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, August 19, 2014

Lubenham circular via Foxton Locks

Mon, 2014 Aug 18 9:35 AM BST
Led by Tommy. With Gordon, Barrie E, Marion, Sue, Chris, Phil, Ian and Carol and me. Fairly flat, over fields and along canal briefly. Fine and dry, tho' cloudy. Just over 6 miles.

We  walk along the Green in Lubenham and out of the village past Manor Farm, then across fields. The first one has been ploughed, but is dry underfoot - the rest still show clear paths through crops ready for harvest.

Our path heads north east, and when we come to a path junction we turn left or north west towards Gartree Prison. We turn right at the boundary then cross a road and continue north towards the canal. 
We cross via a footbridge, then walk through fields before rejoining the canal and walking to Foxton Locks.

Luckily our diet is not as rich as Richard III's!
We pause for coffee at the Top Lock Café, then take the path mor or less south east, after crossing the Gumley Road (before the car park).
The path takes us in a southeasterly direction,  over several stiles, past a fishing lake near Holmes Farm, through fields with bullocks and then these mini cattle, and comes out on the road into Lubenham.

We cross the road and take the footpath opposite. It brings us into Lubenham after a short distance. Then it's lunch at the local pub. Thanks for a grand walk, Tommy!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Holcot, Moulton, Pitsford

Thu, 2014 Aug 14 9:16 AM BST
With Gordon. Reverse of walk from 8 Aug 2011. I appear to have pressed the wrong button part way through, so about half of walk not recorded here. The later part was a little hillier. Just over 10 miles in total!
Almost the same walk as on August 8 2011, but in reverse, and with the added loop to Old St John's Church, Boughton Green. May be worth looking at the previous walk for some photos too.

We set off on the footpath from Back lane, alonsgside Brittens View, and headed southeast, along a track  then a path not quite blocked with brambles and nettles - memo to self - secateurs! Later we crossed a jungle of tall maize too. On a footpath.
When we reached Rectory Farm we turned right towards the south west.

I managed to miss the path when it went through a gate, then over a bridge, just before Marsh Spinney - a quick rethink was needed when we'd gone two hundred or so yards in the wrong direction. After that all was simple and we made our way into Moulton.

Heading west through the village, past church and primary school, we were ambushed, in the nicest possible way by a café! 

Next we followed the Boughton Road, along past Holly Lodge with its gates made of garden implement shapes, and on to the reputedly haunted ruins of Old St John's Church - the graveyard is still used occasionally.

Back to Holly Lodge, and we turned on to Spectacle Lane, a peaceful relief after the relatively busy Boughton Road. Past the Spectacle Folly, and through the ford, or over the bridge, and on to Pitsford Road.
Across the road to a footpath well supplied with more nettles - and a badger sett. The path turns left, going north west into Pitsford village.
Ah ha! A bench. Good excuse for another stop, and a cereal bar top up. 

From Pitsford we took Grange Lane, leading to a car park and the reservoir. We joined the round reservoir track for a very short distance before it turns left, but we carried straight on towards Moulton Grange.
Our footpath is along a private road, then along field boundaries with views of Pitsford Water from the heights.
The path goes north east, making a dog leg (clearly signposted here), then passing a well kept cricket ground with memorial cupola to a local businessman before we catch a final view of Pitsford Water.  
We emerged on the road to the causeway just outside Holcot. 

Around ten miles in all. 
Map and details

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hambleton Peninsula

Mon, 2014 Aug 11 9:18 AM BST
With Maureen and Gordon. Short pleasant walk for a breezy morning. 5.4 miles.
A fine breezy morning stroll along well-known paths.  Around 5 and a half miles.

Map and details

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Aldwincle, Titchmarsh NR, Thrapston, Islip

Mon, 2014 Aug 4 9:34 AM BST
Led by Gordon, with Mel, Norma, Tim, Jacqueline, Phil, Barrie, Sue, Marion, Maureen, and me. Pleasant, flat, dry underfoot. Around 6 miles.

From Aldwincle opposite Pear Tree Farm (coffee shop now closed), we walked along Main Street towards the school, then crossed over and turned left along the footpath through a field leading to the Lowick Road, a small road, and soon to a T junction. We walked straight on along a track to some new holiday cottages, and then gently downhill with the lake on our left hand side. We walked under some pylons and then turned right, between lakes and over the Nene.

Once over the bridge we turned right and followed the course of the river, until we crossed Meadow Lane and reached a grassy spot near the weir and a modern housing development. This was where we paused for a break. We looped round the houses and returned to cross the river to Mill Lane. Just after the mill we took a footpath to our left climbing up into Islip. We turned right along mill Road and then Ridge Road, which is only one car wide. This took us north east more or less, into some woodland. We turned right shortly afterwards, rejoining our earlier path in the opposite direction.

We didn't go as far as the Nene, but turned left to head back along the Nene Way, which we followed all the way back to Aldwincle. It just reamined to have lunch in Wadenhoe at the Old Barn Coffee Shop, which suited us perfectly.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A week near Sandleheath - more cycling than walking

'Hampshire July 2014
Arrived Friday 25/7 Ate at Damerham pub with its hippy enterprise feel but good food, altho' they seem to think vegetarians eat less.

Saturday 26/7 we met Jenny and Esther at Bursledon station car park and walked along the river Hamble to Manor farm Country Park and back. Then went to Esther's for evening meal.

