Somewhere else

October 24, 2011

Walking the Wolds

Walking the entire network of public footpaths and bridleways which criss-cross the Lincolnshire Wolds, is a plan conceived just four days ago. So far, I’ve walked on three of those days and today is young!

Day one

was the Escher Walk, my own name for a circular route from the house, which seems to be downhill all the way!

I do this walk often, but needed to cover the ground officially on my first day, to make it count (OCD?)

It’s about two miles.

Day two

was a two mile walk in the dark (so no photographs) along the banks of the disused canal ( a section of the River Bain) on the south-western outskirts of Horncastle. We walked southward as far as the bridge by the old railway cottage on the road to Thornton, and came back along the other side.

This stirred up a few memories from my teens, when it was one of my daily walks with Jess.

There have been a few additions to the walk, in the form of numerous signs warning the unaware that water can be dangerous ( 😛 ) and fences to stop you crossing the canal at the lock. Somewhere, I have black and white photographs of Jess and and me crossing the canal at that very point! You’re also warned not to step out onto the concrete weir at the start of the canal – a favourite place, in the past, for walking across when the river was frozen or unusually low, and a pier from which young fishermen dipped their nets.  We would paddle with plastic-sandalled or plimsolled feet near the rushing water on hot Summer days. Canoeists in the river behind the weir would play with the pull of water going over the edge, or below it, would see how far into the rushing cascade they could probe their pointed bow.

And the swimming pool! Gone are the sounds of people having fun and the smell of chlorine that once pervaded the air as you neared it – the pool is no longer open-air. The stile on the footpath by the back corner of its garden would provide a brief vantage point from which to see who was enjoying a swim, or a sunbathe on the lawn. I remember the orderly queue of youngsters with rolled up towel underarm as they slowly crunched their way along the gravel path to the entrance. Marcella was always there!

And cold Winters! I once had a go at ice-skating on the huge frozen puddle in the field behind the swimming pool – couldn’t even stand up in those skates, could I, Christine?

Hmmm – didn’t expect this walking venture to bring back so many memories!

On the map below, you can see the disused canal running from north to south, midway between the A153 and the B1191.

Day three   

felt like my first “proper” day of  Walking the Wolds, as it was the first time I’d brought out the map to plan the day’s walk. I chose another circular route, starting at Belchford, heading for Scamblesby and back along part of the Viking Way (the canal-side tow-path from day two also forms part of this long-distance footpath).

My choice of route for the day was influenced by the name of a hill. Being local, the village name of Belchford held no fascination (though it might amuse those not familiar with it!)  Juicetrump Hill, on the other hand – new to me – just had to be seen!

I found this link, after we got back! Reverse the directions and that was our walk! Four and a half miles.

Belchford and Juicetrump Hill

A few photographs from the afternoon’s walk:

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