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!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Knossington and Launde Abbey

Thu, 2013 Mar 14 9:44 AM Western European Time 
Led by me, with Barry and Maureen. Beautiful morning, grand views. Afternoon cloudy but fine. Hilly and muddy. lunch at Launde Abbey, Distance: 9.67 miles.  732 feet of climbing. Superb views from the high points.
Barry finishes the first ascent, with Knossington in the distance

Another beautiful blue-skied day, and we mean to enjoy it.   We leave Knossington on the Owston Road.  When we reach the first right hand bend we carry straight on  down a track past the Manor House, and down to a stream. There are no footpath signs at first, but before long we find one. From the stream we climb up for some fine views, then down to a footbridge, and up again to meet Owston Wood Road.   Most of this section of the walk feels very remote, and there is no sound of traffic apart from the occasional plane.

We turn right and walk  along the road for a quarter of a mile.   Our footpath goes off to the left, just where the road bends to the right.  We walk with the stream on our right, across a couple of fields, and in the third field we cross the stream at a gap in the hedge.  We keep the hedge on our right, following it left then right and up hill slightly to another gap.

We wander slightly from my original plan – there are two paths which converge just before Owston,  but we meet the second one (the Leics Round path) a little earlier than intended.  Not a big problem, so we turn sharply to our left and follow the Leics Round.  It’s clearly marked, and takes us southeast over fields, passing the corner of the woods, then uphill a bit until we come to the path into the woods.  Very straight, very wet, very muddy, downhill, then up.

We look back at the muddy path in Owston Wood

onward and upward

By now we’re more than ready for a break. The sun’s shining, the trees outside the wood shelter us from the wind and make good backrests. Irresistible.

the view from the southern end of the Owston Wood path

Picnic spot 

Withcote Hall - listed and has seen better days
The muddiest part of the walk - part of the Stud Farm
Nevertheless, we can’t hang around all day, so we follow the path,  down the avenue of chestnut trees as far as the Tilton – Oakham Road, then across, and along the farm road to Withcote Hall.  The path goes through a farm yard, where there are lots of horses – there is a stud, but they are “destocking” according to the men we spoke to.  The next few yards must count among the muddiest paths we have ever walked, though this record is being broken all the time.

We wander again, round the end of the lake, and catch a glimpse of the chapel.

Could be idyllic
There's a church or chapel as well. According to the link it's open every day and worth visiting.

Clouding over

We return to the path, and head for the top of the next rounded hill, 172 metres (about 560 feet) high.  We go down the southern side to a footbridge over the River Chater, then climb up a gully and down towards a cattle grid near Launde Abbey. 

Launde Abbey - excellent coffee/tea shop.

In the interests of research we decide to try the coffee shop here.  Ever wary of spending a penny too much, I ask the waiter, Neil, whether we can get "just a coffee". No problem. We start to remove our boots, and instantly Neil passes us boot covers. 

Alison models this year's footwear
We order coffee, and look at the menu - the baguettes look tempting. We decide to  go for it. The coffee arrives - a very large pot for two with milk separate. Barry gets a pot of tea. The baguettes come complete with salad and coleslaw. Highly recommended.

We wonder if we'll finish this walk!  By the time we're ready to move the sky is lowering a little.
William Blake sky

We follow the Leics Round path. From the cattle grid you walk a short distance along the road then turn off to the right going east, over fields to the edge of Launde Park Wood, then diagonally over the next field through a gate, and over the river Chater again.  We keep the river on our right and join a wider track. Very soon we leave the Leics Round path and head left, north east along a footpath, this takes us through the edge of a small wood, and we turn left along a ridge, heading west, then north west.

We should have followed the clear path waymarked, but instead carried on and arrived at a very minor road, just at its highest point.  We turned right and at the junction our path lay directly ahead,  wending its way past Windmill Lodge and back to Knossington, via the Braunston Road.

I do hope you're going to wipe your feet!
A fine house in Knossington
Map and details


Roy Norris said...

Great footwear, 'British Gas issue' obviously.{:))

aliqot said...

Very trendy!