With so many country parks on our doorstep here in Northamptonshire, how could we resist a visit to one or two? First of all, I must tell you about our local Emporium (loving the word).
It is described as a garden centre but it is so much more. There is a fantastic foodhall stocking a huge variety of local produce. Very hard to get through without filling a basket, or even two. Then there is a gift section with some lovely quality things and finally a conservatory dining room which provides anything from a simple coffee right through to mouthwatering afternoon teas and full blow meals. It is so local it could be a very dangerous find….. but we did restrict ourselves to coffee and the largest piece of carrot cake in christendom. I would like to say we shared but not on your nelly – it was ALL MINE!
Sywell Country Park
We had spied the brown sign to this park on our arrival in Mears Ashby and it was walkable from our housesit location. Basically the park centres around a reservoir which has a gravel path around most of it but there are a couple of stretches that are not made up and a bit boggy at this time of year. It is a 3 mile loop around the reservoir and there is a great children’s playground. The Pump House Cafe provides the ice creams, coffee and some tempting cakes which this time we did manage to resist. It was about a mile from our house along the lanes so we think we notched up about 5 miles. Although there was not too much traffic, it is noticeable here how fast the vast majority of people drive along the lanes but we managed to keep clear by walking along a fairly wide grass verge.
This is really a nature reserve but with a country park feel. We had visited once before with friends about four years ago when we dropped our son at Santa Pod for a drag race meeting. It was pouring with rain that day and looked fairly similar when we visited this time but we did manage a long walk and a cup of coffee on the balcony watching the swans glide by. There were loads of families with bikes, scooters, roller skates, etc. There must be a very pro-active events team too because there are so many forthcoming events. Easter Egg Hunt and Dr Who convention were two that caught my eye.
Brixnorth Country Park
Once again this has a reservoir (Pitsworth Water) as the centre piece. There is a causeway (Pitsworth Causeway) which traverses the reservoir and makes a loop of around 7 miles to walk or cycle around the gravel tracks. There was a cafe, cycle hire and large sailing and water sports club. Some of the activities looked a bit tired but it looked like there was some renovation work going on so hopefully it is getting a bit of an upgrade.
When we are not enjoying and reviewing these places of local interest, we are just enjoying village life. Every day when we walk Molly we have a quick chat with another member of the village who happens to be in their garden or recognises the very distinctive Molly and introduces themselves. We have certainly adopted a slower pace whilst here, although Jon did speed up a bit when he was in charge of the mower. Crazy to think that it must be two and a half years since he has mowed a lawn. I don’t think he has missed it but definitely, after years sweeping along a flymo, wishes he had invested in a petrol one back then.
Someone seemed to like the newly cut grass. Guess who?
And what’s happened here?
9/3 – 15/3/2017