Friday, 21 November 2014

Cold Overton Park - Rutland County Top & Whatborough Hill

Walk Summary
To your left is the trig point and
Rutland County Top - Cold Overton Park
As for the 2 previous walks this week; Racecourse Road and Viking Way, the intention was for Gina and I to work on our quest to walk all the Historic County Tops before the end of 2015, by visiting Cold Overton Park, the county top of Rutland.
One difference is that today's top is actually a summit, albeit with only an 11m prominence it does not qualifying as a hill in its own right but does have a trig point and is actually marked on the map as a 197m spot height.
The other major difference is that in close proximity is a "proper" hill, Whatborough Hill, so it seemed only polite to include it in an 11 mile circular walk.
After heading east against a bracing cold(ish) wind and with the rain adding to a grey murky November day as we reached Cold Overton trig point Gina had a better idea.
Not bother and return the same way back to the van for lunch and a nice hot cup of tea. Well we had achieved the main objective and I did find it hard to come up with a reason that made sense to someone who is not an avid peak bagger.
However I could not bring myself to set off back to the campsite without visiting one of the closest HuMP’s to home so after lunch we drove to Tilton on the Hill and I walked the ¼ mile from the road to the trig point and back.
Something else I found hard to explain, but just had to do. But the main point being that I am sharing my peak bagging passion with the one I love. They may not be Munros but when we have visited all 63 Historic County Tops we will have had a reason to visit many parts of the Kingdom and more importantly enjoyed the varied landscape from the highest mountain to the lowest lying marsh along with everything in between.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 21 November 2014
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith

Accommodation - Ferry Meadows Caravan Club Site, Peterborough
Cold Overton Park
Start Point - Knossington (GR - SK 80184 08601)
Start Time - 11:24
Finish Point 
Knossington (GR - SK 80184 08601)
Finish Time - 13:14
Duration - 1hrs 50mins
Average pace - 2.29mph
Distance Walked - 4.20miles
Height Ascended - 107.40metres

Whatborough Hill
Start Point - Off road parking near junction of Launde Road & Oakham Road (GR - SK 76631 05557)
Start Time - 14:18
Finish Point 
Off road parking near junction of Launde Road & Oakham Road (GR - SK 76631 05557)
Finish Time - 14:31
Duration - 0hrs 13mins
Average pace - 2.54mph
Distance Walked - 0.55miles
Height Ascended - 30.22metres

Other walks on this trip

20th Racecourse Road - Northamptonshire, Soke of Peterborough Historic County Top
20th Viking Way - Lincolnshire, parts of Kesteven Historic County Top
21st Cold Overton Park - Rutland Historic County Top
21st Whatborough Hill
22nd Ferry Meadows, Peterborough

Peaks visited
Hump (444E - 809E&W - 2976E,W&S)
Whatborough Hill (104E - 123E&W - 167E,W&S)
Historic County Top (49E - 63E&W 94E,W&S)
Cold Overton Park (26E - 30E&W -32E,W&S)
E: England
E&W: England & Wales

E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

GPX can be downloaded from
Cold Overton ParkWhatboroughHill
Walk Description
Cold Overton Park
No sign of path on ground due to
landscaping near Bleak House
but sign (and stile) confirms existence
I had a nice 12.62 mile circular walk planned to visit the county top of Rutland and then go on to probably the closest HuMP north of Ipswich, 128 miles away by road. The late start made that look increasingly unlikely. Reaching the walks main objective after only 1.84 miles, along with the cold head wind we had to deal with most of the time as we headed east along the PROW from Bleak House, made it an increasingly difficult job to convince Gina an extra 10 miles was a good idea to pull in Whatborough Hill on the same walk. The preferred option was to just turn round and follow the route we had come back to Knossington.
In spite of there being no physical
path on the ground signs and stiles
confirm we are still on the right track
I must admit I had a similar feeling myself back in Scotland when I woke up to rain and low cloud on the day I had originally planned to walk The Tyndrum Grandslam along with the prospect of only 10% chance of cloud free Munro summits. Not quite the same altitude but with no chance of the cloud clearing and a strong possibility of rain I could well understand how Gina was feeling. So rather than retrace our steps we headed for Glebe Farm to return to Knossington along the Oakham Road to get in a preferred circular walk.
The revised plan was to have lunch in the warm van then drive for a second short walk of the day up Whatborough Hill.

Whatborough Hill
Can see trig point and summit from
corner of radio tower boundary fence
As already mentioned the plan was to visit this hill as part of a circular walk which included visiting Cold Overton Park, the County Top of Rutland. The weather put paid to that plan so in the unlikely event I would be returning to this area in the very near future it was a case of nipping up from the road and bagging the hill or having an isolated peak still on the list to visit.
I chose the former and as the forecast rain started just as I set off, which would have coincided with about the 8 mile mark in the planned route, I was not having any regrets or feelings of guilt.

Six minutes later I was at the summit and trig point, all photos and logging complete., Job done.
Returning to the van my phones battery ran out, hence no photos after summit shot but peering through the drizzle I notice several prominent peaks to the south worthy of a visit. They had escaped my radar because they are sub 500m summits but have a prominence of 30m putting them in the TuMP category. TuMP's have only recently been added to the DoBIH and have been outside of my peak bagging scope. However it is quite likely more will be visited in future walks and am sure should the day arrive when I have visited all major peaks maybe these will be a good project for my later hill bagging years. 

More Photographs
Follow track to covered reservoir and radio mast near Whatborough Hill
Click on photograph to view slide-show