As a small child I remember sitting inside school at wet playtime, watching as the rain drops splashed down heavily in the puddles outside, dreamily staring as the drops of water, on the glass, raced each other to the bottom of the window, the ever spreading mass of liquid preventing our fun. As an adult rain doesn't have to stop play, so with the gray skies overhead and the rain hammering down I headed out on a walk I had planned in my head since the start of the year.
Milton Keynes Three Lake Walk
The plan was a walk around three lakes (or sets of lakes) that are joined by a single stream; The lakes in question are Lodge Lake, The Teardrop Lakes (a set of 4 lakes shaped like teardrops) and Furzton Lake (one of the bigger Milton Keynes Lakes).
Starting by the car park at Lodge Lake, I headed off on the start of the journey, passing the smaller area of this lake, before heading off through Loughton valley park, the rain still falling and the small stream now running deep and brown like the strongest rivers.
Crossing bridges and standing beside the stepping stones, the speed of the flow could really be seen as the river rushed through on its journey from Furzton to Lodge Lake and beyond, reversing my own journey.
The walk continued on through Loughton itself, passing areas where in the summer we will see scarecrow on the bi-annual Loughton and Great Holm Scarecrow trail (a fun event we always enjoy a look around), and on passed the fields of the equestrian centre, the multitude of horses mooching around the grassy fields, donning their winter coats, I guess for warmth.
Horses in the Equestrian Centre Fields
I soon arrived at the underpass into the Teardrop Lakes park, the path through dry now, but in times of flood designed to allow large amounts of water to flood through at speed.
As I started to walk the North East path, I noticed a gentleman walking the lakes, collecting the rubbish, now I don't know if he was a volunteer with the parks trust or just a nice bloke (not a council worker as no uniform etc.) but whatever the reason it is people like him who make the world a better place, and someone whose example I hope to follow.
The steady rain was still attempting to soak me as I walked, thankfully full waterproofs and a nice waterproof cover for my rucksack, kept me pretty dry although, either my sleeves are leaking or the sweat and condensation build up is too much for my coat to handle as my arms were quite damp (a reproofing or new rain coat seem in order).
The lakes themselves were pretty in the dark gray of the rain clouds, the greens of the grass and browns of the trees really popping, drenched as they were in the constant rain.
First shot of Teardrops
Fancy signpost at Teardrop Lakes
Light mist at one end of the Teardrop Lakes
End of the Teardrop Lakes
On To Furzton
An interesting aside of my walk between three lakes is the passing by of the National Bowl an arena famous for its many rock concerts in the past, sadly something that seems to have vanished from the Milton Keynes landscape (bar the EDC).
I was soon crossing high over Watling Street, the old roman road that was once the A5 and runs straight through this part of town, and was looking at Furzton Lake, one of the larger lakes in Milton Keynes, peeling off to the left I wandered passed another car park, and an area that will shortly be turned into a "fun" 9 hole golf course and cafe, a shame in my mind, but a sign of progress I guess, and down towards the nature area of the lake.
Through the Reeds
Nature area of Furzton Lake
Passing dog walkers, fishermen and even model boat enthusiasts, I was enjoying my wet walk, the peace of a little solitude is an underrated commodity, and when the rain is coming down there are less people wanting to share the open spaces.
For once wildlife was taking a back seat to just walking, the pounding of my feet on concrete, a steady pace, metronomic in its action, became almost meditative in its consistency, which meant I was keeping up a faster pace than I usually would and was soon passing the large pub and heading back under Watling street towards the Teardrop lakes once more.
Model Boat users
Water Expanse - Furzton Lake
The fast pace continuing I was soon back walking passed the Teardrop lakes again, this time on the South West side, as my journey continued and the kilometres flew by (Yeah KM over miles purely because that was how the ViewRanger app measured it) the rain began to ease a little, and I began to heat up, covered in the extra layers of waterproofing.
Teardrop Lakes in the rain
By the time I was back into Loughton Valley Park, I was building up quite a sweat. Walking alongside the same stream I was amazed to discover that the water had risen in the short time I had been moving, the stepping stones I had previously passed now had water lapping over the top.
Return to Lodge Lake
Eventually I arrived back at Lodge Lake and continued the circuit of the lake, passing the wonderfully smelling Chinese restaurant, and the duck feeding station, passed the path down to Bradwell Abbey eventually arriving back at the car park 2 hours 39 minutes after I had first left and 12 kilometres (7.43 miles) walked. The full route details are at the end of this post.
Of course my walk continued as I had to get home still, but hey, that's another story.
View Ranger Map of the Walk
Feel fee to download and follow the route yourself.
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