FWC Christmas Meal
As you can see, we all enjoyed a great Christmas Meal at The Golden Shield in Fleckney.
We are delighted to announce that our restricted Sunday Walk Programme will start on the 23rd August.
Thanks to all who have volunteered to lead a walk.
The walks will be restricted to a group of 6: Leader and 5 walkers.
Fairly local starts as Car sharing, unless you are a couple/in a bubble, are not possible.
No pub stops – Bring your own food and drink.
Follow social distancing regulations.
If you would like to join a walk then please contact the Leader the week before to let them know.
Participants will be on a first booked basis up to 5 walkers.
Meet as usual at the Scout Hut Car park at 9.30 or at the start of the walk at 10.00 if a different location as advised by the Leader.
Hope to see some of you soon!
With the lockdown still in force, and being a vulnerable person, I have not been walking as regularly as I would like. I really wanted to do Deb’s Marston Trussell to Lubenham walk but driving to a destination to start a walk is being frowned upon, quite rightly. Deb’s walk includes quite a bit of canal towpath, something else that is frowned upon at the moment. So I set about working out a route that covered most of Deb’s walk that I could do from Fleckney and that avoided the canal as much as possible. This is the result.
This walk is about 15.5 miles long.
A bit long for one of our Sunday walks but I needed to get out. I started from home and headed towards Saddington along the road. Well, pavement actually! Just before the main turning into Saddington itself, I picked up the Leicestershire Round and headed for Gumley. However, I decided to leave the Leicestershire Round just after Smeeton Gorse to go the long way round. There are two reasons for doing this. Firstly, it would lead me to the same place I was heading to. Secondly, I’d never been that way before.
I skirted Gumley Wood and just before reaching Gumley itself I picked up the Leicestershire Round again and headed for the canal. This took me past the rather smelly Sewage Works and I wondered why I hadn’t gone the direct route to the canal instead. But then I wouldn’t have spotted the bluebells in Gumley Wood!
Swiftly over the footbridge onto the towpath and along to Bridge 61. The pub may be closed but the shop isn’t as it has to service the floaters, sorry, boaters. I was now on Deb’s walk so it was past the Foxton Locks Inn and past the car park to pick up the footpath to Main Street and the junction with Gumley Road. I went along Gallow Field Road and then off onto Foxton Road. I should have picked up the footpath at the junction but for some reason I missed it but got back on track before reaching Chapel Farm.
I stuck to this footpath all the way to Lubenham. Well, there was not much chance to do anything else. I did pause for a spell at the top of Mill Hill as it is undeniably a good viewpoint. Down the hill, through the closed play park, and down to The Green and round to the main road, the A304.
I crossed the road and headed down Rushes Lane until I reached the (disused) Railway Bridge. Under the bridge and into the park to the right. This is where I had to start economising on my phone power as it was getting rather low and someone forgot to make sure his backup battery was fully charged!
After wandering aimlessly across the park I came out onto Marston Road and so turned left and went into Marston Trussell – the start point of Deb’s walk. Straight through the village and past the Hall until I reached a ‘road’ with a sign announcing that it was unsuitable for motor vehicles.
This was Scoborough Road and it led to two small houses this side of Harborough Road and one large one on t’other. To the right of t’other is the next footpath. This one sort of heads northeast and comes out on Bunkers Hill which in turn leads to the canal.
This is where I left Deb’s walk. Where she would have taken you along the towpath, I continued along Bunkers Hill up to the crossroads where I turned left along Laughton Road. Just after the road forks is a footpath leading diagonally across a field that eventually comes out into Laughton.
After a brief rest and a lovely chat with a lovely local lady I set off once more. I popped into the Laughton Pop-up Shop and purchased some sustenance before heading past the church and on to path I know well that brought me out onto Mowsley Road near Brook Farm. From there it was a straightforward slog through Saddington to home. My dearest met me with liquid refreshment in Saddington and we walked back together. I was, understandably, a little shattered!
A reminder …
All of the pictures below were taken from the above 15.5 mile walk. They were all taken in the direction of the walk, i.e. not looking behind me.
