Snowmaggedon??

Sunday 10 December 2017. I can’t remember the last time that a Fenland Ramblers walk was cancelled due to bad weather but, with a Met Office Amber warning for snow, it made sense to cancel today’s scheduled walk from Manton. The roads in  Benwick looked treacherous earlier today and whilst there was only a couple of inches of snow, there appear to have been greater depths out west.

I took a walk around the village just around 2pm to capture a few pictures of that rare phenonemon which is Cambridgeshire snow.

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Sandringham

Sunday 26 November 2017. There was a good turn-out of 12 for today’s walk led by Josephine. It turned out to be 6.25 miles with just under 500ft of ascent. We left the Sandringham visitor centre to walk along the Scenic Drive and then on roads, crossing the busy A149 to the scissor crossroads. From here we took a woodland path before stopping for coffee at Wolferton. A circuit of the village and more woodland paths brought us back to back to the road but not before we all had to climb over a locked gate. In fairness to the landowner we had trespassed and didn’t follow an official footpath.

The next section of the walk took us to Wolferton Cliffs and the John Denver memorial bench where we stopped for lunch with views out across the expanse of Dersingham Bog. More road walking and a more hazardous crossing of the A149 saw us back in the woods for the final stretch back to the visitor centre for post-walk refreshments.

 

Aerial View

Sandringham – walk route

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Blakeney Point Seals

Friday 24 November 2017. I booked through the National Trust to go on a boat ride from Morston to see the Seals on Blakeney Point. We were due to set sail at 09:15 so this meant that I had to leave home at 7am to ensure that I made the 75 mile drive on time. I arrived with 20 minutes to spare. Just long enough for a coffee and sandwich.

There were 3 NT guides and 42 passengers who were split into 3 groups to make things a little more manageable. Because of the tide times and the shallow waters at Morston, we only had 90 minutes on the Point. We seemed to spend more time walking than Seal watching and overall I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the event. There are over 1,500 Seal pups on the point but it seemed as if most of these were out of sight on the sea-shore to the north of the Point. The guides/wardens were keen that we shouldn’t disturb the Seals and their pups too much and this severely restricted where we could go.

Blakeney Point Seals

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Label Snobbery

Sunday 20 November 2017. After the Group’s AGM, I made a trip to Go Outdoors in Peterborough with the idea of buying a RAB Quest pullover. I didn’t need it, but it was selling for less than half price at £25. Sadly, or luckily, it wasn’t in stock. Whilst browsing similar garments I came across a Regatta Montes pullover for just £15. Being something of a “label snob”, I wouldn’t normally consider Regatta products although I do have two pairs of their trousers.

£15 for a lightweight mid-layer/pullover was too good to resist so I bought one in blue. I would also have bought one in Burnt Tikka (amber) but they didn’t have my size. This may have been a blessing in disguise as, when I got home, I searched the internet and bought one in this alternative colour from Amazon for just £13.99 including delivery. Although I have yet to try out the Montes pullover, at Primark prices, it could be considered as a “throw away” item but, from the feel of it, I don’t think that I’ll be disappointed.

There’s an expression “buy cheap, buy twice” and I think that this holds true in some circumstances and particularly when it comes to waterproof and breathable walking jackets. My preferred brands are RAB and Paramo, neither of which can be said to be cheap. I can’t admit to how much I’ve spent on these brands, but I’ve never been disappointed which is more than can be said about some of the cheaper garments that I’ve bought. That said, I guess that it depends upon how much one can afford and how often and in what conditions they will be used.

Darwin on the Trail recently answered a question about North Face products (see video at 10min 50sec) and I must agree with him that brands like Arcteryx are overpriced. I know as I have three pairs of their very expensive trousers. I wonder if there is something like Alcoholics Anonymous that I can join to cure me of my label snobbery, to save some money and to stop spending so much on walking gear?

Ferry Meadows walk and AGM

Sunday 19 November 2017. 12 of us turned out for today’s 5.25 mile walk followed by the Group’s AGM. It was a perfect day for walking, sunny with just a chill in the air. I did this walk on my own on Thursday and took the time to make a short movie to record some of the scenes. It is “back to front” as I did it in the opposite direction to today’s walk.

We set off by leaving the Ferry Meadows and walking alongside the NVR line stopping after a couple of miles for coffee on Mill Road, at the end of Landy Green Way. A short section of road walking took us to the crossing of a couple of fairways on Peterborough golf course and then into the grounds of Milton Park. I read out some history of Milton Hall which you can see for yourself here.

Leaving Milton Park we walked through the underpass below the A47 and back into Ferry Meadows. It was such a nice day that I detoured to walk along the River Nene for a short while before returning to the Visitor Centre for the AGM which, as usual, was uneventful. The picture of the hot-air balloon was taken as it flew over my house later in the afternoon.

Aerial View

AGM walk

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Herriot Way

Way back in October 2015 I walked the 52 miles of the Herriot Way taking 4 days to complete. Stuart Greig, the author of the guide-book has recently introduced a “completion” certificate. He has kindly sent me my personalised copy which is shown below. It is a great walk which you should try for yourself.

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Hallaton & Medbourne

Sunday 12 November 2017. There were 7 of us on today’s 8.75 mile walk with a total ascent of 800ft. Linda S led the walk with Linda W, Francis, Moira, Betty, me and Tommy from Kettering ramblers trying to hang on to her coat-tails. The walk bore more than a passing resemblance to a “Steeplechase“, starting from the church in Hallaton and visiting 3 more churches along the way.

Cross-fields paths and a short section of road walking took us to Blaston where we stopped for coffee and for the ladies to use a portaloo which was conveniently sited nearby. Soon after, we came to a marker post with a carving of the face of a Viking upon it. Tommy had seen it before and had us guessing as to what was unusual about it. It took some time before we spotted the carved face.

Our next stop was Nevill Holt with a fascinating history which you can read for yourself here. We walked around the perimeter of the grounds so as to get a better view of the buildings. We had been fairly sheltered until now but the walk away from Nevill Holt exposed us to a bitingly cold wind. Our lunch stop was taken at Medbourne church from where we had a further 4 miles to walk back to Hallaton. A welcome post-walk cup of tea was had in the Hare Pie cafe in Hallaton.

Aerial View

Hallaton & Medbourne – walk route

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