This is the group 3 report, groups 1 and 2 being up in Derbyshire.
Soon after leaving Wakerley woods we had a great view of Laxton Hall, a 17th Century Grade II-listed building which has been converted into a residential care home. It is staffed by the Polish Sisters of Mary Immaculate, an order long recognised for their humanity, compassion and specialised care for Polish community groups, the vulnerable and dispossessed [Ed – and their brightness - as a result of all the polish??]. The Polish-speaking Sisters are sent from the Mother House in Poland, and are already experienced in care for the elderly, particularly those who have been affected by events of World War II. Residents are all of Polish origin, over 65 years old and previously resident in England, with Polish as their first language to fit within the admission criteria. Alan was more concerned about the very large lawn that would need cutting!
We were fortunate to have a great close up of a very large Red Kite hovering above which stayed in view for quite some time, maybe it had designs on feasting on one of us. Conversation inevitably turned to COVID-19 and the introduction of sniffer dogs, Martin then told us about the rat in Cambodia that could sniff out land mines, our question was ‘ how does he tell you he has found one!!’
After coffee we walked past Spanhoe airfield. Opened in 1943, it was used by both the RAF and US Forces as primarily a transport airfield, which then closed in 1945. Today much of the airfield has been returned to agriculture, however one runway remains and the airfield is currently active and houses various privately owned light aircraft.
Soon we had the great view of Harringworth viaduct, crossing Turtle bridge and into Rutland towards Shotley. Our lunch stop could have been a lot more interesting if the wasps nest that Martin had unknowingly sat on decided to play nasty....ouch 😩.
Passing by Bramley House, Sue thought this was where the first Bramley tree was grown but Alan thought that was around Louth, delving into the archives it was actually Southwell in Nottinghamshire.
Drinks were enjoyed at The Exeter Arms in Barrowden.
Report - Sue
Walk rating – Average.
Pictures - Alan
Harringworth viaduct is always an impressive sight.
Our lunch view.
The village pond in Barrowden.
Crossing the River Welland.