Archive for the ‘Rambles’ Category

Wednesday walk 5th September

August 9, 2018

The meeting place & lunch place on the programme for Wednesday walk 5th September is unclear.  It should be Ulverscroft GRANGE, the Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation LE67 9QB,   Please park on the overflow car park on the grass to the left of the drive  on entrance before descending  to the lower car park, this is reserved  for disabled visitors.   Thank you.   Dennis O’B

http://www.shuttlewood-clarke.org/

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Saturday – Three churches walk

June 2, 2018

15 walkers met at Stoke Albany for today’s walk from this village in Northamptonshire, which is just off the A427 road from Market Harborough to Corby.  Grey skies overhead, some breeze with promise of humid conditions later in the day.  The walk started from the church and minor paths to the West of the village were safely negotiated before  joining the Jurassic Way which would take us over some wonderful rolling countryside to Brampton Ash church.

One member came to the rescue of a lamb which had caught its neck in some wire, attracted by grass growing on the other side of the fence.  Below Brampton Ash church spire viewed from a hill above Stoke wood.

The walk continued on the Midshires Way through undulating countryside before reaching the village of Ashley where a well deserved sandwich lunch was taken.  Just another two miles back to the start of the walk at Stoke Albany.  The leader was thanked for a memorable walk.

Ashley Church

Tuesday short walk from Asfordby

May 22, 2018

Crown Inn, Asfordby

Members met at the above inn before commencing on their weekly walk.  The front of the building looks as though it might be a converted house. In fact this was an eighteenth century coaching inn.  We were made most welcome and at the end of the walk a two course meal for £7.50p was enjoyed.

The short walk of approximately three miles, commenced along Main Street towards Melton Mowbray.  A footpath was taken on the right hand side of the road to the village of Kirby Bellars.  The church of St. Peter dominates the local landscape.  It has an impressive tower and has an ashlar spire with low broaches, early 1300 hundreds.

This picture was taken from the bank of the River Wreake.  Washdyke Lane afforded us access to the village. Passing over the river we found evidence of the old canal created by the Melton Mowbray Navigation. Two locks were installed in the late 1790’s and the canal was closed in 1877.  The second lock is at Asfordby which we also saw.  A visit to the church was made. Ironstone tower, worn by the weather. A notice advised us of the theft of lead from the roof of the church.  Our walk continued through meadow land, carpeted by buttercups before crossing between the lakes on our way to Asfordby.  The site of the Old Asfordby mill was inspected before walking along Pump Lane and Main Street.

Golden oldies on the Tuesday walk from Huncote

May 15, 2018

The start of this walk was from the “Red Lion” at Huncote.  After a short walk along Croft Road, our group turned eastwards into the nature reserve lying beside the artificial hill.  This is just south of the Croft quarry and constructed by the quarry company.  In perfect conditions a small pond was skirted, before joining a board walk taking us towards the river Soar.  The quarry company have constructed two footbridges over the river which now provides a through route to Croft.

Our walk continued to the second footbridge and then in a southerly direction beside the Leicester to Birmingham railway line. A small break was taken for refreshment at the cricket ground before continuing into Croft village. Croft pastures is well worth a visit which is a nature area managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. The second picture illustrates a line of bushes of may blossom at its most striking..

The river Soar was once more crossed before entering “The Glebe”.  This is a woodland area managed by the Woodland Trust with many Horse Chestnut trees.  Passing the cemetery and crossing the Croft Road, the path in the wood adjoining the road took us back to Huncote.  Wild flowers and a variety of trees were seen with some large patches of pink Campion.  The last picture was taken along this path.

This walk of four miles took us 2hrs and 30 minutes.  Walkers took refreshment in the “Red Lion” and enjoyed memories of what had turned out to be a glorious day.

Temporary closure of the Nags Head public House, Stapleton

May 2, 2018

Members may recall being advised about a special deal at the above public house, encouraging walks to be started from the public house.  An enticement was offered for free coffee before the walk started.  How welcome that would have been.

A recent visit to the public house discovered due to a change of managers, lunches were not being served for a while.  Therefore if you are arranging a walk from the Nags Head in the near future, please be aware of the changed situation.

In difficult trading times, I am sure all walk leaders are aware of the necessity to check your chosen public house venue is still trading and food is available.

