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

Saturday, 7 July 2007

County Tops (2)

County Tops may not be the sexiest of subjects in the walking canon, but I'll give it one more shot. Fired up by my discovery of the highest point in Notts, I decided to cross the eastern border and do the same in Lincs. Yes, Lincolnshire - where I was born and raised and went to school. And which I left at the very earliest opportunity! Yet there are so many secret, unsung delights to this county - the second largest in England. First of all, let's straighten out the myths. Lincolnshire is not all flat. True, the heights are not of Himalayan grandeur - but there is the "Lincoln Edge", that north-south-lying limestone escarpment, and there are the Wolds, those gentle chalk hills between Lincoln and the coast. And parts of the coastline can be wild, wet and wonderful walking over dune and marsh. Not to everyone's taste, I know, but variety is the spice...You can practically trip over hundreds of grey seals at Donna Nook; and you can see an extraordinary variety of birds at Gibraltar Point south of Skegness and in other RSPB Reserves further south on the Wash. But I digress. Back to the Tops... and specifically the trig pillar that marks Lincolnshire's highest point at the giddy altitude of 168 metres. I set out without map, without compass - and with only the vaguest sense of direction. I knew about the sinister Radio Listening Station (which looks just like a golf ball on a tee - or, some have said, an oversized "marital aid") just north of Normanby-le-Wold and that you had to park near there. So I did this, and edged furtively and probably illegally alongside fields of oilseed rape, startling rabbits, partridges and a flock of goldfinches as I went. This part of the Wolds was rather plateau-like so it was difficult to find any bit of ground higher than the next bit. However, I kept the faith, and eventually found the trig point, stained with lichen and bird droppings and half-hidden in vegetation (see photo). I wouldn't say the discovery was orgasmic - certainly not on a par with geocaching standards - but I felt quietly satisfied. Next Top - Bardon Hill in Leicestershire. Can't wait... but I might just spare you the sordid details!


John Hee said...

I take it you've seen this site?

.....and this might be of interest

Keep up the sterling work & thinks for the link

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for the info. There are obviously people out there even crazier than me! (tho' when things get too obsessive and list-conscious I quickly get bored -I'm more of a generalist at heart! A bit of this and a bit of that...)

Anonymous said...

Good to find another county-top visitor. We did Silverhill on Sunday - our 15th top, and were pleasantly surprised.

Good luck with your future tops! I recommend doing Bardon on a weekday, so you can watch the little tonka toys working away at the bottom of the quarry.

Two yards of lard said...

A fellow yellow belly! I've been home to Lincolnshire this weekend and have had a splendid walk around the old gravel pits at Whisby Nature Park. There's more to the county than people realise.

The Solitary Walker said...

Certainly there is. I live not too far from Whisby and quite often have a walk round the place. In the nesting season you can get so close to the nightingales you can almost touch them.