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, February 28, 2019

Wing, Pilton, South Luffenham, Morcott, Glaston and back to Wing

Thursday 28 February 2019. With Maureen and Eddie.  Seven and a half miles.

We set off from the maze in Wing, taking the footpath just to the right of the bridle way, and taking the four stiles in our stride.  
The path crosses the road between Wing and Lyndon and continues across a fairly recently ploughed field - nice and dry today - before joining the Road into Pilton on the outskirts of this small village.
Two-L llamas...
We walked through he village past St Nicholas church surrounded by its cedars.

Three sketches done in August 2016:

After the church we turned right and at the crossroads ahead we turned left and walked until a bridleway left the road on the right hand side, as the road bent left. The bridleway continued in a roughly easterly direction, crossed anothe minor road and brought us to South Luffenham, just before a bridge over the route of a dismantled railway. We detoured briefly for a look.

The dismantled railway track

We went back to where our path turned sharply to the right, heading southwest towards Morcott, through fields with some already sizeable lambs.
The path turned left ( south) and took us over a stream and into the village.
Best friends forever...

An eccentric garden - there were also chickens with feathery legs.
The church provided us with organ music and a couple of benches for a break.
Church of St Mary the Virgin -a Grade 1 Listed architectural gem featuring probably the finest original Norman arches in Rutland, according to its website.
From here we continued, turning right along the road after the church, and taking a footpath to our left. This led olong field edges up towards the A 47, going over the Glaston Tunnel. We walked briefly alongside the A47, and took the first road to the right, then went along Church Lane, and walked through the churchyard.

On the other side of this we turned right and followed the road down into the valley and back up to Wing via the Maze and a short pause for a swing at the children's playground!

Maureen and I had lunch at Wellies - beetroot and horseradish soup.

Cycling round Rutland Water

Wednesday 27 February 2019.
A fifteen mile trip with Harry,  around the outer edge of the reservoir, with a bit of road cycling at the end. 
Wonderful views of the lake, swans and ducks in evidence and plenty of sheep, including some black Hebridean ones. 

We paused to look inside the little church at Egleton, where the snowdrops are almost over, being replaced by daffodils. Cyclamen inside caught the light streaming through the coloured glass windows.

A royal coat of arms - possibly of George III

One of the old pew ends saved when the pews were renewed.
I took the road back from Manton, while Harry took the longer lakeside route.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Wing, Rutland Water, Edith Weston, Lyndon

Monday 25 February 2019, with Kate, Maureen, Norma and Eddie. About 8.5 miles.
Unseasonably warm weather, in spite of an early shimmer of frost. 

We set out from Wing, near the maze. We walked down to the road junction and opposite us, slightly to the right was a bridleway which we followed downhill and over the railway line, then uphill until we reached the main road. We crossed over and took the small road downhill towards Lyndon Visitor Centre, where a lot of scrub-clearing work was being done. The views from the road were beautiful.

At the bottom of the hill we turn right along the track round the reservoir. We follow this for two and a helf miles or so, through woodland and open paths, as far as Normanton car park. We were hoping the café would be open, but it wasn't.  Toilets are always welcome though!  We made use of the tables for a break in the sun and Maureen's scones.  We'd walked at a fairly brisk pace of around 3 miles per hour and felt we'd earned a few minutes rest.

From the car park we went out to the main road, and walked past the village shop. For future reference, it's not far away, and does serve coffee.
There were a couple of miles of road walking, but the main road has a good wide pavement, and after less than amile we turned right, along the road to Lyndon. This is a pretty quiet road, with space at the side. Almost another mile, and a right turn took us into the village of Lyndon.

Past a field with horses and chickens and on to another bench!

We turned left at the bench and after a short distance took a footpath to our right,behind some large houses, one with a haha. You can glimpse the church tucked away behind the hall. 
The path turned left, and gradually worked its way south west to join the bridleway we walked earlier. 

 After the railway line it's a longish drag uphill - it certainly feels that way after eight miles!

Looking back towards Lyndon

Today's lunch was at the Orchard café at Welland Vale Garden Centre.

The route.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lyddington - Seaton - Bisbrooke - Uppingham - Lyddington

Thursday 14 February., a very fine day, with a film of fraost on the path to begin with, then beautiful sunshine.   With Eddie. Just over seven miles. We followed exactly the same route as on Monday 11 February as far as Uppingham. Same coffee stop at Javawocky.