 

Saturday walk 28th April

April 13, 2018

Some additional and amended information about the walk on Saturday 28th April. Meet at  Rearsby church 10am parking on Brookside if required. Rather than bus to Melton we will be walking to Melton then bus back so bring bus pass or cash for fare (5A every 20 minutes see link details of 5A service). For those who wish there is the option of a meal and or drink at Wetherspoons which is opposite the bus stop (See reviews on TripAdvisor).

The walk is 8.5 miles  (see the route here) and will use a part of the Leicestershire Round, the restored Waterhouse Bridge. We will skirt south of Asfordby before taking the causeway across the former gravel pit on the approach to Kirby Bellars. To reach Melton our walk uses a highway through Sysonby Grange a route that LFA submitted a Definitive Map Modification Order in 1996 . We can review progress on this application.

I look forward to seeing you.  Ken B

Tuesday walk, 20th February, 2018.

February 20, 2018

Walkers waiting directions from the leader

Our leader who guided us well

By special arrangement the walk started from the “Cock Inn” at Peatling Magna.  Twenty five walkers did the longer walk of nearly six miles.  The ground was saturated in places following overnight rain. Some slopes were slippery and good balance was necessary in places.  Fortunately there were no ploughed fields to cross.  There were at least fourteen stiles, some of which were in a bad state of repair.

The walk started  by joining the Leicestershire Round and walking towards Willoughby Waterleys.  Joining the Mere Road and continued in a southerly direction and then joining footpath Y20 taking us towards Bruntingthorpe.  It was on this footpath where difficult stiles were met.  Those in a dangerous condition will be notified to LCC.

All walkers made a safe return to Peatling Magna and enjoyed refreshment at the “Cock Inn”

 

Ken finding this stile challenging and unsafe

Makeney Hall Hotel – weekend

October 30, 2017

This can only be a snapshot of the weekend because I didn’t fully participate only joining the group to lead a walk on Saturday.

I did pop over on Friday evening to announce my walk which was planned to be the  middle distance of the three on offer. I invite the other leaders or a participant to submit a report from their walk.

Perhaps influenced by the filling meal the group had just taken the majority opted for the shortest walk so I’m grateful to those who agreed to join me on an adventurous bus walk.

On Saturday morning we set off to Milford and the bus stop, being a little early gave an opportunity to for a brief history tour of Milford. Today we could only see the building that houses the wonderful 1937 hydro electric generator (read more) but here’s what we missed.

MIlford Hydo-electric plant

We caught the bus to Belper the original plan being to stock up with lunch but all were fully provisioned so we used the bus to take us high above Belper then walked down Long Row to the East Mill having looked down on it over the rooftops. We also popped into the pleasant Riverside Gardens. Hundreds of birds were on the river and discussion took place as to their name. (Chris provided the answer – Black Headed Gull see RSPB website)

While waiting at the next bus stop who should we spy approaching but the long walk group. Well, when I say group it was leader and one follower. They had already done 4 miles and we were yet to start.

Waiting for the bus

Waiting for the bus

Our walk started at Cowers Lane half way along the Ecclesbourne Way a walk from Duffield to Wirksworth of 11 miles. It follows the river of that name and the Ecclesboure Valley Railway.  It was pretty wet underfoot but the rain held off as we headed up the valley. Late coffee or early lunch was taken at Idridgehay station where there is a seat. We were also pleased to see a passing train.

 

Idridgehay station

Idridgehay station

Because of heavy going and low cloud it was voted that we miss Alport Height. Little point in climbing to a viewpoint when we knew the views were hidden. Closer views were very much appreciated so no great loss. At Wirksworth station a loop around town paths was on offer but a tea shop and earlier return bus gained most votes. I believe that a beer festival at The Holly Bush in Makeney may also have been an influence.

 

Makeney Hall weekend – preview

October 3, 2017

The LFA away weekend at Makeney Hall Hotel is fast approaching so we offer a preview of one the walks that will be on offer.

The Ecclesboure Way has recently been created following, as the name suggests, the river Ecclesboure between Duffield and Wirksworth. At eleven miles it’s an ideal day walk with links by heritage railway or hourly bus providing a return for this linear walk. The only downside is the lack of refreshment opportunities along the way.

Duffield bridge over the River Ecclesbourne

Duffield bridge over the River Ecclesbourne

The route starts at Duffields railway stations. One on the Derby – Matlock line. The other serving the heritage line to Wirksworth this shares the valley so with luck we will see a tourist train sometime during the journey.

