Monday, 8 September 2014

d'Arcy Dalton Way - Day 2

A very quiet night. I wasn't far from the main Banbury to Birmingham railway line but it didn't disturb my sleep. Awake at around 5.30, I was away by 6.20, continuing along the canal towpath through Cropredy and then, after a couple of hours, reaching Bridge 139 at Wormleighton Reservoir. Here, there was a footpath sign for the DDW so up I went. I had a quick look across the reservoir, took a few photos for the record and then set off southwards.

Old bridge - Bedford to Stratford-upon-Avon Railway
Here's where it starts

Wormleighton Reservoir
All set!

After the first couple of hundred yards, I had to cross the railway. This is one to be really careful over. It is a fast and busy line - two tracks. It was pleasant walking through grassy fields, then through the village of Farnborough and then the National Trust's Farnborough Park. I picked up supplies of crisps and chocolate at the little shop at Anita's camping and caravan park at Mollington - a very friendly place. They directed me to their water tap.

Couldn't resist this - a moving ad for an artificial grass company
In Mollington
Emerging from the village and entering fields, I very soon became aware of the traffic noise from the M40. I walked parallel to it for about half a mile, with the carriageway being no more than fifty feet away. However, here was a treat - a wild plum tree with fruit there for the taking - which I did. At other times all through the weekend, there were also blackberries and elderberries. I then crossed the M40 by means of a footbridge.

Then through Shotteswell, across the B4100 road, eventually reaching Hornton, where I went into the Dun Cow for a pint. The pub was deserted, this seeming to be another case of locals not using their pub enough. I read that Liverpool Cathedral was built using Hornton Stone although it is now quarried at nearby Edge Hill. The stone is a deep honey colour and I prefer the look of it to Cotswold Stone.

 I just continued to walk and walk. The weather was pretty perfect. I passed through Shenington and Epwell, stopping near the junction with the B4035 around 6pm to cook up a meal before walking on. The Way took me through the grounds of Sibford School in the village of Sibford Ferris. Here, I espied a water hose and took the opportunity to fill up my water belt which then left me equipped to find a pitch for the night whenever I wanted. At 7.45pm I was ambling along musing that, at that exact point in time, with it going to start getting dark shortly, I hadn't a clue where I would be spending the night. For me, that is one of the joys of wild camping. Shortly after passing Sibford Grounds Farm and dropping down through woodland, I skirted by a field of corn on the cob (so much of it growing around here) where the path entered more woodland. By going on a few yards along the field edge and then around a corner, I found an excellent pitch. I set up and it was getting dark about twenty minutes later.

About 18 miles walked today.

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