Monthly Archives: November 2014

Barnack recce

Sunday 30 November 2014. I met up with Linda today to recce the walk that she will be leading in 3 weeks time. Starting from the Hills & Holes car park on the outskirts of Barnack, we made our way through the grounds of Burghley House to stop for coffee after 4 miles, just outside the Princess Diana memorial gardens. It was still foggy on the drive to the walk but it soon turned out to be a gloriously sunny day.

A walk through Stamford brought us to the banks of the disused Welland Canal where we stopped again at the 6 mile point for lunch. On the way back to Barnack, I managed to step into a rabbit hole about 10 inches deep which brought me to my knees but I managed to avoid falling flat on my face. Luckily there was no damage done; unlike a member of the Hunts Ramblers who did a similar thing a couple of years ago, damaging ligaments etc which stopped him walking for several months.

The walk was exactly 8.7 miles (as advertised) and took us 3½ hours to complete. When Linda leads the walk on 21 December I’m sure that she will slow her pace to suit the needs of the group and may even take in another rest stop along the way.

Wittering

Saturday 29 November 2014. The weather forecast for today wasn’t too bad so I thought that I’d squeeze in an extra walk in an attempt to bump up my annual mileage. This 10.3 mile walk from Wittering followed a familiar route although I extended it a little in the middle as I wanted a longer walk and had the time to spare.

My first stop was in the village of Thornhaugh and from here I made my way through Old Sulehay Forest. The extension took me to Ring Haw for another coffee stop and then to Jack’s Green before entering Bedford Purlieus. The path alongside the A47 was flooded in one section and I’ll be reporting this to Peterborough CC as I believe that this is an outflow from the adjacent quarry.

The last section of the walk took me past Wittering Grange before retracing my outward leg back to Wittering village. There was light rain/drizzle for a large part of the walk and the sun only broke through for the last mile or so. It was a shame that it was so late in coming out but at least I didn’t get too wet.

Norfolk Coastal Path – Leg 3

Thursday 27 November 2014. After a break of 6 weeks, the gang of 4 were able to resume our walk along the Norfolk Coastal Path. This leg was 8.2 miles from Blakeney to Wells-next-the-Sea. Hilary used the Coasthopper and joined us about a mile or so out of Blakeney. Our first stop for coffee was at the lookout tower at Morston from where we could see the boat setting out to view the Seals on Blakeney Point.

The recent rains had left the paths in a slippery condition; not ankle deep in mud but difficult to negotiate nonetheless. After 4½ miles we stopped for lunch just beyond Stiffkey. From here it was little more than an hour’s walking to arrive in Wells with 10 minutes to spare for Hilary to catch the next bus home. Karen, Josephine and I were in no rush so we stopped for tea & cake before the drive home.

What a difference a day makes

Monday 24 November 2014. Yesterday was a complete wash out as far as walking was concerned with just me and 2 guest walkers from Leicester turning up for the scheduled walk from Barrowden. Today was completely different with blue skies, albeit a little on the chilly side. Given the choice between wet & warm or dry & cold, I’ll take the latter every time.

I made my usual early morning visit to the gym but all the while that I was on the treadmill I was thinking that I’d much rather be walking outside. It was too much to resist so, after the gym, I took myself off to Ferry Meadows (again) for a 5 mile walk. Avoiding the muddy paths of the pre-AGM walk, I left the confines of the country park and walked back through Milton Park. I’ve now walked 897 miles this year and might try to push this to the magical figure of 1,000.

Barrowden

Sunday 23 November 2014. It was a thoroughly miserable morning with constant rain that wasn’t forecast to relent until late afternoon. I had an early morning text exchange with Linda who confirmed that there were no other walkers at CTCP and she wisely decided to go shopping instead of walking.

I doubted very much whether there would be anyone else mad enough to walk today but I was committed to going to Barrowden to see if anyone turned up. A younger couple from Leicester pitched up at 10:10. As there were just the three of us, I gave them a map of the route and a few verbal instructions and left them to it. They wanted to walk but I felt no great desire to join them. Had there been a few more then I would have got wet and made the most of it.

I think today has only served to reinforce my views about the good work done by our walks leaders and the need of other members to fully appreciate our efforts. We commit months in advance to lead walks and turn out in all weathers whilst the rank and file member can look out of the window, decide that the weather isn’t that great and then spend the rest of the day at home.

Ferry Meadows and Group AGM

Sunday 16 November 2014. There were just 10 of us for this morning’s 5.8 mile walk from Ferry Meadows and the Group’s AGM. We headed off in very misty/foggy conditions; stopping for coffee in Alwalton. A great deal of rain had fallen since I recce’d this walk a couple of weeks ago, swelling the River Nene and turning the riverside footpaths into a quagmire at times. We spent some time watching a group of teenagers canoeing down the Nene.

There were so few of us at the AGM and I’d over-provisioned on cake. No bad thing as there was more to share between our loyal band of walkers.

Tarn Hows

Thursday 6 November 2014. The weather forecast for today was truly awful with heavy rain and strong winds predicted. After two glorious days on the high fells we decided that we would settle for something a little easier. Setting off from the house at Monk Coniston just before 9am we made our way through the woods up to Tarns Hows where we completed the 2 mile circuit of the lakes before coming back on a slightly different route. Light rain began to fall just after setting out and soon became a little heavier, so we were glad to be back before we got a real soaking. The walk at 4.6 miles with almost 1,000ft of ascent for enough for today.

Later, Jacqui drove us to Chesters café at Skelwith Bridge for lunch which was nice. It was really busy though with a procession of soaked walkers coming in for refreshments and to escape the rain which had become even heavier than first thing this morning. The picture is one that I took on a previous visit to Tarn Hows in July 2013. It certainly didn’t look like that today.