The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. MARCEL PROUST

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. WILLIAM BLAKE

Wanderer, there is no way; the way is made by walking. ANTONIO MACHADO

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Viking Way Rejoined: Belchford To Donington On Bain

The Viking Way is one of my two local, long-distance footpaths, and I seem to have been walking it forever. In fact (I've just checked back) I began hiking it on 6 May 2011. Since then I've been knocking off odd chunks on stolen afternoons, with lots of gaps in-between. Resolving to finish it this year, I made for the Lincolnshire village of Belchford early this morning and regained the route. It was comforting to see the Viking helmet markers once again. There's something strangely pleasurable and childlike in following these...  

Over the bridge.

Panorama of the Lincolnshire Wolds.

No mistaking the way.

It was a glorious day: hot, but not too hot, with the suggestion of a breeze, and a sky of chicory blue. Although it was still high summer, the landscape had taken on a slightly worn and blowsy look. The vibrant greens from earlier in the season had now become more muted, and the bunches of ash keys and reddening hawthorn berries were signs that autumn was fast approaching. It was good to see, along the farmland edges, some untilled areas left to nature.

The path bisecting  uncultivated ground and a cornfield.

Rowan.

Another waymarker, another stream.

Bordering the trail were clumps of burdock, and meadowsweet and willowherb crowded the streamsides. Bees and hoverflies pollinated madly, and butterflies were everywhere: peacocks, commas, gatekeepers, cabbage whites, the occasional blue, a tiny skipper.

Mayweed and potatoes.

Pond near Goulceby.


Church of All Saints, Goulceby: rebuilt in 1908 using fragments of the former medieval church which stood on this site. Spookily, Goulceby was the birthplace of William Marwood, the hangman who invented the 'long drop' method of execution.

There were not many birds about, though I was delighted to spot two wrens very close, and I also watched a buzzard effortlessly circle higher and higher on the thermals.

Bank of bracken and rosebay willowherb.

Woodland edge, secluded green path, sunlit field, yellow arrow, Viking helmet. Does it get any better than this?

This young Gloucestershire Old Spot brought a smile to my face.

8 comments:

am said...

This lifts my spirits. Thank you!

Friko said...

You had a lovely day for it.

Carola Bartz said...

I just discovered your blog, and reading just this first post brought back many many memories of beautiful hikes in the UK "back when I was young". I always enjoyed them so much, and your photos here brought back much of this joy.

Ruth said...

There were some surprises along the way, like the hangman's noose and that big pig. Beautiful walk on a beautiful day. I especially love mountain ash (rowan).

The Weaver of Grass said...

I know this area quite well Robert as my mother's brother farmed in this area and I spent quite a lot of my childhood on a farm in the Lincolnshire wolds. Lovely gentle countryside.

Dominic Rivron said...

Looks good. Sad to read about the demise of PT.

Just returned from the highlands - where we walked the Meall nan Tarmachan ridge. A fantastic day's walking.

dritanje said...

It looks glorious. There is nothing like walking - or cycling - moving through the landscape on a sunny day

The Solitary Walker said...

Good to see you, am & Friko.

Welcome, Carola! I'm glad my photos brought back some happy memories for you.

Ruth, I love the mountain ash too. (The sacred tree of the poet Kathleen Raine, Gavin Maxwell's one-time companion at Camusfearna.)

It's a lovely and peaceful area, Weaver. I'm always going back to it.

Hope to read your account of this soon, Dominic!

Yes, Dritanje — nothing like it, I agree.