The return of U3A long walks! After an enforced hiatus (for reasons that we are all well aware of), the Longer Walks Group made its long-awaited comeback in early September!
Following rigorous risk assessment and personal safety checklists, our pioneering group of walkers assembled outside Royston station, removed our face-masks and thrilled to the sound of a health and safety briefing.
Suitably informed and alert, the walk got underway, with a gentle stroll past the Roisia (or Royston) stone and then a gentle climb along the main street.
After a short road climb, we turned south from Royston, to follow the Icknield Way Trail as it climbed gently through an arable landscape. Fortunately the area still retains some of its ancient hedgerows, and autumn fruits such as sloes and haws were abundant. As we reached the top of the chalk, the slope levelled out and we entered the settlement of Therfield, stopping to admire its attractive village green before continuing on past the parish church.
From here a short stretch across fields brought us to the village of Kelshall, where we stopped for a socially distanced lunch around the base of Kelshall Cross and millennium monument..
Suitably refreshed, we walked through the village as our route looped around to head north, now following the Hertfordshire Way, back to Therfield. We now began our descent of the chalk, at Thrift Hill, enjoying views over Cambridgeshire as we did so. At Thrift Farm, the route turned to head back to Royston, and after encountering an area set aside as ‘gallops’ for racehorses, reached today’s ‘sting in the tail’.
As we reached Royston Golf Club, the Hertfordshire Way, deviated to south and a short but very steep ascent of Church Hill. However we were rewarded with a lovely ridge walk in the Pen Hills, before descending across the golf course and back into town.
It’s good to be back!