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.