Monthly Archives: December 2015


Thursday 31 December 2015. To round off the year, Hilary organized an additional walk around the Sandringham Estate. 10 of us met at the visitor centre for this walk of 7.16 miles on a bright but chilly day – perfect for walking. The Estate has a maze of paths and I never seem to know where I am without referring to my digital mapping/GPS.

We set off through the woods in the general direction of the A149 before crossing it and entering Sandringham Warren. We stopped for coffee looking out across Dersingham Bog and then headed towards the village of Wolferton where the now disused railway station has been converted into a domestic dwelling but still retains all of the railway features, including the crossing gates.

A circuit of the village brought us to back across Sandringham Warren and along the “scenic drive” back to the car. The majority of the group stopped outside to eat their sandwiches whilst Amanda and I went into the restaurant for an enjoyable lunch of burger and big chips – lovely!

Sandringham- walk route

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Longshaw Estate

Sunday 27 December 2015. For a change, we had an away day to the Peak District. Numbers dwindled the nearer that we got to the date and Jacqui was the last to cry off as she had to sort out her rental apartment ready for a booking tomorrow. It was a shame for those who were unable to attend as it was a perfect start to the walk with clear blue skies. It was a little cool but the climb out of the Burbage Brook gorge soon had us shedding layers.

We left the Longshaw Estate visitor centre to headed south past a small lake and down through the woods to the footbridge across Burbage Brook. Soon after we stopped for coffee before completing the walk alongside the fast flowing stream and then crossing the road to start the walk along Burbage Edge. There were hundreds of walkers out today on what was a very popular post-Christmas route. The climb up onto Burbage Edge was entertaining with Linda taking a more unconventional route jumping from rock to rock whilst Bea, Peter and I stuck to the safer footpath some way back from the edge. We stopped for lunch sitting on the rocks and looking out to Higger Tor on the other side of the valley.

Having reached Upper Burbage Bridge, we then hopped across a couple of small streams before making the climb up to Higger Tor which, at just over 1,400ft, was the highest point on our route. We then descended towards Carl Wark. Linda went on ahead to run up and climb down the site of the Iron Age fort whilst the rest of us took a less taxing route around the side. The remainder of the route was a gentle meander back to the car.

The visitor centre on the Longshaw Estate was heaving with people enjoying a day out in the countryside and rather than queueing interminably for a cup of tea, we made the short drive into Hathersage for refreshments at the Outside store’s café. The walk was 7½ miles with a total ascent of around 1,200ft.

Peak District Walk


Rutland Round – Leg 7

Sunday 20 December 2015. Today was the 7th and final leg of the Rutland Round from Teigh to Oakham. It was just short of 10 miles with a little over 600ft of ascent; most of which came in the climb out of Langham to the top of Mill Hill. I/we made a couple of minor navigational errors but these added very little to the overall length of the walk.

It was a bright sunny day but we had to walk into a strong south-westerly breeze for most of the time. We stopped in Whissendine and Langham for refreshments. A distinct absence of signposts made route finding through the housing estates more difficult than it needed to have been. The footpaths were muddy and slippery in places but this didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the walk.

The whole Rutland Round is supposed to be about 65 miles but overall we walked a total of 73 miles. I know that we detoured in places and missed an odd mile or two of road walking but it seems strange that there should be such a large discrepancy between the two figures. I’d like to thank Linda for her company on the walk as without the use of her car to ferry between starts/finishes it wouldn’t have been possible to complete this walk and to tick off another long distance trail.

Rutland Round Leg 7 – Walk Route


Rutland Round – Leg 6

Monday 14 December 2015. Today’s walk was the 6th leg of the Rutland Round (8½ miles with only 390ft of ascent). We should have resumed in Clipsham but this would have involved 1½ miles of walking on the busy road to Stretton. This wasn’t an attractive proposition so we parked the car in Stretton and started from there instead.

