Walk 1: Obelisk & Boughton Fields, Northampton

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: Not far!

Time to walk: Roughly 1 hour

Difficulty: Easy, fairly flat & mainly on field & woodland paths

Public toilets: None

Map of the route: None but easy to follow instructions

Here we are in March 2020 in the midst of the Corona Virus Pandemic with restrictions, quite rightly being placed upon the whole population with regards to travel & generally being outside

The advice given by the UK Government is to “Stay at Home”, but exercise is allowed once a day for both physical & mental health. However, people are being advised to stay local &, where possible, walk from their own door, rather than travel in cars to a start point

One of our followers/readers @enonamouse suggested to us that, as we can’t get out that much, it would be a great idea if we asked readers to submit their “Walk from their Door”. We thought this a great idea & hopefully we can persuade others to do the same. All you need to do is take some snaps, describe your route, point out places & things of interest & just include whatever you want. Don’t worry about recording distances or providing maps etc.

Then, send it to us & we’ll do the rest! Obviously we’ll ask your permission to publish the walk on our blog & give you full credit for it. It will be published on the blog plus our Facebook page, twitter & our Pinterest Board, all of which are fully visible to the world

So…ready to leave @enonamouse’s house?

Let’s Walk!

1. The start point for our “Walk from our Door” is Ash Rise in Kingsthorpe, Northampton. We start in Long Spinney, which we enter through a gate from Ash Rise

Originally this was a proper gate that slammed shut with a loud bang. However it was quickly & mysteriously dismantled. Turn right once immediately through the gate and follow the path…

2. Follow the path ahead…

…passing a gate through to the Obelisk Centre on your left. The Long Spinney is full of wildlife: woodpeckers, nuthatches and tree creepers, plus wrens, robins. I’ve spotted deer and foxes. At dawn & dusk you can hear owls.

3. You come to a private road, that leads to the Obelisk Centre…

Both my kids (and most local kids tbh) have learnt to ride their bikes on this quiet stretch. Turn right onto it and a couple of metres take the footpath on the left, up the bank

4. By now you will have seen the Obelisk…

When I first moved here I assumed it was some feature created by the estate builders in the 60s. I was out by 3 centuries. It’s one of the Boughton Follies and was built in 1764. It’s in a shocking state though, urgently needs repairs 🙁

5. Walk ahead, keeping the Obelisk Spinney to your left. There is a slightly vandalised information board here, plus bins (always useful to know, don’t drop litter!)

6. Keeping the wood to our left, we take the path ahead towards some houses…

…then take the left hand path alongside a fence to arrive in Little Field.

Turn immediately right.

7. We walk along the top of Little Field towards a gap in the hedge, pause and take in the view of *drum roll* Big Field!

You are looking over fields towards Moulton. You walk alongside people’s back gardens, if you like a little nosey 😉

8. Walk straight ahead along the path. There are several exit points into the estate but we push on to the far end of the field. At this corner, you can go straight on, climb a style and wiggle through a hedge to emerge onto Holly Lodge drive. But we don’t want to do that!

9. We turn left to go down along the side of Big Field. Now we have turned away from the ‘temptations of the back gardens’…

…and Lu can be set free

10. You are out in the open. Skylarks sing as they rise up from the fields, crows, ravens and seagulls wheel in the sky. Kestrals hover and swoop. Boughton Village is in the distance, Pitsford behind.

Pitsford Quarry is in the middle, another great walk but too much for Lu these days 🙁 The hedgerows around here are amazing, full of life with birds, badgers, deer, rabbits and foxes.

11. We reach the dip at the bottom, these fields are undulating. Lots of clearly marked dog walker trails to take, you won’t get lost which ever way you go. We are going to walk up the slope to the trees though.

Look to your left for the tip of the Obelisk as a landmark.

12. The trees at the top are a special place for lots of local people, and I know there are a few private ceremonies for scattering ashes of beloved pets. Indeed there is a memorial here today.

13. We call this large sweep of rough land “Rabbit Run”, the farmer leaves it to go wild, mowing it once or twice a year. And it is an absolute joy in summer, when all the flowers are out. Snakes, beetles and all sorts of butterflies abound.

14. At the bottom, again you could go either way, but we are going to turn right and then follow the path to the left alongside the hedge.

15. We are now skirting round the edge of Boughton Pocket Park. A beautiful & well maintained local amenity, but sadly suffers for littering and vandalism.

There is a gate, but those avoiding touching things can just slip round the side…

16. There’s a lovely little playground which appeals to a good range of ages on the side of the mound. The mound is great for exploring – full of warrens and old trees.

It’s also local myth to be the remains of a long forgotten castle. Who knows?

17. We are going straight ahead, with the playground to our left…

Past the mound is a pond. Mainly fed by field run off and springs, it freezes in winter as it’s in a dell and in summer it can get quite whiffy. Ducks & Moorhens reside. Lu recommends the waters

18. To our right is the Newting Pond (but we’ve never found any)…

Ahead is our exit, the kissing gate to Little Field.

Turn to the right and follow the path round the bottom of the field then up the side. Check the horizon for the Obelisk.

19. Enter the Obelisk Spinney. We are following the left hand path up towards the Obelisk, but take a look at the wood that has been an almost daily part our lives. Our children have names for almost every part of it.

It is, for us, magical to have this so close to home.

20. And you are back at the Obelisk…

From here I nip through a cul-de-sac, a jitty and then another jitty to get home so I’ll leave you here. The Obelisk is also Nate’s cafe & I am always touched by the number of dog walkers who have stopped for an imaginary cup of tea with him

So there we go, that’s “My Walk from my Door” and if you’re in the area you may come across us so…

Go Walk!