Walk 141: Little Harrowden & Hardwick Circular Walk

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 5.5 miles (8.85km)

Time to walk: It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes

Difficulty: Almost all off road on well managed field paths & bridleways. A couple of inclines but not steep. One stile. No livestock were encountered on this walk

Parking: On the road on Main Street, Little Harrowden near the school, opposite Chapel Lane

Public toilets: There are no facilities en route, except for The Lamb at Little Harrowden which is passed on the way back.

Map of the route: OS Maps

This walk has been sent to me by Cari Spokes for which I’m very grateful

This is a fabulous walk, mostly off road with spectacular views across to Wellingborough over the ridge on the way out & then to the left towards Orlingbury on the way back

Shall we let her guide us through it then?

Let’s Walk!

1. Park up on Main Street just before the school opposite Chapel Lane. Cross the road & follow the footpath sign down Chapel Lane…

2. Continue down Chapel Lane past the houses to the bottom left corner. Pass through the gap to follow the path through the tall hedges, continuing straight on between the hedge on your right & the fence on your left…

3. Continue through until it opens out into open fields. Follow the clear track up & to the left to reach Wellingborough Road, just before Great Harrowden on the left

4. Turn left onto the road until you reach the turning on the right, just before the first building.

There’s a signpost for a bridleway & a footpath. The footpath lies straight ahead, but we are going to follow the bridleway through the gate on the right…

5. Follow the bridleway across the ridge (look left for great views across to the back of Wellingborough – these fields will be full of houses soon – unfortunately too foggy & misty for any decent photo’s). Continue past Blackberry Fox Covert on your left…

6. Keep going straight forward, following the well marked path until it enters a small wooded area…

7. Follow through straight ahead &, if you look to your left, you can see the back of the Wellingborough Old Grammarians Sports Club. (There was a fair bit of rubbish at this part of the walk ). Keep going until you reach Little Harrowden Road…

8. Turn left & walk along the road (be careful they move quite fast along here – (although most seem to turn towards Wellingborough luckily) until you reach the junction at Appleby Gate at the start of Moonshine Gap (where the road continues towards Mears Ashby)…

9. At the junction turn right & go through the gates into the field, following the well marked path down the field with the hedge on your right. Continue straight until you reach the next gate…

10. Continue through the gate going straight forward towards the large tree on the right. At the tree turn right & continue along the hedge until you reach the stile…

11. Cross the stile & continue straight ahead. Then, after about 100 metres, follow the path to the right through a large gap in the hedge towards Hardwick…

12. Continue, keeping the farm buildings on your left, following the footpath sign, through the gate into Hardwick….

On the left is a small green warning you not to allow your dogs to foul the area. Do you think that’s what the shovel is for???

Continue walking into the centre of Hardwick. When you reach the road, turn right & walk towards the village green…

13. On your right is the Old School House…

…& then St Leonard’s Church

When in Hardwick, go into the churchyard & look out for the grave of Emily Anna Alderson, & her mum & dad. just on the right as you walk up the path. Emily was the last schoolmistress before they closed the school (which is the village hall)

Henry James Alderson had a chequered life to say the least – married his wife twice (both using different names), & avoided the Charge of the Light Brigade by being captured by the Russians a couple of weeks before under very odd circumstances! Check out this link

The other interesting graves in Hardwick churchyard are the Peppers, who are the skittle-making family. The skittle making company is still there, further up the lane from the main village

14. Follow the road round to the left & then right past Hardwick House…

15. Leave the village by the road, up the hill towards the footpath sign on the left. Now the footpath sign shows your route, but if you just walk a little further up the lane for a mo before going across the fields, & look over the hedge to the right, in the field the other side, next to the crossroads, is a flock of either alpacas, or llamas

16. Back at the footpath sign, turn into the field & follow the very well marked path through 5 or 6 fields (might have lost count) back to Little Harrowden…

17. Take time to look at the views to the left. Unfortunately, it was misty & foggy when we walked this in late Nov 2020, so the pics do not do it justice…

18. Once you reach Little Harrowden, exit the field & turn left along the road towards the roundabout…

19. Cross straight over the roundabout back into Main Street & follow the road back to your car, past the small village green on your left…

There are some lovely properties along here…

So that’s the end of Cari’s lovely stroll, which is the second walk taking in Little Harrowden, but what’s really good is that it goes in the opposite direction & takes in Hardwick

That means that’s another Northamptonshire village ticked off the list!

Thanks Cari

Go Walk!