Saturday, December 10, 2022

Saturday 10th December, Katherines way, 17 participants, 8 or 4 miles.

 Seventeen ramblers arrived at Steppingley Church at 12.15 on a lovely sunny frosty day to have lunch at their Christmas Love Festival.  We arrived and left in shifts, having walked various lengths of the Katherine’s Way.  Seven of us started at Churchill Drive at 9.30 in full wintery frost and walked about 6 miles to the church. We were the long brisk group. We passed through the lovely Cooper’s Hill SSSI, with the heather draped in hoar frost.  


Next we walked through Ampthill Park to the  Katherine’s Memorial. This is Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry the 8th, who was exiled to Ampthill after her marriage was annulled at Dunstable Priory. There, two ramblers who had arrived late caught us up. 


Next was a coffee break at Millbrook Church: a mere 15 minutes as it really was too cold to sit around. 


We passed around Center Parcs admiring the heap of snow. It turned out to be a very convincing artificial pile! 


We were hoping to spend some time admiring the micro-pigs, but they were very sensibly tucked up in straw in their pigsties. 

 As we turned the corner we spied the Easy Go walkers ahead, about 6 of them, just setting off from their coffee break. They started at 10.30 and had only 3 miles to walk to the church. We eventually caught them up just before Steppingley church, where two more ramblers joined us just for lunch. 


The church was lovely; bright, warm and welcoming. The church wardens were dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland and there was much to look at. We were more interested in the coffee and drinking chocolate at the side… and the very naughty, but nice, pastries and cakes.  We left donations, happy to have had such lovely refreshments and also to help the church with their ‘Toilets’ appeal.  Some of us bought raffle tickets or Christmas decorations, and then listened to a very good saxophone player perform. Some of the group even joined in as a backing choir!!

We left in shifts and mixed up groups for the remaining mile: two didn’t stay for lunch, seven of us left after 45 minutes, some stayed longer to chat with others, listen to the saxophone and generally enjoy the entertainment, warmth and ambience.  On the way back the first group looked over the gate to the ‘disabled farm’:  a farm set up by a blind man to teach and help other disabled people get into farming.

We will plan another walk to the church when they have their next festival, probably around Easter, and see if we can also arrange a guided tour of the farm. Watch out on the programme.

Katherine's Way Map

 More photos from the go easy 4 mile walk below

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