Wordsworth would be proud.
Actually, perhaps I have more commiseration with Bilbo Baggins’ unexpected journey than the Poet Laureate’s planned excursions.
I didn’t wake up this morning ready to go on an adventure. I barely dragged myself out of bed in time for breakfast, then sat through the meal contemplating my day. Should I stay inside and watch Netflix while waiting for my room mate and friends to return from Scotland, or should I try to strike out for the village just north of the manor that our professors had pointed out a day earlier?
Industriousness won out, so I packed a backpack and struck out along the Mile into Harlaxton, heading for Denton. Although I got a bit turned around once or twice, I actually made it to Denton in fairly good time, leaving me wondering what to do with the rest of my day.
At the village edge was a sign for Belvoir Castle a local attraction our professors had told us not to miss. I didn’t know how far away it was exactly, but I knew the Castle was within sight of the Manor, so I struck up along the hill determined to make it.
Unfortunately, part of the path led along a highway. If you don’t know this about British drivers, they drive as though no one else is one the road; also, pedestrian right-of-way does not exist. So as soon as I got to a bridlepath that led away from the road, I took it.
That, however, led me, probably 2.5 miles out of my initial path. At least it was safe and scenic!
When I finally arrived at the village of Woolsthorpe-on-Belvoir, I stopped in the little general store for a Diet Coke and peanut M&Ms to go with my apple, as well as some helpful advice from the young lady at the counter. The good news was that I was a twenty minute walk from the Castle; the better news, there was a bus leaving from the same store to Grantham later that afternoon!
So I made it to the Castle, wandered through on a self-guided tour, popped through the gift shop, and made it back to the bus stop just in time! I’ve never been so grateful to see a bus in my life!
This was my first time striking out on my own like this. I was a bit nervous at first, but honestly, it was amazing. The time spent with oneself and nature is so valuable. If you ever get a chance to do something like this, do it, young Hobbit!