Story contributed by M-L; pics by Andy
22 IOGers gathered in lovely sunshine at a carpark near Braintree station to join our leader Glen on an 11-mile saunter through the greening Essex countryside. We began by following the winding River Brain out of town, heading south towards Black Notley past the Grade 2-listed Black Notley Hall buildings. Then it was westwards to Great Notley, stopping for a welcome drink in the sun outside The Prince Louis pub, Notley Green, where we were joined by Karen – visiting from northern parts – for the latter part of the walk.
Refreshed, we made our way through Great Notley Country Park. Remarkably, no one was diverted onto the giant seesaw or the Sky Ropes in the play area, indeed no; sedately we climbed the man-made hillock, considered the rather grim ‘Bird of Freedom’ for a few minutes (a solid concrete plinth with an old aeroplane propeller embedded in it – light and airy it was not), and wended our way north to Rayne. From here it was east back towards our starting point.
When we reached Flitch Way some detached themselves and returned to cars and home while others felt they required a final beverage and cake. This was provided by the Booking Hall Café in the former Rayne Station.
Some of us know how to enjoy life to the full!