Day 5. Sunday 24th May
Last night I ate with my hosts and a couple who have visited the attached caravan site for many years. Good farmhouse home cooking included Dead Shepherd (lamb sort of cottage pie - excellent), and a luscious fruit crumble with oats, and some fine Ruddles bottled beer. Conversation was lively to say the least. My stay at Pheasant's Roost was enjoyable and entertaining.
The scenery has now changed into rolling hills with many varied crop fields. Macmillan Way markers are sparse, but the route is easy to follow. Generally paths have been cleared and generous margins left on crop field edges, and where the path goes through the middle a ten foot wide roadway has been left, so the many moans I have made before about "farmers' fields" have rarely applied so far.
I have the official guide which is badly written: narrative history etc. mixed in with the walking instructions, and often no mention of distance between points. One time we are asked to keep the hedge on our left then, later, keep to the left of the hedge, and then keep to the hedge's left. I think if you visited all the churches they recommend this would take a year. Lessons could be learned from Cicerone Press who specialise in walking guides and have perfected and standardised the best format.
I knew this walk was going to be expensive without any tenting and walking through some of the poshest country in England. Last night I booked ahead to the Nevill Arms here in Medbourne and was told a room for single occupancy would be £99. As I walked today I wondered if they had made a mistake quoting me as for two people. On arrival they had made a mistake and the revised price is now £79, but it is good and worth it for the soak in a large bath, and a menu with some originality even though I did go for fish and chips, but prefaced by a yummy plate of mixed slightly toasted breads and olive oil dip.
I am eating in the bar and there are two blonde females aged perhaps in their thirties conversing with a seventy year old white grizzle bearded, short sleeve shirted male and the three of them are becoming progressively more drunk and making monstrous noise, the man shouting his conversation and the females shrieking back. I cannot guess what the relationship is between them.
A welcome bench in the middle of nowhere
The Nevill Arms, Medbourne
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