Five go MK rambling …

Day 81 of (gradually easing) Lockdown. 12/06/2020

Today’s walk was from Waterhall to Stony Stratford and our Famous Five gang consisted of me, Steve and Tom … plus Jess and Alli. This was the final leg of the MK Boundary walk and we intended to finish it in style.

A socially-distanced selfie 😎

The day was forecast for a mixed bag of weather so, being the professional walkers we are, we came prepared for all eventualities!

Our route first skirted along the edge of the Lakes Estate – in fact along a particularly overgrown and rubbish strewn path – not the most scenic of starts but we battled our way through. This led us into Newton Leys which seems a very pleasant newish MK development – pretty lakes and landscaped areas. Our OS app then took us through a woodland trail all the way to the fields in Newton Longville (Alli’s home patch).

So, a familiar walking/running area for Alli – we set off down a lane to link up with Route 51. A little way along an elderly couple stopped us in our tracks to explain that the way ahead was closed – believe it or not more bridge reconstruction – these darn bridges!! Naturally we had to go and see this for ourselves so we advanced onwards, with fingers and toes crossed.

And yes there were big red plastic barriers and padlocks and all sorts of signage …. but not a worker in sight. We did a quick ‘risk assessment’ and established that it was safe enough to climb over said red barriers. No extra 4 miles for us today – not playing that game again!!

We picked up Route 51, touched on Tattenhoe Valley Park and onto North Bucks Way. All very scenic and easy enough walking. A mixture of woodland and open fields – sometimes basked in sunshine and sometimes overcast.

Two by two – they walked and talked ….

Lots of fields and lots of stiles. Luckily Tom and Jess were leading and managed to spot some fairly well camouflaged turning points – literally holes in hedges.

As we neared Calverton the heavens absolutely opened … thank goodness for all our sensible waterproofs. I was very envious of Alli’s new North Face autumn patterned shower proof jacket (it’s fab) – but when the rain hit hard she pulled out a full on waterproof from her tiny backpack (that’s Girl Guide level preparation)!

Some slight discussion as to whether to walk on the road from Calverton into Stony Stratford or to continue across fields and along the river path. The latter won. This did involve crossing a little river at one point but nothing too life threatening!!

As we walked along the river path into Stony Stratford – where we had started the route all those days ago – the sun came out in full shine. When we were back at the car we had been walking for 4 hours and had clocked up over 13 miles.

The original guidance had suggested the route was 63.3 miles – our Garmin and Strava totalled almost 70 miles … but then we did get diverted on occasion!

And so in glorious June sunshine, in great euphoria, we tucked into pate, barbecue chicken and egg sarnies, almond kisses (lovingly baked by Jules) … and lashings of fizzy … in fact the real stuff for this occasion – chilled champagne.

It’s been a Lockdown blast … go explore!!! 😎

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