Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Eggardon and Loders - Just when you think you've got it covered - 27th September

"Where are you going today?" Paul asked as he left for work. Did I detect a twinge of envy? "Sydling St Nicholas to write my poem," I replied. Did he detect a twinge of guilt? After all, he works five days a week and I get to only work three and have two glorious days to myself. I'm under no illusions. This is fabulously glorious freedom.

He shut the door and left and I don't think I detected so much as a whimper of bitterness as he did so. Then two things happened simultaneously;

1) Daylight stretched across the sky in glorious sunshine
2) I realised I had a whole bunch of virgin gridsquares around Eggardon Hill, one of my top ten places in Dorset.

Hmm, what does one do when one realises something as radical as that? Answer: One abandons one's plans to spend most of the day in a dark and musty (but ever so delightful) church and hurriedly draws a route to bag as many of those virgin gridsquares as possible. Oh, the unspeakable joy of being able to do that without having to phone or message anyone with a lie as to why you can't meet them today. Don't get me wrong; I love company, but I also love my own company and have recently stopped apologising for that. It's very liberating.

So, I made all the necessary plans and set off for Loders where I was going to begin my adventure. Whilst I relish the opportunity to explore new areas and discover new things, I am fast learning that it is hard to beat inland west Dorset for sheer beauty. Obviously that is my opinion and I am bias because I love the Scottish west coast above any other coast line I have yet seen, but for rolling hills and little churches I adore west Dorset and I was pleased as Punch to discover that I hadn't yet ticked off all the gridsquares in the area.

As I set off on my 11 mile adventure, I glanced at my route. Would it really only be 11 miles? It looked twice that length as I scrolled across my phone screen to see it all. I would just have to wait and see. I strolled down Smishop's Lane to the school, cast in autumn sunshine.

Loders School - SY4994

I turned left here and continued along the road/bridleway on the north side of the River Asker.

Bridleway to Uploders and Powerstock - SY4994

Railway bridge, Loders - SY4994
I passed a few dog walkers along the bridleway, which was dappled in autumn sunshine.

Bridleway near Uploders - SY5094
 I tried to capture the sun's rays breaking through the trees' canopies, but did so only very inadequately. It's as if nature beckons us to enjoy the moment instead of fiddling with aperture settings and lenses to capture something for eternity which it wants to enthrall us with for the here and now. But then where would we be without the likes of Ansel Adams?
Sun rays on bridleway near Uploders - SY5093
The woodland path suddenly emerged into bright sunshine with an unnamed hill in front of me and a choice of paths. I gravitated towards the one which crossed the river, even though I could see I didn't need to cross the river! If a bridge is there, it has to be crossed, even if it means having to cross it again to get back onto the right path!

Gate and junction of paths at the unnamed hill, Uploders - SY5093

A bridge which just had to be crossed, Uploders - SY5093
I continued along the bridleway through a field and passed another dog walker. This was my second new gridsquare, but I didn't just want to take a photograph of a mere field on a glorious day like today. Days like this were made for special photos. In the end I resigned myself to a photograph of a signpost, an untidy farmyard and some pylons - not all in the same photo - so much for my high hopes!

Road to Matravers Farm - SY5193

Matravers Farm - SY5193

Pylons across the countryside - SY5193
When I reached Spyway Road, I recognised it as I have driven down it several times on the way to Askerswell.

Spyway Road - junction to Askerswell - SY5293
After a short downhill bit, it was an uphill climb to the Spyway Pub and several cars passed in the brief spell I was on the road. I was not the only non-car user on the road; a girl with a bike dismounted after freewheeling downhill to push her bike up the hill. She wasn't going much faster than me and as we neared the top of the hill I had to slow down a bit lest I caught up with her - and I wanted to avoid the awkward situation of not knowing whether to walk alongside her, say hello and walk past, say something witty (if possible) or simply say nothing at all. I agonised over this question whilst puffing my way up the hill and then didn't have to agonise over it any longer because she parked her bike at the pub and went in the back way. She presumably works there.

Spyway Pub - SY5293
In the many times I've visited this area, I don't recall having seen the Spyway Pub before, let alone go in! Today wasn't going to be my day either. I walked slightly past the pub and then turned left towards South Eggardon Farm. I immediately recognised the track; I had been down here before, but it looked so beautiful today. Autumn flora always takes me by surprise. Just when you think everything has finished for the year, autumn comes up trumps with some purple, violet flowers like scabious and knapweed and, my favourite, harebell.

