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Jay Walking

Icknield Way: Baldock to Royston

I was back at Baldock the next day, arriving about 9 am, and headed for the high street and followed a large avenue like road out of the town, pausing to pick up an egg sandwich and a coffee, which I had as I walked. Continuing on past some sort of retirement home complex, the road change to footpath which continued over the A505 emerging suddenly onto some fields on the edge of Baldock.

A large wheat field outside Baldock below a sky with wispy clouds

The route continued on towards the South East for a couple of kilometres, I only saw one person walking their dog ahead of. Not wanting to make any of my traditional navigational mistakes I took a bearing to make sure I was going the right way, and did the same at the next change of direction, which was towards the North East. After crossing a road I continued on before coming to another road where I stopped and had a break. The signage was confusing here one pointing East and another North, with the one pointing North being marked on the map.

George Orwells house in the village of Wallington.  It has a thatched roof and is painted a light beige colour
A group of Duck and ducklings near Wallington, sitting on grass enjoying the sun

I took the correct route to the East and headed off, most of the walking today had been through or on the edge of fields, but on reaching another road I headed on through the quaint village of Wallington. There was a route that went missed the village but I missed it, I was probably on the route for bikers and horses. The village is know for the writer George Orwell having lived there for a few years and writing some of his most famous works. There was a plaque on his former house saying that he had lived there. At the edge of the village there was a small pond with some ducks and their chicks enjoying the sun. The people in the village had put a sign up warning drivers of duck on the road, which was good, as while I was checking the route out of the village most of the ducks crossed the road and waddled on through a side gate of the house opposite and disappeared.

Distant view of the  church at Sandon village, with house either side
A tree lined bridleway near Sandon village

It was a quick walk to the village of Sandon via some fields and small woodlands, I stopped met a family walking their dogs and chatted with them. They had a very friendly mostly white Jack Russell called Patch who brought back memories of my own sadly gone Jack Russell. The day was very hot and took refuge in the village bus shelter, eating a sandwich and resting a bit before heading off through the church grounds, where I the rare site of 3 walkers. The next few kilometers were mainly on good shady bridleways, which were easy to follow, though the route was reasonably complicated. It was good to out of the sun for a bit and eventually I reached the small of Therfield, the route going past the Fox and Duck pub. I got a drink and sat outside on a small green, taking of my shoes and relaxing for half an hour, it was not too far to Royston now, so the day was nearly done. The pub was pretty busy though most people were sitting outside enjoying the sun and having lunch.

The Fox and Duck pub at Therfield decorated with bunting as it was the Platinium Jubilee
Distant view of Royston with hills and trees in the foreground

The Icknield Way continued along the side of the pub exiting the village along a small footpath heading slightly uphill before turning Northwards and gradually descending on bridleways, though fields towards Royston. The views were great, the skies were clear and it was pleasantly warm, there were few people about, a couple of walkers and a young family on bikes were all the people I saw. It was about 4km to Royston and after another descent through a park and golf course I was heading towards the train station and home.