June 2016 - Hogsthorpe & Chapel St Leonards
Pubs, Pillboxes and Precipitation.
10 Hardy walkers set off from the Ship Inn in Chapel St Leonard's aiming to reach Hogsthorpe and return for lunch.
We set off through the streets passing a beautiful thatched building known as the “The Thatched Cottage”. A building crying out to be turned into a pub (or a beautiful home). Walking on we located the almost invisible start of the narrow riverside footpath that took us out into the fields. A well maintained path took us through the crops towards the main coastal road. Gentle rain accompanying our walk.
We walked along the side of the road a short distance before crossing to join a farm track leading to a footbridge in some need of repair which we fortunately did not need to cross. At this point we headed in the direction of the right or way which was not kept clear. We followed the vehicle tracks which made a nice maze of tracks and took us to our destination again at the edge of the busy coast road. The gentle rain was adding to the difficulty and helping the mud stick to our boots. Again we crossed the main road carefully and headed for the start of another right of way (this time kept clear) heading for Hogsthope.
At this point the heavens opened and we stood motionless in the storm. Not knowing whether to proceed or try to find shelter. Two brave souls even refused to put on their water proofs (John and Gary). This was used later as an excuse for an extra pint so may have been planned.
As we stood quietly drowning. Dave set off to explore and came back having found an in-tact world war II pillbox which was dry inside and had room for us all. Several went for shelter until the worst of the rain was over, a few minutes later.
We set off from the pillbox location to complete the walk to the Victoria Tavern via footpath and minor road. We took a detour to avoid a right of way across a ploughed field and made the pub only slightly less wet than a puddle.
The Victoria Tavern offered comfortable friendly accommodation and two beers to be tried; Horncastle Brewery’s “Lilith's Lust” and Leila Cottage’s’ “Lincolnshire Life”. Both well appreciated. The Victoria Tavern was originally a Bateman's house when the current landlady took over almost 30 years ago. They took the opportunity to buy the pub when it was sold to raise funds for the independence battle and have been there ever since. Now looking to have regular Real Ales and even thinking of a Real Cider from the Red Lion at Stickford.
As we set off to return to Chapel St Leonard's Gary and John pleaded “still-soggy” and stayed for an extra pint hoping the rain would stop (they had not booked a meal). The return home took us down a minor lane and onto a footpath through a field of rape (well cleared path). From there we walked across grass land until we found the entrance to the tiny church of St Leonard (just over 200 years old). The church was open to view and even had the heating on).
A short walk followed along the dry footpath back to the Ship Inn for those who had booked lunch. The Ship Inn is a Bateman's pub and offered XXB, XB and Bateman's Gold. Maggie and Drew the tennant's were away but left their good wishes for our walk.
The two left behind arrived as the the lunchers finished their pudding. Several of the group set off for a quick visit to the Admiral Benbow for a tipple by the sea side before setting off home.
Keith (still drying out)