28 (two taking a shorter walk in the village) members assembled in the car park of the Olde Three Cocks on a fine but cloudy and windy morning for a ‘rectangular’ walk of 5.4 miles north of the attractive village of Brigstock, near Corby.
After an introduction about the walk from the leader Roger K and a welcome to new members we headed uphill, carefully crossing the bypass and taking a side road past the entrance to Mauntley Farm and Bushy Lawn Lodge, where the Brigstock Horse Trails are held.
Announcing ourselves on the intercom by the drive to Bocase Farm
Passing its splendid golden eagle-topped gates.
We came to the Bocase Stone, where Roger K gave a talk to a rapt audience about the legend which says that it is a tombstone said to mark the hollow oak tree where Robin Hood threw his weapons on escaping from an ambush in Brigstock Church (we knew we were in Rockingham Forest but did Robin ever come south from Sherwood?! – and possibly the place where foresters’ courts took place.
Adjacent to the stone is a somewhat abstract metal knight.
Still walking on the edge of the extensive Harry’s Park wood - and now on wet grass - we eventually emerged through an open gate into a field with good views towards Upper Benefield and Weldon. Turning left alongside a field some of us twice heard the original call of a cuckoo before stopping for our ‘bananas’ at a junction with a farm lane near Laundimer House. Sadly, there was evidence of picnic rubbish, probably left by motorists seeking a quiet spot.
While we relaxed and chatted a startled lone walker appeared: ‘what a lot of you.’ heading in the opposite direction. He was from Weston Favell and was, over three years, walking to all 365 parish churches (wonder how many he will find open?) in the Peterborough Diocese.
A variety of animlas both domsticated and wild were seen en route.
Turning south we continued along an easy path through Upper Laundimer Wood and Old Dry Hills until reaching the first side road and returning across the Brigstock by-pass to the village.
A few of us walked around the village, including passing the original home of Helen B. who was on the walk before gathering at the back of the pub for a drink.
It was a pleasant walk with no styles or mud, only spoilt by the long wait for lunch because we were only told, when we first arrived to park and order food, that another lunch club was booked in before us.
However this allowed us to take advantage of the good weather and have a pleasant drink outside as evidenced by the pictures below.
Thanks to Peter for being the back marker and to Sue H for her support to the leader.
Thanks to Roger K for organising and leading this walk and also for providing this report and some of the photographs.
Photographs were also provided by Carna B, Caroline C and Julie S.
(Lack of time did not permit inclusion of all pictures supplied so apologies for that.