With our usual walking day falling on Boxing Day it was decided to delay the walk by two days. What fortune we had as this turned out to be a perfect day that sat between many wet and miserable ones. It was also fortunate that it was a frosty morning and in the earlier part of the walk, the muddiest part, the ground was frozen hard and so made walking easier. Further into the walk the sun melted the frost but there were fewer muddy areas.
As leader I always carry a first aid kit, a map and compass, mobile ‘phone, secateurs to cut back any offensive vegetation, a penknife, hi-vis. gilets and today, as it was cold, a small thermos flask filled with a hot drink – but how was I to know that we would also need pliers! Two walkers managed to get long and dangerous thorns go through their boots, the sole of one and the instep of the other. But these were no ordinary thorns and it took two strong men and much pulling with the secateurs and pushing with the handle of the penknife to extract them.
Starting at The Cobbins our route took us over fields to the north of Burnham, round the ‘end of the line’ at the Mangapps Railway Museum and eventually up into Southminster. From there we headed south returning by fields that led to Stoney Hills and so back to The Cobbins.
Mulled wine and hot food rounded off the morning and so ended a successful year.
9 kms/5.4 miles
Next Walk – Meet at 10.00 at the Quart Pot, Runwell Road, Runwell, SS11 7PN food can be pre-ordered – undulating, two stiles, expect muddy patches 8kms/5 miles