and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Leics Round 1 - Foxton to Bruntingthorpe

With Marta. Grey, but no rain. Chilly wind. Muddy in places. Lunch at Fleckney. Almost 10.5 miles.
Lock Keeper's Cottage Café Foxton
A great start to the day was coffee and a slice of fruit cake at Foxton Top Lock before we walked down to the canal towpath at the bottom of the flight of locks,  and our official starting point for the Leicestershire Round.

Here's a link to some audio files

We walked over Bridge 62 and turned along the tow-path north, away from the Locks area.  After a few hundred yards we crossed the footbridge, with its Leicestershire Round waymark and headed across the fields towards Gumley with  the church spire and the tower of Tower House visible in the woods.
The path climbs up to the village and leads on to the Main Street, where we turned right and walked up past Tower House and St Helen's Church.

We took the path by the church and near the wood, across a couple of fields to Debdale Lane. 

We crossed this small road, going downhill quite steeply, then up again by a small wood called Smeeton Gorse.  We arrived at the top of Smeeton Hill, where there is a bench.  Today the views of Saddington reservoir were much clearer than in summer.  The reservoir and channels were built to feed the canal.

A little grey, but lovely rolling countryside around Saddington.   And yes, we had to go up to the village.

After going through Saddington we mad our usual mistake and ended up a little too far  north, coming out near where the road forks to Fleckney on the left and Kibworth on the right. We walked a little way back to pick up the Leicestershire Round across afield to a gate part way along the hedge.  From here you can see a clump of trees, hiding a pond.  We made for the left hand side and then for the corner of the houses on the edge of Fleckney.

We decided it was lunch time, and walked an extra mile and a half or so to the Crown in Fleckney.  

We returned and picked up the track we needed which turns southwest at the corner of the housing, and heads upwards.  Once we joined the hedge we walked with this on our right for a while, and then on our left as far as the next road.

We crossed the road and walked straight ahead on a minor road for a short distance before turning on to the footpath to the left.  For most of the way ahead the path is fairly clearly marked, and took us through various fields with cows and horses, before climbing up past New Inn Farm, and on to the A5199.  We crossed this and walked along for a short distance to the road into Shearsby.
Shearsby church seen from the A 5199

perched on a hill
At Shearsby we took time for a mini-break, and a chat to a couple who have walked the Round before. There are convenient benches on the wide roadside verge.
We walked through the village, along Back Lane and Mill Lane and past some cottages which look like the model for a jigsaw puzzle.
Just outside the village the Leicestershire Round path turns right into a field.  We kept close to the hedge - it is the route, and kept us from disturbing the cows too. The path here was fairly muddy.   In the next field we kept the hedge on our right, and turned slightly left when we came to a small wooded area.  After this spinney, we crossed the hedge, which was now on our left. We went gradually downhill, and passed more trees on the left, before crossing a very big field - the line is marked by the signs.  In the next field, the path follows the hedge and joins a clear farm track alongside another two fields, before curving to the left and leading into Bruntingthorpe via Little End.  
1716 Tithe Barn in Bruntingthorpe

Next leg's starting point.

Map and details

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