6 + 10 + 3 ramblers, 7, 4 and 0 miles. Led by Ruth and Richard.
The shorter walk, led by Richard, started from Churchill Drive in Flitwick & basically followed Katherine's walk to Steppingley. They had a coffee stop on a log in the woods.
The brisk longer walk, led by Ruth, met at a small parking area near Flitwick Plantation, crossed the M1 and walked through woods then fields to All Saint's church, Ridgmont. After a week of heavy rain the paths were muddy in places but there was plenty of wet grass to dislodge the mud. At least it wasn't raining, the sun was trying to break through and the wind had dropped. One footpath along the side of a wood was over-grown with brambles, and Ruth went ahead to do some pruning.
At All Saints, our coffee stop, two men were digging a grave! The new coffin was going over the old one, so it was not as deep as usual.
After a short break, we retraced our steps a little and turned East, to avoid a very muddy bit along the Greensand's ridge walk. Would it have been worse? We had to circum-navigate a wide lake! As we re-crossed the motorway we stopped to gaze at the long queue of traffic South at an almost standstill.
Soon we joined Rectory Lane that leads to Steppingley. We arrived at 12.35, only 5 minutes behind time. Has the short walk arrived already? Yes, they got there early by 12 noon! They had followed the St Catherine's way.
The village hall was hot, steamy, packed with people and very welcome. After a quick exchange of news, the short group left to make space and chairs for us, leaving behind the 3 who had come by car.
The event is usually in the church, but today it was in the village hall to make use of their kitchen. The food, as usual was excellent. Two sorts of home made soup: Spiced Parsnip, or Lentil, Tomato and Chorizo, followed by coffee or tea and a wide choice of cake. It was all for donations: we gave generously, but it was still better value than any pub meal! It is going towards their fund to install a toilet and tea station in the church. We were told a kitchen is not allowed in a church, but a tea station is!!
On leaving the village hall it had started to drizzle. We only had a mile left to do and this was through woods, the last part on welcome firm ground. We just got back to the cars as the drizzle began to turn to rain.
|Track of longer walk, walked in clockwise direction