Your task is to tell me the order in which the pictures were taken (there are only 720 possible options!).
All exif (camera recorded) data has been removed from the images and they all bear the same time-stamp. So no help there.
Nobody got it right but the closest was Janet Earwaker with 3, 4, 6, 1, 2, 5.
Red or White, Janet?
Taking a peek into Gumley Wood.
One of the easier ones? The pathway from Foxton Locks up to the main road.
Looking back at St. Andrew’s Church, Foxton from Gallow Field Road.
A hard one this, the footpath leading from Welland Avenue to Lubenham.
All Saints Church, Lubenham.
Leaving Marston Trussell heading along Scoborough Road.
All of the pictures below were taken from a single 15.5 mile walk. They were all taken in the direction of the walk, i.e. not looking behind me.
Your task is to tell me the order in which the pictures were taken (there are only 720 possible options!).
All exif (camera recorded) data has been removed from the images and they all bear the same time-stamp. So no help there.
Nowadays, most of us have a “smartphone” and at least one “app” that allegedly tells us the distance we have walked. Why all the different apps can’t agree on this distance is beyond me and the scope of this article. Here, I want to introduce you to some useful apps that you may not be aware of.
what3words is the easiest way to talk about any precise location in the world. Every 3m square has been given a unique combination of three words.
The pictures above are ones I took on recent walks with the three words attached. Those of you who were on the walks will know where they were taken. Just pop the three words, including the fullstops, into the app and you will see for sure.
what3words is more precise than a street address, and easier to remember, use and say than GPS coordinates, grid references or latitude and longitude and is a really simple way to talk about a location. For example ///tortoises.zones.probable marks the entrance to the Scout Hut Car Park in Fleckney..
You can find a 3 word address using the free what3words app or online map at what3words.com. It works offline and is available in 37 languages
3 word addresses are easy to say and share, and are as accurate as GPS coordinates.
51.520847, -0.19552100 ←→ /// filled.count.soap
The developer’s vision is for what3words to become a global standard for communicating location. People can use what3words to find their tents at festivals, navigate to B&Bs, and to direct emergency services to the right place.
Walking around Fleckney, canals and rivers play a prominent role in our walks. While I was writing the text for Deb’s walk from Marston Trussell, I searched the internet for something to tell me about canal bridge names and numbers. What I found was the Open Canal Map.
I am quite impressed with this app as not only does it show bridge names and numbers, it displays them as what3words locations as well.
Unfortunately, the app doesn’t seem to have been updated recently and some folk criticise the accuracy of some of the data. But, as you can see from the image above, the data for Foxton Locks is certainly correct.
Marston Trussell > Foxton Locks > Lubenham > Marston Trussell
Walk Leader: Deborah Martin
This walk is about 7.5 miles long.
Park near St. Nicholas’ Church in Marston Trussell – there is a bit of a car park there but bear in mind that Holy Communion will be held at the Church at 9:30am.
Head into and through the village along Main Street, past The Sun Inn on to Theddingworth Road, past the Hall and continue until you reach Scoborough Road on your right. Follow Scoborough Road, over the new bridge, until you reach the main, A4304, road. Take the footpath opposite by crossing the road with care.
This footpath takes you over (or under?) the dismantled railway and onto Bunker’s Hill. This, almost straight, roadway takes you to a bridge over the canal. This is Bridge 56 (no beer here!). Leave the road and join the towpath – after the obligatory viewing of the canal in both directions from the bridge!
If you don’t get to Bridge 57 (///atomic.shimmered.foresight) within a few minutes, you’ve gone the wrong way! Hang on. Atomic.shimmered.foresight? Explain!?!
There is an app you can get for your mobile phone called What3words. It will pinpoint your location within a 3 metre square simply by using three words. Many police forces and ambulance services are already using the system. As are the RNLI and other rescue services. It removes the possibility of getting latitude and longitude figures wrong when you are trying to explain your position should anything untoward happen and you need rescuing. For instance, if you put in “tortoises.zones.probable” you will get the Scout Hut Car Park!!
