Stage 5: Yardley Hastings to Piddington

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 5.25 miles (8.45km)

Time to walk: It was very warm today & we’d already walked 3+ miles so it took us a couple of hours

Difficulty: A mixture of hard road & fields. There are a few inclines, but nothing too strenuous

Parking: A linear walk, there’s plenty of on-street parking in Yardley Hasting

Public toilets: Two pubs in Yardley Hastings at the start & one in Piddington, if open

Map of the route: @ Ten Foot Club

map

Stage 5 of The Northamptonshire Round covers quite a bit of the County we’ve never walked before, especially in the Piddington area.

It was also the second stage we’d walked that day &, as quite a lot of it is on hard tarmac, the feet were getting sore by the end

So…Let’s Walk!

1. Stage 5 starts from where we finished the previous one, sitting on the bench in Yardley Hastings…

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The route out of the village is right along the High Street, but the 11th century Church of St Andrew’s worth a quick look at. Cross straight over the crossroads & up the hill…

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2. The name St Andrews maybe gives a clue to the origin of the building as the lordship of the Manor of Yardley was owned by the Scottish royal family between 1114 & 1237

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3. Now go back down to the crossroads & turn left along the High Street. There’s some delightful properties along here…

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At the top of the hill on the left’s one of the village’s excellent two pubs…The Red Lion. We can really recommend it for food as well as good ale!

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4. There’s another delight just past the pub…Pudding Parlour Provisions

shop

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Unfortunately there’s no website at present, but the place is a well worth a visit

5. Time to leave Yardley Hastings so cross straight over the busy Bedford road & head straight down Park Road…

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Watch out…there's Ducks about!

Watch out…there’s Ducks about!

They’re in the stream on the right…

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There’s some more nice properties on this side of the village – spot the superb monkey puzzle tree…

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6. Follow the road round to the right & what we’re in for now is a good mile of slog on tarmac up Chase Park Road…

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Although it doesn’t look like it, this road eventually runs out at a farm, but that’s not for quite a while…

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7. Pass Blenley Farm on the right…

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…& then on the left’s somewhere nice to sit & have a rest for a while – we ate lunch here & had a ‘chat’ to Rachel Phipps to whom the bench is dedicated

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8. Lunch over keep pounding the road towards its end…

Glad we didn't have to go through there...

Glad we didn’t have to go through there…

At the top of the hill, in the middle of nowhere, there’s some finely manicured hedges behind which are some proper mansions! As Loyd Grossman once said…”Who lives in a house like this?”

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9. Just past the mansions the road ends &, as straight on’s private, turn right up the farm track…

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…until just before the farm buildings when a left down the next one’s required…

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10. We’re on this track now for the next mile or so as it winds its way through the fields & an area known as ‘The Wold’, initially past a fine couple of specimen pigs…

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Most of the fields along here are grass being grown for hay &, as today was warm & dry, it was being cut (thank goodness we’re not hay fever sufferers!)

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11. Passing through the gap into the next field there’s a sign asking people not to disturb a bird feeder as it’s an area of research…

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This is an old railway cutting

This is an old railway cutting

12. They were cutting hay in the next field…

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Keep heading straight..the track eventually becomes rougher to walk on…

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Grass, grass everywhere

Grass, grass everywhere

13. At the hedge the path turns firstly left & then right…

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…until reaching a crossways of paths. Ours is straight on to the left of the hedge towards the gate at the end…

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Fields of (soon to be) gold...

Fields of (soon to be) gold…

The gate's ahead at the end

The gate’s ahead at the end

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14. Go through the stile, crossing another old railway line & into a sheep field…

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…the exit from which is straight along the fence to the end

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15. You have to climb over the fence & it’s a bit rickety so be careful! This time turn right up the track past Manor Farm…

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Lovely looking lady...

Lovely looking lady…

16. Soon the track becomes a hard road again which will lead us all the way to Horton…

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…passing the gates to Horton Manor…

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…& a superb chestnut tree in flower…

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17. There’s some interesting properties along this road…

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A good day for drying...

A good day for drying…

…but eventually we reach the main road & just head straight on into Horton, past the sports fields to the junction, turning left into Brafield Road & then left at the next junction into Newport Pagnell Road

The village manor, Horton Hall was demolished & all that remains are a number of mounds in the fields to the south & east

The first house & estate were owned by William, Lord Parr of Horton – the same family that Catherine Parr came from. She was the last of the six wives of Henry VIII. Parr’s daughter, Maud, married Sir Ralph Lane & they had five sons including: Sir Ralph, Sir Robert, Sir Parr and Sir William, the latter commemorated in the church

18. Carry on down the hill, passing the gates to the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the left…

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The church was formally closed for worship at the end of 2012, after being shut for some years, the cost of repairs & maintenance being unsustainable. You can’t see the church from here, but we’ll catch a glimpse later

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19. Around the corner is a long standing restaurant & boutique hotel The French Partridge

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When we first moved down to Northamptonshire many years ago this was a prestige fine dining restaurant & a real treat. We can remember trying wild boar here for the first time. Today however the reviews are mixed & it has a specialist tapas menu

20. Carry on down the Newport Pagnell road over the small bridge & then carefully cross to the right side when the path runs out…

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Although there’s no path, the verge has been cut to allow us to walk safely & it’s only a short stretch…

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21. On the bend look for a signpost into a field…

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22. It’s now pretty much a straight path across the fields all the way to Piddington…

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Thank goodness we weren’t in the field over the hedge – cows with calves are not a good idea

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Looking back there's a brief glimpse of Horton Church

Looking back there’s a brief glimpse of Horton Church

23. When the field bears left head through the gap & up the hill across an open field…

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…until eventually reaching Piddington by passing down the narrow alleyway

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We emerge on Forest Road opposite The Spread Eagle pub, which unfortunately was closed, which was a shame as a cold beverage would have been most welcome

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We’ve since heard that it’s on the market!

So that’s it, another Stage completed &, like we said at the start, it’s good to walk in a part of the County we’re not too familiar with

The next Stage takes us back to familiar ground, although it’s a long stretch from Piddington through Salcey Forest to Stoke Bruerne

In the meantime…

Go Walk!

 

 

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