Section 7: Braybrooke to Cottingham

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: Section 7 runs between Braybrooke & Cottingham, a distance of 7.9 miles (12.7 km). Our walkers on this section were Anne, Sarah, Alison, Helen & Ann

Time to walk: 2 hours & 50 minutes (This included a quick sit down for lunch & coffee & it was quick as the wind was biting & we were quite exposed peering over the Welland Valley in Wilbarston)

Difficulty: Mainly on marked footpaths & fields. 

Parking: You can park by the church, but please be mindful of the residents needing access to their drives (speaking for a friend 😊)

Public toilets & refreshments: There’s a café at East Carlton park & there will be loos there. The Swan at Braybrooke is very nice for a drink & food

Maps used: OS Explorer 223 & 224

Map of Section 7:

1. This stage of the Jurassic Way starts in Braybrooke, whose meaning is “Place at the Broad Brook”. Park by the Church of All Saints, which is mainly 13th century & is unusual in that it has chairs rather than pews

Cross the river Jordan walking away from church via the ancient bridge. The river Jordan rises to the north-west of Desborough before flowing  through Braybrooke and into Leicestershire at Little Bowden before joining the River Welland at Market Harborough

Note the plaque on the bridge…the bridge itself dates back to the 15th century & was saved from destruction when a proposed road widening scheme was declined

2. As you cross the bridge, look to your left & you will see the earthworks of the castle. The castle was a fortified manor house built by Thomas de Latimer & its fishponds were first mentioned in the 13th century…

 

The original house had a moat & is documented as being a castle in 1361. The Manor passed to the Griffin family in the early C15. The castle buildings were used as a farmhouse from 1549-50 until demolition prior to 1633. A farmhouse stood on the site until 1960

Below is a view of the castle field as cross the bridge…

3. Keep following the road as it bends left & leaves the village towards Desborough. After a short walk you will see the old cricket pavilion ahead of you &, just before, there is a finger post taking you across the castle field…

4. The path skirts the edge of the earthworks & exits the field in the top right corner. Below is the view looking across the field to Braybrooke…

On reaching the top right of the field, take the smart new bridge…

5. You will see the next gate ahead of you as you cross the corner of the field. There were friendly cows when we passed through….

6. The next field is a short climb up towards the railway line…

Go through the tunnel to pass under the railway line

7. As you cross the stile, you can clearly see the path as it takes you up to the garden centre & road (below)…

When you come to the road, the signs disappear. You need to go through the gate to Park Hill Farm & across the yard, then you see the stile on the left & the way ahead. At first it feels like you’re trespassing…

8. The path takes you past paddocks & horses & eventually climbs away towards the A6. You pass through three fields…

9. Once you reach the A6 & the roundabout, you need to cross to Hermitage cottages & the Brampton Ash road. You follow the road for a short while before you see the finger post on the right that takes you alongside Hermitage wood…

The bluebells were on their way when we walked in April, but not yet flowering

10. Once you pass the wood, the path crosses a field diagonally to the corner of Brampton & Stoke Wood…

It isn’t terribly easy to get your bearings as you don’t seem to get high enough for a view, but the map below helps…

11. Below is the view looking left towards Brampton Ash. Keep Brampton Ash on your left as you cross the fields to Stoke Albany…

The OS maps seem to miss out the corner of Stoke Wood, bizarrely, so it is hard to advise on how many fields we crossed through & you aren’t really high up enough to see Stoke Albany

12. Keep Brampton Ash on the left & keep in a sort of arch to the right…

13. Eventually you come to the road. This part confused us a little, but follow the hedge to the right & you will come to a clear stile, & path that takes you down into Stoke Albany…

14. In the village turn left and follow the road into the village. Ignore the road as it bends right towards Wilbarston, instead cross the road & keep straight ahead into the old & very pretty centre of the village.

Walk past the house below with the very high door…

…& some very pretty cottages

15. The centre of Stoke Albany below is very pretty…

You can see St Botolph’s Church ahead of you, although we won’t be visiting it. There’s a board at the entrance which says “Men are desired to scrape their shoes & women to take off their patterns before entering the church”

Lord Denman, Chief Justice & Solicitor-General, who spoke for ten hours in defence of Queen Caroline, persuading Parliament to withdraw the Divorce Bill, lies in the churchyard. At his feet are two mysterious “giant graves” which never sin or change shape

16. The path continues along Lower Road heading right towards Wilbarston. The map says that the Jurassic Way follows this road all the way into the next village, but there is actually a finger post that takes you across fields – we followed the finger post…

17. Once you get to Wilbarston follow the road into the centre of the village. You come to a T-Junction. Turn left & shortly there is a sign that takes you on a little cut through some houses. If you lose the track, don’t worry, as you can pick it up again at the village hall. The path runs along the side of the village hall playing fields. We stopped here for our picnic as the views across the Welland Valley were wonderful, although it was exposed…

The path runs straight now towards East Carlton. You pass a pond on your left just as you approach the village

18. Below is the approach to East Carlton…

19. In East Carlton the path continues along the bottom of East Carlton park. There are lots of large remnants from the steel works to look at & a little museum about the works & heritage of Corby as well as a café

The old East Carlton Hall is also pretty (built in the French chateau style), but we kept going. There were gorgeous little donkeys & ponies on the way out of the village…

20. Continue along the well marked track with amazing views across the Welland Valley to your left…

Before too long you arrive in Middleton, which feels like stepping back into Georgian times & reminded me of Bath…

We followed the road along until we came to Cottingham & stopped by the primary school where the car was

A really lovely section & so different from the parts we had walked before

Thanks Ann & fellow ladies

On to the next stage!