Back to the plot … or at least the footpath. You should now be heading past Lubenham Lodge, and under Bridge 58 (///impulsive.blazing.panting). The canal then curves to the left before Bridge 59 and the longish stretch before the famous flight of locks at Foxton. Perhaps Bridge 61 would be a nice place to stop for a coffee – they do an excellent bacon cob!
The walk now goes past, yes past, The Foxton Lock Inn and along the road by the Lower Car Park. Take the footpath at the end of the car park that will take you towards Foxton. The path will bring you out onto Main Road where you turn right, away from Foxton, and then turn left onto Gallow Field Road. Head along Gallow Field Road until the junction with Foxton Road. Here you will see a footpath sign in opposite you on the junction.
It’s over fields now as you head towards the prison and then sharply away from it. More fields and generally downhill with lots of places to get mislaid until dropping down into Lubenham at The Green. Turn left and head to the junction, carefully cross the road to The Coach and Horses opposite. Here, the ales, beers, and coffees at the pub will refresh your tired bodies.
After a cup/mug or two, or the landlord dismisseth us, it’s left out of the pub and left again onto Rushes Lane. Keep to this lane heading south past the church and then over one bridge and under another. Pick up the footpath heading southwest for a “short amble” across more fields until reaching Marston Road. Bear left and the road turns into Lubenham Road and leads you back into Marston Trussell – hopefully without falling into the river Welland!
Pailton > Easenhall > Monks Kirby > Pailton
Walk Leader: Kathy Kilsby
The snowdrop walk: just a touch under 8 miles long.
Note: If you have walking poles we suggest you bring them along as there is one short but steep section where they would come in useful. Also, if you like taking pictures of deer bring a camera with a good zoom lens!
Park near St. Denys’ Church in Pailton (Warwickshire) and head southwest out of the village along Rugby Road. This is not a particularly busy road but there is no pavement so care is needed. When you get to it, turn right onto Cord Lane and follow it for about three-quarters of a mile. This road is much quieter although you will hear the traffic racing along the M6.
Cord Lane is fairly straight with good views of the countryside. About half-way along you can stop on the bridge over the M6 and watch the
idiots traffic hurtling past if you have a mind to! Continue along the lane until it veers sharply to the left. In front of you, on the apex of the bend, is a gateway to the first field and the footpath that leads towards, but not into, Easenhall in the same direction you have been walking. The footpath takes you to Welkin Farm and on the way you will see (some of) the village of Easenhall over to your left.
Turn right at the farm and head northwest along the track to Brick Kiln Spinney. There is a footbridge here to take you around the spinney initially and then another footbridge to take you through it. This (muddy) path curves around Newbold Revel, an 18th-century country house in the village of Stretton-under-Fosse. It is now used by HM Prison Service as a training college and is a Grade II listed building. The path veers off to the left along here and the signpost is missing a sign so it may be difficult to spot. If you find yourself at a locked gate you’ve gone the wrong way!
The footpath leads up to and over a road leading from Stretton-under-Fosse to the college. Go straight across the road and continue along the path to Dog Kennel Spinney. There is a lovely old brick bridge here that would have been ideal for a group photograph. Unfortunately, it is a little dillapidated and has been fenced off. A wooden footbridge has been constructed to the right of the brick one so it would be best to take that one!
The path now veers to the left after the stile and follows a stream for a short way before crossing it and heading through the spinney. Exit the spinney into an open field and head slightly left diagonally across it. At the far end of the field is the first of the rather crude, but effective, deer gates. These gates are a bit awkward to negotiate without help, especially for the last person through so care should be taken when traversing these gates. Go diagonally left across this field where there is another deer gate in the far corner.
The path here is narrow, overgrown, and muddy! It heads uphill parallel to the motorway. Walking poles would be handy along here. Towards the end of this section the path leads steeply upwards. In muddy conditions it can be very slippery. If you don’t have a walking pole or two then hold on to the fence to help you up. It’s only a short climb but it is very steep.
