Walk 40: Cransley Reservoir Circular…who knew about that?

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.24km)

Time to walk: This one will only take you a couple of hours, but yet again it’s a ‘picnic’ walk & let me ask you a question…”How many of you know there’s a reservoir at Cransley?” We didn’t!!

Difficulty: Mainly off road. There’s a few hill pulls on this one & when we walked at the end of May some of the crops hid the paths

Parking: We parked on road in Great Cransley virtually opposite the pub

Public toilets: The Three Cranes Great Cransley or hang on…

Map of the route: @ ‘Walking close to the River Ise’

The start of today’s walk is a very small village about 1.5 miles south of Kettering. Our research hasn’t turned up many facts & figures, but fear not…this is a cracking little walk which we did mid May 2014

So if we’re ready…Let’s walk!

1. Our walk starts opposite The Three Cranes pub in the centre of the village…

IMG_0896

It's a bit early!!

It’s a bit early!!

…&, with our back to the pub, we turn right & head towards the crossroads…

Some lovely properties around here

Some lovely properties around here

Even the bus shelter's posh!!

Even the bus shelter’s posh!!

2. From the crossroads we need to head down Bridle Way – we’ll see why it’s called this shortly…

The road bends left & then right…

Bit of a self design

Bit of a selfie

…before reaching the end where the Bridleway proper starts…

You can just make out Kettering in the distance

You can just make out Kettering in the distance

3. We’re going to follow this bridleway for about the next mile. It’s pretty straight, but quite undulating initially so there’s a good opportunity for a bit of cardio exercise if you speed up a bit

A bit up & down

A bit up & down

Looking back towards Cransley - it's great Northamptonshire countryside around here

Looking back towards Cransley – it’s great Northamptonshire countryside around here

4. After a while we come to a junction below but just keep following the bridleway…

Keep on the main track to the right...

Keep on the main track to the right…

It's a good job we don't suffer from hay fever!!

It’s a good job we don’t suffer from hay fever!!

…there’s several fields to cross but all we need to do is keep heading straight on…

5. Eventually we can see the end to this ‘slog’ & there’s just one more field to cross – isn’t it great that the farmer has marked the path so well though…

 6. And here’s our exit through the gate & under the disused railway bridge…

…& over the stile into the next field…

7. Our next target is directly towards the busy A14 which we can hear now. The path isn’t clear & there’s plenty of sheep in the way, but just keep heading diagonally left & looking for the stiles…

Better take heed then!

Better take heed then!

Keep towards the left of the field

Keep towards the left of the field

We're being watched

We’re being watched

8. The next stile’s to the right of the big tree…

…& then we’re heading towards the stile under the next large one…

…& towards the A14

9. In the hedge on the left there’s a hidden stile (got scratched crossing this one!)…

…& then we’re heading diagonally left to the corner of the hedge with the A14

Head to the left hand corner - we'll be on a better marked path soon

Head to the left hand corner – we’ll be on a better marked path soon

Just in case we need to know exactly where we are...

Just in case we need to know exactly where we are…

10. We’re now going to head over the stile in the corner & walk alongside the hedge running parallel to the road for a short while…

 

The corn's really beginning to form now

The corn’s really beginning to form now

11. Just a few more yards to our route away from the noisy A14 as we pass over the next stile & then along the narrow path…

…& then finally over another stile & across a footbridge…

…where we turn sharp left & over the stile ahead…we’re now on our way to Thorpe Malsor

12. Over the stile above & we’ve entered the most lovely meadow & are now leaving the noise of the A14…

…our route follows the stream on the left & then cuts diagonally right to a new bridge in the hedge ahead…

13. The road’s behind us now as we begin the climb across the fields towards Thorpe Malsor initially keeping close to the hedge on the right…

