20090101_Daventry Reservoir Circular Walk
When : 1st January 2009
Who : Me and Family
Where : Daventry, Northamptonshire, England
Maps : 1:25000 Explorer Map no.222, Rugby & Daventry
Start + End Point : 577,642
Approx Distance : 2¼ miles, 3½ km
Heights : None
Parking : Car Park off A425, Northern Way.
Public Transport : Don’t know, but residential areas close by so assume busses close by as well.
Summary : A circuit around Daventry Reservoir and Country Park
We decided it’d be a good idea to get out as a family and try to get rid of a few Christmas cobwebs …. It’s so easy to allow yourself to get stuck in front of the tele’ and stupify, especially if the weather is typically grey and uninviting as it tends to be during the Christmas hol’s. Perhaps Christmas ought to be moved to the end of May or the beginning of June, where we’d at least have the chance of some decent weather … No? … oh well it’s not gonna happen anyway, is it?
Well it was very cold, but dry, so we wrapped up and headed off over the border from Rugby in Warwickshire to Daventry in Northamptonshire …. Just a short drive of about 10 miles or so down the A45.
To the north-east of Daventry (very close to the town centre), is the perfectly descriptive but not very imaginatively named Daventry Reservoir which has a small country park associated with it and allows access to the public to do the full circuit. Writing this post in May, I seem to remember being delighted to find there were no car parking charges for the day, something to do with bank-holidays I think. We’ve visited several times in the past and we normally make the circuit in a clockwise-direction, so just for a change we decided to walk anti-clockwise.
From the far end of the car-park we headed off into an area of woodland on a well made path, the reservoir not far away on our left. In fact, access is all around the lake is excellent, with wooden walkways over boggy areas. I would imagine wheel-chairs could negotiate the circuit, but it’d worth checking that this is so … certainly push-chairs are no problem as we’ve done it before. The country park consists of the wooded area, open grassy fields, an orchard, an area of coppice and at least one small pond which I suppose is probably good to see frogs, damsel flies, etc. later in the year. I’ve found some web pages (below) published by Daventry District Council, but I couldn’t see anything specific to access for the less able.
It was so cold you could almost see it hanging in the atmosphere subduing everything, even the water birds out on the lake seemed notably quiet. Parts of the lake were even frozen over! Quite remarkable in this day and age of milder winters and not something we’ve seen for some years now.
The cold hadn’t deterred quite a few people, virtually all of whom had a cheery hello, happy New Year and a smile from under woolly hats and scarves.
About half way around, where the path gets very close to the waters edge, we stopped (but not for very long) for some cakes and warm drinks that I’d made before leaving home … Coffee for the grown ups and warm orange squash for the kids (the plastic bottles wrapped in silver foil and a tea-towel to keep the heat in).
Wow, it was cold next to the icy water : We didn’t hang around for long and soon pressed on basically right next to the shoreline to pick up the reservoirs quite exposed dam (over ½ km from end to end).
The walk across the top of this brought us to the little and very popular café and a small jetty, where ducks of several varieties (mostly Mallard as per normal), geese and swans were enjoying the feast of bread visitors were throwing in for them, quite a melee in fact.
We left the café (and toilet block) and were soon back at the car park, where we allowed the kids to go on the play ground area for 10 minutes or so … It’s a good little playground area but it was far to cold for any longer, although I think the kids would’ve stayed on the sit-on zip-wire thing for longer given the chance.
The walk is only a short distance, but it was enjoyable despite the onset of frostbite in our fingers, toes and noses (slight exaggeration there I’m afraid) and it made the cosiness of home so nice when we got back … perfect for a big bowl of home made thick and creamy turkey broth that I’d made earlier in the holidays.
I hope you enjoyed my scribblings ….
Next walk = 20090207_Into Rugby in the snow