We picked up today from where we left off on the 27th July. The walk in the gale force winds on the peak of Skiddaw hadn’t deterred Hannah from adventuring with me.
The weather was perfect, the low autumn sun was out, the temperature cool and the ground dry, we couldn’t ask for better conditions for mid October!
After leaving a car at Wilbarston we returned to Welford to begin our 4th stage of the Jurassic Way.
We set off from the church where we ended two months prior, cutting across fields to the Welford reservoir. The path follows the banks before scooting over a sluice to head towards Sibbertoft.
The kilometres flew by as we enjoyed the peace and quiet of the Northamptonshire countryside, listening to the birds and enjoying the autumnal colours.
While at Sibbertoft we were greeted by some friendly cattle, that paid a bit of interest in us. Naturally we stopped to say hello and give them a stroke.
From Sibbertoft you keep heading towards Market Harborough until East Farnden where the route heads southeast to Great Oxenden, here we stopped for a quick drink at ‘The George’.
At this point we were over halfway, the distance had flown by. We continued on crossing more rolling fields as the sun gradually lowered casting long autumn shadows.
As we left Braybrooke and approached Stoke Albany, we realised the route had been easy to navigate and none of those blasted nettles that had plagued us on the previous stages, stood in our way. But we spoke too soon. We encountered worse!
We were confronted by a wall of green prickly plants! There was no defined path, and only guided by the ordinance survey app, we entered this triffid monstrosity.
There were brambles, hawthorns, nettles and all manner of shrubbery between us and the next field. Clearly the ‘Jurassic Way’ is not a well trodden route. It is a shame really, as it would make a great first thru hike for those wanting to test the waters of this pursuit.
You get to see the best of the Northamptonshire countryside, no demanding hills like the Cotswold Way and there are plenty of villages, and pubs along the route, to keep you going.
After some ducking and weaving resembling a modern dance recital, we navigated through this prickly obstacle wall.
From here it was easy going across freshly planted fields into Stoke Albany then on to the stage end, of Wilbarston.
We arrived at the village hall where we had left a car; grabbing a selfie before heading to the local pub (which was closed so we ended up in The White Horse at Stoke Albany) for our, now traditional stage end pint.
As autumn has set in and winter is around the corner, the last two stages will likely be done in the spring. So see you next year as we continue our adventure on the Jurassic Way.