A trip to The Slaughtered Lamb
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This is a day out that will fill your lungs with fresh air for certain. We will meet up in the horse box car park at Salcey Forest and then wander through the woods. Salcey has a local reputation; do be careful as it is reputed to be both haunted and inhabited by faeries. People do occasionally go missing, usually loners wandering off down paths that are seldom trodden. Don't worry nobody has been murdered here since 1983, and the last bodies were found in 2009, you'll be safe if you stick together. Perhaps hold hands eh? Of course there is also the the local witch to beware, although the local village kids say she is very nice and makes very good gingerbread. We will stop at the Forest Café for tea/coffee and take time for some breakfast if you fancy it, and so you have a bit of energy for the day.
Its a long walk, but there are shortcuts everywhere and plenty of flexibility for the group. This is also my back yard. GPX of the full route available here:
After you are suitably fattened up, we will herd the group further into the woods. Those only capable of a short stroll will be able to return to the start (unescorted), whilst the leaner members hightail it out of the forest and south across the fields. We will head through the parish of Hanslope, Tathall End and around Gayhurst Wood (all such great names) to Stoke Goldington.
When we reach Stoke Goldington we will take a break again. The pub is a delightfully rural affair, although since its original name was made famous by "American Werewolf in London", it is now simply known as "The Lamb" so as not to dissuade strangers. The actual cottage used for the film is in Crickadarn, near Builth Wells, Wales and isn't even a pub; but there is a striking resemblance between them. Werewoofs take note, the locals are mostly sheep farmers, and "yur not from around 'ere aaar ewe?".
From Stoke Goldington it is about an hour or so walk back across rolling fields to the edge of the forest, and then 5 minutes walk to the beginning. Much of the journey is arable land, and the route is largely dog friendly; I'm quite happy to bring along well behaved hounds, but there are a few sheep fields to be wary about. There are some nice views on a clear day, although it can be quite exposed when it is windy, and it was bitter in the snow.
What to bring
I know it's summer but be sensible about your choice of clothing:
Wear some good solid boots or decent walking shoes, even if it isn't muddy underfoot, its a long route.
Wear some comfortable walking socks.
Expect the potential for rain and wear quick drying walking trousers and bring a waterproof jacket that you can fold down and tuck into a pocket.
You may start off cold, but will soon warm up. Judge the weather before you leave and if it looks grey, take a bag with a spare jumper and T-shirt; you can always leave it in the car if it's a scorcher.
Bring water and some energy food (chocolate, sweets etc.).
Bring sun cream if it's hot, and cover your head.
If you carry important medicines, please let me know privately.
Food & drink
We will have breakfast at The Forest Café: https://www.salceyforestcafe.com/
There are also village shops in Hanslope to pick up snacks/drinks. We also aim to stop at the pub in Stoke Goldington for a beer, an hour from the end. Bring some water.