Walk 17: Thrapston & Titchmarsh Nature Reserves Circular: A ‘twitchers’ paradise

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 8 miles (12.9 km)

Time to walk: We did this walk in November 2013 & in parts it’s very, very muddy so careful as you go & in the winter wear wellies! Even so, with stops for photos & chats to ‘twitchers’ etc we still managed it in just under 3 hours.

Difficulty: Fairly flat, mainly on woodland paths & grass. Like we said above it was very muddy in winter

Parking: We just parked on the street in Thrapston

Public toilets: There’s some in Oundle Road, Thrapston, but not much else en route

Map of the route: None, but it’s easy to follow

We met up with some old friends to do this walk…Nikki & Heather. Plus Nikki’s gorgeous golden retriever Dexter came along too

Dexter

Dexter

So….wellies on….let’s get going!!

1. Our walk starts on the outskirts of Thrapston near the old bridge leading into Islip

Walk down the path on the Thrapston side of the river & turn left just before the traffic light below

2. Follow the path round past the new houses…

& then along a lovely stretch of the river…

At the lock walk along the smaller stream round to the right past the weir…

…& through the gap in the hedge & head towards the lake…

Stunning autumn displays...

Stunning autumn displays…

Our first view of the lake...Dexter's off...where's Coco?

Our first view of the lake…Dexter’s off…

3. At the path turn right & cross the bridge…

Could the crow & seagull kindly move...

Could the crow & seagull kindly move…

Have a look at the view of the lake to the left…this is an early example of all the different kinds of birds we’ll see today…

Now carry straight on past a car park on the left & upon reaching the gate below, turn left & along the clear path

4. The path just keeps going straight now for probably 15 mins & you’ll get glimpses of the lake on your left

After about 50 yards at the junction take the left hand ‘swamp’ path….seriously though it get’s very muddy down here!!

5. Although it’s muddy this is a great little stretch with an opportunity to see some more species of water birds

Stunning little Grebe

Stunning little Grebe

Wigeons

Wigeons

6. At the end turn left &, for the next stretch the river’s on our right & a lake on the left

Along here was a migrating Fieldfare feasting on berries – he was about 50 yards away…

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

A Cormorant

A Cormorant

There was also a white Egret, but he spotted us…

7. Eventually just before the path turns into tarmac, turn right onto a footbridge over the river.

On the other side of the river turn right & head back along it, ignoring the path that goes off to the left. We’ve now entered Titchmarsh Local Nature Reserve. & there’s another lengthy stretch of grass (& mud!) path but just let the river be your guide.

On the right in the distance was a tree full of Cormorants…

8. Eventually you’ll come to a gate into open land…

Keep heading for the bridge…

and on your left you can see the church spire at Aldwinkle which is your next target

9. Follow the grass track round to the left & head for the bridge…careful that was really slippery today

On the left is one of many hides…well worth a look.

10. Keep heading straight on with the river tributary on your right…you’re on the Nene Way now

Head for the gate…

Come on...let us through

Come on…let us through

Pass through & follow the track for a short way through the woods – there’s an owl box on the right here. This really is a great conservation area

11. At the gate turn right & head up the hill…

12. At the top turn right into the car park & then right again on the road down into Aldwinkle. If you get time the church looks well worth a visit

13. Head left up Baulks Lane to reach the upper part of the village…

14. So turn left & explore Aldwinkle…

15. We had a real treat when we did this walk…….we were just passing the school & met a great character who was taking Orla, a 14 year old Harris Hawk out for her daily walk – how stunning is she? We’ve spent a couple of days flying these birds & they are so amazing to work with…

16. Well walking never fails to turn up treats, but it’s time to move on. On the right here is another beautiful church, All Saints’ (the one with the spire).

17. Ok now cross the road & head down Lowick Road…

Be careful now as the next 1/2 mile is on a narrow road…jump on the verge if a car comes along. Ignore the footpath on the left

On reaching the top head straight on towards the Fishery

18. Follow the track down to the entrance…

19. You can stay at the holiday cottages here, but turn right through the gate into the field

20. Ok…it’s now time to head back towards Islip….

Walk towards the gate & bridge in the corner

21. Once across head straight up the lane…

Lead us home Dexter!!

Lead us home Dexter!!

& on the right there’s a Red Kite…

22. Continue to the top of the lane…

& then turn left down Mill Lane…23. At the bottom bear right past the Mill House…

& go over the bridge & turn right.

24. Now you’re back near the weir, so follow the river back to the start point.

This is a really good walk, but probably best done in the summer months when it’ll be a lot drier under foot. It’s a great one though so…

Go Walk!

 

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