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!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Tilton on the Hill, Lowesby, Twyford, Marefield, Tilton

With Harry just over 8 miles. Fine weather mostly, though we did shelter briefly from a couple of showers. 
 Walk taken from Heather MacDermid's book  "Foxton Locks to Rutland Water". Walk no. 7.  You also need a map.

We started from the village hall, and walked to the T-junction with the road to Melton Mowbray. Here we turned left and crossed the road a little further down to walk along Digby Close. 

The footpath starts between houses 16 and 17.  The footpath leads into a field, with great views.  We caught sight of two green woodpeckers flying between the trees.

Keep the hedge on the left and aim for the bottom corner of the field. Go through the gates and continue following the waymarkers to Springfield Hill. Ignore a bridleway going to the right and continue along the farm track downhill. At the bottom of the hill the main track swings round to the right, but the path we want is slightly to the left and goes across the dismantled railway line, passing the old station buildings.
Lowesby station,  looking less charming than when I saw it in October 2011 (see below)

We pass under power lines and with the hedge on our right head uphill. The path is easy to follow and well marked, and after half a mile or so we saw Lowesby church ahead of us.

 A patchwork of fields lay over to our left.
We paused briefly on the steps of the church, then continued to follow the path - well waymarked here to keep walkers away from private areas.
Lowesby church
The path goes to the right of Lowesby Hall, then crosses an avenue of trees and goes diagonally to the left. There is a decent view behind to the hall.
The path meets a minor road (Park Road) where we turned right and walked uphill and along to the junction with the B6047 Melton Road.

We picked up the footpath opposite the junction. It heads north alongside a triangular spinney, and to a second spinney, where there are gates enclosing a small area. We had a pause here to shelter from a shower.
it was a bit damp out there.
At this point the official path crosses the field, but we walked round the edges since it was unclear.  There is a track  on the right hand side of the hedge, and at the corner of the field we changed over to the other side. The hedge was now on our right. We went under the power lines and cut across the corner of the field along the path to the farm gate. The village of Twyford was in sight and we headed for it. We passed the play area, and the old school, and had a light lunch and coffee in St Andrew's church porch. 
Important dates on the old school? 
We then walked past the school and followed the road for a short distance, until we saw a footpath sign on the right hand side, just before the speed derestriction sign.

There was a stream on our left. We headed uphill towards some brick barn buildings, and followed the waymarks, going to the left of the barn.

From here there were two large fields where the path was not laid out and the waymarks were tricky to see. We walked round the edge of one, and through the other, keeping to the track with the help of GPS as far as possible. 

The crop was long and wet and not a lot of fun was had walking through.
The book we were following, dated 1989, warned that this part of the walk is not well cleared or waymarked, and things seem to have improved only marginally in the last thirty years!

The viaduct was visible over to our left - on this walk we didn't go under it.

After this there was a field with horses,  where we saw a hare.  From here there was no problem with waymarking or the route to follow. We came to a small road, where we turned left and very soon right along a lane to Marefield, which led us through pasture land where lots of cows were grazing, before going under the railway bridge and into Marefield.
In Marefield the footpath goes through someone's garden - there is a gate and clear markers, but it seems a little odd.  From here the path is pretty clearly marked as it crosses a stream and a disused railway line, heading towards Tilton.  We walked to the left of John's Wood and joined Marefield Lane to Tilton. We turned right and walked the short distance back to Tilton.

Stonton Wyville, Glooston, Cranoe, Welham and the Caudle

Thursday 23 May 2019.  With Maureen. Just under 7 miles.

We set off from Stonton Wyville church and followed the Leicestershire Round route over the fields to Glooston. We glimpsed a fox, orange in the sunshine, with its tradmeark white tip of the tail. From Glooston we walked the quiet road to Cranoe, going downhill past the church.  