Sunday 27/7 Esther did a 70 mile sportive from Waterlooville. We did a 20 mile ride to Cranbourne - stopped for large lemonade at Damerham. Map etc . Later over to Esther's.  Quick visit to the allotment.

Monday 28/7 - we met Esther etc at Moors valley Country park.

We drove there the back way, via Verwood. Ate at the Ship in Fordingbridge.

Tuesday 29/7- lazy morning, then ride into Fordingbridge to get b'day card for Aneurin. Onwards and up to Whitsbury and almost Coombe Bissett via byway, then returned via Rockbourne. Map etc.Tea and scone in Rose and Thistle. Not cheap but good.  About 20 miles in all again.

Wednesday 30/7 - went to Alderholt G C for coffee, then to Mockbeggar via Harbridge and ibsley. up the hill past Red Shoot and almost to Fritham, returning via the top road and down through Godshill and Fordingbridge. around 28 miles. Map etc.
Then to Esther's for dinner.

Thursday 31/7 - a lazy day, more reading than anything. Then to Esther's for a meal.

Friday 01/8 - returned home via Salisbury, and called at Crofton Beam Engine on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

While we were away we saw various birds, including reed bunting, a kingfisher, and some wheatears, we believe, flying from post to post ahead of us as we cycled on a byway.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

East Carlton to Geddington

Tue, 2014 Jul 22 9:48 AM BST
With Marta. Hot - much more than 64 deg F! Sticky going and very overgrown in places, plus the odd ploughed field. I think around 11 miles.

A measure of the heat - I felt obliged to cover up bare arms before 10am! 

We were following the Around Corby route from Mel Jarvis's book. To begin with all was sweetness and light, though the fact that I've walked the route before was helpful too. We had no problems as we headed out of East Carlton Park, and towards the path which runs along the bottom of the park. We turned left along this part of the Jurassic Way, then crossed the road to walk between the two fences and out into the fields.

We followed the Jurassic Way to Wilbarston according to the directions in the book.  Then, when the Jurassic Way turns right at the crossroads near the Fox Inn, we continued to the bend in the road, turning left towards Springfield Farm. Facing the farm gate, there are two footpaths. We took the one through the farmyard, to our left.  We crossed one field, then took a gate on our left and followed the path diagonally uphill to a stile in the top right hand corner.

There is a gap in the hedge leading to steps which go down the embankment to the main Corby-Harborough Road.
On the other side of the road, the path restarts slightly to our right.  The stile at the top of the steps is a little overgrown, but not as bad as some we meet later!  The paths through the fields towards Park Farm are mostly easy enough to follow. We crossed over the driveway then the path goes along the field boundary on the right of the buildings.  There's an opening in the hedge ahead, and then the path continues with the hedge on the right.
There is a wood on the right.  The path goes through the hedge and continues south across another field. On the other side of the field is the old airfield, now used for agriculture. We followed the perimeter track round to our left for about a mile, passing some large hangars, a weigh bridge, a bend in the track, a road to the left and another bend before turning left to walk through the wood (between Pipewell Wood and Little Haws Wood on the OS map.
Once through the wood we turned left and followed the edge of the wood to Pipewell.

All went smoothly until we met the path out of the village and encountered "a small field that can in the season be badly overgrown with nettles". Luckily we hadn't decided on shorts today! It looked as though the path hadn't been walked for ages, though it is usually one of the routes for the Corby Walking Festival in May.  We did find the way-markers, but more by luck than judgement. 
By the time we reached the Spread Eagle near Great Oakley we were ready for lunch. 1.30 must be after the rush - the sandwiches were good and service rapid. 
Our route was under the bridge along the footpath. We made the mistake of crossing the first road and taking the obvious path, and ended up in the playground. Just as well school holidays hadn't started yet.
There's a seven year old trying to get out!
A quick back-track and look at the book, and we realised we should have crossed the road and taken the footpath a little to the right of the brook!  
Great Oakley church
This took us along to Woodlands Lane and eventually to a footpath with concrete surfacing leading uphill and to the old Station House. We followed the footpath across the field and under the railway.  Now that the new bypass road is in use it would be as well to turn right and walk along the road between Little Oakley and Great Oakley, then turn left along the road to Newton in order to use the road bridge. If as we did, you use the footpath, you have to detour back to the bridge in any case.

From here you find the footpath again and climb up to a plateau with a pylon at the top. There are several paths here, but we took the one leading southeast to the road between newton and Geddington. Our final stretch was along this minor road.

Geddington church from the tableland!
Map and details

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lyddington circular via Stoke Dry

Mon, 2014 Jul 21 9:13 AM BST
With Mel, Norma, Maureen, Tommy, Jill, Andy, Terry and Steph and me. In fact around 5+ miles. Warm . Good views over Eyebrook and Welland valley. Memo to self - switch machine off when stop walking!!
I also walked another mile and half towards Lyddington.

We walk through Lyddington towards Gretton and took the footpath on the right , just on the edge of the village. It leads through an area of farm buildings and then across fields towards the A6003. 
We turn right and walk along the grass verge for a couple of hundred yards, then cross over and take the footpath which leads uphill to our left.  At the top of the hill we arrive at a field with a fine view of the reservoir, with the village of Stoke Dry in the distance. 

 Time for a short break.

Our path goes downhill, and behind the woodland surrounding the reservoir, bringing us out on the road from Eyebrook to Stoke Dry. We follow the road past the church and back to the A6003, at a high point.

Once we've crossed the road again we take a path downhill through fields, and leading to a road into Lyddington for a short distance.

A short walk, but varied and with great views.