If you drive through Doddington towards Benwick and turn right at the junction marked Whittlesey you will find yourself passing over a small bridge, a quick left at the bottom of that bridge is my local, little piece of paradise.
The left turn takes you right alongside the River Nene between two bridges with a backdrop of beautiful gardens and houses. The old graveyard on your right is full of long forgotten graves, leaning among a dense bed of nettles, the pathway leading you through to the more recent graves where a wonderful woman I had the pleasure of knowing named Christine Thacker now rests. The pathway goes on taking you past many gardens while the other side of the river homes agricultural fields and a few scattered barns.
Butterflies, dragonflies, birds, ducks, fish, insects are all in abundance here and the turquoise flash of a kingfisher can often be seen soaring along the bank. It is peaceful, calming and excellent therapy!
I often take my younger Son Harry here to feed the ducks, they are most attentive and very comfortable with human presence. We also walk the dogs here at times through the summer. In distance, it isn't a very long walk but you can spend hours here lost in the natural display that greets you.
The weather today was glorious, so I took the Floods Ferry road home from town this morning and detoured into Benwick with my moleskin and camping chair. I set up my chair approximately halfway down the bank where an old willow hangs, it wasn't long before I felt like Snow White; ducks at my feet, birds singing and butterflies circling around me, I began to sketch the sunlit scene before me. I felt a million miles away from it all and it seemed I had been lost in my spot for ages, so you can imagine my surprise when I returned to the truck and realised I had only been away from it for 35 minutes!
Visiting the river at Benwick always makes me feel refreshed and grounded, like a secretary it seems to file all the mixed up paperwork in my head and like a tonic it lifts me.
Magic water?...Some would say that it was indeed magical, made so as a gift from God in remembrance of Mary Ireton (otherwise known as Gresalda) to allow the community the power of foresight.
I certainly feel more able to tackle what the world throws at me after a visit to this beautiful spot along the Nene!