A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Way Of The Vikings



After an extended spell at home, my feet are getting restless. But I can't commit to a long, distant tramp lasting many consecutive days. First, I'm involved in giving the house and garden a complete makeover. Second, I'm supposed to be studying on a proofreading course. Really I need a local walk I can complete in separate stages over snatched half-days and the odd weekend.

The two long distance trails nearest to here are the Trent Valley Way and the Viking Way. I've already walked the Trent Valley Way - with a friend in 1994. We covered it mainly at weekends and visited practically every pub on the route. It starts in Long Eaton, south west of Nottingham, and follows the course of the river Trent and the Chesterfield canal for 84 miles to West Stockwith.

So I'm considering the Viking Way. I've already walked a couple of sections. This 147 mile path begins at the Humber Bridge, breezes through the chalky Lincolnshire Wolds, shadows the river Witham to Lincoln, then runs due south along a thin limestone escarpment before cutting across part of Leicestershire and finishing on the shores of Rutland Water.

The bit I walked this afternoon took in part of Ermine Street, the old Roman road. I passed this fun, mosaic road sign ...



... and later ate a banana sitting on a wooden bench beneath a huge flowering horse chestnut tree in the middle of Welbourn village green. This is Welbourn church ...



... and this is the approach to Wellingore where I'd left the car. Some people love it, others hate it - but you can't avoid the dazzling yellow colour of the oil-seed rape fields at this time of year. I always welcome these crops, providing us as they do with rapeseed oil, one of the healthiest of the vegetable oils, rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.




8 comments:

Friko said...

I'm looking forward to getting to know your route. Take plenty of pictures, would you.

I've also taken several shots of the rape fields round here, the colour is almost psychedelic.

Bonnie said...

Aren't you blessed to live in such close proximity to long-distance trails. And ... depending on the time available you can motor to your favourite spots make the most of the time you have. Life is good.

am said...

I like that mosaic. It's good to be out walking.

Ruth said...

What a great solution to a sojourner wanting a long trek, do it in bits! I read these names aloud to my husband, and he said, "Shut up!" — which means, we love England and would love to walk through these villages and scenes.

It's early for the horse chestnuts here, and boy do they make the eyes itch.

We call rapeseed oil canola oil. It's beautiful there growing like mustard.

emilene said...

What beautiful scenery - right on your doorstep! Enjoy every minute out there!

The Solitary Walker said...

I'll try to remember my camera, Friko.

Yes, life is good walking in the English countryside, Bonnie. I feel lucky. Did you know there are 638 long distance paths in the UK? (At least, according to my 2002 Harvey's Wallchart of the Long Distance Paths of Britain. There are probably more than that number now.) Some are National Trails; others are a mixture of regionally organised waymarked and unwaymarked routes. This extensive public footpath network is one of the great joys of Britain.

Enjoy your walks too, am ...

... and Ruth, although I prefer in an ideal world to walk a trail from start to finish in one go, it's usually not possible to do that, so sneaking off and doing little bits here and there is a great compromise! My wife Carmen is also walking with me on some of these half-day trips, so it's nice to have some company for a change.

Emilene - thanks for visiting! Although it's not spectacular landscape round here, it's quite pretty in parts, in a gentle sort of way.

Val said...

i like the sound of both those trails; and those yellow fields are fantastic and joyful. Lithium yellow is very good for the part of our brains that deals with feelgood emotions. Enjoy and i hope the weather holds

The Solitary Walker said...

From yellow fields to yellow roses in the next post, Val ... I must be in one of Friko's psychedelic moods. Weather still good - but there's a thunderstorm every now and then.