ashbourne as far as Hartington signal box, for three of us, while Harry and Isaac did the extra four miles there and back to Parsley Hay.

The trail climbs gently,  a total of around 700 feet in all, over its 12 ish mile length. Not too hard, but we had to keep pedalling on the way out.
We had plenty of short breaks along the way, and considering the fact it was bank holiday, the route didn't feel overcrowded - though I'm not sure the occasional horse rider would agree.

By contrast the return was easy, and the wind was behind us most of the way too.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cycling - Lyndhurst, Emery Down, Brockenhurst, Bolderwood circular - and in reverse another day.

About 18 miles each time.
Friday 17 August, and Monday 20 August. With Harry. About 500 feet of climbing, and some rough going on forest gravel tracks. Warm.

Setting off from the Boltons Bench car park, we walked through Lyndhurst with its busy one-way system - if ever a place needed a by pass, this is it!
We took the A337 for a few hundred yards before turning left for Pikes Hill, and continuing to Emery Down. A very narrow road with far too much traffic - I know, it is the height of the tourist season!
We then encountered a very large group of cyclists from Germany, doing a guided cycle tour. Too many in one group for my taste, but whatever floats your boat.

From Emery Down we turned left just after the pub, cycling past Millyford Bridge and the Portuguese Fireplace  climbing steadily towards the Bolderwood parking area, where we paused briefly before heading down Bolderwood Arboretum Ornamental Drive, which wasn't too busy and then across the A35 and down Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. This was pretty busy, and at one point we were overtaken by at least 20 motorbikes in a herd! 

We reached Brockenhurst, cycled through the ford and headed for the Buttery cafe for coffee and teacake. No longer full of badger and bear toys - now we have a cock and hen!

After that it was over to Balmerlawn, and following the forest tracks to Lyndhurst.

On Monday we followed the route in reverse. 
Lots of donkey and pony foals in the Forest.

A good stretch of the legs.

Friday, August 17, 2018

New Forest bicycle meander

On forest tracks near Brockenhurst.  Monday 13 August. About 11 miles.
We parked at Brockenhurst and had coffee and teacakes before setting off.
Some of the tracks have fresh gravel which makes for a bumpy ride, but it's away from the constant traffic, and very pleasant.

We met a family from Germany, whose two children were fascinated by the ants.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Wed 08 August Islip to Aldwincle

Wed 08 August.  With Marta. Just under 5 miles. It's Monday's route in reverse, more or less. We started from Islip, and walked the Ridge Road first, past the holiday cottages and on into Aldwincle coming out near Pear Tree Farm, then picking up the Nene Way ad following it through Titchmarsh Nature Reserve. Lots of herons in evidence today. We picked a few blackberries as well.

 An unripe walnut.
Changing skies.

More Himalayan Balsam

Swans on the lake
 We didn't cross the footbridge this time, but stayed on the west side of the river, walking through a shady section of woodland, and over a large field with cows, following the Nene Way.

 At Islip Mill we crossed Mill Lane and followed signs fro the Nene Way through a couple of fields and the pub garden and back to the High Street.
We picked up a sandwich at the Cafe at 34 in Thrapston.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Mon 06 Aug: Aldwincle to Islip circular

Monday 06 August. With Maureen, Marion, Norma and Eddie.
The same walk as last Thursday but with a different starting point, with no diversions. Hot again. Just under 5 miles today!  I set a new fashion standard by using a light brolly as a parasol - it worked better than a sun hat!

John Dryden's grandfather was rector of All Saints church here, and the poet was born in the rectory in August 1631.

From Aldwincle we took the footpath marked to Islip, from near Pear Tree Farm. 

  This leads through a field, goes to the left of a house, then crosses another field to a gate in the corner on to the minor road. At the bend in the road a farm track leads to holiday cottages and a view of the fishing  lake.
 After the cottages the footpath continues southwest and we reached a parking area for anglers. Our route lies along the road through a wooded section, then it comes on to Ridge Road, which becomes Mill Road and takes us to Islip, where we follow Mill Lane down past the mill and over the footbridge.

 We paused for a few minutes in a shady spot near the Nene, watching the canoes and a narrowboat coming through the lock.

 We took the same route as last time following the Nene Way through Titchmarsh Nature reserve. 

The cattle on the opposite side of the Nene were obvjously seeking relief from the heat!
We stopped for a scone break at a shady picnic table close to Aldwincle, before continuing to the village, then on to Wadenhoe Old Barn for lunch.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Thursday 02 August: Islip to Aldwincle circular via fishing lake and nature reserve.

Thursday 02 August. With Maureen. About 6 miles. Hot again.

In Islip walk down Mill Lane as far as the mill, then cross the footbridge.

Turn left and follow the path with the river on your left.
When a path branches off to the right, keep left and cross another footbridge.  The path (part of the Nene Way) continues between two lakes, and eventually along a wooden walkway to the gate below. Dry as anything today, but I have seen it more than muddy.
You reach a place where a track goes off to the left. Lots of dog walkers around here. The track leads past a car parking area and on to the road into Aldwincle. 
We turned right and followed the roadto the junction, turned left, and walked through the village to the local shop, where I  bought a disposable cup since I had forgotten the one I use with my flask!
We had a short break, the retraced our steps through the village, almost as far as Pear Tree Farm. We took the footpath to our right which leads through a couple of fields to the minor road and then a farm track leading to holiday cottages and a view of the fishing  lake.
After the cottages the footpath continues southwest and we reached a parking area for anglers. Our route lies along the road through a wooded section, then it comes on to Ridge Road, which becomes Mill Road and takes us back to Islip.
Himalayan balsam

Wednesday 01 August. Lyveden Way from Wadenhoe

With Marta. 7.3 miles.  We set off at about 10.30.

The same route as July 09.

The River Nene at Wadenhoe
 By the time we reached Lyveden New Bield it was after midday, so we had lunch there.
Wisteria pods at Lyveden New Bield cafe

The river again

We missed the path around mile 3, so continued around the edge of the wood.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Mon 30 July Fineshade to Blatherwycke via Kings Cliffe.

Exactly the same walk as last Monday, but this time with Maureen, Norma, Marion and Eddie. Around 6.5 miles.

One of the 17 stiles

Willow Brook

black swan

The final leg to Fineshade