Bee on Knapweed near South Eggardon Farm - SY5393

I was now getting my first views of Eggardon Hill, swathed today in sunshine.

Eggardon Hill from the south-west - SY5393
I was vaguely recalling a walk here with the Footloose group in the summer in blisteringly hot weather when  I hadn't been able to fully appreciate the scenery.I disturbed some Moorhen as I walked past the pond at South Eggardon Farm.

Pond at South Eggardon Farm - SY5393
I wandered across an area of what would once have been extremely boggy land, heading north to North Eggardon Farm. I was walking now in T-shirt and trousers and was beginning to wish I'd put my shorts on and not brought my fleece and waterproof jacket. It was all extra weight and I never needed them once.

I  turned to photograph the sunlight on the gate I'd just come through and then I was in a new gridsquare and headed towards North Eggardon Farm.

Gate between South and North Eggardon Farm - SY5393

North Eggardon Farm - SY5394

I promised myself a stop on Eggardon Hill. It wasn't quite lunch time and I was still worried that it looked like I'd got an awful long way to walk so thought I'd better not stop long. This is one of my favourite spots in Dorset though and today it was simply alive with the breath of the wind and butterflies alighting on yellow hawkbit, pirouetting and then flying off again. In particular abundance were the Small Coppers, which we'd hardly seen at all last year. They are such an arresting colour and I felt like I saw enough today to make up for the lack of them last year (well, maybe not quite!)

Even rarer than the Small Coppers, however, were the Clouded Yellow which danced on to the Eggardon stage in their sunshine yellow as if to say, "but look at me, look at me and catch me if you can." Because you simply can't. You sidewalk up the slopes of this ancient hillfort and watch your prey scaling ever higher with such ease and grace that it's best just to let them fly off unphotographed but for the moving image caught in your memory, which is often better than a still image anyway.

From North Eggardon Farm to Eggardon Hill - SY5394

I sat for a while taking in this mesmerising scene and drinking my cup of tea and just thinking how lucky I was to be there then and watching those butterflies that no-one else was watching and to breathe in that fresh air and feel so alive. A Wheatear alighted on a fence post to bid me farewell before taking its long autumn flight back to its wintering territory in North Africa.

Small Copper on Eggardon Hill - SY5394
Eggardon Hill, towards Pilsdon Pen and Lewesdon Hill - SY5394
Southern flanks of Eggardon Hill - SY5494
Reluctantly I got up and left the magic of this iron age hill fort, walking round its south-eastern contours to a field with a distant herd of cows (and a trigpoint). I have only ever photographed this trigpoint from the road before, and would like to get up close, but then, really, what is there to surprise me in a lump of concrete? Not a lot methinks! Perhaps time has moved on, or I have and it is no longer such an obsession. I would much rather be looking at natural beauty and spending time absorbing energy from things that are alive and moving than things which are static and rather dead. That's not to say a trigpoint doesn't make a nice object for a walk now and again.

So I crossed the road and then found a permissive path with more cows in. This path saved me a walk of all of several yards,but even that can be welcome at times.I was now turning north and walking down the road for what I thought would only be a little bit.

Turn off to Wynford Eagle - SY5494
A tractor in the field on my right was busy ploughing or something and the occasional car passed me. I walked quite fast, eager to get the road bit over and done with. There was not a lot of birdlife around, but the views all round were stunning. A herd of cows saw me approach and must have thought it was lunch time because they came running over to me hopefully. "Sorry girls, nothing for you," I said through the fence.

Herd of cows at Eggardon Hill - SY5494
I was also eager to get into the next new gridsquare and despite my determination not to photograph the road, that's exactly what I did do - Barrowland Lane to be precise. "I'll take a photograph of the road just in case I don't see anything else to photograph later on," I told myself. It's a method I've adopted on my walks ever since I've left taking a photograph to the last minute and then missing the opportunity because someone accosts me and I feel too embarrassed to say, "Excuse me, nice to meet you, but excuse me while I take a photograph of your house/driveway/field." It's better to have a photograph in the bag, so to speak, and then improve on it if you get another chance. I didn't on this occasion because the bridleway shown on the map did not materialise.

