There’s nothing like a bit of gentle walking in the evening sunshine to cheer you up and blow away the cobwebs and very often you don’t need to travel far to find undiscovered territory on your doorstep. Determined to get out and about I scoured the ‘net and found a “rural walk around the Welford Arm” a mere 5 miles up the road and off I set armed as ever with my camera.
The Welford Arm is an off-shoot of the Grand Union Canal which breaks away almost 2 miles from Welford, a small village on the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border, and travels up into the Welford Marina so I knew I was in for a treat with all the brightly coloured narrow boats moored at spots along my walk and the wonderful english countryside along the way.
The walk follows a circular route which is great as you can leave your car in the Welford Wharf car park knowing that you will return to the same place a couple of hours later and is approximately 3.2 miles (5k) long. Just right for an evening stroll.
The walk takes you through the village and past the church of St Mary the Virgin. This is one of the very few churches in Leicestershire remaining open each day. The Church Warden, Mr John Haynes, was extremely welcoming and provided a potted history of the church, its Lady Chapel (beautiful), the magnificent church organ and the stained glass windows. It is a lovely church in a beautiful setting and well worth a visit. The welcome could not have been more friendly and I’m sure that I will return.
Walking across open farmland the terrain is easy underfoot and the route is straightforward to follow. The path eventually takes you down to the Grand Union Canal at Bridge 40 and the short walk along to the junction of the Welford arm is amazingly picturesque. Swans and mallards on the canal mix with the white-throats from South Africa (information courtesy of a local twitcher) flying in and out of the vast expanse of rape fields.
Gorgeous views, total peace and wonderful weather all combined to make the walk back up the “Arm” to Welford Marina a real treat and photographers utopia.
Note to oneself: “Must do more often”