Although the week before the ground under foot was firm and safe, rain falling the night preceding this walk made the going rather wet, sticky and slippery. In fact, one or two walkers decided to descend sloping ground on their bottoms!
The day itself was dry and sunny, although with plenty of clouds scudding the blue sky. Eighteen of us set off from Haselbech (pronounced Hazelbeech) picking up a gravel bridleway south of the village and heading for Maidwell. The pace was good thanks to the relatively new driveway to an equestrian centre from which we headed north before rather than entering Maidwell heading for Kelmarsh.
This took us via the small woodland of Maidwell Vale, which appeared much neglected with us having to clamber over and under fallen trees, and avoid brambles stretching across the footpath and snapping at our legs. Having made it through the wood we climbed up out of the vale and a little further along a track settled down for our morning break, with surprise 'Bristol Easter Biscuits' baked and shared by the walk leader.
Setting off again, we exited the farmland and took a minor road passing The Buddhist Centre and cutting across to Kelmarsh Church. Walking down the road for 200 yards we then went cross country to Clipston for lunch. These were wide open fields with the footpath clearly marked by a walker friendly farmer. Looking back over our shoulders gave us lovely glimpses of Kelmarsh Hall and the remnants of their weekend's Country Fair.
The Bulls Head, Clipston gave us a warm welcome, fed us well and sent us on our way fully refreshed. Walking through this rather pleasant village, past a splendid looking Endowed School, we picked up a lane before following the footpath but taking the perimeter of two fields freshly ploughed. Then balancing along wet and muddy tracks deeply rutted by farm vehicles Sue was awarded a Easter Egg for spotting a very old petrol pump, dating back to circa 1920.
Having left a muddy and overgrown bridleway we passed under the busy A14 and followed more track - good and bad - before eventually reaching, tired and a little achy, our cars.