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, July 11, 2013

Illston circular via Burton Overy, Little Stretton, Kings Norton.

Thu, 2013 Jul 11 9:32 AM British Summer Time - finished at about 1pm. 
Just over 8 miles. With Gordon. Fine sunny day, rollingly hilly. Good underfoot, some paths not clear on the ground.

Exploring more of the many paths around Illston.  This time we take the left hand path after the small rough field at the southern end of Illston. This goes through the middle of the field, and is fine and wide through the growing wheat.
We follow it downhill and up in front of Illston Grange, which lies on our right as we walk.

The path leads to the road - a metalled section of the Gartree Roman Road - and crosses it. We carry on in a southwesterly direction until we reach another minor road. We stray slightly from the route, then find the cattle grid and the path signs. Over more fields to the road down into Burton Overy.
I like these brickwork patterns
We walk straight on past the Bell - too early anyway. After a couple of hundred yards we find the footpath sign on our right. We pause to say hello to a solitary walker indulging in a peaceful coffee - he tells us he's on his way back home.
The black sheep family
We head north west to the opposite corner of the field and carry on in this direction until we meet the road between Kings Norton and Great Glen. The path becomes bridle way, and continues along the field edge past a couple of houses marked on the map as The Cottage. We go pretty well straight and up hill, then have a break before making our way by an unintentionally devious route to the road junction. I blame paths not made good and clear for our straying.
At the junction we take the road towards Little Stretton - this is the busiest stretch of the route, but it's not long.
Our next footpath sign is at the end of a drive on our left. Public Footpath for 420 yards it says.  It goes right into Little Stretton past a pond on our left and a big house and some smart barn conversions on the right.
In reflective mood
We cross a small field of shade-seeking cows. From the path we can nearly see the church.
The cows move considerately out of our way, and we take the path behind the church and into the small village.
Little Stretton Church -with sunny bench
We turn left along the road and follow the footpath through the hedge on our right.  At first the path follows the hedge, and the grass is quite long. We concentrate on finding our way through, and don't see the path which has been made good.  We discover it when we get to the other end of it!
For the rest of the way into Kings Norton the way is clear, though there is another short section of road.  It's warm and sunny - we have another break outside the church. 
Kings Norton church shows its less imposing non sunlit side
We walk down the road from the church, and at a left hand bend take the public byway, which runs in a straight line through fields and a couple of gates to Burton Overy Lane.
I stop to take this pic once I'm through the gate. Now all I can see is the anatomical detail of the calf's rear end.
There are more fields with cows, most of whom are wearing collars - at first I thought "Cowbells - how odd?" but they were not bells.  Could this be the explanation? Their own GPS tracker.
At Burton Overy Lane, we look back at the churches of Kings Norton and Gaulby, which dominate this area.

A short walk along Burton Overy Lane brings us to the crossroads with Gartree Road. The footpath through the hedge on our left takes us behind Illston Grange, then down hill and up along by the hedge and back to Illston.
One of the horses at Illston Grange.
Map and details - ignore anything after the 8 miles- return to start.

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