May 2017 - Rippingale & Aslackby
Nigel herded the cats together under the Bull, Rippingale pub sign for the photo call then led off through a pleasant range of field tracks, grass fields and woodland towards the small village of Graby.
Hawthorn blossom was pleasingly prolific and the ubiquitous oil seed rape fields gave off their yellow glow. Bluebells, of the hybrid variety, were spotted along the route. Passing the old bakehouse in Aslackby village which had been one of the first micro pubs (before the term was coined) for a couple of years in late 1990s, called the Man Loaded with Mischief, the troop arrived at a living pub, the Robin Hood and Little John. Here thirst quenching pints of Batemans Gold were dispensed along with Landlord, Abbot and GK IPA.
The return leg involved clambering over a dodgy stile or two, keeping a wary eye on a bull who fortunately seemed keener on the cows than the Fen folk, and watching the swooping swifts at Rippingale and hearing the distinct call of chiff chaff. We also heard the call of the Spitfire and Hurricane from BBMF on a flypast as we walked back to Rippingale. The weather was warm, sunny and breezy throughout and thirsts were slaked at the Bull with the tasty Mikado Mild (5%) from Pheasantry; also on were Black Sheep, Abbot and Doom Bar. A tasty carvery was taken and more ale consumed.
Thanks to Ivan who plotted the route and Nigel who led the walk and organised the lunches.