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!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Barrowden - Wakerley - Woods -Laxton Hall - Turtle Bridge - Barrowden

Mon, 2014 Oct 27 9:31 AM GMT
Led by Tommy. With Gordon, Barrie E, Terry, Kate, Marion, Chris, Phil, Eddie and me. Map trace incomplete due to human error - I forgot to restart track after a switch-off and on! In all just over 7 miles. Fine, warm, sunny morning.

This is the route we walked in August 2012, but in reverse.  The map may be more useful than today's!

We met at Barrowden, and headed east along Main Street, then turned right and south along Mill Lane. 

Our path takes us past the Mill Pond, and downhill to the footbridge over the Welland.
 We cross a large field of grazing sheep, and come out on Main Street Wakerley. We turn left, and walk for a short distance along the road.
We take the footpath to our right soon after the road junction, beside a large house which used to be a pub.  This passes behind the church and emerges on to the narrow road just before Wakerley Woods. A good way after the bend we turn into the woods. It is possible to continue to the main entrance, and take that route. We make our way past the (closed) toilets and parking areas to the track, where we turn right, heading south. We follow the Jurassic Way, though signs are not very obvious, turning left from the main track and along muddier paths.
We leave the Jurassic Way paths and make for Laxton Hall, now a nursing home.
 From here we head pretty well due west along a long track through the woods again. We turn northwest and meet the dip that used to be a quarry - now with a new surfaced road/footpath.  We disturb a couple of red kites who have found some delicious carrion.

Nice new footpath.
 The footpath meets the Harringworth to Wakerley Road just opposite the wide bridleway.
A fine view of the viaduct

Going down the bridleway

Shaggy inkcaps

The Welland at Turtle Bridge
The bridleway takes us gently down to Turtle Bridge, where we rejoin the Jurassic Way, and follow it uphill slightly, then turn right and walk with a hedge on our left.  We go through a gate, following the waymarkers, and make our way gradually into Barrowden.
This is the correct route for the footpath
We enter Barrowden from the Morcott Road, deboot ourselves and grab a lunch in the Community shop. 
Barrowden duckpond.
Once again, thank you, Tommy for a fine walk.
Map and details (incomplete)

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.
From 1986 Bbc's Domesday reloaded
                                     
   St.Nicholas Church,Marston Trussell was originally built in 13th century in
 sandstone.The site is believed to date back to Roman times.The tower, 71 feet
 high,was built about 1525 and has 5  bells now rung by 1 man and 4 women.  
 The porch is made from oak possibly  part of a Danish Ship. Part of the    
 nearby castle was also used,only the  moat and mound can still be seen.There
 have been 35 priests since the church was built.There has been only one     
 christening in the last 5 years.  
At the Battle of Naseby King Charles' Cavaliers made their last    
 stand against Cromwell's men and were defeated.The ones that broke away     
 from the battle retreated towards Leicester but many were cornered  at  
 'Pudding Poke Marston',slaughtered and buried near the church yard.      

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.