With Marta, About 6 miles. Dull but dry, some sun later.
I haven't been looking forward to this section, since I know a good couple of miles go through the area where new houses are being built at Priors Haw. not the most scenic walk just now, though landscaping is promised, and there is a conservation area well marked out.
Our first task was to find the spot where the walk could be picked up from the book, so we made our way to the churchyard to take the metal gate leading to a path over the brook.
The path takes us over the brook and up towards the houses of Church View.
We turn right and go past the pub, then walk to the corner. We ignore the footpath sign at the corner and turn right. In around fifty yards there is another footpath sign on the left, which leads to a road then through a gate and along a path towards the A43.
We cross and find our way on the path through the embryonic new housing development. I'm sure this will be more agreeable in five years or so.
Now it's back on the paths as they have been for years - a footbridge, two deerproof gates, a road, then down to Kirby Hall. http://www.theheritagetrail.co.uk/stately%20homes/kirby%20hall.htm Elizabethan splendour catches brief sunlight in the hollow.
It's the birthplace of the above mentioned Lady Louisa's Finch Hatton husband.
Windfall apples cluster round a tree but they're too bruised to harvest, and the road curves into the avenue of horse chestnuts leading to the hall gates.
We climb the hill, look back and then walk down across the grass, startling a hare almost underfoot.
After the clustered stiles in the dip, we go up the last hill of the day - it's dry now, not ankle deep in mud as it can be. At the gate we take in the view once more, before heading down the dusty track and into the village.