Walk 37: Ravensthorpe Circular: Water, wildlife & waiting for a bite

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 3 miles (4.8km)

Time to walk: Straight round in just under an hour but, if the weather’s nice, there’s plenty of places to sit & have a picnic or admire the view. It would also be a good idea to combine this walk with a visit to Coton Manor – especially in the bluebell season

Difficulty: All on grassy paths around the reservoir so it can get muddy

Parking: Use the free car park beside the reservoir on the Coton side

Public toilets: None

Map of the route: cc ‘Footpaths for Fitness’

Map

Ravensthorpe is the oldest of the County’s reservoirs, being created in Victorian times to supply water to Northampton

It covers almost 100 acres & is considered one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Europe

Our route basically covers the shoreline path &, as this is a prolific fly-fishing venue, we need to be careful of fishermen’s backcasts

With that in mind it’s a gorgeous sunny late April afternoon so let’s go explore this short walk…

1. Our walk starts from the public car park just over the causeway on the northern side of the reservoir – it’s signposted. You need to be careful when parking here to avoid the many wildfowl that seem to like cuddling up to the vehicles…

2. From here we get a good view straight down the reservoir towards the dam

Black & white view

Black & white view

3. Our route around is clockwise so we pass through the gate on the left…

…& immediately spot some hopeful fishermen…

4. The route along this bank is set a little back from the water & therefore we only get glimpses of it, but there’ll be plenty of open views later. The path’s easy to follow…

…there’s a beautiful avenue of birches along here…

Plenty of blossom still in abundance

Plenty of blossom still in abundance

5. We keep getting the occasional view of the reservoir but still need to keep following the track…

…until we come to the junction below where we need to take the right path towards the lake…

6. There’s a little jetty down here so please excuse us a photo interlude…

7. After passing through the trees our route lies over the circular path…

…to the dam where we find somewhere to rest awhile…

Surely not the...

Surely not the…

The view from Steve's bench. Not a bad one is it?

The view from Steve’s bench. Not a bad one is it?

8. Refreshed? Then let’s move through the gate below…

…& start to move across the dam…

9. On the left are all the pumping pools which can just be made out through the trees…

…& on the dam wall are the release valves…

10. On the far side of the dam wall we can now see the fishing boat lodge…

…where we met about 5 guys who had caught about 15 rainbow trout that day

11. There were quite a few boats lined up so another photo opportunity…

…before moving on behind the shed & continuing around the edge of the reservoir…

12. The western side of the reservoir is reserved for bank fishermen so this is where we need to be careful of back-casting…

…this guy hadn’t caught a thing all day!!

…& his mate next door wasn’t doing any better

13. The track now became a bit muddy so be careful with your footing…

…but soon it dries up again…

14. A bit further along here there’s another couple of benches to sit & pass the time again…

…before finally passing out of the gate on to the road over the causeway – be careful as the traffic moves quickly along here

15. We turn right & walk along the causeway with water either side…

Be very careful of the traffic along here

Be very careful of the traffic along here

…so keep your eyes & ears open as there’s plenty of wildlife to be seen either side. Today we were lucky to stand & watch the ‘courting’ dance of 2 grebes which went on for about 15 minutes. There was plenty of alternative head bobbing, twisting etc – stunning to watch

Here’s the best of our photos…

 16. At the end of the causeway we turn right & then we’re back at the car park – all within 1 hour.

So what’s our thoughts about Ravensthorpe. Well it’s a lovely small reservoir well protected in a valley & completely different from the much larger Pitsford not far away. As with all walks by water there’s always something going on whether it’s wildlife or the changing seasons

Go walk…you won’t be disappointed

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s