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!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


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


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.
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!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Around Corby:Weldon to Gretton

With Marta, About 6 miles.  Dull but dry, some sun later.

I haven't been looking forward to this section, since I know a good couple of miles go through the area where new houses are being built at Priors Haw.  not the most scenic walk just now, though landscaping is promised, and there is a conservation area well marked out. 

Our first task was to find the spot where the walk could be picked up from the book, so we made our way to the churchyard to take the metal gate leading to a path over the brook.
An unusual gravestone, to The lady Louisa, wife of the honourable and Rev Daniel Heneage Finch Hatton, one time vicar of Weldon.
The path takes us over the brook and up towards the houses of Church View.

When we reach the main road we cross over, and take the path just to the right of a white thatched cottage, sporting a  threadbare thatched pheasant on its roof.
 The path looks as though it goes to the front door of another house, but in fact it turns right then left and takes us through the houses, coming out near the Shoulder of Mutton pub.
We turn right and go past the pub, then walk to the corner. We ignore the footpath sign at the corner and turn right. In around fifty yards there is another footpath sign on the left, which leads to a road then through a gate and along a path towards the A43. 

We cross and find our way on the path through the embryonic new housing development. I'm sure this will be more agreeable in five years or so.
Still, the mile and a bit or so is easy enough to follow, past the conservation area, then over a couple of sections of fresh-ploughed field and into the woods.
Map and garmin confirm we are pretty well on track.

Now it's back on the paths as they have been for years -  a footbridge, two deerproof gates, a road, then down to Kirby Hall. 
Its Elizabethan splendour catches brief sunlight in the hollow.
It's the birthplace of the above mentioned Lady Louisa's  Finch Hatton husband.
Windfall apples cluster round a tree but they're too bruised to harvest, and the road curves into the avenue of horse chestnuts leading to the hall gates.

The entrance gift shop shack proudly wears a peacock on its roof.

We climb the hill, look back and then walk down across the grass, startling a hare almost underfoot.

After the clustered stiles in the dip, we go up the last hill of the day - it's dry now, not ankle deep in mud as it can be. At the gate we take in the view once more, before heading down the dusty track and into the village. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gretton - Caldecott - Rockingham - Gretton

Thu, 2014 Oct 2 8:36 AM BST
With Gordon and Eddie. Coffee and toast at Rockingham cafe. Fine, warm, cloudy. 8 - 9 miles.

We took the route from Gretton village to the footpath along the Welland, following the path through Church Gap, signposted to Thorpe by Water, diagonally over the field of ridge and furrow, across the railway line and the fields, and then the farm track under the line of pylons to Mill Road and the footpath just past the bridge and Gretton Weir.

The Welland is low just now, and the overflow channel is quite dry.
We passed a couple of fields with cows, who showed little interest in us.
The footpath leaves the riverside to make its way over fields to come out on the road into Caldecott. We walk through the village, and over the bridge with traffic lights. We turn right along the Great Easton Road, and walk along this for almost a mile, turning off just before Great Easton, along the track marked Jurassic Way, past the recycling bins.
We follow the Jurassic Way over the Welland again, and across the road between Cottingham and Rockingham, then into Rockingham, coming out at the tea-shop. Convenient or what? 
From here we go up the hill and turn off to the left at the Forge/Land Rover workshop. We're still on the Jurassic Way, though poor signage helps us go slightly off track at one point. 
Eventually we reach West Hill, and have to tackle the steep climb towards Gretton. Not too bad, since the fields are dry just now.
Look closely at the picture above and you may see Eddie and Gordon coming up the hill.
A view from the top. Five minutes walk outside Gretton!

Map etc

Monday, September 29, 2014

Gumley and Laughton

Mon, 2014 Sep 29 9:48 AM BST
Led by Tommy, with Gordon, Eddie,Maureen and me. Just over 5 miles. Not very hilly, dry underfoot. Lunch at The Bell.

Just over 5 miles, through good scenery, decent paths and dry underfoot.
We start from the Bell in Gumley, ordering lunch before we left.  We walk a short way up the main street and turn off between houses to our right. The path takes us downhill, turning east (to our right) , through a couple of fields. We reach the Grand Union Canal and cross over the footbridge.

We turn right and walk the short distance to bridge 61 at Foxton Locks, cross over and pass the pub of the same name and Bottom Lock. Our path leaves the canal to the right just after the bridge at Bottom Lock and we head west, following the path over two minor roads and continuing for  almost a mile to where the path crosses the drive to Gumley Lodge. We're advised to keep to the footpath here rather than using the private drive. 
We turn left to cross the drive and take the path more or less southwest, which climbs gradually and meets Laughton Road close to a T junction. Our path goes off to the right just before the junction, going north west, climbing slightly until we reach Laughton itself.
Hens and horse riders mark the entrance to the village from this field. We have a break on the convenient seat opposite the green.  Then we carry on and take the road on the right. We go past 
What I am told is Laughton village hall - extended! Our path goes to the right at a bend in the road, and makes its way gradually down northeastwards towards Gumley Lodge again. We pass our route on the way out, but keep to our left and carry on in a more northerly direction. All is pleasant and not at all strenuous until we meet the final short steep pull up into Gumley.

Only five of us!  What happened to the others? Thanks for a lovely short walk today, Tommy!