Hit the North! – Stage 6: Stamford to Oakham

This is stage six of the Hit The North expedition.

Stamford to Oakham via Rutland Water
Stamford to Oakham via Rutland Water

I arrived in snowy Stamford just after midday, a friendly gent on the bridge agreed to take my photo.

Me, in Stamford
Me, in Stamford

The river Welland was running swiftly under the bridge.  I followed the river westwards out of of town…

The river Welland at Stamford
The river Welland at Stamford

…and soon found myself on the Jurassic Way an 88 mile walk starting in Stamford and ending in Banbury in Oxfordshire.

Trail signs...
Trail signs…

Four miles later I found myself in the pretty village of Easton on the Hill where I stopped for a snickers bar and some water.

The church at Easton on the Hill
The church and churchyard at Easton on the Hill

I then struck out over gently rolling hills and fields.  The snow was quite deep in parts, I could have done with the snowshoes I enjoyed using so much earlier in the year during my Pyrenees hike.

Winter tree near Easton on the Hill
Winter tree near Easton on the Hill

I crossed the river Welland once more just outside the village of Ketton.

The river Welland at Ketton
The river Welland at Ketton

At Ketton I crossed the county border between Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Rutland!
Rutland!

This was the first time I’ve walked in Rutland and I immediately thought of Eric Idle’s Monty Python follow-up, Rutland Weekend Television, that I enjoyed as a child in the 70s.

In Ketton I was met with a welcoming sign, only 10 miles to go!

10 miles to Oakham
10 miles to Oakham

However, that 10 miles turned into 14 or so as I managed to get terribly lost just north of Ketton.  It took me an hour of walking around in circles before I managed to rejoin the path to Oakham, via Rutland Water.

The last six miles of the walk were spent following a track around Rutland Water.

Rutland Water
Rutland Water

And what a joy the walk was!  The cold had kept other walkers away and I had the route to myself for almost the whole way to Oakham.

I arrived in Oakham as the sun was setting and caught the train back to Ely.

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