Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Croxton Kerrial to Waltham on the Wolds

Date: 2012-09-09
From: Croxton Kerrial
Region: Leicestershire
Walk :  Linear
OS Sheet: Explorer OL24
Start Grid: SK 836 291
Distance: 11.1 ml, 17.9 km 
Height Gain: 430 ft, 131m
Height Lost: 361 ft, 110 m
Walking with: Andy
Notes: Road walking at start and finish then a fairly flat walk over fields and along tracks, quite a few stiles and gates, muddy in parts.

These notes are provided to enable the walk to be plotted on a 1:25,000 map.
Take the A607 E, towards Grantham, at the bend keep right into lane, passed track to Tippings Lodge to track (Viking Way) on right heading SE. Follow SE around Airfield to just before a road is reached  take footpath on right W. Follow the path through woodland and part of the old airfield across fields and road to Saltby. Take the footpath from Saltby to Bescaby Oaks and Croxton Park, turn SE along track to Bescaby then take footpath by Racecourse Farm up to the Air Traffic Control Mast and into Waltham.

This was another Number 8 bus from Loughborough walk and Andy joined me to walk it. With clear blue skies and a gentle breeze it was a pretty much a perfect day for a walk

Viking Way
Apart from the road work out of Croxton to the Viking Way the whole walk was very enjoyable. The Viking Way took us some four K South East, crossing part of a decommisioned airfield on the way The track is broad and is earth and stone with grass verges and hedges. In places it is was scored by deep water filled ruts.
Muddy Ruts
As we approached the Airfield we could hear, then see tow planes and gliders. RAF Saltby was built and was operational during the Second World War and was home to British, American and Polish Air Forces. Among its roles was the dropping parachutists on D-Day and later into Arnhem.

Tow Plane towing Glider
It is now the home of Buckminster Glider Club. The gliders are towed into the air by a small aircraft that climbs in broad circles until the glider is released to do its own thing, the plane lands to take up the next one.

Tow Plane

Memorial RAF Saltby
As we walked around the southern end of the airfield we met a large bunch of people standing around or sitting in an array of camp chairs. They were talking, waving papers about, looking at books, holding clip boards, all looking, to us, somewhat furtive and a little embarrassed by our presence.

Being bold we asked ‘what ya doing’.“There is a glider acrobatic competition here this afternoon and we are doing the scorering”. Was the reply. Not a lot we could say to that, so wishing them well we moved on.

NE from Bescaby Oaks
For a walk of over eleven miles it felt easy and seemed to go very quickly. It is not a walk to rave over but is a  good walk through largely arable countryside .

Waltham-on-the-Wolds: St Mary Magdalene

Friday, 7 September 2012

Totley to Grindleford

Date: 2012-09-01
From: Grindleford Station
Region: Peak District
Walk :  Linear
OS Sheet: Explorer OL24
 + a couple of prints from Bing OS maps (or other system)
Start Grid: SK 251 787
Distance: 10.3 ml, 16.6 km 
Height Gain: 1553 ft, 473 m
Height Lost: 1400 ft, 327 m 
Walking with: Andy
Notes: A 11 minute train journey followed by a 4 to 5 hour walk back over very variable terrain including plush golf courses, farm land, housing estate, a cricket pitch, boggy moorland and park land.

These notes are provided to enable the walk to be plotted on a 1:25,000 map.
Park at Gindleford Station, catch the Sheffield bound train getting off at the first station, Totley and Dore. Walk out onto the A621, turn left, turn left at first road junction, uphill, take second footpath on left on to the Golf Course NE to junction, turn right SSE along track to Old Park Wood and into the housing estate turn right to B6054.  Footpath opposite on to the Golf Course, take path on right to Barnes Farm and join the Sheffield Country Walk. Follow this Walk W to the Fox House Inn on the A6187, above Grindleford. At the junction with the A625 enter the Longshaw Estate, follow footpaths SW around the lake and down to Grindleford Station.

This walk evolved out of an attempt to find new walks or at least walks which were largely new. The Peaks are a large area but having walked here for many years we are finding that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to put together a walk using paths we’ve not used many times.

 I was scrolling around my 1:50k digital map looking, in vain,to plan a new or at least a bit different route from Hope Station to Grindleford Station when I noticed the Longshaw Estate, then further east, the markings for a long distance path swinging west and north across Totley Moor. This was the Sheffield Country Walk, then having located Totley Station and played with a few route options, a 10 mile walk was plotted.

Unfortunately the first 2 miles are not on the White Peak map (OL24) and being too tight to buy the adjacent 1:25k maps, I used Bing mapping and printed off three sections around Totley to complement the 1:50k I use for the route. I usually keep the 25k map handy for backup.

Rose Hips
Dore & Totley GC
The first half of the walk is a mixed bag of golf courses, farm land and woodland interspersed with small areas of suburban housing. Navigation was a little fraught at times, especially when juggling between the 1:50k and the Bing prints. Signs hidden in undergrowth and signs missing all added to the mix, however we only had to backtrack twice and then only by about 30 metres, which is about par on most of our walks. This half of the walk was fairly typical of the sections that you come across on a long distance walk where a city, its approaches and suburbs need to be negotiated, in fact it was a far better that some of these I’ve walked, it was a good enjoyable walk.

Sheep near Mickley
From the A621 at Totley the route wriggles north then west across Needham’s Dike, up to the Cricket Pub, around the cricket pitch and along a road/track which almost follows the route of Totley Tunnel up on to Totley Moor. Look out for the Air Shafts.

From Totley Moor Looking East
The walk across the moorland and down to Fox House Inn was great, if a little boggy and flood damaged. It was a joy to be up in this wide open empty landscape strolling along in the sun and warm breeze, taking in the fresh air and the views.
Burbage Edge From Totley Moor
Higger Tor from Longshaw
Longshaw Lake
Andy had not been to Longshaw before and I only once, when orienteering, so it was a super surprise to both of us what a lovely place it is. The mixture of moor, wood, farm and park we saw was beautiful and well kept. Clearly this is a place we will visit again as well as bringing the family here to see the grounds, the house and other attractions we only glimpsed.

Path down to Grindleford