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, June 20, 2019

Rockingham to Gretton and back

Thursday 20 June 2019. With Maureen, six and a half miles, following the Jurassic Way.  As  a long distance footpath, it could do with some attention in places!  Fine weather, and mostly dry underfoot, though the streams were running.

An unobtrusive waymarker

Ah, that's better!

From one of several footbridges

Lydia's for a halfway break - a group of cyclists from Peterborough arrived
Our route mostly there and back.

Rape plants blown over during recent bad weather made this path very hard work.

The view at the end is worth the effort.

Lunch at the Barn tearoom in Rockingham.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Braybrooke and Arthingworth

Monday 17 June 2019, with Maureen. The first dry day for a week... A little over 7 miles.

I took the route from the June issue of the magazine Market Harborough Living pages 37 and page 36.

For a walk that is advertised in this magazine, we found a few problems in the second half. But more of that later.

The rain and warmth of the last ten days or so have made crops and everything else grow rapidly.

We set off along Newland Street beside the church. this road joins a road with a dead end sign,  and soon becomes un-surfaced. We walked for a short distance, then turned left across a footbridge, before heading diagonally upwards across fields. The path here was well indicated and had been made good. 
 We were happy to cooperate with the local farmer, as the path was clear. The recent rain and wind has blown some of the rape plants across it, but it was still doable without too much trouble.
Looking back to Braybrooke.

The path meets a bridleway, where we turned left and walked as far as the road. On the other side of the road, slightly to the right of the track is the 146 metres trig point.

The footpath continued clear through the next field, and at the boundary we had to turn left and head for the hedge at the bottom pf the field. 

We turned right, keeping a hedge on our left. There is a gap through the hedge - we missed it at first, but it wasn't far back. So, with the hedge now on the right we continued towards Arthingworth. A small hiccup when we had to force our way through some new growth on the corner of a field. Basically we needed to keep near the hedge and follow a straight line.  There is a footbridge, slightly hidden at this time of year. Once we'd negotiated that it was easy to find the way into Arthingworth. We had a short break at a bench on the green  a little while before the main road near the church.

At the church we turned left and walked for about 200 metres. There are two bridleway signs. We took the left hand one, and followed it with little trouble as far as the next road, close to Newbottle Bridge.

Here we turned left and walked uphill to the crossroads. Just opposite there is a stile in the hedge, then wire which we climbed under, since the fastening was extra tight. All this time we were watched with interest by the resident horse.

The footpath took us through several fields, some with cows grazing. In one of these fields we saw a hare, running around for quite a while.  Eventually we reached a track, where there was a small building, and some caravans and beehives. Here the path is not clearly marked, but we entered a field, as per instructions,  through a fixed gate with wooden slats - it looked rather like a horse jump. 

We walked through the scrubby copse, found the brown gate to go through and walked close to the right hand hedge, with the pylons over to our left. At the corner of a copse we turned to the right and began to go northward.  There were a few problems here - broken stiles, barbed wire, and very muddy cow-trampled gateways. 
Tortoiseshell caterpillar?

I'm not sure we spotted the site of the castle this time, but we did cross the mighty river Jordan.

I offered to baptise Maureen, but she declined.
 I think the cow trodden gateways had already done the job for both of us.
We returned to the car, and headed to East Carlton Park for lunch.

Monday, June 10, 2019

By bike to Fineshade from Gretton. Cuckoo!

With Harry. Sunday 09 June 2019. 
This has become a familiar local route - from Gretton via Harringworth and Wakerley, pause for a drink, and return via Kings Cliffe, Blatherwycke, Bulwick and Deene. Good weather, not too hot, not windy. A pleasant hiatus day between two spells of rain.
Black swans at Blatherwycke, along with a heron and a family of geese. Just outside the village there are llamas in a field.

We heard a cuckoo, for the second time this year.
Roughly 18 miles.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Tilton circular via Maresfield viaduct, and Lowesby

Thursday 06 June. With Harry, Maureen and Eddie. Just over seven and a half miles. Fine weather, dry underfoot, but some crop-dodging still needed close to Lowenva Lodge.
Basically the same route as on Monday, with a couple of wrinkles ironed out, and we didn't walk an extra half mile just before the end this time! 

Downhill to start with towards Red Lodge Farm, with great views ahead. 
 A bridge crosses the dismantled railway - well below. We didn't scramble down.
 The viaduct - and we did scramble up...quite tricky.
Photo by Harry Hamill
Photo by Harry Hamill

 Time for a spot of golf.

 The short stretch of road looks a bit ravilious.
 Pheasant on a mission at Lowesby
 Ready for the off again?
Old signal box -photo by Eddie McGeown

 Novel nest box at the old station.

Donkey at Buttercups Tea Room, oh , and Harry.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Tilton via Maresfield viaduct and Lowesby and back to Tilton

Monday 03 June 2019.  A walk from Tilton with Norma. Sun, showers in the sky. 8.6 miles It would have been around 8, but we had to dodge a few crops, and went wrong just before the end. 500 feet of ups and downs.
We set off around 9.30. From Tilton we took the Maresfield Road and forked right to follow road past Red Lodge Farm. It turns into a track and heads northeast to a T junction with Hyde Lodge Road. We took the road ahead for a very short distance, and at a right hand bend, we continued along a track straight on. When a bridleway crossed our route we turned left past Owston Lodge Farm and White House Farm. At White House Farm we turned left and after a few yards took the path to the left of the Farm fence. This led over fields - the path has not yet been made good, although there are waymarks, if you can spot them.

The first field was ok, we skirted round the edge of the second one, and in the third one followed tractor tracks in roughly the correct direction!  This brought us out at waymarks and the path going under the left hand arch of the viaduct.

Almost four miles walked, and after the last fields we thought we'd earned a break. And behold, a convenient golf club...

Afterwards we followed the path with the field boundary on our right, to come out on the Twyford Road. We passed a calf wearing the skin of another one - I didn't realise this was done with calves as well as lambs.

At the road we turned right, and in 200 yards or so took a footpath to the left. This leads close to a farm called Lowenva Lodge. We should have turned left again at the first field boundary, but instead followed a path straight ahead. There are some more fields of crops and we ended up having to make our way back to put ourselves on the correct bridleway route again. It's a good job we have suitable phone apps to help these days! Without too much trouble we made our way to the Melton Road, crossed over and in 200 yards or so  took Lowesby Lane to our left. When we reached Lowesby we had another short pause on a welcome bench near the large village green, with phone box and old pump. 

A little further on we turned right along the footpath towards Tilton. This section covers the same ground as the walk I did last Monday, through a couple of fields, and along a grassy track enclosed by hedges, before descending to the old railway station (Springfield Farm).
The old signal box

The old Lowesby station

an encounter with some noisy guinea fowl?
We walked along the farm track uphill past Springfield Hill. For most of the way we kept on track, but shortly before Tilton we missed a turn and headed off too far to our right.
We had to retrace our steps and pick up the correct route. It may have added almost half a mile to the walk. Not what you want at the end!
Still, we eventually came out on Digby Close and made our way back to the car, before heading to Buttercups Tea Room for a welcome lunch.