Monday, 27 June 2016

Cycling to Carsington Water

Friday, 24th June 2016

After carefully checking Google Maps, I determine that we can cycle to the nearby Carsington Water. This is a manmade Lake or Reservoir, which, I think is about three miles away. Careful examination of Google Street Scene, suggests, it is not too hilly or busy, to cycle.

I put a positive spin on the spin on the information obtained, and convince Kathleen, it a maximum of half a mile on the A517, followed by about three miles on quiet, and only slightly hilly roads.

The reality is slightly different. We survive the half mile along the A517. The next road (Gorse Lane), is, almost traffic free, but, is most definitely up hill, with a short downhill stretch, so, on balance, I suppose, it is, almost, flat.

Carsington Water is a reservoir, almost a mini Kielder Water, in Northumberland, but, without midges, and in slightly less romate terrain!

There is a good surfaced cycle track all the way around the lake, about seven miles of cycling, I would estimate, it is not flat by any stretch of the imagination, but, once you are half way around, it is too late to turn back.

The level of complaints is acceptable.

There is a good coffee and food stop, at the

sailing club, which somewhat offsets the deception of the lack of hills.

Saturday, 25th June 2016

After yesterdays exertions, and now armed with an OS map, we decide we will attempt (again) to find the path across the fields to the Nags Head. Quite apart from the possibility of a pleasant pint of beer, it may also be a suitable venue for Sunday Lunch.

The venture begins with slightly more success than our previous attempt, after joining the lane at the rear of the Campsite, we turn right, and in a short distance, we find the Footpath Sign, on the left. 

This is the end of the "success". Once through the hedge, there is no visible sign of a footpath. Undeterred we follow our best guess, through wet knee high grass. Kathleen is not amused. My logic of "we are wet now, we may as well keep going" carries us (reluctantly) forward, through a couple more gates, a short jump over a stream, until we come to a gate with a sign advising there is a bull in the field. The sign does say, it is a friendly bull. There is also a cow and calf watching us carefully from the other side of the fence.

Still no sign of a trodden footpath, wet from the knees down, and now faced with a protective "mother" cow and her calf, plus a "friendly" bull, it is decided retreat is the wisest option.

The elusive Nags Head will have to wait for another day.

The plans are revised, we walk to the "virtual" Bus Stop and catch the bus into Ashbourne, and spend a pleasant afternoon walking in the park and sampling some of the many pubs. 

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