Barrowland Lane - SY5495

Conscious of the tractor close by and that I was almost certainly about to trespass on that farmer's land, I opened the gate which should have been a bridleway. There was a painted blue blob on the gatepost which may or may not have represented the blue arrow to indicate a bridleway. The gate took some opening, but worse was to follow; there was a curled roll of barbed wire across the path I wanted to take. I wandered down to the far end of the field to see if there was any other way out. Nope. Not feeling brave enough to crawl under the barbed wire and be accused of trespassing, I went back to the impossible gate and heaved it open and walked down the road, cursing myself for not having checked that this was still a valid right of way. (It is, I checked when I got back).

This meant a longer road walk, which is something I do not relish. I find it monotonous, especially when walking on my own. It's also annoying having to keep stepping off the road for passing traffic, not that there was a lot today.

Anyway, it was difficult to be annoyed for long today as the sun was shining and I was smiling for almost all the rest of my walk. Plus my diversion down the road meant nipping into another gridsquare, not a new one, but it boosted my tally for the day.

Footpath crossroads on Barrowland Lane - SY5596
It was here that I was turning left and I was relieved to see that this right of way at least was still there. I headed towards Barrowland Farm where another obstacle awaited me.

Barrowland Farm - SY5496
It seemed that the cows were locked in the yard for milking and my path went straight through them. There was no way I was going to attempt that. What to do instead? I took the bridleway heading left (which was the one I had wanted to be on in the first place on my approach to the farm) and then either ducked under electric fences or opened them via the hook method if available. I did this four times before I was on the bridleway I needed to be on heading north towards Powerstock Common where I intended to have lunch.

This bridleway runs alongside Barrowland Park and it was obvious that this used to be parkland. I took a photograph of some stark dead branches, looking rather like bones.

Barrowland Park - SY5496

Boney trees in Barrowland Park - SY5495
It was a sight uphill gradient to the entrance to Powerstock Common and I had to crawl through a rusty old gate in order to keep strictly to the footpath as shown on the map. In reality I could have done it a lot easier, but I didn't know that then and only do now because Paul and I went back and did this half of the walk again a couple of days later - there, that's how much I enjoyed it!

At last I was in Powerstock Common. Now for lunch!

Old sign upon entering Powerstock Common Nature Reserve - SY5496

Woodland in Powerstock Common - SY5496
I had never been in this part of the nature reserve before; we usually enter at the northern entrance. It is a beautiful and relatively infrequently visited reserve, which makes it even more appealing in my opinion.

When I found a nice open area, I plonked down with my mat, flask and lunch bag feeling so happy to be here and revelling in fresh air and solitude.

Powerstock Common - my lunch spot - SY5396
With almost seven miles behind me I was sure I'd broken the back of the walk, but I have so often miscalculated the miles, I thought I'd better not linger too long, so I set off again through dappled woodland where few footprints had fallen before mine.

Dappled woodland, Powerstock Common - SY5396
I emerged into permanent, unimproved pasture and walked towards Whetley Farm, looking back to Eggardon Hill, now south-east of me.

Permanent pasture, Powerstock Common - SY5396

Eggardon Hill from the north-west - SY5396
 Whetley Farm had an interesting array of antlers displayed in its orchard garden.
Antlers at Whetley Farm - SY5396
I headed south-east past an attractive stone built cottage with its own bridge.

Cottage at Whetley Farm - SY5396
I was walking uphill now on a narrow single-track road and a couple of cars/trucks passed me in the third of a mile I was on the road. At King's Farm I turned right onto a footpath which led to a byway. I peeked through the hedge to get a view of King's Farm. It sits in an enviable location with windows on all sides, making the most of the incredible vista surrounding it.

King's Farm - SY5395
I was quite close again to Eggardon Hill, which I was almost going to circumnavigate during the course of my walk today. I couldn't resist taking more photographs of this iconic Dorset landmark.

Eggardon Hill from the north-west - SY5395
I passed Marsh Farm and joined a minor road. I was soon going to find out whether my walk would be extended or not. Part of the reason I had been unsure about the length of the walk was because I hadn't known whether it was possible to walk along this section of the disused railway line. Some sections between Maiden Newton and Loders are walkable and others aren't. We have walked most of the bits that are, but not this particular bit.

