Walk 66: Polebrook Circular: “Frankly my dear…I don’t give a damn”

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)

Time to walk: A nice easy 1.5 hour stroll

Difficulty: A mixture of roads & fields – nothing muddy though

Parking: On street in Polebrook – be careful though the locals put ‘No Parking signs out. Bless ’em as they’re ‘polite requests’ only so you can’t get charged

Public toilets: None really apart from the pub in Polebrook

Map of the route: @Walks for All Ages

Map

Fancy a quick stroll either before or after a nice lunch at the King’s Arms in the village, or in nearby Oundle or at the marvellous Chequered Skipper in Ashton?

Well then this one’s for you. Easy, quick & from a beautiful Northamptonshire village. Have to confess this is the first time we’ve been to Polebrook (May 2015) & what a charming place it is

Polebrook’s called Pochebroc in the Domesday Book & was the centre of a large administrative area

RAF Polebrook was a little south east of the village during World War II. The USAAF 351st Bomber Group was stationed at the airfield & the US flag hangs as a memorial to the men, along with a roll of honour in the church. The airfield is now disused, but remains a rich part of Polebrook’s culture. The base was used as a site for Thor missiles in the 1950’s

It’s amazing what you can find on Youtube – click on this link to see footage of the Group. Over 300 missions were flown from this airfield during the war

For some time during the warthe actor Clark Gable was stationed at Polebrook

Shall we walk…be rude not to!

Let’s Walk!

1. Polebrook really is a lovely little village & we park up  on the main street close to the war memorial, being careful not to cause an obstruction. By the number of unenforceable “No Parking” signs on the verges the locals do appear to be trying to take the law into their own hands but there’s no yellow lines so ignore…

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The war memorial’s worth a closer look…

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2. Our circular route today takes us down the Hemington Road past All Saints Church…

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3. Head round the corner & across the fascinatingly named ‘Goblin Brook’ – we didn’t see the Troll underneath!

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Goblin Brook was slightly overgrown

Goblin Brook was slightly overgrown

4. Head up the hill past a relatively new development…

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On the left’s a farm selling local asparagus & we’ll see this being grown towards the end of this walk

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5. At the top of the hill look out for Roberts Lane on the right…

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…& follow it looking out for a lane heading off to the left…

This is our route - on the left

This is our route – on the left

You’ll know when to not go any further…

From the look of further down the lane we don't think we'd want to anyway thank you!

From the look of what’s further down the lane we don’t think we’d want to anyway thank you!

6. This next stretch of lane is lovely & if you meet any cars then you’ve been unlucky. Just follow it as it meanders higher & higher & don’t forget to keep turning back to admire the views

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Have a look across to the right. There’s a couple of owl boxes on posts – apparently the male & females prefer separate beds!!

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7. The road now heads through some woodland & starts to climb steadily…

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In the field on the left, sheltering under the trees are some Dexter cattle

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Dexter cattle are the smallest of the European cattle breeds, being about half the size of a traditional Hereford & about one third the size of a Friesian (Holstein) milking cow. They were considered a rare breed of cattle until recently, but are now considered a recovering breed by the The Livestock Conservancy. Originated in Ireland, we can also report that they are one of the friendliest breeds!

8. The road climbs once more towards the small hamlet of Armston…

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The village is very small & at the junction follow the road round to the left

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Careful!!

Careful!!

…& then down the hill again out of the hamlet…

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9. To exit the road & head back to Polebrook we’re looking for a large tree on the left…

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Where opposite’s a footpath sign into a field that’s unashamed to show its furrows…

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Head straight across the field looking for an exit in the hedge

Head straight up the field looking for an exit in the hedge

There’s a very large house across to the right…

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…& something more intimidating close-by…

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10. Once across the stile the path’s supposed to head straight across the field, but as no track’s been left we have to follow the edge, turning right & then left to reach the bridge on the far side…

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The whole field was full of asparagus spears…

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11. Exit across the bridge, turning right along the narrow path between the ditch & fence – soon to be christened ‘Fly Alley’!

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12. On the left’s the “Keep Out’ compound that we passed near the start…

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…& exit from ‘Fly Alley’ onto the track we went up earlier…

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13. Turn left to cross Roberts Lane & down the narrow path on the other side…

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The path passes houses before going through the gate below into the lane…

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14. At the top of the lane on the junction’s The King’s Arms

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15. Turn right & way back down to the war memorial to complete the circuit

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If you fancy a quick look at Polebrook Hall then carry straight on & it’s about 100 yards on the right…

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So that’s it…a quick couple of miles around a village that you can bet many Northamptonshire folk know little about which is a shame as there’s many such places

It’s well worth exploring though so…Go Walk!

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