Monday, August 31, 2020

A walk along the Brampton Valley Way

Today I went for a walk along the Brampton Valley Way. Following the route of the old railway line to Northampton, this runs for 14 miles south from Market Harborough, but I made it just to the Waterloo Tearoom at Great Oxendon and back.

The route was busy with bank holiday cyclists, dog walkers, joggers and foragers - autumn is already arriving in the hedgerows.

The last train ran along here in 1981 and over the years the nature of the Way has changed. It used to feel much more like an old double-track railway: it was wide and there was ballast everywhere.

Over the years the route has narrowed, as bushes and trees have established themselves. Yet the fauna has diminished: you used to scatter rabbits every time you walked along here and there were muntjac deer too. Today I saw a couple of the former only when I wandered into a neighbouring field.

Because it was busy, today the Way was more for cyclists. But on a quieter day it makes a great walk - follow the full 14 miles and you will go through tunnels at Great Oxendon and Kelmarsh.

1 comment:

Grumpy of Leicester said...

It's a route I've cycled many times - and every time has been part of a splendid journey.
The first time, quite some years ago, some new age travellers had set up camp at the entrance to the northernmost tunnel, and put a bank of speakers in the tunnel entrance. Now - that WAS a sound system! Very pleasant people, although the music wasn't entirely to my taste.
Another epic journey was with my son - we left Leicester at 9pm with the intention of meeting my wife at the end of her night shift at Milton Keynes Hospital. The tunnels were easier in the night as there was less contrast to confuse our night vision. Unfortunately, repairing a puncture at one of the picnic benches at 1am cannot be recommended.
Thanks to some unhealthy quantities of strong coffee, we met my wife, and got our lift back home.