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" The Nene Way at Wansford ~ with Angie "

Date & start time: Thursday 26th January 2012 12.30 pm start.

Location of Start : The Haycock Hotel, Wansford, Cambridgeshire (Grid ref: TL 076 990 )

Places visited : Wansford, Yarwell, The Black Horse Nassington, Old Sulehay Woods and back.

Walk details : 6.5 mls, 250 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 15 mins.

Highest point : Old Sulehay Woods, 168 ft above sea level.

Walked with : Angie, Ann and the dogs, Bailey, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Sunshine and blue skies with some cloud cover. Cool but gentle breeze.


 " The Nene Way at Wansford " at EveryTrail

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Visiting friends and family, we stop off for a few days at Angie and David's near Stamford.

One of their local walks includes a short section of the long-distance Nene Way path

through the Cambridgeshire / Northamptonshire countryside.

We parked in the village of Wansford, adjacent to the Haycock Hotel.

( Don't look for our car this time, we're travelling in Angie's )

This road would have been the old A1 north from London but it was by-passed many years ago and so the village is relatively peaceful once again.

The rather nice hotel sign.
The River Nene from the bridge.

Parking in Cambridgeshire, we walk over the bridge into Northamptonshire

The old sign read Huntingdon / Soke of Peterboro
Our new sign today read The Nene Way.

Across the bridge are several newly built houses with newly planted trees and bushes.

It's not a sculpture garden . . . they've been wrapped for protection against the potentially frosty weather.

The Nene Way is a 28 mile long-distance, way-marked path

following the River Ouse between St Neots and Ely. It extends from the source of the Ouse in Northamptonshire to the sea at Kings Lynn.

We walked about 2.5 miles of it on our 6.5 mile walk today.

The River Nene at this point is navigable for smaller vessels

but progress up and down river is helped by several canalised sections along the way.

Into the village of Yarwell . . . another delightful York Stone village.

A short road section through part of the village gave access to another slightly muddy field path which led us down to the old water mill by the river.

The mill grounds and farm now play host to a popular looking caravan site for both static and touring vans.

A fine swan on the river . . .
. . . and decorative pampas grass on the river bank.

There was no mistaking the position of the weir.

Alongside it (out of picture) was a lock gate system for the boats to navigate up and down the river.

From the bridge over the river Ann and Angie pause for a photo shoot.

Further up river, away from the canal section, the original stream was traditionally crossed by stepping stones.

These have fallen into disrepair in recent years . . . ignore the notice at your peril . . .

A slightly over-sized information sign.
A second and interesting sign on the field gate

It is always a great debate about why people are injured by seemingly docile cows in open fields.

One major theory is that the cows hate dogs and will stampede in order to protect their young calves from the seemingly wolf-like intruders.

No problems today as there are no cows about . . . anyway our dogs look more like sheep than wolves !

Looking sky-ward . . .
. . . a fine flying display by several red kites.

This one was just about to be mobbed by the crows.

Kites are about the same size as buzzards but are easily distinguished by their forked tail.

However, these three were buzzards.

It was unusual to see three together . . . maybe it was a pair with a younger offspring.

While we were looking sky-ward, there were some rather nice clouds.

Unfortunately they were moving to block out the sun so the walk became a little cooler for a while.

Home from home for one canal-based resident.

We leave the river and the Nene Way now and head up to the adjacent village of Nassington.

The map shows a PH, a public house, that Angie remembered, though she hadn't been there for years.

The Black Horse Inn is a classic older pub.
. . . but smack up to date with their choice of beers.

Being lunchtime it seemed churlish not to stop.

The pub offered a full lunch-time menu which included a rather nice 'soup and a roll' option.

Not only that, the pub was dog-friendly so we could eat inside.

Time to be on our way.

Angie reckons she'll be back sooner than later to this convenient and friendly local.

Nassington Hall

one of many old and well maintained buildings in the village.

The church of St Mary the Virgin and All Saints, Nassington

including a close up of the spire set against lovely blue skies once again.

One of two cherubs on a local shop.
" Work in progress "

Our walk took the form of a round trip so in order to reach Old Sulehay Woods and our return path to Wansford,

we headed off on a local by-way, taking a small footbridge to avoid a small ford . . .

. . . and passed under the disused railway bridge on the old Harringworth to Wansford branch line.

A study in symmetry and colour . . . three cheers for the sanctity of historic rights of way.

The next section crossed pasture land rather than arable.

Finally some over-the-top fencing brought us to . . .
. . . the Old Sulehay Woods and quarry.

The woodland area is now a protected reserve as the old quarry site is being reclaimed by nature with a little help from man.

New season catkins on the hazel trees.
Another passing red kite overhead.

After our walk through the woodland, it is back to the reality of an urban landscape.

Two contrasting, adjacent properties on the outskirts of Wansford . . . this one a new development that is taking years to build.

Next door, and old and once derelict house that has taken on a new lease of life in double-quick time.

A short walk and we're back at the Nene Bridge.

The afternoon sun casts a warm glow as we cross back into Cambridgeshire to end our walk.

- - - o o o - - -

Relaxing after dinner out with Angie and David, Sherran and Bill at the pub in Exton.

(Apologies for the soft focus)

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Fuji Finepix Compact or my Canon G10/1100D camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 15th January 2012 Fine days lead to Middle Fell

A previous time up here - 1st/2nd Dec 2009 A pre-Christmas visit to Peterborough

Next walk - 2nd February 2012 First Week Back and the Lakes have Snow