Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 2 - Uppingham - Seaton

With Marta. Walked on Wednesday 8 August 2012.  10 miles in warm dry weather, though the path near Eyebrook Reservoir was muddy. Lunch at Lyddington.

We set off from Uppingham, walking along the Stockerston Road out of the town and taking this footpath to the right.  It starts from a sort of lay-by on a bend in the road.
The sign's a bit hidden, but the map and instructions are clear here.
For the first time in quite a while we saw lots of tortoiseshell butterflies on the thistle flowers.

The path is clearly marked as it goes through the fields and along the ridge, past a building marked on the map as a meteorological station, and along to Kings Hill Lodge farm, where it turns left to join the Stockerston Road again.
Views towards Wardley Wood

At the road we turned left and after a hundred yards or so, opposite some houses, we turned right along a bridleway towards Stoke Dry Wood.  This goes up to the entrance to the wood, and continues just outside, so that we kept the wood edge on our right.

View of Eyebrook from corner of Stoke Wood

The path continues round the wood, with the occasional waymarker.  A footpath crossed our route  and led into the wood - ignore this one.   The track turns left, then in while right keeping to the high ground, eventually coming out by Manor Farm at the top of the hill in Stoke Dry.  Here we turned right and walked downhill to the church.

St Andrews church, Stoke Dry  with the window to the priest's room over the porch
Steps up to the parvise or priest's room -rumours about conspirators of the gunpowder plot using the room seem to be without foundation, and the story that a local witch was imprisoned and starved in here are also unconfirmed. 

Martyrdom of St Edmund. The painting shows men wearing feather headdresses shooting bows and arrows, and has been taken to support the theory that the Vikings discovered North America two centuries before Columbus.
For more discussion of this see this article.  
After the church we walked down the hill and took the footpath to the left just before the entrance to the woodland around Eyebrook reservoir.  The path hugs the fence, and was pretty muddy on this occasion.  
Snack break by the water
After the entrance gate to the Eyebrook area the path heads diagonally up hill through a field. There are great views of the water to the west from the gate in the opposite corner, and Stoke Dry can be seen in the distance to the north west.
Looking back towards Eye Brook Reservoir

Stoke Dry church behind us

The reservoir again
The route now takes us down to the A6003. We managed to miss a slight turn to the left at the top of this section, but our mistake soon became obvious.  At the road we turned right - the verge is fairly wide, and the road walk is only for a couple of hundred yards.  

The path turns left at the tarmac road to a gas pressure control station on the other side of the road.  A stile took us on to the path - mud again just here, and cows who did little more than lazily raise their heads and watch us. 

We followed the yellow-painted post waymarkers over stiles and fields.  There's a footbride into another field, which we crossed diagonally.  After whiles and stiles we headed fro the farm buildings, and followed the waymarks to reach the road and turned left into Lyddington.  Lovely lunch in the Old White Hart's garden before setting off on the final couple of miles.
Art in Lyddington
We crossed the village green and followed the track to a stile. The path goes along the left-hand hedge and leads to a gateway on the left. In this field are the traces of the fishponds which were once used by the bishop's palace (the Bede House).
The medieval fishponds of Lyddington

One of mine
The path goes through the gateway and into a narrow field. We walked along this and over another stile. Then we turned right and followed the path straight up the hill.  We continued to the end of field, then turned right and almost immediately left, walking with a ditch on the left and continuing until we reached the farm track by Grange farm. This leads up the hill and into Seaton, with glimpses of the Welland Valley viaduct to the right.

Map and details

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