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. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Marston Trussell and Sibbertoft circular + Lubenham village


Fri, 2014 Oct 24 9:36 AM BST
With Marta. Dry, damp underfoot in places, but some ploughed fields sticky. About 7 miles.
From the church, where the porch roof is being repaired, we walk towards the Sun Inn (also being repaired or renovated, and then past Marston Trussell Hall on the road towards Theddingworth.


Roses outside Marston Trussell Hall
We turn left opposite Hothorpe Hall, and walk along the road as far the bend. We take the bridleway to the right, and follow it as it climbs steeply between Barn Hill Spinney and Coombe Spinney. Great views back are a good excuse for a breather.
View towards Theddingworth from Hothorpe Hills
At the top the bridleway goes through a gate and takes a path alongside fields to the Roserie just north of Sibbertoft. 
Outside a house in Sibbertoft


We join the road, but not for long. There's a Jurassic Way signpost, and a path between hedges and houses.
There is always a hopeful horse
We take it  then cross a couple of fields to reach St Helen's Church.  People are around, so we look inside briefly - I'm intrigued by the bird carvings on one of the pillars. But it's time for a break - we've come around 4 miles.
Sibbertoft church

Bird carvings inside the church
At the church lychgate we turn left and walk along the road for a couple of hundred yards, then find our path on the right hand side in a gap in the hedge. It's still the Jurassic Way.
fungi in the church yard


The waymarking is good, and takes us to the opposite corner of the first field, then along the field boundary of the next. We cut corners of the next two fields and then come to a waymarker pointing directly across a recently planted field. We can see the route, but decide to walk around two edges before rejoining the Jurassic Way on a recently surfaced track (an improvement on the previous mud-bath), which goes steeply downhill, through woodland (Mount Pleasant and the Lawns).
Autumn colours 
At the bottom of the roadway, we can see the way marks and path. It climbs uphill then flattens out and comes out on the road at Dick's Hill.
We cross over and take the footpath at the bottom of the field, keeping the hedge on our left. After some time we reach Rectory Farm, and carry on past this until we reach a minor road From East Farndon to Marston Trussell. 
Other colours near Rectory Farm
 We turn left, and soon afterwards right. Our path should lead across the field to the opposite corner, but once again we take the way of least resistance, and follow the field edges. Marston Trussell church is clearly in view now.
We come to a footbridge, then cross the field where fleeing royalist cavalry were slaughtered after the Battle of Naseby. This brings us to the church. We walk through the churchyard, and back to the car.

We have a good lunch at the Coach and Horses in Lubenham, see an old graffiti-carved table top from a former pub down the road on display in the bar and some black and white photographs, including one of the Tower House. The barman is very happy to tell us the story behind them, and as a result we have a mini walk round the village after lunch before going home.
There's more to these villages than meets the eye on a drive along the main road.
Tower House, Lubenham
The Tower house was originally a farmhouse,  called the Cottage. It was enlarged in 1865 as a hunting box for Benedict John "Cherry" Angell, a horse racing enthusiast who celebrated his major wins by adding to the house. The tall tower was built to commemorate his horse Alcibade winning the 1865 Grand National. From there he could watch the races.

An old cottage, Lubenham

A quilt inside Lubenham Church


How tall is the tree?
All Saints Church. Lubenham - it is believed there was once a spire, which blew down in the Great Storm of 1703.

Map and details

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pitsford Water circuit - clockwise from causeway

With Gordon. Almost 7 miles. Cold wind, but dry and fine.

Just took a few snaps as we walked round. 

Great crested grebe


Waterlily bud

A flotilla of Canada geese

Boss goose?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gretton-Harringworth-Seaton-Lyddington-Gretton

For details of the walk route see previous post

a muddy farm track
and scent of the cow shed
begin our day
damp fields
a wind-kissed lake
gold-framed by trees



there’s a fine house
with shiny weather fox
and tennis court
under the striding viaduct
we meander to the bridge

across the Welland

Seaton’s hill-top spire
rising beyond the valley

up from Harringworth 
Aha! at last
the sheltered bus stop
time for a snack
 Lyddington’s our goal
below huge brown fields
and wide horizons
behind the Bede House
past ancient fishponds
and curious cows
the village green
gingerbread ironstone houses
then switchback Thorpe Road
the footbridge
has one hand rail
the Welland is full
but home is in sight
our pace quickens
walk finished, job done.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Eyebrook

With Gordon - about 5 miles in fine weather.
There was an egret on the right hand bank, but I haven't caught it.
A lovely October sky
 Lots of swans and ducks, and gulls around
Plenty of fisherfolk as well
Even more blue sky.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bike ride to Oundle

Saturday 11 October, early afternoon.  With Harry. About 25 miles return trip. Dry, sunny spells. 

We cycled to  Deene, then almost to Bulwick - had to cross A43 to get there. Just before Bulwick we turned right and uphill, the  along the road to Southwick. The World Conker championship is held there on Sunday 12 October this year.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-29574953
We went once years ago when it was in Ashton. 

Then it was uphill from Southwick to the water tower, then down the other side to Glapthorn and finally Oundle. 

The farmers' market was just packing up - we wouldn't have bought anything since we were on the bikes. We had lunch in the café nearby, then made out way home the same way.
Southwick church with a lively sky behind. 
When we got home it began to rain and there were several claps of thunder. Excellent timing! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gretton to East Carlton

This was an alternative route to the one in the Around Corby book. somewhere about 8 - 9 miles, on a beautiful autumn day, mainly warm and sunny, with a chill breeze.


Gretton church was resplendent and golden against the morning's blue sky as we left the village.
We made our way down to the Welland, and walked along the valley footpath past the weir and on for a long mile to Caldecott.

Too much breeze for sharp reflections at this point.  We walked into Caldecott, then turned left on the A6003, over the bridge, and turned right to walk along the road to Great Easton.  The pumpkins below are still growing - nearly three weeks until Halloween.
At Great Easton we turn left at the village green, just past the pub.

Past the old corset factory, and to the end of the houses, then we take the footpath to the left, through a field of cows and one with four horses. We're still on the Jurassic Way, and signs are good. Eventually the path  we're following takes us to a road where we turn right and walk uphill to Bringhurst.
The church has a much bigger churchyard than I'd expect.
The inside is very simple, and contains a tomb cover dating back to the ninth century, which was discovered in thick ivy during renovations not long ago.
We walk past the church and take the Jurassic Way footpath downhill across fields - easy, dry walking today!
Drayton and Neville Holt can be seen in the distance.
We cross two fields, then a disused railway line.  There's a new gate and a footbridge, taking us to a path where we turn left. The path soon becomes a wider track and crosses the Welland.

The maize is much taller than we are.

Just before we meet the road there is a footpath sign leading us along the edge of fields and across the playing field behind Cottingham school. When we come on to the road we walk into the village and past the Spread Eagle, turn right to the church and take the high level footpath past the old school, with views over the valley. Then it's  down School Hill, past the Red Lion. We cross the road and take the footpath between houses - still the Jurassic Way. 
This takes us along the edge of East Carlton Park. The cows are in the field to our right, the parkland on our left.   Part way along we turn left and walk through the park to the café, where we have lunch.



All day the weather has been fine!