26 walkers met in the car park of the Spencer Arms at Chapel Brampton on a dull morning with an icy wind blowing. The pub had requested that we pay for lunch when ordering which is a good idea as it saves any potential embarrassment from someone forgetting to pay after lunch.
It was good to see Ann R joining us for the walk after a fairly long absence.
Our route took us down to the Brampton Valley Way which we joined at the preserved Lamport Railway station where we turned right towards Northampton for a mile or so following the preserved line.
On arriving at the site of the old Kingsthorpe level crossing we crossed what is a busy main road on a bad bend.
Site of old Kingsthorpe level crossing. At least no trains hold up the traffic nowadays.
The next mile or so is on a good tarmac path and if followed leads nearly to the centre of Northampton. However we turned off after another mile or so and after crossing a minor tributary of the Nene arrived at the Northampton to Rugby railway line which is crossed on the level. Extreme care needs to be taken when doing this as trains are frequent and not very noisy. Times like this demonstrate the value of wearing hi-vis jackets.
( Note for railway buffs: services are normally provided by Sprinter units as per the picture below but on this occasion Virgin Railway mainline trains were appearing at frequent intervals which is most unusual. Whether this is because of a blockage on the West Coast Mainline South of Rugby is not known.)
Next we crossed some fields containing a number of horses at least one of which was left disappointed although being made a fuss of no treats were forthcoming.
On arriving at the start of the Northampton County golf course we stopped for our banana break where Rosemary W kindly proffered home made treacle toffee. Suitably refreshed we crossed the footpath over the course hopefully not delaying play too long.
The next place of interest was " Millionaires Row" in Church Brampton where some amazing house have been built. It is said that this street contains more millionaires than any other one in the county.
A leisurely stroll over some dry fields took us back to the pub in good time for lunch which after a slight delay was enjoyed by all. The Spencer Arms offers a good selection at reasonable prices and is to be recommended.
Thanks to Keith B for organising and leading the walk and to Lou L for acting as back marker on what was an excellent Winter walk.
Also thanks to Carna B for providing the pictures.