…until we reach the gate below, passing through onto a busy small road…

Be careful here as it's a busy little road

Be careful here as it’s a busy little road

…where we need to head straight ahead – be very careful of traffic here though

14. After about 1/4 of a mile look out for a footpath marker through the hedge on the left…

It was a bit overgrown & got stung several times going through here

It was a bit overgrown & got stung several times going through here

…& on emerging into the field we follow the right side hedge up the hill…

…to the gap by the large tree at the top…

15. Now…this is where we went wrong, mainly because the path hadn’t been left clear…all you should do is head straight across the field, but the rape was blocking our way…

…so we headed down to the left & around the edge before heading back up again…

Many owl boxes along here

Many owl boxes along here

16. So…anyway the proper path is diagonally right across the field & the next one before finally exiting into the lane through the gate below…

Not easy to follow at this time of year...

Not easy to follow at this time of year…

17. And…welcome to the beautiful village of Thorpe Malsor!!  The first thing we come across straight ahead are the entrance gates to Thorpe Malsor Hall, a Jacobean building…

Impressive guardians on the gate posts

Impressive guardians on the gate posts

…but our route lies initially to the right towards the impressive house below…

…& we then turn left & follow the main road through the village…

We do visit some beautiful places on our walks

We do visit some beautiful places on our walks

18. Keep heading up the main street & on the right’s the village green…

We told you there was another fab bus shelter on this walk

We told you there was another fab bus shelter on this walk

…there’s also a large seat-like structure in the centre…

19. Come on then we’ve got a walk to finish so further up the street on the left is All Saints Church…

Sadly we didn't have time to visit today but will come back

Sadly we didn’t have time to visit today but will come back

…& our route out of the village is down the track indicated by the footpath marker below…

20. We’re now heading back into the countryside down the lane & through the gate below…

…heading around the bend to the junction below…

…where we need to take the right hand path through the trees…

The light through here today was amazing

The light through here today was amazing

…where it finally opens out into another field where we head towards the gate…

21. On reaching the gate we turn left & keeping the hedge on our right head along & then down the hill towards todays walk treasure…Cransley Reservoir

Here's our first glimpse - let's go take a closer look

Here’s our first glimpse – let’s go take a closer look

…at the reservoir we turn left & need to head across the dam…

22. The Reservoir is privately owned & there is a fishing syndicate but day tickets are available. Perhaps what it’s better known for though is The Sailing Club

We met the owner (?) of the club & had a thoroughly nice chat – it’s a really friendly place & they’re very keen to get as many as people on the water so go & have a try…

23. Cransley Reservoir is a hidden gem in our county. It’s not possible to walk round it, but go & have a look & spend a few moments on a nice day sitting by the banks…

Our path away lies directly in front of the rustic clubhouse which fits in perfectly & has recently been restored with a well deserved grant

24. The gate at the end of the path leads us into the field where, keeping the hedge on our left, we head up the hill to the road at the top…

…& exit through the gate - careful it's another busy lane

…& exit through the gate – careful it’s another busy lane

25. Turning right now we head along the road past the farm – be careful though & jump on those verges if a car’s coming…

…& we’re now following this road for about half a mile…

The view back to the reservoir

The view back to the reservoir

Across the old railway bridge

Across the old railway bridge

Finally there's Great Cransley ahead...

Finally there’s Great Cransley ahead…

26. To head back to where we started we need to take the footpath sign on the left just past the cattle sign…

Our entry into the last field

Our entry into the last field

27. The route across this field is quite difficult to follow as there are several well trodden sheep paths but we need to head towards the houses below…

…& one final gate…

28. Through the gate we head down the alley…

…which leads us straight back to where we started this great walk

So that ends our walk around an area that we thought we knew, but we didn’t know how little we knew about it, or was here….such as Cransley Reservoir.

It’s a bit of a lung-buster at times but, given how close it was to some major roads, it’s an incredibly peaceful walk, passing through two beautiful villages

The star though is the Reservoir & we promised we’d give them a well deserved plus so head towards Kettering &…go walk!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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