TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess
I’m having an epiphany. I enjoy our walks so much these days, it no longer feels like a trial, to be endured until a coffee shop is reached.
Maybe it’s an age thing. Once your children leave home you morph into a rambler, taking pleasure in windproof jackets and hidden pockets in rucksacks.
The joy of going for a walk has affected Dougie and me to such a degree, we’ve only gone and booked a proper walking holiday in Austria. I need a lie down after typing that sentence.
In preparation for our mountain hike we must practice. This is more difficult than it sounds when you live in the Fens with no inclines for miles around. Replicating a strenuous alpine trek is probably best done by carrying the vacuum cleaner up and down your own staircase.
Our first walk, however, would have to be an easy one, as I’ve bought some proper walking boots and want to break them in gently.
After a bit of searching I found a walk on the Lincolnshire County Council website – Wragby and Goltho, a Lincolnshire Limewoods walk. The Lincolnshire Limewoods area lies between Wragby, Bardney and Woodhall Spa, 60 square miles of Britain’s largest concentration of woods containing small-leaved lime. Since 2005 this area has been protected, a number of organisations working together to improve access, research the history of the area and undertake conservation work.
Our walk began in the market town of Wragby which is ideal as it has a free car park in the centre and some public loos. What we hadn’t anticipated was arriving in the town on the same day as the Wragby Show and Country Fayre. As other visitors were heading for the fun of motorbike stunt teams and pedigree bulls, we were anticipating a trudge through the woods. It was a tough call but we stuck to our guns.
I proved to be an excellent map reader on the day, taking note of directions and spotting the markers on the signposts, leading us into Goltho Wood where the Woodland Trust has been planting new trees, including those which are part of their ‘dedicate a tree’ scheme.
The walk was free of domestic arguments this time but there was a small disagreement at one point when Dougie opted for that time-honoured method of orienteering: just walk in the direction of the voices which can be heard from the Wragby Show tannoy.
A stickler for maps, I insisted we keep going along the directed paths, which was the right decision – of course. We reached the attractive picnic area and Dougie posed dutifully for photos in the sculptured hands.
The final part of the route took us past St George’s chapel, the only surviving building on the site of the deserted medieval village of Goltho. It was then an easy walk through the harvested fields and back to the town.
Two hours of gentle rambling in the fields and woodland of Lincolnshire: done. Bring on the Austrian mountains!
• You can read Trish’s blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk