Saturday 18 April 2015

Twenty Kilometres Searching for Claypole

I'm not talking about Timothy Claypole, the bearded jester from classic children's TV series "Rentaghost", but Claypole village, over the border in Lincolnshire. To find a route from Barnby in the Willows to Claypole has become my own personal search for the North-West Passage, and is proving about as difficult.

Although not as dangerous, in terms of lives lost.

It's a bit daft really, because I can easily go there by another route, but that's along a rather boring road and I'd much rather go the scenic way.

So I ran to Barnby past horse liveries and fields now rich with oilseed rape, through the grandiosely titled "Church of All Saints" with its fifteenth century tower, and crossed the bridge over the River Witham into Lincolnshire. The river marks the county border.

I ran along a well marked track I had previously explored in the autumn, longer term readers may remember that, but this time rather than turn around I followed it the whole way through.

This led to an adventure along wholly virgin territory for me. I was clearly running through dairy pasture country, through lush green fields with olde worlde "Keep off the Grass" signs on them. A helpful sign told me I had now reached Sutton village, and the path would lead on to a village called Fenton, both places no more than 5 miles from home but I had never suspected existed.

Fenton turned out to be a very affluent looking village, with an All Saints church of its own, spired rather than towered, and judging by the noise, an extensive dog kennel somewhere. But the path just looped back on itself, there was no route into the village so I could find the road to Claypole.

I had failed again!

This also meant I had to retrace my steps, which I am utterly loath to do, as it means that there won't be anything new to see. But as I wearily trudged back into town, the sight of a small group of swallows delighted me, they are so early this year. I even managed to get a shot of one in classic telegraph wire mode, albeit not a good one.

By the time I'd got home I'd covered a shade over 20km in about 2 hours 10. Nearly a half marathon.

I think that makes up for being too asleep for Parkrun this morning!


Morris men prepare a dance wishing success for my run

Young dove preening in the trees near Asda

Another airy footed flower bee on wilting library squill

On the Barnby road, unknown fly on dandelion

Barnby church in the far distance


All Saints church, Barnby in the Willows

Slightly pale looking speedwell?

River Witham, home of big pike

Castle of straw

The map at Sutton

Open pasture

Fenton church

Rather large garden pond

Fenton sign

Flushed a pair of mallard from the drain

On the way home. Barnaby's Manor.


Cute little pond with an island


  1. A good run, you do get to see some nice places when out running, the church..All Saints church, Barnby, looks like a nice place to visit. I had the Swallows back at work this week for the first time. Last year one was spotted on the 8th of April.
    Amanda xx

  2. What a glorious post. I am a Lincolnshire lass - come from Washingborough which is near to Lincoln. I learned to swim in the Witham - it is 'my' river (this was before the polio epidemic of the early fifties, when rivers became taboo because it was thought they may be dangerous). It played an enormous part in my childhood. We had a motor cruiser on the Witham and every year spent our holiday chugging down to Boston and back.

  3. I have read on so many blogs that swallows have arrived.
    Still waiting in this part of Kent !
    Love the fact you manage to capture one with your camera.

    Really enjoy your posts.....showing me another part of the country that I know absolutely nothing about.


  4. Barnby has a lovely little pub called "The Willow Tree" - does very good food I'm told. Otherwise not much in the way of facilities but it's good walking country. Soon big dragonflies will patrol the river. I will find another route out there soon. I'm so glad you are all enjoying reading this.