This is Glebe Farm, proprioters Mr and Mrs Bryce, and I have to say one of the best stop-overs on the route. The accommodation was sublime and the treatment of travellers superb. I languished in the bath here for nigh on an hour before succumbing to the gnarled finger of sleep. When I woke, had one of the best breakfasts imaginable. Highly recommended on all accounts, and one of the best, exclusive, Macmillan Way staging posts en route. See the accommodation link for details.

DAY FIVE

Cross several fields and you eventually come to this classic pile - Cannons Ashby House - home of the poet’s uncle; and John Dryden often visited here. I found this leg quite comfortable with newly-born lambs accompanying me from hedgerow to hedgerow. They probably hadn't seen a stranger since they were born and I looked like a good candidate for delivering food. It provided me with a sense of omnipotence, and for a while I was in charge of my surroundings.

Meet the chaps who absolutely refused to let me pass directly into Morton Pinkney. Detour took about half a mile

This is the approach to Eydon, seen up ahead. It was shortly before here that I met Jennifer Davidson, an NHS employee, who was also walking the through route. All Macmillan Way walkers give the game away by clutching the white guide almost like a piece of kit. Jenny was sensible - her husband drove the caravan and she could dictate the day’s walk, unlike my attempt to reach a pre-booked destination regardless of the pain and suffering!

Jenny was accompanied all the way by a remarkable young Collie called ‘Swifty’. She was an amazing dog who probably chased more of the country’s sticks, than any other before or since. From here to Abbotsbury, the three of us met up on several occasions. (Jenny got to Abbotsbury half an hour before me, although we didn’t see each other for the last 60 miles)

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