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, May 14, 2015

Illston-Rolleston-Gaulby-Kings Norton

With Maureen and Gordon. Weather much cooler and windier than the last couple of days. But no rain.
Something over 7 miles.

We set off from Illston village hall, walking back to the main road past the village, and taking the footpath from the junction over fields of lambs and a few cows. All clearly waymarked, leading us past Barn Farm and on to the B6047, near New Inn.

We crossed this road, walked a few yards to our right, and went past the Lodge into the Rolleston Hall estate, with its fine avenue of horse chestnuts - all in bloom, but lacking a fine blue sky backdrop today.  We passed sheep and lambs grazing in the fields, the stables and other houses, before turning to the left along a gated road to Billesdon. 

A couple of gates later our path headed off to the left, across one field, then along a second one, past a field full of young calves, eventually reaching Cranhill Farm, which is now a collection of rather fine houses.

At the road (B 6047 again)we turned right for a short distance before taking the gated road to Illston. This is a quiet road, and on our left was a fine bluebell wood. The smell was sweet and strong.

We walked past one footpath on the right and then came to another sign for two footpaths. We took the one going slightly to the left, through a gate covered in ivy, and sporting two horseshoes.
Billesdon Coplow 
This took us behind Ashlands, (more sheep and lambs) and then to a path downhill just inside a wooded area. At the end of the wood, the path goes right into a field, but keeps close to the edge. After another couple of fields with a hedge on our right, we came to the minor road between Illston and Gaulby. We turned right, and made our way uphill to Gaulby.  Luckily the benches were on the sheltered side of the church, and we had a very pleasant break - a drink and scones provided by Maureen.

From Gaulby to Kings Norton is a flat half mile or so on a quiet road. Then we turned left and downhill along the road to Illston. At a bend to the left we took the bridleway straight ahead, through more fields of sheep and lambs, and then one with masses of cows. 

We left them behind to complete this section on a track through arable fields, with a few dips and rises to keep the blood moving.

At the road (Burton Overy Lane), we turned right. Before long we reached the crossroads, and turned left, and almost immediately climbed a stile into a field (more sheep and lambs).

 The path leads behind Illston Grange, then downhill through an arable field, and up again toward Illston itself. We took the path which leaves the village street and houses on our left, and it eventually emerges via a "fat-man-squeeze" (kissing gate) not far from the village hall.

A few drops of drizzle decorated the car windscreen as we set off for home. 

Map and details

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