Long Sunday Run: Out in the fields

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(Edited)

For some reason I decided I wanted to do a run along the Hicca Way to Ickleford. It was another bright, crisp morning. It was going to be largely cross country, so I went for the trail shoes.

I only have to go a short way from home to get away from the roads. I crossed the railway bridge as a train passed underneath and passed the Mill Pits as I followed the river. I crossed the river at the meadow with the horses and then it was out across the fields. I have done this route a few times, but the signs can be lacking. The farmers seem to either clear or use something to kill a strip of the crops to mark where people can walk. This was in the middle of one such field. You may spot a hot air balloon in the distance.

Selfie

You will see that I joined the Bedford Road, but I had intended to come out about where it says Ickleford. I missed a turn somewhere. I followed the road for a while until I found another footpath heading in the right direction. The brought me out at the cricket pitch, which I had not seen before. It may be around there that the lacrosse players who I see in the pub play.

Map

Once through Ickleford I passed back under the railway. There is no footpath on that bit of road, so I am always careful there. I passed the lavender farm (popular with Chinese tourists) and picked up another footpath. There is a curious metal rail embedded in that path, but I have yet to find out what it was for. The path continues over towards Letchworth with some great views over the countryside.

Running by rail

The path comes out by The Wilbury pub (the titular World's End in the movie) and then I followed the road back to Fairfield.

Orchard

I cut straight through Fairfield as I just wanted to get home by then. I went through the old orchard that has a dedicated group maintaining it. This was part of the old asylum who obviously wanted to be self-sufficient in some things. I also passed another the cricket pitch there.

Stats

As I came back through Arlesey I saw a couple of cars going much too fast (Mazda RX7 and VW Golf). I hope they do not kill anyone. With the price of fuel that is an expensive habit.

So this was another fairly long run in preparation for my half marathon. I did walk a bit, but then that is about 25km this weekend. I enjoyed the run as there are some great views around here. Apparently looking into the distance is good for our mental wellbeing.

Run free and stay well.



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17 comments
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I having been running much for many years. Mostly walking and swimming and bicycling. But as my foot for a couple of month earlier this year was sentenced to a half-life, I have had this enormous urge to run through a wood. When you can't have it, you want it. Now it seems I can have it after all so I guess I will try some of that wood running soon.

Your pictures from the countryside always make me want to skip and jump... I will have to do a bit of training before I am fully able though :)

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I hope you can run again some time. I know you cycle too and that can be fun.

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The bicycle has been my savoir this last year. I have been able to get out a bit without too much pain or overexertion.

It really looks nice where you live, hopefully one day I can run there :)

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I'd love to show you around.

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Looks like a nice run. The lavender field would be cool when it is in bloom. I bet it's a popular spot for all tourists. I'd go see that.

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I've never actually been there, but I see lots of Chinese people with heather at the station when it is blooming.

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I see. I've only seen one or two really large lavender fields up close and thought they were pretty cool. I didn't know kw that it grew in the UK as well. That's interesting

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Always killing it. I finally started today! Have started with a long 1 hour walk to get me on the rhythm because I am so out of shape. But I will be running soon.

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Have fun with it. Good excuse for doing some exploring.

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(Edited)

There was a dismantled railway line around there somewhere; maybe local people took some of it to reinforce the path in some way?

This bridge carried the now dismantled Hitchin to Leicester branch of the Midland Railway line. It was closed in 1962 as part of the infamous cuts imposed on the railways by Dr Beeching. It operated via Bedford and was opened in 1857.

This is from council archaeologist Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews writing in a description of a circular walk starting at Wilbury Hill about an old bridge over the river that leads to the green footbridge over the railway (you get to it from near Ickleford church).

I interviewed Keith in my Icknield Way film which I will post about soon.

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It doesn't look like railway track. Maybe it was to let water drain down the hill.

One of these days I need to explore the whole Hicca Way. I could always get the train back from Hitchin if I didn't feel like running all the way.

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