Sunday 23 August 2013. There were 9 of us on today’s 8.45 mile walk with just under 500ft of ascent starting from Holt Country Park. This is an excellent place to meet as, although there was a car park charge of £1.50, there were freshly cleaned toilets and a mobile van selling freshly ground coffee.
I’ve done a lot of walking during the last month in the Peak District and the Calderdale area of West Yorkshire but I don’t think that any of these walks were better than today’s. The weather was ideal, in the low 20’s and with a cooling wind.
The harvest was in full swing and we passed several combined harvesters busy in the adjacent fields. We stopped just short of Hempstead for coffee and then for a 30 minute lunch break in the grounds of Baconsthorpe Castle which dates back to 1460. I doubt that we’ve ever had such a beautiful lunch stop as we sat in the sunshine watching the swans on the surrounding moat.
When we did the recce for this walk on New Year’s day we passed a few donkeys in a field near to Hempstead Hall and, unsurprisingly, they were still there today. I don’t quite know what it is about donkeys but they always bring a smile to my face. Perhaps it is the childhood memories of donkey rides on the beach. After a short section of road walking the walk ended with a stroll through the woods and back to the cars.