Taking the weather forecast into consideration we had all had packed waterproofs only to complete the walk in dry and at times very warm sunshine. Us ladies wondered what we had let ourselves in for when Simon stated that he was going to take his trousers off...what he actually meant was to unzip the bottoms. Also there were copies of the route map for the ‘helpers’ - Yvette and myself immediately admitting to being only followers!
Setting off from Castle Bytham, heading towards Clipsham where the second group were starting from walking in the opposite direction, it wasn’t too long before our paths crossed.
Clipsham Hall soon came into view which is recorded as being the most expensive property in the village with a value of around £2m give or take the odd pound. Alan later informed us of the Yew Tree Avenue within the estate grounds which was worth having a look at whilst we were in the area.
At the quarry, the route became a little confused as the path seemed to have disappeared, we now needed Claire to step up and prove her orienteering skills. Back on track and walking through the quarry, looking back it appeared that from where we should have turned would now mean abseiling due to the site’s expansion.
Lunch was taken a little early as it did look like rain but nothing to worry about. 2nd meet up with the others (have you drawn your diagram Claire to work it out?) as we headed for Pickworth... but which one was never solved as some think there is more than 1 !! Crossing through Holywell Wood and across the field we were soon back near the start.
The Castle Inn was beckoning us to take advantage of the empty seats outside so we had to oblige, even though we had not technically finished, but an empty seat needs sitting on. Having let Alan know where we were, soon saw him arrive with Garry and June...our first pub gathering since resuming walking 😊 [Ed – actually the second, as we retired to the pub on our last walk.]. True to our word once rehydrated we went onto complete the final steps to the Motte and Bailey, believed to have been constructed in the late 11th century, the castle giving its name to the village, again on private land Alexandra, so no sunbathing 🤪
Report by Sue
Walk rating – Quite Good.
Pictures - Alan
The village pond in Castle Bytham.
The locals are not very keen on anyone exploring their antiquity.
Looking back over Castle Bytham.
A very old house in Castle Bytham.
The Clipsham Quarry is very much still operarional.
There seem to be a lot of Cowslips around this year.
The wild Garlic is in flower.
The quarry workings have necessitated a diversion to our footpath.