Saturday 19th January in the snow.

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Walker meet sledges at Barkestone le Vale

Walker meet sledges at Barkestone le Vale

It had snowed yesterday and with low temperatures nothing had changed. The walk was therefore iffy but being so close to home for the leader I had decided to go to the start come what may, in case anyone turned up without first making contact. There had been three calls but two remained undecided.

I’d been out walking on Thursday which had been a great day but reccies outside on Friday  proved the wind to be biting. Fortunately that wind had dropped and I got quite warm walking across the fields to the start. A car draws up as I approach the church gate. “Is the walk going ahead?” is the greeting.

We have a number of options: abandon and return to the comfort of home or do the walk as planned which unfortunately had no points to shelter along the way. I suggest two totally different walks which offer a tea shop half way. This clinches it, so now it’s either a lane walk to Bottesford or field walk to Stathern, off road wins the day.

The tea room offers an unusual welcome “Good Lord – was the door open?” but we manage to get cups of coffee before they have to unlock the door again and in floods a large group that overwhelms them.

The walk has all been fairly easy and the crunchy snow along the towpath on the return is very pleasant. While the tea room volunteers may have cried off attending to their duties there are lots of folk out and about, many with children and sledges. Weather that keeps some indoors attracts others out and at the end of the day we must have met the same number of people enjoying the countryside.

My sincere thanks to Jackie for making the effort and driving over from Loughborough area. Without a group to control my pace we covered the five miles, including a coffee stop, in two hours. For this I apologise!

Download this walk as a gpx file to use for free on your SatNav device here

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