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!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hambleton Peninsula

Thu, 2015 Nov 5 9:38 AM GMT

With Harry and Gordon. Drizzly at first and quite warm. Good underfoot. About 8 miles.

From the parking space just before the barrier on the road at the eastern end of the peninsula, we walke up into Hambleton village, continue on the main road past the church and along to the angler's track, which we follow downhill.

This leads to a footpath by the road, which we follow until we cross over and turn right along the track to the water's edge. We're walking east on the south side of the peninsula.
This is always pleasant, though drizzly today, and takes us past the rather chilled-looking statue contemplating the water.
We cross the road between the Old Hall and the Old Hall Cottage and continue on the anglers' track, past a lot of benches, wet and uninviting this morning, then through the woods.
We stop at the car for our essential coffee break, and as we have done a good four and a half miles by then, there is less than half of the walk to go.
A lot of trees are now showing their winter skeletons.

Harry and Gordon striding along.
Autumn colours are still lingering, even in the greyness.
We reach the point on the north side of the peninsula where we joined the track earlier. Here we turn left and head uphill and back into Hambleton village.

AD 1898

and finally make our way down hill along the road and back to the car. 

In spite of the drizzle early on, and the forecast of rain to come, we stay pretty dry, and what a joy it is to have decent terrain underfoot.

Map and details

Monday, November 2, 2015

Brampton Ash, Braybrooke, Dingley circular.

Mon, 2015 Nov 2 9:38 AM GMT
Led by Mel, with Norma, Tommy, Gordon and me. Very misty, quite muddy, some navigation problems, partly due to mist - and some of us tearing ahead too fast. . .?  One railway crossing now closed. just over 8 miles.
A huge contrast with the weather on Saturday and Sunday!  This walk turned out to be more demanding than expected - mainly because of the weather and muddy conditions. Most of us ended up with soggy socks.

We started from Brampton Ash St Mary's church, and walked east along the main road to Braybrooke Road. 

Leaving Braybrooke

Cows in the mist in the next field
 We turned off following the Midshires Way/Macmillan Way until it joined the Jurassic Way. At that point we turned right and followed the Jurassic Way/Macmillan Way/Midshires Way with Hermitage Wood on our right until we rejoined the road at Hermitage Cottages.
Here we go

Leaves have fallen
 We walked along a path close to the A6 then crossed at the roundabout.
Down the rabbit hole?
 We went under the railway bridge and headed for Braybrooke.
The site of Braybrooke Castle

Braybrooke Millenium monument

November cobwebs

Snack break over

Yep - the river Jordan

Neither deep nor wide

 The next section proved tricky, as we missed the proper turning for the Midshires Way, and took a diverging footpath instead. We found our way back to it whn we realised what had happened. We came out on the road towards Dingley, crossed the A6 again and walked along the quiet road uphill to Dingley. 
A left turn along the old A427 tooke us to a footpath heading north, which soon turned east towards Brampton Ash. Back across the road to pick up a footpath through a field and out behind the church to our starting point.
Brampton Ash church

Between Brampton Ash and Braybrooke, and then Dingley and Brampton Ash the route is very similar to this one from 2011.  Our route from Braybrooke to Dingley goes further to the east, though.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

To Kirby Hall

A Halloween walk of around 4 miles. The late afternoon sun enhanced the autumn colours.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Carlby - Witham - Toft - Manthorpe - Braceborough - Carlby

Thu, 2015 Oct 29 9:53 AM BST
With Gordon and Maureen. Grey and threatening to drizzle, but we were dry until the last section. Muddy underfoot in places. Around 9 miles (without my last 1.5 miles to retrieve my map!)

We decided to risk the forecast poor weather, and in fact we were lucky. A little rain early on, then the odd spot of drizzle.  Underfoot was fine apart from a few ploughed fields, but at least these were flat, though a little sticky. Towards the end the path crossed some fields of wet plants, so my feet were a bit soggy. 

In Carlby we walked along High Street north west. Soon after the road bends to the left is the footpath, off to the right. It's the second footpath sign, and not very obvious, so we overshot and had to return. Once found, it was fairly easy to follow, as it hugs the field edges for a while, then heads slightly east of north.

There were a couple of recently ploughed fields to cross - a seasonal hazard which makes boots heavy and legs tired.
Boot scraping in progress
We arrived at Witham on the Hill after about two miles.  We had a brief pause to don wet weather gear, then it stopped raining . . .

Ready for anything?

 Just below the roof of the old school is the following inscription:
Train up a child in the way he should go
When he is old, he will not depart from it.

We walked along the road past the church, then the green space with playground, and the stocks, then turned right along Bottom Street. We followed the track towards Witham Lodge, and when it ended at a field with some cows, we turned left along the fence. this led us to the footpath going east towards Toft.
It emerged in Toft just before the village sign, and a bridge, which should cross the East Glen River, though this appeared to be dry. I was impressed by this sloe bush.
Shortly after the bridge we crossed the road to take the footpath which goes through Toft golf course, heading south towards Manthorpe.  

There are marker poles, but they were not easy to follow. Luckily the golfers seemed quite happy to redirect us when we wandered!  Plenty of them there on a damp Thursday morning too.

Manthorpe has a stone engraver and a farm shop where I bought a jar of honey, but no handy benches. I was amused to see a "Beware of the Dog" sign, and then down the farm drive, a little pottery dog. However the barking from inside the house reinforced the warning.

We needed a break, so perched on the wall next to the stile at the start of the next footpath, towards Bowthorpe Park Farm. We feared we might have to cross a forbidding-looking ploughed field, but our route veered left away from it. Phew. 

At first the sheep ran away, then turned back and came towards us, then followed us as we walked through the field along the path. 
We crossed a footbridge and went uphill to Bowthorpe Park Farm. This is the site of the Bowthorpe Oak. We paid our £2.50, which the owner gives to the Air Ambulance, and went to see this massive tree. It is said to be over 1000 years old, and may have been planted when William the Conqueror was alive.

Although the trunk is split, the tree has plenty of leaves.
I'm not sure how it compares with Sherwood Forest's Major Oak.

We went back to the footpath, which passes to the east of the farm buildings, and followed it south to join the track to Spa Lodge near Braceborough.  We passed the old Station House, with its decorated garage doors, and walked into Braceborough. 
Just after we turned right at the end of Spa Road, the footpath goes off to the right, past a large garden. We took the right hand fork when the path split, and walked over a field, then west past Braceborough Lodge, through Braceborough Little Wood and followed the markers towards Carlby. Rain tempted us into a shelter for another snack. The rain stopped and then it was a short mile back to Carlby, across fields and the dismantled railway line. 

A Lincolnshire cairn

Steps up from the old railway line

The path