On the Icknield Way – Great Chesterford to Linton

by martinxo on September 13, 2014

I walked this stage of the Icknield Way Path expedition at the start of September 2014.

This was a short stage, only four miles as the bird flies, seven miles for me as I meandered and committed minor trespass in some woods along the way.

I picked up trail at Great Chesterford, a pretty village on the border of Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Great Chesterford village sign

Great Chesterford village sign

The river Cam runs through the village…

The River Cam at Great Chesterford

The River Cam at Great Chesterford

…and looked gorgeous in the somewhat grey and misty autumn morning.

The RIver Cam at Great Chesterford

The RIver Cam at Great Chesterford

Leaving the village I passed a mile-marker.

Mileage post near Great Chesterford

Mileage post near Great Chesterford

It felt great to be back out walking again, with the sound of birds chirping and a light breeze on my face. I sang some songs and whistled a tune, life felt good.

On the Icknield Way

On the Icknield Way

I feasted on blackberries, one of the highlights of hiking in the later summer/early autumn.  Free, tasty and nutritious, what else do you want?

Blackberries

Blackberries

And suddenly the walk was almost over. My destination, Linton, barely half a mile from this green arch where I sat down and ate my lunch.

Green archway near Linton

Green archway near Linton

I arrived at Linton considering a pint but saw the bus back home pulling in at the bus stop, so I jumped on board.  A short, but very enjoyable hike, on the Icknield Way.

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In praise of wild camping – Moominpappa

by martinxo on August 22, 2014

Moominpappa roamed far and wide before settling down with Moominmama in Moominvalley. His adventurous spirit never left him though and in the book ‘Moominpappa at Sea‘ he sets off on a quest to find a lighthouse in the sea.

He was happy and wide-awake, and his hat was pushed right back.  Higher up on the beach he had built a tent of the sails and the oars, looking like a big, squatting animal

Moominpappa at Sea
By Tove Jansson
Moominpappa and his tent

The Moomin series were characters in a wonderful series of children’s novels (great for adults as well!) written by Finnish author Tove Jansson.

I’m extremely pleased to add Moominpappa to my list of quotes in praise of wild camping.

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Wild Camp in Barking Fox wood – Hertfordshire

August 8, 2014

It was mid-July and so far I had enjoyed only one wild camp since the start of the year. And then, unannounced, a completely free weekend turned up. The week prior to the camp I nervously watched cruel weather fronts move up, down, and across the south-east;  rain and cloud; seemingly a typical English summer, alas. It didn’t […]

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On the Nar Valley Way – a Norfolk river walk

July 6, 2014

This hike came from Laurence Mitchell‘s excellent “Walking in Norfolk  – 40 circular walks” book. I took the train up to King’s Lynn, hopped on a bus to Narborough and soon found myself on the Nar Valley Way.  The river Nar itself runs for 15 miles, winding its way through west Norfolk before joining up with the river Great […]

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On the Icknield Way – Royston to Great Chesterford

June 15, 2014

I walked this stage of the Icknield Way Path expedition at the end of May 2014. I arrived at Royston and picked up the Icknield Way east towards Great Chesterford, a hike of about twelve miles. Leaving Royston took me over the Greenwich Meridian, a good place to check that one’s compass is actually working (mine […]

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In praise of wild camping – Roger Deakin in Grovely Wood

May 7, 2014

Roger Deakin was an English writer and environmentalist, he died in 2006.  Deakin is probably best know for his book Waterlog in which he describes his adventures wild swimming in UK rivers and lakes. His last book, Wildwood, was published posthumously in 2007. In Wildwood, Deakin crosses the country  visiting woodland and talking to people working with, and […]

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On the Icknield Way – Baldock to Royston

April 27, 2014

I walked this stage of the Icknield Way Path expedition on Easter Monday 2014. I hopped on the train at Ely, changed at Cambridge where I had a rather tasty bacon roll and a cuppa tea.  Then jumped on the train south. I arrived in Baldock on a cool, misty morning.  The sign below greeted […]

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The Icknield Way Path

April 17, 2014

The  Icknield Way Path runs 110 miles from  Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, to  Knettishall Heath in Suffolk. Rather confusingly, the path is also a section of the longer Icknield Way that is made up of four paths, stretching from the north Norfolk coast to Wiltshire, more on all that another time. I had intended to walk the […]

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An early spring wild camp in Badger Wood – Hertfordshire

April 13, 2014

I had been looking forward to my first wild camp of the 2014. I had hoped for a camp in January and February, fantasising about waking up in a silent-morning wood with frost, or better still, snow on the ground.  But alas we were denied a winter and instead were given an angry, wet Autumn […]

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In praise of wild camping – John Muir in Bonaventure cemetery

March 22, 2014

Scottish-American John Muir (1838 – 1914) is credited as one of the first advocates of wilderness preservation in the United States.  He was a prolific walker and spent many, many nights sleeping out under the moon and stars. The following lines are taken from ‘A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf‘, an account of his hike from Indiana […]

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