A good turn out for a walk and lunch despite forecasted winds gusting up to 27 mph. Starting off from Kings Cliffe it was pretty much all off–road along tracks and fields. There were no major hills but the ground was quite boggy in parts following a week of heavy rainfall despite being in August. We did reach the trig point at the dizzy height of 85m before taking a quick coffee break. Passing between Crayley Wood and Hostage Wood heading for Bulwick, there were quite a few stiles some of which weren't particularly stable.
A very nice lunch was taken at The Queens Head, Alan opting for the aptly named ‘Walkers lunch’ [Ed – quite good value at £7]. Here we lingered until nearly 3pm, having been joined by Alexandra and Mark. Sadly the famous Village Shop (the birthplace of The Pickled Village's award–winning pickles and preserves) was still shut following a fire in February.
The second half of the route was much prettier walking alongside Willow Brook and taking in views across Blatherwyke Lake. Not even mentioned on the map, Blatherwyke Hall was demolished in the 1940s and it's garden lost. In 2011 the renovation of the 4 acre walled gardens started. So far a large kitchen garden, wall trained fruit trees, extensive herbaceous borders, parterre, wild flower meadows, tropical bed, shrub borders and a large arboretum have been planted. Restoration of the crinkle crankle wall has also begun.
This is an example of a crinkle crankle wall.
The lake was dug by Irish labourers thought to have been brought over at the time of the potato famine in Ireland. In its prime it was the source of water for the ironworks in Corby. Today it was a haven for plentiful swans and their babies. The area must be a bird watchers paradise with Red Kites in abundance.
A little further on, Simon told us to look up the hill for the statue in a field. This is The Apollo Belvedere, however no–one seems really sure exactly what it's doing there!
Back at Kings Cliffe we saw a sign for The Underground Centre – this turned out to be a youth facility for young people in the local community, not a Brexit bunker for Simon! [Ed –where is the youth facility for old people, that's what I want to know?] Finally a quick dash under a precariously placed fallen tree and we were back at the start point having walked our lunch off (hopefully).
Report – Sue
Walk rating – Good.
Pictures by Alan
This is a very attractive building for what we assume is (or was) a farm house.
Back on track after a slight unplanned deviation.
We came across several structures like this which are probably linked to shooting in the area.
We have our own room in the pub.
There is some good scenery as we near the lake.
Easy walking along a lovely grass track.
By this tree is one of what look like toilet cubicles; they have a window and a chair, so also probably something to do with shooting in the area.