A Woodland Wander

Sunday, 11th November. It was raining when we all awoke this morning, but 12 hardy souls turned up at ‘The Sincks’ Foresry Commission car park for Sue’s 6.5 mile walk, by which time the rain had cleared; there was blue sky and sunshine, and the colours of the trees were beautiful.
We walked through West Briggs Wood and were treated to a glimpse of fallow deer, followed by a field of inquisitve water buffalo.
We observed 2 minutes silence at 11.00 for Remembrance Sunday, and then had a coffee stop in Wormegay, before returning through the woods where a handy fallen tree made a good lunch stop. Through Shouldham Warren and Ling Hills and back to the cars.
A lovely walk in good weather and good company.

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Sunday 4 November 2018. There was a good turnout of 12 Fenland Ramblers members for today’s 6.3 mile walk led by Linda W. Although we’d started walks from the Lynford Stag before, there are a large number of routes which can be followed from here and this walk took us over new ground. We headed out in the direction of Lynford Hall, stopping for coffee in Lynford Arboretum which is cared for by The Friends of Thetford Forest. The colours of the leaves were lovely to see and would have been enhanced even more by a little sunshine.

We then moved on to do a loop beside the gravel pit lakes, returning to the Arboretum for our lunch stop. From here it was just a couple of miles back to the cars. Although this was a relatively short walk, it was most enjoyable and no doubt one that we’ll do again in the future.

Lynford – walk route

Aerial View



Barrowden Chimneys

Sunday 28 October 2018. Today’s walk started from the Northamptonshire village of Barrowden. Every time that we visit here I’m asked about the two prominent chimneys that can be seen a short distance away to the south. Whilst I’d read about them, I couldn’t recall their history in any detail and an “on-site” Google search on my phone failed to provide any information. I’ve since had time to do some more internet searching which has provided a more detailed insight into their history which can be found here. I’ll be asking questions of Fenland Ramblers members the next time we meet to see if anyone has read and digested this.



Sunday 28 October 2018. Just 6 of us today: Amanda, Frances, Linda S, David M, Michael and me. The weather was kind to us on this 6.4 mile walk with blue sky but a chilly northeasterly wind. Leaving Barrowden we crossed the River Welland to make our way up to Wakerley church where we had an early stop for coffee sat in the sunshine. A section of road walking then took us further uphill and into Wakerley Great Wood. It was lovely in here with shelter from the wind and our meandering route soon took us to the southern side, exiting near Laxton Hall.

We found some shelter from the wind in the lee of a hedge for lunch just before turning north and uphill again to re-enter the woods. Some of the tracks in here are dedicated for the exclusive use of mountain bikers. Needless to say we ignored this but soon encountered a biker coming in the opposite direction who made us aware of our transgression.

A little more road walking took us back through Wakerley to re-cross the Welland followed by a short section of field walking to take us back to the cars.

Barrowden – walk route

Aerial View



Ely Recce

Thursday 25 October 2018. One of the good things about being retired and single is that I can more or less please myself what I do and when. I’d been to the gym for the last 3 mornings and really didn’t feel like doing much when I got out of bed today. However, as dawn broke, I could see that it was going to be a “good weather” day and the opportunity to go for a walk couldn’t be missed.

I’d been thinking for a while about devising a walk from Ely which would initially head south to cross the River Great Ouse on the walkway attached to the side of the newly constructed bypass road which officially opens on 31 October. I would then come back into Ely on the opposite bank of the river before starting a more northerly loop. Well, I was a little too early as the walkway construction won’t be completed until late November 2018. Had I read this Newsletter first then I would have been aware of this. After taking a few pictures, I retraced my steps back into town for a coffee break by the riverside.

It is school half-term and the path leading north out of Ely on the Fen Rivers Way up to the Cuckoo Bridge was a little busier than it might otherwise have been. Soon after, I crossed the River Great Ouse to follow the Hereward Way and the Ouse Valley Way out to Queen Adelaide. A short section of road walking was a little hazardous due to the lack of a pavement but this was soon done with and I followed a small footpath beside the railway line which took me to a track crossing just above Ely North Junction. It is intended that “on safety grounds” this crossing will be closed in the not too distant future with a detour being put in place from the B1382 just west of Queen Adelaide.

It wasn’t long before I was crossing another section of railway track to follow the path into the grounds of Ely Sailing Club where I stopped for lunch overlooking Rosewell Pits. It was very tranquil here with only the sound of wildfowl breaking the silence.

The last leg of the walk took me to the south of the lakes to follow roads back into Ely market square. A quick walk through the grounds of Ely Cathedral and I was back at my starting point outside The Maltings. The walk was 7.6 miles but will be more like 8 miles when including the new bypass river crossing. It is too late to include this walk in the winter programme but it will be slotted in somewhere next summer.

Around and About Ely 8 miles walked route

Aerial View




Nidderdale Wander

Thursday 18 October 2018. What a beautiful day. Sunshine and blue sky although a tad chilly to start with. At 10am as I set off on my walk it was only 5c and there was a covering of frost on the grass where the sun was still to shine.

I decided on a short 6 mile drive to the village of Ripley, just north of Harrogate, to revisit a walk that I’d done a few times before moving to live in Cambridgeshire. The first part of this walk followed the route of the Nidderdale Way as it passed Ripley Castle and then on to Clint and Hampsthwaite where I stopped for coffee. The next village on my route was Birstwith where I left the Nidderdale Way and headed uphill to Burnt Yates for lunch. The last leg of my route took me around the edge of Ripley Park and back to the car. The walk was 7.75 miles with a total ascent of just under 800ft.

Nidderdale Wander – walk route

Aerial View




2 Reservoirs walk

Wednesday 17 October 2018. I had a very frustrating start to the day. I’d planned to do a walk up Beamsley Beacon (1,250ft) which is not very far from the Bolton Abbey estate. The first problem was that I’m staying on the southern edge of Harrogate and to get to the start of the walk I had to cross town in the rush hour. I set off at 08:45 and it took me 25 minutes to drive the first 4 miles to the northern edge of Harrogate. The second problem came when I arrived at the intended start of the Beamsley Beacon walk. There are only 6 parking places and all of these were taken. These parking places were taken the last time that I tried to do this walk and it seems that I’ll never get it done unless I get there very much earlier in the day.

I now had two choices; I could continue further west and do a walk somewhere to the north of Skipton or I could back-track a few miles and do a familiar walk around Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs. I opted for the latter and parked up alongside the A59 at Blubberhouses. This is a very popular route with two other car parks dotted around the reservoirs making it very accessible. I stopped for a coffee break after about 2 miles at the car park between the two reservoirs.

Suitably refreshed, I then headed out to bag Swinsty reservoir. My lunch break was at the 4.5 mile point just before crossing the road between the two reservoirs. The walk was largely on a well surfaced tracks and made for easy walking. It was 6.4 miles with just under 700ft of ascent.

2 Reservoirs – walk route

Aerial View