The Kings Cliffe walk: 27 February 2022 (part 1)

This is part one of the report of the Kings Cliffe walk.

A clear, sunny Sunday morning a group of 16 happy walkers set off from Kings Cliffe for a 7.5 mile walk via Blatherwycke and Fineshade Abbey, returning via Westhay Wood.

We were pleased to see that some of the stiles near the start of the walk had been replaced with “kissing gates” but further along by Willow Brook some stiles, although repaired, were still high and awkward… but we all “jumped” over them, only to find a narrow, slippery path behind, but we managed to stay on our feet.

The path then improved and we enjoyed wonderful views over Blatherwycke Lake with its moorhens, coots, ducks and geese as well as a couple of swans.

Unfortunately in 1948 Blatherwycke Hall was demolished for building materials, but the grounds and the walled garden are now being restored and a variety of many new trees are planted.

Through the village of Blatherwycke we walked over the ancient bridge up the hill, with wonderful views over the lake to the site of the former Fineshade Abbey, past the only remaining part of the Abbey, the stable block, now converted into private dwellings. We carried on through Mill Wood, admiring the snowdrops on the way, to Top Lodge for our lunch break (and a well-earned rest).

After lunch, we had a relatively easy walk along the Jurassic Way through Westhay Wood to the outskirts of King’s Cliffe where we turned onto a path along the old railway track with many wild flowers and (with the help of the woodland trust app), we identified a beautiful bright red fungus named Scarlet Elf Cup.

After being diverted from the track (because of an unsafe crumbling bridge) we continued through a squelchy grass field back to our starting point and all agreed we had a good walk, good weather and above all good company.





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