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, November 12, 2018

Gretton, Harringworth Lodge, Bulwick fig of 8

Monday 12 November 2018. With Eddie, just under 10 miles. A glorious autumn morning, underfoot pretty good, but some muddy patches. 

From Gretton village hall we turned along Kirby Riad towards Harringworth, and took the Jurassic Way past the cow barn, and over the fields as far as Harringworth Lodge. At the end of the lake, we turned right just after a hedge, where another path continues round the lake.   We crossed two fields then the minor road between Deene and Spanhoe.  The path continues in a straight line across four fields towards a small wood, called Bantrup Bushes. At that point we turned right and shortly after the end of the wood, left, following the hedge until we turn right and join a surfaced track. This leads to Red Lodge Road and we turned left to cross the A43 by a bridge.

 We went into Bulwick and had a coffee at the village shop - The Pickled Village. 
A quick look at the map and we decided to try a slightly different route to return. This went along the Red Lodge Road until the road turns o the left and a bridleway goes off to the right. There are not many waymarks, but the route is clear with a map - over a loughed field, then alongside a hedge, and across another field, aiming for the corner. A short section after this took us to the Spanhoe-Deene Road again. We turned right and rejoined our earlier route a little further along, where the path turns left across fields and back to Harringworth Lodge Lake.

We walked past the house and buildings, turning left from the main drive to take the footpath behind the tennis court. Then over the stile, and turn right. When we meet a crossing of the ways we turn left to start heading back towards Gretton. We stuck pretty well to the route, although we detoured round the first ploughed field.

After three more fields where the stiles are marked, we rejoined the Jurassic Way and returned to Gretton.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Foxton Locks to East Langton.

With Maureen and Eddie. About 8.5 miles. Flat, some mud. We were doing a check on part of the Leicestershire Round route.

We set off from the Foxton Locks Top car park, walked along the road as far  as the canal. we turned left and kept the canal on our right, passing the viewpoint over the inclined plane, and then the small museum, before crossing over to the other side as we approached the bottom end of the flight of locks.
View towards the top cottage

The inclined plane

Looking over towards the bottom of the locks

The top cottage cafe
 We kept to the canal towpath, not taking the Leicstershire Round route, partly because it is poorly marked from this direction. we left the canal just before the JG Pears factory, and crossed the B6047 to pick up the footpath which goes to the left just before the weighbridge. For once this path was easy to walk and has obviously been cleared. I have felt the need for a machete before now!

Our route heads north across a couple of fields and becomes the Leicestershire Round, which leads us under the mainline railway and over the Langton Brook via a footbridge, then across fields, past the memorial stone to a horse called Lottery (the first winner of the Grand National - see link and this one. ) There's a picture by John Frederick Herring Senior in the Woolavington Collection of Sporting Paintings at Cottesbrooke Hall as well.
Eddie has just paid brief homage to Lottery.
The path here is clear, well marked, with a few stiles and gates. Before long we arrived at the bench at the bottom of the hill into East Langton, and stopped for a break.

We returned along the Leicestershire Round path, following the route in reverse - past Lottery's stone, over the footbridge, and underneath the railway. After another two fields and a strip of woodland, there are two more fields. The factory can be seen ahead. We crossed the A6 and went up the steps on the other side. After another field we turned right following the sign, towards the B6047.  This time our way was clear, apart from some dropped litter. I have seen it overgrown and virtually impassable in the past. We came out at the road, and turned right for a short distance to use the central island to cross the road.

The footpath sign leads us down a concrete slope and to the corner of a field. The path should take us about 50 yards to the left of the small brick building. I didn't spot the path today, so we ended up doing the two sides of a traingle instead of the hypotenuse, but we picked the path up at a footbridge . We followed the waymarkers, although there is one point where we were unsure, but eventually we came out at a gate and stile to a path between houses and outbuildings. This leads to Swingbridge Street, in Foxton.  Turn L and soon R to take footpath between houses to Middle Street. Turn L, then R on path between hedges to Main St, opposite Shoulder of Mutton pub. Turn L and walk up to Canal, turn and follow Canal to Foxton Locks. Signage a little hit and miss through the village.

