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, October 10, 2015

Braceborough, Greatford, Shillingthorpe Park

 Sat, 2015 Oct 10 1:19 PM BST.
Recce for part of a possible longer walk. Grey, but dry and good conditions underfoot. Just over 4 miles.
Braceborough Church
Braceborough has an interesting past. According to Wikipedia
Braceborough Spa, rising in the grounds of Spa House,[4] was popular in the Victorian era for its natural spring waters. A bath house was built in 1841, and Doctor Willis treated George III here for his 'madness'. His royal patient stayed in a wing of Shillingthorpe Hall nearby, now demolished; there is a tablet in Greatford Church commemorating his stay. 
Shillingthorpe Hall was built in 1796, possibly as an extension of the asylum at Greatford Hall run by Dr Willis.

The walk was taken from an article by Will Hetherington in Rutland Active magazine.


I parked near the church and I extended the walk a little at the start, by taking the footpath  east which joins the farm track, instead of the path directly across the field heading southeast. They both join the Macmillan Way, though it's not brilliantly signposted. This takes you to the road into Greatford. If you wish to visit the church you will need to make a short detour from this route. See pictures from this previous walk. (That route is not possible, since the footpath over the railway has been closed.)

In Greatford, turn right into Greatford Gardens and walk along to the end, where the gates and boundary of Greatford Hall are protected with some vicious looking razor wire.  Follow the footpath to your right, and then left through the trees. Turn right at the end of the woods. This is where I saw a few fallow deer on the field nearby.  I've seen them around here before.
They stood and watched me briefly before moving off.

You follow the edge of the field for a short distance before turning left and across fields to the path through Shillingthorpe Park.  I met a group of walkers using the same footpath - this doesn't often happen round here.

The house, where George III is said to have stayed, and which was used as a convalescence home during the Second World War was demolished after the war, and the parkland is mainly used for cattle.  The track runs uphill through the woods and on to open fields with views to the east.

Tractors have been busy ploughing recently, but only one of these paths was across a field, and that one dry.
The path leads down to the Greatford to Carlby Road.
Cross this and take the quiet road back into Braceborough.
When I was there there were lots of free apples and pears on offer - one with the sign:
"Help yourself, but if you use the ladders it is your responsibility." Another requested donations for the Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

I also had a brief chat with a beekeeper, who unfortunately had no honey with him to sell, but was moving bees.

Map and details

3 comments:

Ida Jones said...

A good recce and some lovely autumnal shots along the way.

darkdreamer said...

Looks like a lovely walk

aliqot said...

It was very pleasant - hoping for some sun next time!