At the crossroads we went straight on towards Welham. After half a mile or so we took the footpath on the left at Churchfield House.  We followed the waymarkers along the hedge until we arrived at Welham Road between Slawston and Welham.  We stopped for a break in an idyllic corner with plenty of cow parsley.
We turned right along the road towards Welham, and soon picked up another footpath on our left.  This soon brought us to Welham. 
From Welham we walked for a short distance along the road to Thorpe Langton, with a detour into the churchyard.
Welham Church

We walked past Bowden Lane, and followed the road as it turned to the right. A little further along it bends to the left. At this point there is a bridleway sign and a pretty clear path leads quite steeply uphill. 
It eases off and after a mile turns to the right and leads to the trig point at 147 metres (about 480 feet) height on the Caudle. Not a great height, but it gives good views all round.

Once we'd saluted the trig point we headed downhill and them along the farm track and across the road, back to Stonton Wyville.  

We had lunch in the Bewicke Arms Tea Room in Hallaton. The sandwiches were excellent value and substantial! 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Back to base - Tugby - Loddington - (Skeffington)

With Marta, on Wednesday 22 May 2019. Seven and a half miles, starting from Café Ventoux on the strict understanding that we'd have lunch there, not just use them as free parking! 

"We take our name from the famous cycling Mountain, Mont Ventoux in France, which has been featured in the Tour de France since 1951."

The walk covers much of the same ground as this one.

We set off turning right away from the A47, and after a couple of hundred metres we turned right along a track signed as a bridleway, heading east towards East Norton. We followed this at Little Gunsel. At a junction of paths we continued ahead through more woodland (Hardy's Gunsel this time), with a hedge on our right.  At the next junction we took the right hand  path, heading southeast, crossing a small stream.

There's another meeting of paths and at this point we caught sight of East Norton Hall through the trees.
We turned very sharp left, slightly west of north, taking a freshly marked (weedkilled) path over a field and down to a footbridge, marked on the OS map as a ford. We kept the hedge on our left and walked uphill to the remains of Loddington Mill (just a base as far as I could tell), then along a cart trackwhich bent round to the east toward Loddington village. In the hedge on our left is a stile and a path to Loddington church - conveninet bench here for a break.

Carved heads old and newer.

We went back to investigate the disused railway line - there's a permissive path heading south, but no clear access to head north. We met a woman radio tracking nesting pheasants for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust which has a project nearby.

We decided to follow the path by the church to the village and the road which turns left, then left again at Oxey Farm along Wood Lane. About a mile further on, at the bottom of a hill,  we turned left on to a footpath by the Eye Brook. We crossed the stream - again the map marks a ford, but there is a bridge. 
We climbed gently along a wide track towards Skeffington Lodge Farm, and couldn't resist another pause for a drink.

Time for a selfie!

Typical scenery and sky
Past the farm and a couple of houses we turned left along the Midshires Way - the path is now clearly marked and easy to follow. We arrived close the the A47, and turned left at a right angle, and followed the path to Wood Lane, where we turned right and returned to the cafe - for lunch as we had promised. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Portpatrick to Killantringan Lighthouse - a shipwreck and some orchids?

Our last day in Portpatrick was as beautiful as the rest. We decided to walk along the cliff path north of the village, following the Southern Upland Way to the lighthouse, and back again.  Just over 5 miles with about 500 feet of ascent and descent.
The long distance path starts from the northern end of the harbour, and goes up steps to the Portpatrick Hotel, then an old BT building and the golf course.
Looking down on the end of the old railway line.

Be careful about that 'evasive action'!

Port Kale and Port Mora where Dunskey Glen meets the sea

The Coastal Interpretation Centre - though no one was interpreting today.
There are a couple of sections with steps and handrails

Tormentil and spring squill

To the Lighthouse - privately owned, so no coffee here!

"The lighthouse was built in 1900, although the dangerous crosscurrents have still caused some shipwrecks including that of the Craigantlet, a container ship which ran aground in 1982 - the remains can still be seen in the bay below."
Looking away from the sea, this could almost have been Derbyshire.
An orchid...?

...and another one?
Down the steps

A cove

and a cave
Looking down into Portpatrick

The route

And it wasn't flat.