The Barnack and Southorpe walk 1 February 2024

Pictures by Mandy Ellwood, Text by Hilary Lewis


Pictures by Mandy Ellwood, Text by Hilary Lewis

Records were broken today as a massive group of 36 keen Ramblers assembled at Barnack church, including one young lady who had the privilege of riding in a backpack!

The allure of fine weather and a not-too-long, flattish walk after the challenges of recent weeks was obviously strong for many.

At 1.30 precisely a loud whistle blast (performed, of course, by a former school teacher) brought the group to order and we set off in the bright sunshine that stayed with us all afternoon.

The route took us past the Hills and Holes area in Barnack, a site exploited by the Romans but most well-known as a mediaeval quarry that supplied stone to many abbeys in eastern England: Peterborough, Crowland, Ely, Ramsey, Sawtry and Bury St. Edmunds.

We then struck out through pleasant countryside past the 17th century manor of Walcot Hall.

We crossed several fields, encountering no more hazardous wildlife than a contentedly munching flock of sheep, and reached Southorpe via one almost insignificant patch of bog.

There was a short break for refreshment in the village, where those at the front of the queue availed themselves of a large stone for seating; the tail of the snake was not so lucky…

Horses in the neighbouring field welcomed our arrival and enjoyed our company, but were disappointed by the lack of food, with one even trying a walker’s jacket to see if it tasted good.

Our return to Barnack took us under a bridge that many of the group may have driven over on the way to the rendezvous. Further flat tracks meandered past and round more fields, with a narrow snicket leading us through an outlying residential area back to the heart of the village.


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