Oh isn't it lovely to finally see some warmer weather - a couple of times we've even caught a glimpse of the sun peeping through.
I'm back on the trail of the National Forest Noon Columns - for this months Ashby Life magazine I wrote up a shortened version of one of the Staunton Harold walks from the book which passes by the Melbourne Parklands Noon Column. If you want to give it a try you'll find it, along with the other Noon Column walks already published, online here.
Next on my list was the Mease and Sence Noon Column. The Mease and Sence Noon Column is situated within Grangewood (vaguely near to Overseal) which is a little confusing since there is another noon column which is actually situated within Sence Valley near Ibstock, but that is called the Leicestershire and South Derbyshire Noon Column! Strange, I know.
Anyway, back to Grangewood - it's a big area which includes many paths around new plantations, a large equestrian cross country course, some beautiful footpaths through older, more established, woodland and even a section of the National Forest Way. You can literally meander around for hours if you wish (and sometimes even if you don't wish as it's easy to become disorientated with so many paths to choose from).
The Noon Column is pretty well hidden, standing within a circle of grassland with trees on all sides - I kept getting tantalising glimpses of it through the branches before finding the path that allowed access. I loved the fact that this Noon Column is well within the woodland and requires exploring before you find it - quite different to the others. Well worth the trip and all of my meanderings around the area proved enjoyable even in the cold weather of Feb and March.
Four Noon Columns discovered now - just two to go and it's coming up to the perfect time of year to, hopefully, enjoy bluebells within the woodland at one of them.
I just can't resist a footpath sign. The lure of that little arrow just says 'explore me' and sooner or later I just have to find out where it goes. Happily the National Forest is just full of paths. Public footpaths, permissive paths, tracks, trails and long distance paths - we've got the lot!