Sunday morning started out grey and drizzly but I hoped it would brighten up and turn out into a bright sparkling Autumn day for a 5 mile loop of Thockrington.
By the time we parked up at the lay-by on the B6342 we had a strong blustery wind and constant rain to welcome the start off the walk. There was only three of us, so hardly anyone to shelter behind either!
Nonetheless we set off in good spirits up Carrier’s Lane despite the wind and rain in our faces. By the time we turned past Little Swinburne we were thoroughly soaked but still maintained a purposeful stride and an optimist weather eye. Cresting the brow of the hill at the top of the Lane we enjoyed a brief respite from the rain and headed down to Thockrington itself. Nothing much remains of this hamlet other than a large farm and the picturesque St Aidan’s church.
It was here where we had lunch. The church was open and provided a dry haven from all of the weather outside. It is a small, beautiful and simple church that still hosts services once a month or so. Inside the church are two ancient stone tomb covers – one a cross and the other a lady in medieval dress – and two wall plaques dedicated to members of the Shafto family. Outside in the churchyard lie the bones of Lord William Beveridge, architect of the welfare state in Britain.
The remainder of the walk, downhill from Thockrington, crossed several fields and passed the scars of an old limestone quarry before re-joining Carrier’s Land and then onto the B6342. All in all we made our way around in a little less than three hours.