Lyddington church from the path by the medieval fishponds

Approaching Bisbrooke church from the field path

A strange metal cow on wheels as we leave Bisbrooke.
We were pleased to note that the route was considerably less muddy than on Monday, and our route into Uppingham quite pleasant in the warm sun.

Approximately five miles done - not that our mileage apps ever agree! The coffee shop beckons.

We decide it's worth trying the footpath route today, and it turns out to be easier and less muddy than we'd thought. We started by going through the Uppingham churchyard with its flights of steps, then left and across the road to turn right, just past a new housing development.  Then it was uphill and through a short woodland section. 
A left turn and very soon a right turn brought us to the smallholding. The animals were enjoying the sun as we passed by.
Pigs seem to love sunbathing in winter

One of the wooliest pigs I've met.
The path dropped quite steeply, then climbed again to emerge at Uppingham Community College playing field. It goes straight across, between tennis courts and football pitches, then over two or three fields and downhill to the road between Lyddington and the A6003.

This section has three or four stiles. Many stiles have now been replaced by gates, but not these. The views of Lyddington and the rolling countryside were excellent today, if a little misty.
You can see Lyddington church just right of centre here.

 We crossed the road at the bottom of the slope and took the path opposite. This goes behind the village, running parallel to the road. There was a very wet patch in the first field, but our boots held out and kept us dry.

Some rather attractive looking sheep
When we met our outward route we continued along the track and into the village.
The route

The elevation profile looks impressive, if you don't read the numbers!!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Lyddington - Seaton - Bisbrooke - Uppingham - Seaton

Monday 11 Feb 2019.  With Maureen, Norma, Marion and Kate. Seven miles.
The first 5 miles to Uppingham followed our standard route, as on this walk just over a year ago.  Conditions today were not so crisp, and an early clear sky gave way to some cloud, before it cleared again.

From Lyddington village green, on the opposite side of the road from the White Hart, we head north past the ancient fishponds of Lyddington Bede House.

We turn left through a gate, and another one. Then we turn right and uphill to open fields. The path is clear and well-marked, under a line of pylons, and soon turns left slightly and over a stream to Seaton Grange. From here a road climbs up into the village. This has been about 2 miles of walking.

At the top of the road we  turn right and walk until we find the footpath sign and steep steps up to our left.  A dog walker warns  of slippery mud ahead.

The signs are very good, and we ignore a path to our left which leads to the Seaton Road.

Our path goes straight ahead, north as far as the dismantled railway, then turns slightly left to the northwest.   We can see Bisbrooke church with its tower away to our left before we go downhill then across a new footbridge. A lot of the stiles have been replaced by gates. That makes life easier!  
One muddy section conquered!

I wish she'd stop taking these photos!

The path goes between hedges, which have been savagely cut back,  and brings us out close to Bisbrooke church.

We cross the Glaston Road, ignoring Baulk Road, turn left then right onto  a track (labelled Inmans Road at the start). This track heads directly west into Uppingham. Some of this section was unpleasantly muddy, where a tractor had churned the soil up.  It comes out on another Glaston Road and takes us into the town centre, past the cricket ground. 

We have a luxurious cup of coffee at the Javawocky cafe, then decide to walk the final two miles beside the road, since the pavements are good and we know there's a mudbath on the other route.
Snowdrops in the cemetery
So along the A 6003 towards Corby, turning off at Uppingham Community College to walk downhill into Lyddington.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Gretton, Rockingham, Great Easton, Caldecott, Gretton

Thursday 31 January 2019.  9.5 miles with Harry and Eddie on a very cold frosty morning, with mist in the valley, then glorious sun. We  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.  Today the fields were white and frozen, with a smattering of overnight snow.

 As we reached the highest point, the valley was hidden in mist - magical.

A floating pylon

We walked along the 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.  And we still haven't worked every step out...
Onward to Rockingham
We turnright down Rockingham hill, and cross the road. We make our way to the tea-shop just after the Sondes Arms for a welcome coffee and snack, at about 4 miles into the walk. We've warmed up and don't need to sit too close to the fire!
We continue along the Jurassic Way, which goes over a field and crosses the Rockingham_ Cottingham Road, heading on northwest towards the Welland.  The mist has lifted by now.

 There is ice by the river
...and some fine reflections.

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.  

We take the path just after the river, and head uphill toward the railway line. Once that is crossed it's another uphill drag to Church Gap.

But waht a beautiful day for a walk.