Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Made it to Nottingham walking from London

Wow, it’s been 140 days since my last update and those shiny new shoes in my last post are now worn out and replaced with the identical model but different colour!  The other items have all survived.

Getting around The Trent

I did make it to Nottingham on the canals, all on lovely paths apart from the section when you hit The Trent and you are forced to make a tortuous detour to Sawley the nearest road bridge.  Even though there is a lock with a bridge much closer but alas not accessible as you can see from my map. The scouts should set up a ferry service from their campsite.

Lock camping
Lock camping

From Blisworth I walked the 19 miles to Crick on the 17th June the following day I did the 26 miles to Fleckney  and a camping night on the smooth grass by a lock, followed by a 14 mile walk into Leicester and a train home for the weekend.

On the 23rd I returned to Leicester and did the 12 miles to MountSorrel followed by a storming 31 miler to Nottingham and a good night’s sleep at Stephen’s house marking the end of this little hike.

Overall a good walk remarkably virtually traffic free. Especially good for me when recovering from my HoLEP operation and having to pee every few miles. At least all that is behind me now and I can start getting more adventurous again.


Grand Union canal hike – Milton Keynes to Blisworth

Tuesday 16 June 2015

My new kit
My new kit

Yesterday I had a shopping splurge day at Open Air in Cambridge 🙂 I bought myself some new Salomon Xa Pro 3D trainers with added Superfeet carbon insoles & Darn Tough socks. I also bought a new Osprey Exos 38 lightweight framed rucsac and a Pack-It toiletries bag. So after spending all that money  I thought I had better continue my walk…

I left late so didn’t start walking from Milton Keynes until 12.45. I decided to head of to the Grand Union Canal via Campbell Park which is certainly heaps better than the walk through Springfield I did last week. I stopped at the unusual Camphill Cafe for tea & a cheese scone.

Iron trunk aqueduct
Iron trunk aqueduct

The canal does an amazing loop around the edge of Milton Keynes to obviously avoid the hill, so you walk 5 miles to almost get back to where you started. At Wolverton, once past the huge and decaying rail carriage works it starts heading North once again, through very pleasant countryside with the canal carried over a couple of amazing aqueducts.

However, I’m finding it all a bit of a tramp & keep wishing I had my bike! My right foot still has a small blister which doesn’t help. Also having a sphincter spasm after every pee is painful and very annoying 🙁 Lets hope both go away soon.

When in Milton Keynes I had booked The Windmill Cottage in Blisworth they had recommended me to stop in Stoke Bruerne for my evening meal before venturing to the top of the hill and their property. I eventually climbed up beside the 7 locks in Stoke Bruerne and settled on The Boat Inn for an excellent meal, NOT Fish and chips tonight.

A short walk up over the tunnel took me to my resting place for tonight. The Windmill Cottage is excellent with the owners Caroline & very friendly.

The new kit seems OK although with the blister it’s hard to tell about the shoes. The toiletries bag is pretty hopeless as everything ends in a huge muddle. The rucsac seems OK and the tent etc fits inside OK.

Todays 17 mile Strava is here and all the days pics are here 




Grand Union Canal hike – Tring to Milton Keynes

Friday 12 June

George the albino peacock
George the albino peacock

After a not much better sleep that in my tent 🙁 but at least with clean clothes & body I tucked into a breakfast of Brixham kippers, marmalade, toast and followed by fruit. George the albino peacock  provided a fine display of plumage outside on the lawn.

Euan was waiting for me in reception, we had arranged to meet up as he lives locally and fancied another attempt at walking with me 🙂 Our previous attempt was thwarted by an amazing mountain storm at Praz de Lys in France. Today promised to be better weather but much tamer terrain than he is used to walking!

We joined the Grand Union Canal in the 30 feet deep cutting at Tring, built in 1797 it was a major engineering feat at 1.5miles long. We started our steady descent, at Lock 42 I even saw a b&b notice, for the first time, on a lock house, amazingly it has no wheeled vehicle access!  It was very enjoyable walking & chatting with someone as knowledgeable about social networks as Euan.

Lunch at The Globe Inn
Lunch at The Globe Inn

The weather although threatening rain held of until we reached Leighton Buzzard where no open cafe by the canal could be found. Euan scooted off to savour the delights of the Milton Keynes Apple store and I continued walking. Eventually i found The Globe Inn, an open canal side pub, serving food.

After a good few more miles (walking is really slow and painful compared to biking, especially on flat even surfaces) I eventually came to the outskirts of Milton Keynes and zig zagged through estates that are beginning to look very run down & slum like. I eventually found the X5 bus stop to get my free bus to Cambridge just as the heavens opened up.

I was pleased to be coming home for a while as my right foot blister was hurting plus my Saucony Excursion TR7 trainers are worn out plus the Osprey hornet 46 backpack shoulder straps are uncomfortable carrying 10kg. A visit to Open Air is called for.

Strava says I did 22.1 miles (to the MK bus stop) and burnt 3601 cals. Moves made it 26.3 miles (Inc walk back home) 54,087 steps and 2,316 cals whilst good old Fitbit said 57,650 steps 26.44 miles and 6,174 cals

The days pics are here