Following a few days of fairly continuous rain the walkers set off with some trepidation for a longish walk from Blisworth to Stoke Bruerne and back. The day turned out to be very pleasant with a lot of sun and a cool breeze. The terrain was pretty muddy in parts but thanks to the farmer who had put in clear paths through the crops, crossing the fields was no problem.
There were 7 members and one visitors on the walk. Good to see Gloria back and Susan and Mike who haven’t walked in a while.
So the group set off from Blisworth village and walked down to the Grand Union canal. After a short walk on the tow path we reached the entrance to the tunnel. The tunnel is two way for boat traffic and it takes about 25 minutes to motor through it.
Our walk headed up a slope to the top of the tunnel and joined the Midshires way. This was a pleasant grassy walk with views of deer and cows in the fields. We could see one of the shafts which provided ventilation for the tunnel and could only image how difficult it would have been digging the tunnel by hand.
At a T junction of footpaths we stopped to take in a wonderful view over towards Shutlanger before continuing over towards the road which runs over the top of the tunnel.
En route Roger K picked up some litter and carried it Dick Whittington style on his stick to the first litter bin he came to.
Yes Dick London is definitely that way.
After a short distance on the road we dropped down the old path where the horses were taken over the tunnel whist the barge owners ‘legged’ the boat through reuniting with their horse at the Blisworth end.
The walk into Stoke Bruerne was on an easy access path and it was interesting to look at the holiday canal boats that we passed. A lunch stop was taken with the pub being the popular destination. As the weather was good it was enjoyable sitting outside and watching the comings and goings of the boats and the lock workings.
After lunch we set off on a different route using paths through and round the edge of crop fields. The paths were excellant and thanks must go to the farmers involved. After crossing the Blisworth road we spied a field full of deer. They were rather shy and kept well away from us. Perhaps venison was a favourite of the local restaurants!
The walk ended on the footpaths of Blisworth village back to the car park.
An enjoyable and interesting walk.
Thanks to Sue and Peter H for organising and leading what sounds like a most enjoyable walk in much better conditions than the previous year.
Thanks also to Sue for providing this report and some of the pictures.
Thanks also to Roger K for providing additional pictures.