Today we celebrate farming and feeding on one side of the route and biodiversity on the other. The route crosses through the easily missed official county of Rutland, (”Multum in Parvo’ 16miles wide, 16 miles long), and just north of the trouser press town of Corby, goes through the fabled farmland of Weetabixshire, where the Weet is grown.
A lunch diversion will see us head to Oakham, the county town of Rutland, to the Jackson Stops pub. There we will compete at the ancient sport of nurdling, to see who is the best Tosser. The world nudling is held at the pub each year in May.
Before Peterborough we cross through The Forestry Commission’s most diverse woodland, Bedford Purlieus Nature Reserve.
That’s not the end of our nature studies either as on the way into Peterborough, at mile 32, we visit the oxymoronic Railworld Wildlife Haven where the wildlife sits alongside model railways and is brought to life in an old coal depot.
The countryside pilgrimage ends at the magnificent cathedral. There’s plenty to admire here, though sadly Oswald of Northumbria’s arm ent missing during the Reformation and hopes of finding it have dwindled. As well as the cathedral, some fantastic artworks can be found in Peterborugh museums, including Constable and Gainsborough.
Jackson Stops’ Nurdling seat
Bedford Purlieus Nature Reserve
Railworld Wildlife Haven
Peterborough Cathedral and Museums
Overnight: The Millstone, Peterborough, PE7 3TB