Illustrated journeys with Lynn Jackson


Lynn records all of her Slow Ways with beautiful journal illustrations. We couldn’t resist a peep over her shoulder, plus her top Derbyshire/ Nottinghamshire recommendations

“My most memorable Slow Ways journey must be the Countryfile route between Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick. It broke many records that day for being the shortest, slowest, wettest walk in my Slow Ways experience!

There were also a lot of people there apart from the Countryfile crew, I met old and new friends Smith and Ingrina as well. The walk itself was lovely and is a perfect way to get from Leamington Spa to Warwick. But the rain! There comes a point when you stop worrying about getting wet, and just embrace the experience. Fortunately, the burger bar at the end was great and didn’t mind a load of wet walkers piling in and steaming over a burger and a coffee!

Tell us about one of your favourite Slow Ways journeys?

My favourite journey was made up of two Slow Ways routes – Newosut one (New Ollerton to Sutton-on-Trent) and Newsut one (Sutton-on-Trent to Newark). My husband joined me for this overnighter. We waited for a good weather forecast and then booked the pub.

The great thing about Slow Ways walks is that you can find one that is an hour’s bus journey from your home, and it feels like such an adventure. We got off the bus at exactly the New Ollerton starting point and immediately walked into history, leading away from 20th century mining to woodland and medieval farming, via path hollows and strip fields, while passing the Holocaust Centre at Laxton.

A cloudless sky accompanied us along empty paths and roads, through Moorhouse and on to Sutton-on-Trent. The Lord Nelson was a good stop at the end of the day – a great meal and lovely accommodation. We headed towards the River Trent – a very different character from the Trent as we know it in Nottingham: wider, flatter and more open.

The first half of the walk was as good as the previous day, but sadly didn’t continue that way. A busy country road without pavements and the ferocious A46 into Newark put paid to that. So, five stars for Newosut one and one star for Newsut one, but still one of my favourite journeys. As a reviewer you must expect to take the rough with the smooth and you can still enjoy lower-starred routes for their own peculiar reasons – if only to acknowledge you survived them!

As a reviewer you must expect to take the rough with the smooth and you can still enjoy lower-starred routes for their own peculiar reasons – if only to acknowledge that you survived them!

When did you start illustrating your walks, and why?

I have to credit this to one of my favourite walking blogs, Three Points of the Compass. Jools is a long-distance walker and has a whole section dedicated to sketching on walks. I came across it late last year and realised that I could combine my two hobbies of painting and walking together. My reviews on Slow Ways are still there, but painting makes the walk personal and is a great reminder of things that don’t need to go into the review.

Tell us about some of these Slow Ways!

There’s five-star Derhea one with Spade Man above, from Derby to Heanor, through Shipley Country Park and past Mapperley reservoir, and then the Great Northern Greenway into the outskirts of Derby.
Four-star Sanbee three goes from Sandiacre to Beeston and is a lovely canal walk with good bridges, then past the cemetery and between wheatfields, and then a golf course, and to the tram stop in Beeston. The bridge picture above is the same as in the photos below.
Ashder one, Ashbourne to Derby, started with a pleasant climb past lovely cottages to get to the rise above the town. It then became a bit of a disaster of a walk with blockages, the unused Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk, and the busy and pavement-less A52. So, one star, but I’m working on a new route this month.
And one away from the home patch – Knioxf two, Knightsbridge to Oxford Circus, is a route I added for times that Knioxf one is inaccessible when the park is closed! Leafy and cool on a hot day.

Have you got any upcoming Slow Ways journeys planned?

I have indeed! I have planned out an Edale to Matlock route that will involve another overnighter. It’s one that I have been promising myself for a while but have never quite got as far as booking. I intend walking it before the season closes in this year.

Lynn Jackson

Lynn Jackson is a retired IT professional and business analyst, and experienced walker, hiker and snowshoer (although not in the UK!). 
She walks lowland and moorland grade terrain. Before she discovered SlowWays, she enjoyed multi-day ‘point-to-point’ hikes between hostels.
She's also Bunny Rocket on the Slow Ways forum!


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