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!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Totton to Eling and back

 Tuesday 17th August, with Harry.  Almost 4 miles, a gentle stroll.

Boats at low tide

No route map, we headed for the main road, diverted through Hounsdown, and crossed the big recreation ground. Outside the Anchor Inn we paused to contemplate the world.
The Tide Mill and Cafe were closed, so we picked up sandwiches in Rumbridge Street co-op, and coffee from Coffee Oasis.
We found a bench and ate before returning via the scenic route, along Rum walk and the leafy outskirts of Totton.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Corby Kingswood to Wilbarston, return via East Carlton and Middleton.

 Thursday 12th August 2021 with Harry and Maureen - a whisker over ten miles and 230 feet of climbing on a fine sunny morning.

We crossed the A6003 close to the path near Brunswick gardens on Viking Way, and followed the path - over a stile and through fields, alongside Swinawe Wood. On occasions the path is a little indistinct and overgrown at this time of year. It emerges on the road between Pipewell and Wilbarston, where we turned right and followed the road going left at the junction to Wilbarston. The view begins to open out as the road descends to the A427.

It’s not bad crossing here, as there is a small island in the centre of the road. 

In Wilbarston we called at the Milking Parlour Café for coffee and scones, and a wee rest. Then we walked up to the village hall and took the path along the ridge towards East Carlton.  Along the way we saw lots of butterflies, including one painted lady, and noticed the haws are ripening too.

the haws are turning red

Flax/ linseed

Probably the best bit of the walk with good views over the Welland valley to the north west. 

We walked along the fenced footpath below East Carlton Park, turning right in Middleton, then left up School Hill, and soon right just before a gate. Through a field and across the old road to Harborough.  

The next section has grown luscious and vicious nettles and brambles since I was last here in June, and was quite tough walking. 

Over the A427 again, and along the bridleway. Just after it bends to the right there is a left turn. After this it was a little tricky to negotiate the next bit as the path on the ground doesn’t quite correspond to the path on the map.

The path comes out opposite Danesholme Road - another crossing of the A6003…through Kingswood Nature Reserve

and then back to the start.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

a walk out and back from Bulwick


Tuesday 10th August 2021.  With Marta, 6.5 miles.

I met Marta at Bulwick church at 9.30.
We walked the beginning of a walk towards Apethorpe and Kings Cliffe- mostly ok, but we did go slightly wrong after the shooting hut. 


I was already getting bored with walking the long paths through fields of corn, and after going wrong we decided to turn back.
When the seagulls follow the tractor…

A bonus was the sight of a hare , possibly old and a little ragged looking which approached us, as we stood silent and motionless, and surely downwind.  It arrived level with us, then suddenly saw us and took off. No photographs, as we were too busy watching. 

We continued back to Bulwick, and had a lunch at the Pickled Village cafe, on its very mediterranean feeling terrace.
6.5 miles.

Easton on the Hill,Tinwell, Stamford, Wothorpe,

 Monday August 9 th 

I walked with Harry from Easton on the Hill,

past the church, and along the footpath/ track which leads straight on not through the company car park area.  The track turns into a footpath down Easton Hillside (OS label), alongside a wood and over the mainline railway.

It joins another track and continues to the Welland, just before Tinwell - you can access Tinwell, but we turned right and followed the river,under the noisy A1 and past the remains of Stamford Spa and its healing ironwater.

We crossed the river at Broadeng Bridge and followed the well used path to the Town Meadows, where we paused for a break, before heading up to the A43. We crossed and turned right, along the lower footpath, through the newly built mansions, and some more established des reses - the path is clearly separated and easy to follow, and climbs gently. It goes alongside the A1 for a while - quite pleasant as there are lots of trees to

mitigate the unavoidable roar of traffic. Under the road, through a still muddy tunnel,we emerge into what would be idyllic if only it was quiet.

The path takes us to the west of the old Wothorpe House (now Wothorpe Towers) , then along a path enclosed between two high hedges and back to the bridleway labelled as Warren Road, then into Easton on the Hill. Just under 5.5 miles, and done before any rain fell.

Gumley, Saddington, Smeeton Westerby, Foxton Locks

 Thursday 05 August, with Eddie. 7.5 miles, 450 feet of up and downery.

Met Eddie at 9.30 at Gumley. We walked uphill through the village, past their free library phone booth with its window box,

then past St. Helens church,

keeping Gumley Wood on our right, to cross a minor road. Through this unusual stile

and on through the fields following the Leicestershire Round to the high point with a memorial seat with a fine view.

It was downhill briefly, past Saddington Reservoir,

and up the steepish slope to Saddington village. We continued on the LR past Loafabout Cottage, with its inviting seat. 
Then our route took us through a flowery ginnel, jitty or snicket.

We left the LR at this point, turning right by a farm with lots of old vehicles, claiming to do property repairs… The footpath took us through a field where the two sheep seemed like hand-reared pets.

Their reaction to humans was “Let’s see if they have something for us.”  
For a few hundred yards we walked on the Smeeton Road, crossing the canal bridge, then taking a footpath to our left, climbing gradually to a track marked as Mill Lane and into Smeeton Westerby (once two separate villages). 
We turned right down Debdale Lane, a surfaced track, which leads past Bridge 67 Farm and also promises a cafe (Carma’s Cafe - a pop-up mobile one, not open until Saturday) This track goes to the Grand Union Canal, slightly north of Debdale Wharf. 

We turned right and followed the towpath to Foxton Locks - coffee or beer and a cake.  

Then we just had to walk to our right over the bridge above the bottom lock and follow the footpath to Foxton Road, where we turned right and did a final climb back to Gumley. 

Easton on the Hill, Tinwell, Stamford, Wothorpe.

 Tuesday 03 August, about 6 miles.

First mile or so missing!

Dry and later sunny and warm. Walked with Marta from Easton-on-the-hill, near the village hall

following directions past the priest’s house,

then turning right down the tarmac covered byway towards Tinwell Crossing (of the mainline railway).

The path continues through woodland, and turns very slightly left towards the river, and a bridge leading into Tinwell, which we did not cross. Instead we turned right, and followed the course of the Welland,

under the roaring A1, past the pumping station, with its weir, then the Spa. We had a coffee stop on a concrete structure, with the sound of distant traffic.  This is a well-walked route, popular with dog walkers and families alike.   We crossed the footbridge (Broadeng Bridge) and the path took us to Stamford Town Meadows. 

From there we headed towards the A43 and the footpath leading to Wothorpe. At the top there is a bench with a great view of the town.  Turn right and then take a cut through to the left behind houses and through some woodland. When you reach the Old Great North Road turn right and then, opposite the entrance to the golf club, turn right on to a bridle way. This leads past Wothorpe Towers, previously known as Wothorpe House.

We also explored the path just past the building, which leads between two very high hedges. Then it was back to Easton in the Hill. 
Lunch Ciabata at the Blue Bell, Easton on the Hill (which is now displaying the UK flag, though they still have an Italian one by their pizza oven.)