The first 6 miles of this leg weren’t particularly interesting and involved crossing or walking around numerous muddy fields. We adjusted the route to walk on roads where we could but some of the fields couldn’t be avoided. We stopped for coffee after 3½ miles in Thisleton. The walk improved towards the end as we crossed more rolling countryside. Just outside of Teigh we crossed what I thought was a disused railway line. One part was now a small lake and the other just a deep cutting. After looking more closely at the map, I see that it was in fact a disused but unnamed canal.

There wasn’t a convenient stopping place on the last 5 miles of this walk so we waited for lunch until the end in Teigh. The village has a small memorial to those who survived the war. It is described as “A Thankful Village”. It is one of just 32 villages throughout the country who were fortunate not to have lost any of their men whilst fighting the wars.

Rutland Round Leg 6 – walk route

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Sunday 13 December 2013. Just 5 of us (Linda W, Peter, Michael, Phil & me) on today’s 5.8 mile walk from Beachamwell. It wasn’t a very nice morning but the mist and drizzle had lifted by the time we started the walk. It remained dry for the first hour but there was light rain for the remainder of the walk.

A large puddle near Forest Farm presented something of a problem as there was only a foot-wide strip of sloping land between it and an electrified fence. Michael started to slide into the water and, in grabbing out, caught hold of the electric fence. Luckily, it wasn’t working, so no harm done. The puddle was there when I recce’d the walk 4 weeks ago and must be a permanent feature. I’ll report it to Norfolk CC to see if they can get something done about it.

The first 2 pictures were taken on my recce and the last 2 on today’s walk.

Beachamwell – walk route

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Mossymere Woods

Back in July I was asked by the Arts Council of England if they could use one of my pictures of Mossymere Woods in a publication that they would be producing about the transfer of ownership of property and land in lieu of inheritance tax. I was flattered by the approach and gave my permission for use despite there being no financial reward. In return, I was promised a copy of the final publication which arrived in the post today. The full document can be viewed here.

I’ve produced an extract covering the section on Mossymere Woods and have added a copy of the picture in question, both of which can be viewed below. The most interesting aspect is that the wood, which was formally owned by the Mannington Estate is now owned by the National Trust; being part of the Blickling Hall estate. Helen’s Mannington Hall Bluebell Walk on 17 April 2016 will take in Mossymere Wood and hopefully the flowers will provide a similar display.

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IMG_0424 (750 x 1000)

Rutland Round – Leg 5

Monday 7 December 2015. Having walked 10½ miles yesterday on the Rutland Round; Linda and I walked another 10¾ miles today in completing Leg 5 of the walk which included a total ascent of 760ft. It wasn’t long after leaving Empingham that we encountered a fallen tree blocking our path. It must have been down for some time as an “unofficial” bypass had been formed through the adjacent woodland. A little later on we missed a signpost hidden by an overgrown hedge but it didn’t really matter as the cross-field path hadn’t been reinstated and we walked around the edge of the field instead. A nearby house had an amuzing “Bees Welcome” sign on the gate and a number of hives down the side of their garden fence.

Coffee was taken at the 3-mile point inside the fascinating church at Tickencote. My pictures inside the church didn’t come out too well but you can see some here as well as reading a little about the history of the church. Our route then took us through the outskirts of Great Casterton where the school bike rack had been given over to scooters. We stopped for lunch at the 7¼ mile point, sitting in the sun on a bench below Pickworth church. This village was the birthplace of the poet John Clare.

So far, it had been an easy walk but the path through what is shown on the map as Clipsham “Old” Quarry presented a real challenge. There were no signposts and even if there had been, the route was straight through the middle of what is now a very active quarry with no public access. We had to divert to the west to follow Bidwell Lane back to the car in Clipsham. Whilst this only added ¾ of a mile to our walk, it took some time to find a way around. This problem and a couple of others encountered today have been reported to Rutland Council for action.


Rutland Council responded the next day to advise that the route of the Rutland Round through Clipsham quarry is a longstanding problem dating back to 1991. An alternative, unadopted, route has been put in place but isn’t signed or shown on the Council’s digital mapping. This didn’t help us on the day and I’ve asked that they take remedial action.

Rutland Round Leg 5 – walk route

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