Maureen and I stopped for a tuna sandwich at Bridge 61.

A quieter scene than in summer.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Gretton, Rockingham, Caldecott, and Gretton

ŃWith Eddie, on a misty drizzly morning, with limited views. But we didn't get wet, and the couple of ploughed fields weren't too sticky. All the same it was the first time in a while that I had to clean my boots!

We walked along the road to the recreation ground and followed the path to the end of Huntsfield Drive, then continued through the ginnel, jitty, alley way and picked up the path alongside the hedge. When we reached the track at the end we turned right. This took us to Corby Road. We turned right to walk a short distance along the road verge, before taking the track on the left hand side. 
When we reached a gate and some woodland we turned right, with a hedge on our left and followed the path. The scenery here is almost like a mini-Derbyshire, with the view of the Welland valley opening out ahead of us.
We walked on a mini escarpment and then downhill to cross the railway line. The path continues in this direction. Look out for a gate over on the right as you come through a hedge. At this crossing of paths, we turned left   in the direction of Rockingham, along the route of the Jurassic Way. There are one or two places where the path is not clear. 
The markers are there, but it is easy to find yourself on the wrong side of the hedge. 
eventually the path emerges at Rockingham.
A flock of goats near Rockingham
We turn right at the road (Rockingham hill) and make our way down to the tea-shop, just after the pub, for a welcome coffee and snack, at about 4 miles into the walk.

We decide to go for the longer walk via Caldecott, rather than simply return to Gretton. The weather is still a bit damp. 
We continue along the Jurassic Way, which goes over a field and crosses the Rockingham_ Cottingham Road, heading on northwest towards the Welland. The Jurassic Way path continues as far as the road from Great Easton to Caldecott. At the road, it turns left, but we went right away from the village nad towards Caldecott. There's a bit of road walking here, where we had to keep hopping up on to the grass verge.
At the A6003 we turn left and walk into Caldecott, turning right when the road bends round to the left. A couple of hundred yards past the houses our footpath is signed, and we head northeast, eventually arriving at the river, after a few fields. 
the path brings us out on Mill Road, where we turned right and followed the road back to Gretton.

Empingham, Normanton, Rutland Water circular

A very fine crisp morning.  Around 7.5 miles. With Harry, Eddie and Kate.

We parked in Empingham and walked down Crocket Lane beside the church, and through the village, past the green with the large willow trees, and over a stile at the end of Willoughby Drive. We crossed a field, and a footbridge over the stream.
We turned right on to Mill Lane. The path is marked as the Hereward Way. After the first house the path turns right diagonally across a field, over a footbridge and then uphill along the edge of two large fields before reaching the A606. 
 We crossed this and continued along the path, still following field edges until we reached Ketton Road, where we turned sharply right and walked along the quiet road to the next junction. 
Here we turned left along Empingham Road past Normanton Cottages, which look as though they could once have been almshouses. There are lovely views of Rutland Water from this road.

The road leads to Whare Koa (Happy Home in Maori) and Normanton Lodge farm, but our path continues south through fields with a wall on our right.
a fine specimen of fungus was growing on a log behind the gate.

At the next road we join the Rutland Round route and follow it to the Normanton car park on Rutland Water. The cafe was open, so it was time for coffee. 
From here we followed the reservoir track towards the dam,and over it.  
Lots of people out taking advantage of the weather today.
Once across the dam, we took the footpath to the right (still Rutland Round) down the fields and through the wood back to Empingham. 
Harry's photograph of the glorious sky.

Lunch at Wellies coffee shop rounded off the walk.

Pitsford Water, anticlockwise from cafe.

Almost 7 miles. With Marta.  Cloudy, but we missed any rain.
Lunched at the cafe.
On the way round, we saw the usual water fowl, including tufted ducks and great crested grebe. No lapwings today.