We initially share paths used by the Centenary Way keeping close and often crossing the river which on our visit was flowing fast after heavy rain over night. The ground was soft but rich pasture ensured our boots stayed clean.

Windleyhill Farm on the Ecclesbourne Way

Windleyhill Farm on the Ecclesbourne Way

After a couple of miles the route climbs to Windleyhill Farm where a confusing layout of paths meet among the disused farm buildings. From here the views across and down the valley provide a change of scene and show how delightful this neglected area can be.

Crossing the Ecclesbourne approaching Turnditch

Crossing the Ecclesbourne approaching Turnditch

After the tiny village of Windley we drop back to the river meeting the railway near Shottle Station. The hamlet of that name is two miles distant while Turnditch and it’s Inn is just 300 metres to the left along the Asbourne road.

A heritage railcar approaches Idridgehay station

A heritage railcar approaches Idridgehay station

We considered sitting by the river for our lunch. Wet grass and older legs encouraged us to press on to Idridgehay where a bench on the station platform offered a comfortable stop. Our pause was enhanced by the arrival of the 13.30 heritage railcar to Duffield which had to pause while the third man operated the crossing gates.

A Peak and Northern Footpath Society sign shows the low route avoiding Alport Height

A Peak and Northern Footpath Society sign shows the low route avoiding Alport Height

Over half way, but, it’s now a climb of nearly seven hundred feet to Alport Height but wow was it worth it. It is said that the Shropshire Wrekin can be seen from here so we scanned around as we headed for the eight masts which mark the hill top. Ratcliffe on Soar power station was clear in the sunshine and, not so clear, five cooling towers, all that remains of the former Willington site . It is said that a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons saved the towers from demolition in 1999. New plans were passed for demolition of these landmarks early this year…….but they are still there late September 2017.

Alport Height

Alport Height

We anticipated downhill from here and so it was to the outskirts of Wirksworth at Gorsey Bank. A sigh from weary walkers as the route turned right, uphill so close to the end. This deviation rewards the traveller with a fine view over our destination so route planners were forgiven. The walk ends at Wirksworth station but with a bus in five minutes half of the party gave that a miss.

The view over Wirksworth near the end of the walk

The view over Wirksworth near the end of the walk

A surprisingly good walk and excellent weather when the days either side were both wet. It was good to see that a number of new gates had been installed along the route, some by volunteers from the local RA group. Well done to all for opening up a very pleasant valley that has been long neglected by walkers.

Walk end - Wirksworth station.

Walk end – Wirksworth station.

Thanks to  Walking John’s Blog for some of the pictures used here..

 

 

Leicestershire Round (& Hound) Event

May 19, 2017

Two local charities, Leicester Animal Aid and PROST aid, combined to organise a fund raising event based on walking the Leicestershire Round. It was not only for raising money but to promote walking for health.  The idea was to break the ‘Round’ into eleven reasonably equal sections and entrants to get sponsorship to walk one section of their choice with or without their dog. Thus the event title of Round and Hound.

We , the L.F.A. who created the ‘Round’, were approached for our advice and possible help in leading the walks. Cindy West our Secretary and others, liaised with the two charities over a period of time, culminating in a well organised event on Sunday May 14th. The event was publicised on Radio Leicester and gave our President, Brian Jenkinson, the opportunity to promote the L.F.A. in general and the new ‘Round’ book in particular. The charities also featured and thanked the L.F.A. in their literature

On the day the weather was mostly sunny but for the Foxton to Bruntingthorpe group at least, a short hailstorm near the end could have been done without. I think drowned rats was mentioned.  Organisers, Leaders and participants  are to be congratulated on a job well done. Who knows ,it may be repeated.

 

A Group at Bradgate

The Start From Foxton including  Dave  Daines ,Jenny Thompson and Rick Satchwell of LFA

We wish to thank all our volunteers for  their time and effort which was not just on the day. So thanks to Tom Brooks & Anne Constable, Robert Hancock & Pete Chaplin, Nigel Bedford & John Millward, Dave Williams & Bob Wade, Rick Satchwell & Dave Daines. If anyone has been missed please accept our apologies. One L.F.A. member, Jenny Thompson, entered and raised over £200  but we don’t know the total for the event yet.