Just as I approached the railway bridge, a couple and a dog came out from the north side of the road. Had they been walking along the railway line? I asked them if they knew whether it was possible to walk to Loders along the railway line and they said it was, and that was the direction they were going in.  I therefore then faced awkward situation number two of the day. Did I walk with them or linger over a photograph and avoid that situation? If I was going to walk along the railway line I has to turn off both east and west onto footpaths in order to photograph other squares that I would not otherwise get and that would just be plain embarrassing if I was walking with other people. But if they were walking the same pace as me, how would I avoid walking with them?

In the end I didn't need to worry too much as they walked really fast and by the time I had taken my requisite photo, they had disappeared into the distance, probably wondering what I was finding so fascinating about an old railway line!

Disused railway line south of Powerstock  - SY5295
At the junction in gridsquares, I dipped into both SY5195 and SY5294. I knew the latter would be a brand new one, but I was not sure about SY5195. I decided I would wander 100 feet into the square, just to be on the safe side. How many times have I got back from a walk and realised I'd been within feet of a new gridsquare but hadn't realised it at the time? It turned out that SY5195 was not a new gridsquare, but it was a nice walk anyway!
Disused railway line near Mappercombe Manor - SY5195

Footpath to Spyway Road - SY5194
The countryside had donned its autumnal wardrobe; reds, oranges and bronzes were just beginning to shine through the green. There were loads of berries about, including bright red ropes of bryony.

Bryony- SY5295
I suddenly realised that I was nearing the end of my walk. Had I not been able to walk along the old railway line, I would have had to go through Nettlecombe and down past Mappercombe Manor, which would have added on a good mile to the length. We have walked past Mappercombe Manor before and commented on its position with outstanding views over the Dorset countryside.

Mappercombe Manor - SY5194
 I slowed my pace as I approached Loders, feeling that the end had been too sudden.

Old railway line near Loders - SY5194
Just before the end, however, I took a wrong turn and veered away unknowingly from the railway line. Then I was determined I wasn't going to turn back. surely there was a gate out of this field and a way across the river (Asker)? After some to-ing and fro-ing I jumped across the river (OK, so it was a mere stream at this point) and I was back on the road and walked back under the railway tunnel to my car.

It had been a delightful walk, my first one of the autumn. I hope for many more.

Number of miles walked: 11
Number of new gridsquares: 7

Monday, 17 September 2018

The confluence of the Rivers Brit and Asker - 13th September

"I didn't know this place was here," Jane said after we'd examined the damage done to her windscreen en route (a 6" crack across the driver's side). "Me neither,"I confessed. It was the Bridport Rest Area, west of the town near Eype. I'd zoomed in on Google maps and spied in when I was looking for potential parking places for today's walk. It was useful in that it was free, obviously near where we were going to set off from and there were toilets.

Today's destination had been hurriedly chosen after I'd decided I did not want another 'boring' walk through fields. I had no idea what today's walk would turn out like, although I knew the last two miles or so would be through the town. I was to be pleasantly surprised.

It took us a while to find our way out of the rest area and to get our bearings when we did. Our first signpost did not help as we did not want either Eype. I love the way Dorset signposts all have names though - this one was Cockcrowing. I wonder where that originates from.

Signs to Eype at Cockcrowing - SY4592
We walked east along Broad Lane before turning north just before Watton Cross. A wonderful vista opened up before us. Colmer's Hill, that iconic Dorset prominence revealed a different view with Vearse Farm in the foreground.

Vearse Farm and Colmer's Hill - SY4592
We managed to cut a minuscule amount off our walk by walking between two footpaths just before Vearse Farm. This avoided walking out into the middle of the field and back at a slightly different angle. Here we met a lady dog walker who asked us where we were heading - my dreaded question. There's always an expected reply and I never know what to say because if I were to say 'Mangerton Mill' or 'Waytown' I'm not sure anyone would be able to direct us. So it means swiping your phone map across to find the nearest place which you think someone will know how to direct you to. It works without fail. You end up getting a barrage of words which you don't really have to listen to because you can see exactly where you have to go, but it leaves your fellow walker with a glowing sense of achievement because they think they have genuinely helped a stranger in distress.

We followed the straight footpath to the B3162, crossed the road and skirted Allington Hill Nature Reserve. Last time I visited the reserve it was November, so I'd allowed nearly a full year to pass and was only just making my visit in a different season than the first.

Allington Hill - SY4593
It's a lovely footpath through the woodlands here. We ignored the turning north I had taken last November past the hospital and continued on to the B3162 again.

