The Soar on Sunday

19 Apr

Guardian, April 16

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Drive through Long Eaton past Trentlock. Cross the Trent at Sawley. Left after the Marina, onto Warren Lane.

Park at corner of Warren and Ratcliffe Lanes (GR 478 294). Follow paths and country lanes past the Settling Ponds and over the A453. Sharp turn northeast. Pick up Soar west bank at the weir upstream of Manor Farm. South to cross the river on the foot-bridge east of Bridge Farm on the edge of Kegworth (GR 495 274). At start of Kingston Lane, take the path northeast across open field to the railtrack. Pass under it by foot tunnel and on to Kingston on Soar.

North by northwest over ploughed fields to Ratcliffe, then Red Hill Marina. Recross the Soar on early nineteenth century bridge (canal section) and wooden footbridge (river proper). Arc round the fields – northwest, west, southwest – to pick up the Midshires Way at Warren Lane and so to where it all began.

Flowers in meadow and under hedgerow. Sun on the water, hawthorne blossom on the breeze. The vast cooling towers of coal fired Ratcliffe an ever present guide.

Off Ratcliffe lane, one of the settling ponds for the quarrying hereabouts.

St Winifreds, Kingston on Soar.

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