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!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Illston circular via Kings Norton and Gaulby

Tue, 2013 Jul 9 1:04 PM British Summer Time
Led by me, with Harry. Very hot and sunny. Mostly v dry underfoot apart from short woodland section near Ashlands. Over 6 miles in fact - 403 ft of climbing.
Illston church

From the southern end of Illston village, we take the footpath (not the bridleway through the gate).  We walk over a rough enclosure with a few sheep, and in the first field make sure we keep to the right hand path.
This goes downhill by the hedge, through a gate, andover a stream before climbing through a cultivated field towards Illston Grange.  We keep the buildings on our left, and cross a couple of fields - more sheep and the odd horse. After the building we cross a large field, to the left of a large clump of trees. The footpath goes to the opposite corner and reaches a crossroads.
We take the Gartree Road,  a Roman Road, no longer used by traffic, though we did see one four by four.

We follow this rough road down as far as the ford, and shortly afterwards we take the footpath as it goes through a narrow pasture, then strikes uphill - through ripening rapeseed. Though the path is clear to see it's not easy walking with plants grabbing your ankles.
The waymarkers are easy to see, and take us directly to Kings Norton Church.  This time we meet a woman who lets us in to the building.

In 1843 and again in 1850 the spire was destroyed by lightning.  The church with its tower still dominates the landscape.

There is no stained glass, and the inside has a wonderful airiness - especially on a sunny day.

Lunch under the chestnut tree on a small green outside the church, then on towards Gaulby - the church is closed, but once again there is little stained glass.

We notice the grave of a 13 year old John Cecil, son of the vicar, who "died at Oakham School" in 1899.

We walk through the village and downhill on the Illston Road, turning to the left to take the footpath at a right hand bend. The footpath hugs the field edges, then enters the edge of woodland before passing behind the splendid Ashlands.
We come out on to Ashlands Road, and turn right. We follow this road back to Illston.

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