Oddfellows Arms, North Allington - SY4693
This was the Dottery Road and reminded us of our last walk together to the last Tin Tabernacle. "We're not going as far as that this time," I confirmed, which I felt was a shame as it would have been nice to see how far they had got in their renovation works.

We followed the road north before turning off towards Washingpool Farm, eyeing up the cattle at a safe distance in the neighbouring field.

Cows near Washingpool Farm - SY4694
We were feeling quite pleased with ourselves as so far all the rights of way had turned out alright, albeit a little nettly. I'd sucked in breathe when I saw Jane wearing shorts that morning. "You're asking for trouble," I remarked. "There's bound to be lots of nettles." Naturally, we weren't disappointed and even I got lots of stings through my trousers so I hate to think what her legs were like at the end of the walk.

An amusing sign caught our eye as we approached Middle Pymore Farm.

Please do not empty your dog - SY4694
Fortunately we did not have a dog to empty so we continued merrily on to Middle Pymore Farm.

Middle Pymore Farm - SY4694
The sound of an engine made us look overhead where a light blue aircraft was tottering about the sky. We soon discovered the reason why. There was a flying field for model aircraft. There were even several benches for spectators.
Flying field near Middle Pymore Farm - SY4694
We resisted the temptation to sit  and relax and watch the aircraft zooming by, though the view from there was quite spectacular.

View north-east form Middle Pymore Farm- SY4694
There followed quite a long walk down the road towards Wooth, the best part of which was a finger post sign at Ebenezer Corner. I'd love to know how it got that name!

Near Lower Ash Farm - SY4695

Ebenezer Corner - SY4795

We could, at this point, have turned south and cut several miles off our walk - but there's no fun in that, so we just reached the 30 mph signs at Bradpole (a new gridsquare) and then  headed further north.

Bridge and entrance to Bradpole - SY4794
We were now following the River Brit northwards along a footpath lined with Himalayan Balsam. Despite the fact we were walking through field after field, the interest of the ever-flowing river was there, drawing our attention and that continued to be the case for the rest of the walk.

Himalayan Balsam near Wooth - SY4795
I can't remember at which points Jane got stung badly with nettles, but there were several paths which were really bad. It seems from the photos that  it was always OK.

Near Bingham Farm we went very slightly wrong. By then I was beginning to think about lunch - it's always me who thinks about it first! We went through a gate and I spied a bench situated a little way off the path. "Do you think we could sit on that for lunch?" I asked Jane hopefully, knowing the answer only too well. Jane has an aversion to trespassing which is so strong that she doesn't like being even a little bit off the path and often squirms when I take photographs of farms and houses. "But they're in the gridsquare!" I object "And if their owners didn't want anyone to photograph them, why do they make them so attractive. It's a compliment." Of course, it sometimes is quite the opposite. I take a photograph because the house in question or land surrounding it is such a tip. back to the gate, upon close examination of my phone map, I discovered that we weren't supposed to go through that gate at all; that was part of Bingham Farm Caravan Site and the bench for the benefit of caravaners and campers. So we retraced our steps to the correct footpath where we ate lunch sitting on a small footbridge across the River Brit.

Gate near Bingham Farm - SY4796

River Brit near Bingham Farm - SY4796
Now on the west side of the River, we followed its course north to Waytown through fields.

River Brit near Waytown - SY4797
I was loving being near the river; it's something about the energy and life flowing in and through it which energises, inspires and revitalises tired limbs. I'm never bored when walking by a river or the sea; it's hardly possible; there's always something to see, some movement which draws the eye or some sound which catches the ear - a Kingfisher flashing by or the peep, peep of a wagtail or Common Sandpiper bobbing its tail.

We emerged on the road at Oxbridge (nothing to do with the famous universities) and I recalled a walk I'd done with Paul where we'd ended up at exactly the same place. "But we won't be going the same way now," I reassured both myself and Jane. "We're going south, not east to Melplash."

We walked past a letterbox which I guess must be in the running for the most seldom used letter box in Britain, then joined a bridleway past Woodcombe Farm to The Mount, though what exactly The Mount was, I'm not entirely sure.

Letterbox at Oxbridge - SY4797
Bridleway at The Mount - SY4897
It took some courage and patience to cross the A35 at the triangle at The Mount and then we joined another bridleway which skirted Mangerton Hill. There were some attractive trees and horses in this gridsquare.