At the top you can catch your breath and look over to the right at all the deer on the farm. Cross the bridge over the M6 and about halfway between the motorway and the first farm building on the right, take the foot path to the left of the road. Be careful here as the sign for the path you want is hidden in the undergrowth.
Don’t take the deer gate to the right but go through the big gate in front of you. Head up to the top of the field and then down again keeping the woods to your right. You will soon reach a gap between the two woods of Spion Kop. No, this is not the scene of the Boer War battle in January 1900. That was near Ladysmith in South Africa!
Moving on, go through another deer gate and cross three fields of varying muddiness until you reach Coventry Road. Cross the road onto the the narrow pavement and turn right to head towards Pailton. Just after the chicane is the Pailton Ex-Servicemen’s Club. Turn in here and head for the children’s playing area where there is suitable seating for a coffee stop. Keep an eye on Janet though – there are swings here!!
After coffee, turn right as you leave the park and head north along the footpath to Monks Kirby. You should come out onto Bell Lane. Unfortunately, The Bell Inn is no longer. However, the Denbigh Arms is the place to head to. Here, the landlord is a cask ale enthusiast and tries to include one local ale amongst the four being served. It is a welcoming multi-roomed village pub that is renowned for its home-cooked food.
Sadly, the pub and its ales have to be left behind as you head north and through the village along Bond End and then Monks Kirby Lane. The grass verge on the right of the road gradually narrows. Look for the footpath on the left just before the narrowest point. This path takes you over a narrow bridge of three sleepers to Sandy Lane. Head along Sandy Lane to where it meets Brockhurst Lane.
Brockhurst Lane will take you (southeast) past the cemetery where the snowdrops abound. Continue along Brockhurst Lane until it curves to the right with an unnamed road leading off to the left. Take this road and bear right along the track just after a yellow-topped marker post. This track opens up into a large field with a single tree to the left of the path.
Cross the next field and then the path splits into three. Turn right, head up the hill a short way and then turn right again along another footpath just after the gateway. You are now heading just east of south down the map to Pailton Fields Farm and a lovely little lake that would make a nice picnic spot. Here the path splits into three once more and again you need to take the rightmost track taking you back into Pailton.
When we recce’d this walk we took time out to look at The White Lion at Pailton. This 17th century coaching inn, a once popular haunt for ghost busters, has been taken over by the village residents. The inn has been empty for over 6 years and has been vandalised inside. Good luck to the villagers in their quest.
Fleckney > Saddington > Laughton > Gumley > Saddington > Fleckney
Walk Leader: Rita Pearce (and Phil Williams)
This is multiple-choice walk of about 7.5 miles from Fleckney, through Saddington, to Laughton, and back. It’s probably been done a few times but we like it!
Starting from the Scout Hut Car Park, head out of the village towards Saddington. With all the rain and building work it’s probably best to single file along the narrow pavement into Saddington. The safer alternative is to go through the fields along the Leicestershire Round. When you get into Saddington, head past the pub and the church and follow the road to the bottom of the hill.
Here you have the second choice, continue along the road, turning right at the fork, to Brook Farm, or through (muddy) fields and along Mowsley Brook until the path joins another at right angles to it. This second path brings you out onto Mowsley Road where you turn right to get to Brook Farm.
However you get there, there is a bridleway opposite the farm. This track is surprisingly not too muddy (or it wasn’t when we checked it out). The path heads due south and takes you all the way into Laughton bringing you out by St. Mark’s Church. Follow the road past the church up to the fork in the road marked by a grass triangle.
If you ask Rita which way to go from here she will say right. So, turn left and follow Main Street up to the next fork and grass triangle. Keep to the left, the other left Rita, and follow Gumley road to … Gumley.
Well no, another choice looms before getting to Gumley. Just after the war memorial there is a crossroads. Either turn left and go down the steep hill and past Saddington reservoir, or straight on and pick up the Leicestershire Round and go through the (muddy) fields to Saddington.
Once you reach Saddington you can call in the Queen’s Head for a brew or two (I get a discount there), or head back into Fleckney and the choice of our two locals. Here’s hoping you enjoy(ed) the walk. Cheers!
