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!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Belton in Rutland circular, via Launde Abbey

Thu, 2014 May 15 9:40 AM  BST With Harry. Quite a trek, lots of up and down, (900+ feet of climbing) great views. Coffee at Launde Abbey. Very fine day - got hot in the pm. Around 12 miles. 
Ready to go

We park in the village and walk past the church. We are hailed by a friendly local, who recommends Launde Abbey for a coffee, and says there'll be a fine view from the ridge.We divert slightly towards the Loddington Lane, to admire the view and the houses, before returning to our route along the road signposted to College Farm. This heads nornorwest past Bluestones Farm, where a farrier is shoeing a horse, and a small yappy dog makes itself known.

As the road bends left we take the bridleway slightly right,  heading slightly east of north, then slightly west as we climb up to Ridlington Ridge. I go in search of the trig point at 191 meters, but don't find it - again. Two women on horseback overtake us while I wander. i hear a lapwing, but don't see it. We see them turn right later towards Leigh Lodge.
a mighty river
We walk down to the mighty River Chater, and soon afterwards our route follows the Leicestershire Round along a bridleway to our left. Back to the river, and some muddy walking, before we go through a gate and diagonally uphill through a field of young wheat, where our path is just about clear, though I end up with wet trouser legs.
A meter wide?
At the top we follow the marker posts down towards Launde Abbey, and, since it's well past 11 we treat ourselves to a coffee, and let the waitress persuade us to buy teacake and Danish as well. Swallows are nesting under the eaves.
 Then, refreshed, we set off to tackle another crossing of the river, and climb a small hill with great views all round, before descending to Withcote Hall.
Views all round from this hill

We intend to take the first footpath on our right, but it's not well signed. We take the second and then make our way over. More careful map reading required now, since we've left the Leicestershire Round and I haven't walked this section before.
The path goes through fields, and is marked. I think we should have turned just before the outbuildings, rather than taking the path between two fences. It makes its way eastwards and crosses a very minor road, where we turn right and then left almost immediately. Again we head east and arrive at a slightly busier road, just on a bend. We take the bridleway heading south and follow this as it crosses a footpath, turning south east, then east.  This section takes us along a slight ridge then past some woodland called Top Windmill. At the end of the wood we turn left and follow a path then a track slightly downhill and north east towards wood Lane, Braunston.
Recent hedge-laying

We make a very sharp right turn just before we meet the road to the village, and we join the Rutland Round, heading roughly west of south.  We cross a field of sheep, then head uphill along the edge of Priors Coppice.

At the top of the hill, by the road to Leigh Lodge, we pause  for lunch, and more liquid. A cuckoo is calling close by. The first I’ve heard this year, though Harry heard them earlier.
We  cross the private road and head down past more sheep, until we reach yet another small road.  The path goes into a field and downhill diagonally to the left, coming back to the road just at Leigh Lodge.
Forget-me-nots and pink campion

Now we follow the road for a good mile as it climbs up to the ridge.

At the gates we turn left, and soon take a footpath on the right which takes us down towards Belton.

We join the road from Lambley Lodge and have one final short climb back into the village.

Map and details

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