Mangerton Hill - SY4896

Horses at Mangerton Farm- SY4896
One of the horses was literally running round in circles and we could see no reason why until we saw a woman standing at the gate also watching it. "Oh, it's seen you," said Jane to the woman, "That's why it's running round in circles." "No," corrected the woman, "we've just taken the horsebox away. It was running through the horsebox having a great time and now it wonders where it's gone." I can't remember if she said why they took, the horsebox away if the horse was enjoying it so much. I was too busy wondering if Mangerton Mill cafe would be open.

"Shall we call in to see if the cafe's open?" I asked Jane, trying to sound nonchalant as we approached the entrance. "Might as well," Jane acquiesced. She must have read my eagerness, subtle though it was.

Mangerton Mill - SY4895

The cafe was not open, which was a disappointment, but, as we didn't make it back to the cars before 5 pm anyway, it's probably just as well we were not delayed further by tea and cake!

We'd now joined the Mangerton River, our second river of the day, which we followed into Bradpole. This is a tributary of the River Asker. If we thought we were approaching our journey's end when we arrived in Bradpole, we were very much mistaken. I could see we had over two long miles to walk through the suburbs of Bridport and didn't feel I could do it without further sustenance. The thought of tea and cake at Mangerton Mill had been keeping me going and now I was going to have to make do with the dregs of my flask. We were just about to sit atop a slope on the outskirts of Bridport when I thought, "why not continue to the church? There's bound to be a bench there."

This we did, admiring some of the lovely cottages in Bradpole as we went and trying to work out which way both of us had driven through the village in the past en route to different places.

Village Road, Bradpole - SY4894

The Old Vicarage, Bradpole - SY4894

Holy Trinity Church, Bradpole - SY4894
The electric blue on the spire is a bit shocking, but otherwise everything about the church was as one would expect and I bought a book on walks in the area as my memento. I like to buy a postcard or card or church leaflet when I visit a church.

We followed our noses through the streets of Bradpole to the River Asker and walked along the river with the dog walkers for a while. I got very excited when I caught a fleeting glimpse of the bright blue of a Kingfisher.

River Asker near Bridport - SY4793
I was nearly as excited to spy the brick bridge which we were going to cross to the east side of the river. It's visible in the picture above, but more so in this picture.

Brick footbridge over River Asker - SY4793
 The holes in the mud that you can see in the photo below are probably nesting sites of Sand Martins.
River Asker at Bridport - SY4793
Despite having checked before setting off that all the rights of way shown on my 2004 map were still correct on the later version of the Explorer map, there were still a view in the town that had changed and we had difficulty finding our way round. We ended up having to duck underneath a barbed wire fence and walking to the big roundabout on the A3066. We then walked familiar territory through Walditch to cross the A35 via the traffic lights opposite Palmers Brewery.

Palmers Brewery, Bridport - SY4692
The photo is taken at the point where the Rivers Asker and Brit meet, which I found very exciting. I hadn't realised it before. We continued south through a field of cows until we reached the A35 where we turned westwards.

Field near A35 - SY4691
It was just a case now of walking through Watton Farm back to Broad Lane and the Rest Area.

Watton Farm - SY4591
We weren't quite prepared for what lay behind Watton Farm (I refer the reader to aforementioned comment about subjects I choose to photograph and why).

Near Watton Farm - SY4591

There was a bit more confusion about where the path was before we were suddenly back at the set of steps we'd passed at the beginning of the walk.

Footpath onto Broad Lane, Eype - SY4592
We were nearly the only two cars left in the car park. Jane's windscreen crack hadn't grown much bigger and she confirmed with the insurance company that it was safe to drive thus until she could get it fixed. We had possible beaten our own record for the latest arrival back at the cars. Having told Jane I would follow her as far as the Dorchester road where we would part company, I kept to my side of the bargain even if she didn't. I ended up in Morrison's car park where she'd obviously decided to call in at the last minute! Then the road was closed at Melplash due to probably a crash and I ended up having to take a long diversion past Mapperton, so it took about an hour to get home. So what if the journey was much longer than expected? The walk had been much better than expected so we could call it quits!

Number of new gridsquares: 9
Number of miles walked: 12.9 (call it 13)
Number of rivers walked beside: 3