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Hellidon-Badby Saltway

 

How often have you walked a stretch of old road and thought, “This isn’t much good”, then turned a corner and found treasure?  It’s happened to us so many times that I’ve lost count. 

 

Last time was outside Hellidon, a Northants village inside SP 5158 on OS 206.  We were following the saltway from Priors Marston to Northampton.  At PM the track goes eastwards up Marston Hill (497577), then gets tangled up with tarted-up paths and a Golf Course.  Nice dog-walk but not historically interesting. 

 

So on to the next hopeful part, which starts at 526582 outside Hellidon.  Again, a great disappointment until 537583 at the foot of Arbury Hill.  We could hardly believe what opened up in front of us then (#1,2).

 

On to the hilltop and through a gate and from there the old salt route is marked by a high, steep causeway that runs along the edge of the field, lined with ancient hawthorns (#3,4,5).  Marvellous.  And a causeway is a sure-fire sign of a very old road.  Not an enclosure road but something much older…

 

After the causeway, the path goes down to meet the Badby-Catesby road at 548588.  We would recommend starting at that point and doing our walk in reverse.

 

(The salt route is tarmacked from that point to Northampton.)

 

Happy Christmas 2018!