Travel at a Natural Pace; Enjoy the Journey

Laxton, Nottinghamshire

Need to Get Somewhere?

Even when we favour the natural pace of travelling along The Winding Way, all of us will have occasions when we need to get to a specific destination for an agreed time. With the right attitude there is often the opportunity to combine such journeys with the philosophy of The Winding Way.

This was brought home to us recently when we had to make a 250mile round trip in a day for a family event. We had to travel from our home in Nottingham to a village in North Yorkshire in time for mid-morning coffee. On a Sunday morning by motorway it is usually a comfortable, if somewhat uninspiring, two hour trip. As it was a fine, but cold, spring morning we decided we would take the more scenic route fort the first part of the trip through the Dukeries.

That route took us close to a part of Nottinghamshire with which we are not familiar. In particular I had been planning to visit Laxton, the only village in England (so they claim) still using the open field system of agriculture that predates enclosure and modern farming.

We set off early so that we could divert to scout the village in preparation for a future trip to explore it properly and to determine the best time for photography. The diversion only added a few miles to our trip but was in the spirit of The Winding Way. It took us off the beaten track and the scenery on a bright early morning, about 8am, created a feeling of well-being. True to The Winding Way we gained so much more because we discovered enough to make a future weekend trip worthwhile; yet it is only half an hour from where we live.

As we left Ollerton we remembered that we ought to visit the May Day celebrations around Wellow’s Maypole, perhaps the tallest in England. Just outside Laxton itself we were reminded that we had never visited the The Holocaust Centre. We are intrigued by how it came to be located in rural Nottinghamshire; a good excuse for research and a future excursion.

Laxton Visitor Centre LD15006Laxton itself is a pleasant Nottinghamshire village of red-brick cottages and houses that invites further exploration. We found the Visitor Centre but we were much too early for it to be open (9am to dusk). The board outside confirmed that we will need to spend much of a day there to do justice to the walks around the historic fields and other places of interest.

After our short break we carried on in particularly good humour to join the A1 and complete our time-constrained journey. But The Winding Way was not done with us. Just after leaving Laxton we spotted the lazily turning white sails of a working windmill against the deep blue sky, Tuxford Windmill, which we clearly needed to add to our future exploration of the area. Then Tuxford itself cried out for us to visit. We now had no time to stop but what we saw from the road suggested it would be well worth a visit.

We were then on the main highway of the A1, the old Great North Road, now just another multilane dual carriageway. We had done no more than twenty extra miles and added perhaps 40 minutes to our journey. All we had done was to cut a corner off by travelling cross country but it gave us plenty to talk about for the rest of the journey; to plan how we would revisit the area and explore at the natural pace of The Winding Way. That short diversion had lifted our spirits and made an ordinary journey interesting. So leaving just a little earlier and using the time to explore the byways close to our main route meant that a short diversion had made a routine journey part of The Winding Way.

So next time you have to be somewhere, think about leaving a bit early or taking a little longer on the way back to explore. Slow down, relax and use it to spend some time exploring The Winding Way; you will get to your destination in a more relaxed frame of mind. Be mindful as you travel; you never know when you might pass that way again.

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