2 March 2020

Day 6 of the Distancing. I’m getting a couple of hours solid walking into the day, miles from anyone, just enough to stay sane.

But yesterday things went a bit awry as I headed west towards hilly (all relative) Royston but somehow ended up at Wimpole.


Wimpole Hall is the great South Cambridge middle-class day out; £4 sausage rolls, best pashmina contests, sheep petting, University professors in suits and ties walking painstakingly slowly through the gardens.

CAMRA talks about the White Lion in Walsall as a cultural melting pot, and all ages and social classes are to be found at Wimpole, from A to B.

Future micro

The hall, and farm and (most importantly) cafe have closed, but I’d heard the National Trust were letting you park free and walk the park.

Sounded a good idea.

Keep to the left

Unfortunately, it had seemed a good idea to the whole of Shelford, Grantchester and Barton, who had stocked up on avocado and quinoa at Trumpington Waitrose.

At least they could read the sign.

Corbyn was right

Unfortunately, toddlers on trikes and dogs have more limited reading abilities, and by the time I reached the Hall it was obvious I needed to run to the hills, stopping only at a 2 metre distance to bring you the highlights.

Poshest entrance to a cafe in Cambs
“A fight over the last loo roll”
Reed life

The walk through the garden was one way, except for the folk who won’t be told what to do by authority, and feel it’s their duty to challenge “No Entry” signs. We’re doomed.

The birdsong was only broken by the conversation of the local intellectuals, largely about plans to buy a new freezer but with the occasional gem,

“Received wisdom is the ultimate crucible is school”. Don’t get that in the Sun.

Flowers of some description
Hills. For Dave
Ruins ahoy

I had the walkway to the folly pretty much to myself.

Your actual folly

I reckoned there must have been at least a thousand in, judging by the state of the car park. Good job most Cambridge folk can’t climb hills.

Tiring 1 in 100 ascent

Very lovely, but I was glad to get out before it got even busier. At the exit, “Keep to the left” had been replaced with “Keep to the right”. What can it mean ?

By close, even the parks had been closed to the public, and quite rightly so,. Back to empty Fenland dirt tracks for me, then.


30 thoughts on “FUN WHILE IT LASTED

  1. Given the fight scene over bog rolls I wonder if the other picture should be captioned Loo Reed Life? It sounds like a walk on the mild side (which must be one of your previous bog/blog titles).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In contrast, my walk into Tonbridge along the River Medway, was nice and quiet, with very few folk out and about. I met a friend returning from a walk, but we kept our distance and chatted with 2 metres in between us.

    Called in at the Nelson, to purchase a couple of pints of Goacher’s Old then, within sight of home, stopped for another chat with a neighbour – again 6 feet in old money apart.

    All quite civilised really, unlike Whitstable!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If anything we’re slightly to the east of where you are in the Fens, but not everyone here is as civilised as you might think!


    1. Are you referring to the scenes outside the Whitstable Oyster Company pub, Paul?

      It’s a pity that it has to close. Oysters are full of zinc. You need that for fighting viruses.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are several NT properties nearby, all no doubt offering free parking for those wishing to walk the grounds. Given the fine weather we’ve had this weekend, I imagine they would be similarly crowded like Wimpole.

    Before Corona overshadowed everything, there was an almighty row brewing over a proposed new car park for Ightham Mote. The NT could probably concrete the surrounding area over now, and no-one would give a damn!


    1. But National Trust members are of an age plagued with underlying health issues so by this time next year there might not be many of them left with cars to park !


    2. The NT opened up the parks for free and then closed them after a day when it was clear that the population couldn’t be trusted to keep their distance, even in a vast parkland.


      1. Yes.
        Elderly ( older than me ) relatives of my wife living in Newtown filled up their car’s petrol tank a couple of weeks ago so that they would be able to get out to the seaside for a day sometime.
        The newspapers report that everyone else also thought it would be nice to go to the seaside over the weekend

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Alas, I’m not sure if a fair number among our population can be trusted to do, well, anything really, Martin.

        The parks near us are full of dog owners, allowing their pets to bound about from person to person for instance.

        They can carry this bug too.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Am I wrong to worry about the canine threat in the spread of this, running up to you, jumping up and slobbering over your hands?

        Dog ownership must be higher than it’s ever been.


      4. I had heard that drinking cow’s urine was the best antidote but do you think I should buy a kitten instead ?


      5. “the Railway in Newtown will be struggling at the closure of his pub right now” – yes, and many thousands others too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely photos– looks like the weather was perfect for walking. I know we’ve got to shut down the places where loads of people might congregate, but surely an isolated walk in the countryside is one of the few things we can do right now that’s completely safe. I had a nice long ramble in the woods yesterday, and it occurred to me, “I’m probably safer from the virus here than I am in my own home.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, my brother, who I last saw last April in Derbyshire, was due to drive up from St Albans on Thursday for a walk on Cannock Chase but, as you comment, it’s inappropriate to be driving too far for it.
        I might see him next year.


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