Dadlington > Bosworth Field > Dadlington
Walk Leader: Andy Collins
This walk is about 6 miles long.
Starting from The Green, by The Dog and Hedgehog, turn left and cross Shenton Lane where you will see a footpath sign. This footpath is labelled the Ambion Way and leads you to the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal. This canal is famous for having no locks. Cross the bridge at the canal and take the towpath heading east.
Follow the towpath for just over two miles. You will pass under Sutton Lane Bridge (32), Geary’s Bridge (33) where the canal curves to head northwards, and thence to Sutton Wharf Bridge (34) where there is a cafe and toilets.
Continue along the towpath, now heading west, skirting Ambion Wood. You leave the wood behind after Rail Bridge (34a). The canal now curves to the right and you will soon see Bradfield’s Bridge (35).
This is where you leave the canal and head northeast along the road, Shenton Lane, towards Shenton Station. Here, there is another cafe and probably the means to de-water yourself should the need arise.
Go through the station and cross the railway – making sure there is nothing coming! Here, you pick up the Ambion Way once more and follow it around the site of the Battle of Bosworth, past the Bosworth Field Visitor Centre, and through Ambion wood.
Walking through woods for the Fleckney Walking Club is an invitation to get “mislaid” but this track should be easily manageable, even for us! When you (eventually) emerge from the woods the track follows the canal back to Sutton Wharf. You are now on the right side of the canal for the cafe.
This section of the walk along the canal is about a mile. After leaving the wharf at Sutton Wharf Bridge (34), the canal bears right and heads south. At the next bridge, Geary’s (33) take the Leicestershire Round to Stapleton Lane. Turn right onto the lane and head back into Dadlington. The lane takes you to a crossroads where you turn right onto Hinckley Road. Follow this onto Main Street and thus back to the pub for drinkies.
Fleckney > Arnesby > Shearsby > Fleckney
Walk Leader: Janet Earwaker
This walk is about 7 miles long.
Starting from the Scout Hut car park, head north along High Street, past The Old Crown and the Co-op up to the mini-roundabout. Turn left here along Kilby Road until you reach Furnival Close. Turn left into the close and head for a little alleyway ahead and to the left of you. This leads onto a footpath that will take you across a field and onto a fairly decent track heading eastish for quite a while. After this while, a the path curves to the left. Shortly after this you will see a footpath to your left that you could have taken but would be a lot muddier. Immidiately after this point is a not-too-easily-spotted path to your right. Take this path if it’s not too muddy otherwise stay on the track until it comes out onto Fleckney Road where you turn right.
Either way you will find yourself heading towards the cute village of Arnesby. Carefully cross the A5199 and head through the farm in front of you. When you come out into the open turn left and head down St. Peter’s Road toward the church. Follow the road around the church until you see a kind of fork. The left side of the fork is sign-posted as a footpath and it initially leads south and then south-east(ish) to Shearsby.
The footpath exits onto Church Lane and, surprisingly, leads to Saint Peter’s Church. A good spot for elevenses perhaps? Continue past the church to the crossroads where you turn left onto Back Lane. Continue along Back Lane until it meets the A5199. Careful here as there is no footpath. Carefully cross the road onto the grass verge opposite and turn left so that you are heading northwards. Towards the top of the hill you will see a large green gateway to your right. To the right of the gates is a stile that takes you onto The Leicestershire Round. This is horse country so expect to wade through muddy fields!
The Round brings you out onto Fleckney Road again where you turn right and head along the road to the junction with Arnesby Road. Here you have another choice: Go straight on through the gate in front of you and continue along The Leicestershire Round, or turn left and head back into Fleckney along Arnesby Road.
The footpath will take you towards Fleckney until a cross-path that gives you another choice. Carry straight on until you reach the main road and pavement-pound to the pub, or turn left along the path that leads behind Lodge Road, through the recreation park, along a very muddy path, and eventually onto Main Road. Turn right and head for The Golden Shield. If the decision to head down Arnesby Road was made earlier, just keep going till you get to The Shield.