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 me outside the train station, a street name though, leading to a dead end, not where I wanted to go!
15 minutes later I had left Baldock and was on the Way itself.
I headed off in a north-easterly direction.
It was a joy to be out amongst these gently rolling hills.
The mist began to rise and the sun gave a hint of its arrival.
I passed fields of oil-seed rape, the blossoms give off a heavy, almost narcotic, odor that permeates the countryside.
I liked this old barn and haystack, like something out of a Just William story.
Though on the other side of the barn I found this warning, so maybe not such a good place for a cheeky wild camp.
I reached the village of Wallington.
I found a bench in the churchyard and stopped for a snack and some water.
It was here I realised I hadn’t packed my copy of ‘The Icknield Way Path –
I left Wallington and took a pretty lane back up to the chalk ridge.
The next village on the path was Sandon.
I sat by the duck pond for a while and basked in the gathering midday heat.
Back on the trail. I entered some woodland.
I took a break in Hawkins Wood which is managed by the Woodland Trust.
Leaving the wood I found a good spot for my lunch.
I brewed up a cup of tea and enjoyed a Cornish pasty.
After lunch I set off without checking my maps. I was supremely confident of heading in the right direction but after a while the discrepancy between the map and territory was too great to be ignored. I pulled out my compass and found I was heading south instead of north-east! How on earth did that happen?
I left Therfield feeling a little sleepy after the pint. It was tempting to find a nice grassy spot for a nap but I didn’t really have time for that.
I followed a track up and along the ridge of the hills for a few miles until the town of Royston appeared before me.
This was my end point, I made my way into town and caught the train back home.
All-in-all a particularly lovely walk through classic rolling English countryside. I’m really looking forward to the next stage of this hike.
Here’s a little video I shot