Barnstone, Langar and Colston Bassett, 24th June 2018

Roger's revised route today took us: from Barnstone Village Hall, down Works Lane and across fields to Langar; along the gated road to Colston Bassett; up to the derelict Saint Mary's Church for coffee; and then back almost the same way (thus avoiding the rape jungle) to Brenda's for Lunch in the Garden.
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The start outside Barnstone Village Hall
Tangling with the Great Nottinghamshire Bike Ride

St John's Church, Colston Bassett was erected in 1892.  A local legend claims a boulder lying in the churchyard is a meteorite, but it has been identified as cinnabar (the common ore of mercury) probably from Peru.
Colston Hall - a Grade 2 listed building dating back to 1704
St Mary's Church, Colston Bassett stands prominently on a site known to originate from Norman times

The original route back - the rape jungle
St Andrew's Church, Langar
Lunch in the Garden - thanks again Brenda for laying on this splendid annual feast

Branston and Croxton Kerrial, 19th June 2018

Tina's 5-mile Evening Stroll started near Saint Guthlac's Church in Branston and explored the ups and downs (200m of ascent) of the headwaters of the River Devon before ending at The Wheel Inn in Branston.
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St Guthlac's Church, Branston

Hidden in the undergrowth this time but visible when we last did this walk in March 2017

Interesting pub sign in Croxton Kerrial - The Geese and Fountain.  Note the famous Croxton Kerrial water spout

Refreshments at The Wheel Inn, Branston

Lowdham, Hoveringham Mill and Gonalston, 13th June 2018

The turnout for this, the second of our Evening Strolls was boosted by walkers who found us advertised in the excellent guide to walks in Nottinghamshire, Notts Guided Walks. Elaine's route started outside the (sadly closed) Old Ship Inn in Lowdham before crossing fields to reach Cliff Mill and Hoveringham Mill and then returned via St Laurence's Church, Gonalston.
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No photographers on this stroll, so here are some library photographs.

Cliff Mill
Both these mills are on the Dover Beck which was the southern boundary of Sherwood Forest from the 13th century.  The river rises near the village of Blidworth in the heart of the forest and flows southeast to join the River Trent near Gunthorpe and Caythorpe.  The Gonalston Mill, formerly known as Cliffe Mill, was one of eleven on the Dover Beck.  The eleven were: Salterford Mill, Oxton Mill, Epperstone Mill, Woodborough Mill, The Paper Mill, Carby’s Mill, Parkinson’s Pit, The Lord’s Mill, Cliff Mill, Hoveringham Mill and Caythorpe Mill.

See Mills on the Doverbeck by W A James for more information.
Hoveringham Mill
St Laurence's Church, Gonalston

Scalford and Wycomb, 10th June 2018

A good turnout (19) for Steve's undulating and overgrown  walk from Scalford in fine weather.
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Lined up at the start outside ...
 ... Saint Egelwin's Church, Scalford - one of Leicestershire's Ironstone Churches
Beware large burrowing animals
Our Footpaths Officer taking his job very seriously
Stiles we like - but not exactly sheep-proof


Fine example of local ironstone
Not so easy going at times

And off to the pub in Scalford

Harlaxton and the Grantham Canal, 5th June 2018

The first of the Evening Strolls ...
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...led by Rose, started at the Gregory before leading us up the long drive towards Harlaxton Manor.
We then passed through Harlaxton itself before taking Peashill Lane to an overgrown bridleway ...
... and on to Denton Reservoir for a break.
Then it was across fields to Denton Wharf and back along the canal ...
... to Harlaxton Bridge before climbing The Drift back to the Gregory for a drink.

Markfield and Billa Barra Hill, 27th May 2018

Rab's 8½ mile walk went through the Altar Stones Nature Reserve before climbing up to Billa Barra Hill. The name of the hill is thought to be a corruption of the word "barrow," meaning burial ground. The hill top is a Regionally Important Geological Site, with a natural outcrop of pre-Cambrian rocks, similar to those found at Bardon Hill and Cliffe Hill nearby.

The route took us between two of the many quarries in this part of Leicestershire to Stanton under Bardon before returning through Thornton and Markfield.


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The start near Altar Stones, Markfield

Example of pre-Cambrian rocks in Altar Stones Nature Reserve
Descent from Billa Barra Hill - evidence of quarrying in the distance near Bardon
Lunch near Thornton Reservoir
Relationship between today's walk and others in this area