Story contributed by Gill, pics by Simon.
Ian’s Walk had a certain attraction in its billing! To start and end at a pub always draws a following with certain elements in the IOG and despite the gloomy forecast we started with 11 souls willing to brave the threatening rain. Happily the day proved to be sunny and warm and gave us an opportunity to see the area at its best, with plenty of stunning lilac and wisteria in full bloom. The ground may have been a little “claggy” underfoot but we made quick progress over farmland and riverbank to the outskirts of Clare. We strolled into town via the priory and enjoyed lunch in the country park whilst watching the first arrivals at the finish to the 18-mile Bury (St Edmunds) to Clare Challenge taking place that morning in aid of St Nicholas Hospice.
We gained four latecomers at the lunch stop which swelled the numbers willing to take on the challenge of mounting the ascent to Clare Castle, giving us 360 degree views of the town and beyond. A leisurely amble looping back to the Five Bells for a beverage in the sun proved a fitting end to a lovely day. Thanks to Ian for a lovely ramble in great company.
P.S. I can confirm to those disbelievers in the group, that the winner of the Challenge was indeed Daisy Glover who came in ahead of the fastest male over the same distance and course. Well done Daisy – one to watch!