WAENDEL WALKS 2022 - 14th-15th May - Steve Clark

What a great weekend, the first international Waendel Walks w/e since 2019. I decided to do two days of 30kms (15mls). My mate Chris and his partner Rachel came down from Lincoln for the w/e and were to be joined by Rachel’s grandkids and parents, and guess where they stayed, yep you got it, Billing Aquadrome, and where did they end up on the park, not 200 yards from me. I went over and met up with Chris on the Friday night and we all went over to the Castle Theatre in Wellingborough which is the venue for the event. Paid for my two days, got my maps and route description then off to the Red Well (Wetherspoons for the not so clever of us). A pint and a pizza later we headed back to Billing, had a glass of wine with Chris and Rachel in their hired caravan, then beddy byes for an early start on Saturday.

I decided to get a taxi to Wellingborough so I could have a few pints through the day and not worry about driving (£18 each way). Saturday was a hot day. I left the Castle heading for the Parsons Hall in Irchester. We headed out towards the Embankment then headed through Irchester Country Park, a delight to walk through, to arrive at our first cp of the day (6km) where tea and coffee and rolls were there for a price. From Irchester we headed towards Farndish then on to Wollaston for the second cp of the day (10.8km) which was at a green opposite a pub called The Hill. I wasn’t going to have a beer but a lot of walkers were enjoying a beer and I thought to myself, I got a taxi so I could have a beer so why ain’t I having one? Sooooo to cut the story short, two pints of Abbot Ale later  I headed off for Mill Lane in Earls Barton for the 3rd cp of the day (18.3km), going through and around the Wildlife Trust’s Summer Leys Nature Reserve. At one point on this stretch you can see the Great Doddington Club (cp 4 20.6km) at Gt Doddington just a quick hop across the fields, but the route took you on a dog-leg to Earls Barton then along the road to Gt Doddington. After a couple of beers at Gt Doddington it was a short hop to Wilby and the last of the cp’s (22.8) in the Horseshoe Pub, which is one of my locals at the weekends cause they do a nice pint of Abbot there, another 2 pints and I depart for the finish at 26.4 kms. A great day, plenty of sunshine and 6 beers. Looking forward to Sunday.

I woke up Sunday listening to the rain and thinking ohh crap, but it did not last and the day turned out to be another great day with sunshine most of the day. I drove into Wellingborough on Sunday, (another £36 didn’t sound too inviting). Boots on, bum bag round my waist, bino’s and camera at the ready off I went on my 2nd 15miler. I was thinking of going for a 26er cause I liked the end bit before we walk back into Wellingborough which followed the River Nene for quite a long way, but I was limping a bit at the end of Saturday so I was thinking of only going for a 10miler but that didn’t touch the River Nene so 15 it was. We followed the main roads out of town to our first CP, (4.8km) The Old Grammarians Sports Club, Yes, I know what you’re thinking, Hannington Hike. After the CP we headed out for Great Harrowden, where the second CP was in a church, (8.2km). After a water refuel it was off across the fields to Finedon and the Star Hall for the next CP (13.7km). From Finedon we headed across fields for Irthlingborough and the Town Band Club (17.0km) for our last CP. The last stretch of 9km to the finish was without a cp but there was a drinks point half way. This stretch was what I was looking forward to, approx. 2.5 miles of the River Nene and the Wildlife Trust’s Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows before we reached Wellingborough and the walk back through town to the Castle Theatre and finish. I caught up with Chris and Rachel at the finish, they had a good time on Billing, then I left for home via the Horseshoe pub at Wilby for a couple of well-earned pints of Abbot, while I was there I asked about the lottery draw they run, it turned out that I had won the £200 pot, yabadaba doooooooo.    

All my photos are at www.steveceegalleries.smugmug.com   

Stevecee xxx