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, June 7, 2013

Illston on the Hill circular via Rolleston, Gaulby and Kings Norton

Thu, 2013 Jun 6 9:27 AM Western European Time 
Led by me, with Eddie, Maureen and Gordon. Rolling countryside, fine, chill wind, then warm sun. 9 and a half miles. 579 ft of ascent.
This is almost the same as the walk I did with Barry in April. 

From the Village Hall, walking past Oak Farm, and The Acorns to a T-junction. Across the road is the path. We almost miss our route, as the yellow post is hidden behind grazing cows!  
Back on track and through a field of sheep. One lamb seems to think humans are good news!

We cross a footbridge and walk uphill and north east to Barn Farm. 
We pass a big house called simply The Farm,  where we join the road (B6047).
We turn right and after 100 yards or so we turn left into Rolleston Park over the cattle grid and along the drive lined with horse chestnuts. 
At the end of the drive they are herding sheep - shearing time. 

We keep well back, but if anything we're helping make sure they go the right way.  We pass the stables and the dairy, and the signposted track to Billesdon on the left, and then the footpath to the left which leads past the Cranhill Farm development.

We walk up the drive to the main road (B6047) again and after about 50 yards we turn left along  the "gated road to Illston".  It's delightful with its cow-parsleyed verges and trees.
Just before the remains of a gate, our path turns off to the right and follows the hedge a short distance before turning left to go behind Ashlands, a mansion built in 1867 in Tudor style.  It's surrounded by manicured lawns and trees and has views over towards Frisby and Billesdon.  
They're holding on to their luck

We walk downhill to a grassy track with a small wood on our right. 

We follow the instructions!

We walk along two sides of the wood and then keep the hedge on our right through three fields, swinging left at the end to join the lane which goes to the right and up the hill into Gaulby. 

We have a break at the bench outside Gaulby churchyard.
Line up, folks, time for the group photo!
We take the road to Kings Norton, passing some fine houses and the church comes into view.
We should have waited for the others at the junction,  instead of turning left to the church. Luckily we have mobile phones, so no harm done. They were the ones with the car keys too! 
Shortly after the church, along the road towards Illston, the footpath goes off to the right.  We walk across a field and past a small hollow. The route lies between the two wooded areas.  Then it's clearly marked.
Tedding and windrowing while the sun shines

Looking back to Kings Norton Church
We keep to the higher ground passing some small wooded areas on our left.  In the fourth field the path swings round to the left and downhill to meet a track which follows the Roman road, Gartree Road.  We cross the footbridge on the right hand side and turn right along the footpath to Burton Overy.  The path follows the stream for a few fields. Just before Burton Overy, we turn left through a maze of gates and take the path east.

It leads behind farm buildings and uphill through fields until it reaches a minor road. A small obstacle of dried manure - unfortunately I reach the stage , where, to misquote Macbeth, "I am in ****  stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”   Here we turn right for a hundred yards or so.

Ash tree

You can just make out the two churches of Kings Norton and Gaulby.
We arrive at the crossroads and look for the footpath sign just across the road and to our right.
spot the sign
The path goes behind Illston Grange, where we meet a few nattily dressed horses.

We follow the path slightly northeast along hedges and through fields into Illston. 
Map and details

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