This week we have walked through the smallest county in England, Rutland, in two days and begun to walk through one of the larger ones of Lincolnshire. Rutland began for us in the proudly named Belton-in-Rutland in the company of Tanya, Phil, Andrew, Beth and James. Andrew managed a sterling seven miles whilst the others strode on manfully and womanfully for four miles. The very attractive town of Oakham gave us a very good children’s playgound, ice-creams and Oakham castle (see the The Tale of the Nobles’ Horseshoes in the tales section of the website for that) James managed to get his legs in the stocks – and eventually out of them.
Lincolnshire came with the start of the River Witham and we have seen plenty of Lincolnshire fields! The dry weather is forming great cracks in the ground and playing havoc with expected farming yields. Our base this week has been Grantham. This boasts a large statue of Sir Isaac Newton in front of the Guildhall. Newton attended the local school for six years and there are still his initials graffiti-ed on a window sill there. However he was born in the much smaller hamlet of Woolsthorpe at Woolsthorpe Manor (he was born in the upstairs left room and his study where he developed many of his theories on light, is the upstairs right window). We were very kindly allowed in to see the actual tree. This blew down in a gale but marvellously re-rooted itself and is now alive and well.
Another famous person also came from Grantham. We are actually staying next door but one to the grocer’s shop where she was born (it is now a holistic centre).
The grand finale to the week came in arriving at Lincoln and achieving 500 miles. We had dodged very heavy showers all day, seeing them pass along the flatter land to the west whilst we had walked on the limestone ridge, seeking occasional refuge under trees. The downpour came one mile from the end of the day’s walk obscuring the cathedral which we had seen from many miles away. Ah well, we decided to worship there on Sunday and see if it matches the high praise from Paul (from Caythorne).
The people of St Mary Magdalene church in Knighton made us feel very much at home and gave generously into our appeal. Thank you very much to you all. And greetings to Sue from South Witham, Jamie and Bobby from Colsterworth, Amanda at the checkout in Aldi in Grantham and Sophie at Grantham bus station. Also the two drivers we met at ‘The Goose at the bank’ in Grantham, John and Lorraine from Nottingham, Elaine the minister at the chapel Margaret Thatcher once attended and Nigel met near Waddington south of Lincoln, who gave us these two lines from one of his published poems:
I walked from York to Lincoln Town, a flight of birds came with me
I walked from Lincoln back to York, my blessings all fly with me
Week 8 Statistics
Scrabble: Nancy 1 John 1
Award-winning Melton Mowbray pies (large) 1
Lincolnshire sausages 8
Trig Points 1
Kissing Gates 29
En route donations £173.58 (includes £146 from members of Knighton church in Leicester).