A birthday amble - Allexton

>>  Sunday, August 18, 2019

 I decided it was time to go walk something I was unfamiliar with, alone and with nothing but a map in hand.

I had previously stumbled across a lovely looking walk on a website

It started at Allexton, a quiet village with not much happening.

 And I headed out uphill and within a mile decided I was on the wrong road!

But I took heart that my favourite hill walking club walk leader always says getting in and out of villages is the hardest part.

I'm also not stupid and I'm intelligent enough to know I'm stupid enough to get myself in a right twizzle reading maps.

So I had downloaded the gpx file of the route (you can plot your own on OS maps) and put it on my watch with an app called dwmap.  I wouldn't rely on this entirely.  When paths are close together your gps can think you are 'on route' when you are very much on the wrong path but when you are wondering if you should have walked a mile in the other direction then seeing this was very reassuring and I knew I was on the map where I thought I was.

So I was on my way.
 Even with the walk vibrating at me that a turn point was  I was very careful to be following the proper OS map (paper variety).

This is the right way to do it.  When your technology fails you for lack of signal/battery/smashed in a fall it will be the paper map that gets you out of the wilderness, it's important to be able to read them properly and that was my plan for today.
 To learn to follow the map square by square recognising the contour lines as a "yes, I should be walking up hill right now" and a "that building there is that mark there on the map"

And the reassuring glance at the watch occasionally to see I was getting it right.

 In the walking group there is always someone else to bounce off, alone you only have you and your map.

And sometimes I felt a bit vulnerable and wondered how sensible it is to be alone but hey-ho once you are in there there's only one way out!

Back to the map.

If you plan to follow this route let me warn you about Knob hill farm.

The path does go through the middle of the yard, past the signs warning about guard dogs through the high gates that look locked and no, there are no signs on any of it.

There is no decent sign posts on any of the few field taking you towards the road, there are lots of barbed wire gates and prominent bridle path and 'private property' signs to discourage you from following the footpath.

I walked a long way round.  Sigh.

But onto Blaston.

A beautiful village clearly having a lot of wealthy inhabitants.

I had a brief rest at the tiny church.
And headed onward towards Nevill Holt.
Nevill Holt is extra specially wealthy!
And extremely well placed on the north side of the Welland Valley
It used to be a school, the school closed amid a huge scandal and was bought by David Ross.
It has a 400 seat opera  house there too
I walked the tree lined avenue out towards Medbourne.
I was high up but there was no wind.  It was lovely.
I went off the route plan as I spotted a path that cut past a house and into a fields and it was worth the minor detourand it caught back up with the intended route.

Through Medbourne.
and out again, I did head out on the wrong road for a few hundred yards (with the watch quite happy about it) but I knew it felt wrong so I turned and had another go and headed up the Slawston Road and back on route.
To Hallaton on the Macmillan Way.
Hallaton is very familiar territory and the Leicestershire round comes into it.
The route home was quite clear.
Although the marker for this part of the path was no better than it was in 2017!
The views stayed good
But it was past my tea time, the clouds had cleared and it was getting hotter not cooler.
With a long grass final haul

I was back into Allexton.

15.5 miles  and 1700"

It as a good walk, I was pleased with myself for doing it alone and using the maps (OS233 and OS234).



>>  Monday, August 12, 2019

We started on the A619 outside Baslow.  This was my first time doing anything since Scotland and my bad back so I was nervous.  So maybe a little doddery, within the first mile I was flat on my face with cut hands, knees and a very sore ego.  But you can only go onwards when walking in a group!

On Birchen Edge there was Nelson’s Monument and Three Ships.
The monument was erected in 1810 by John Brightman, a local business man, in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson after Trafalgar in 1805.  It was erected before Nelson’s Column in London.
The ships are three gritstone boulders which have Victory, Defiance and Royal Soverin etched on them.

And then we came across a companion stone, a set of stones by local artists and poets.

On Baslow Edge  was Wellington's monument. A celebration of victory at the battle of Waterloo 1815. It was erected by a local army man, Dr Wrench, to counterbalance the memorial dedicated to Admiral Nelson on Birchen Edge.

And onto Eagle Stone, which is becoming a familiar sight to me now and I could tell the others in the group about its stag association.

 This was turning into a beautiful and interesting walk.
 The baby Highland cattle didn't care to be bothered by walkers in the heat of the day.
 We went over Curbar edge to Froggatt
 Which is always stunning
 But we turned off and down a steep route towards Eyam.

 Past the Riley Graves
 If you haven't visited Eyam you should.
 It is a beautiful and interesting village with an incredible history to be proud of.
 The hay making had begun
 and the newest little calves staggered to their feet

Cressbrook dale was extraordinarily beautiful and I'd like to walk through it again.

 Maybe the weather helped.
 But it really was stunning and the flowers that covered the hillsides endless.

And whilst we were distracted by its beauty we missed a path and added an extra mile to the route!

Through Litton and onto Tideswell.

15 miles of the best walk I've had with the walking club.

Just a perfect day.

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