Sunday, 14th July, 2019
Fleckney > Newton Harcourt > South Wigston > Blaby > Countesthorpe > Kilby
Map and Elevation
Walk Leader: Janet Long
With most of The Fleckney Walking Club away up north for the weekend, Janet Long took just Rita and myself for a short walk to Countesthorpe. Yeah, right! Just a short 17 miles!!
From the Scout Hut car park, head through the village, past the allotments, and onto the footpath to the right of Leicester Road opposite Croft Cottage. This footpath takes you through a few fields and brings you out onto Kibworth Road. Cross the road carefully and navigate a couple more fields until you reach the canal at Crane’s Lock. Pop over the bridge and turn left and walk along the towpath for miles. About 5.5 of them.
Pass close to Newton Harcourt, where the new eco-monstrosity is being built, past locks and bridges until you arrive at Kilby Bridge and The Navigation. Stop? No! Keep going along the towpath until you get to Crow Mill Bridge. Here there is a picnic table, or the remains of one that had been set on fire! Pause a while, eat and drink whatever provisions you thought to bring with you and then set off along the towpath once more.
To be fair, we were given the option of shortening the route at this point and just head south to Countesthorpe. However, the extra “mile or mile and a half” seemed a lot more interesting – it turned out to be more like 2 miles but who’s counting?
When you get to the bridge over the canal holding up the B582 (Little Glen Road) there is a pathway to the left just before the bridge. This path takes you safely onto a pavement along said road until you reach a fork in the road where you bear left along The Ford passing The Glen Parva Manor – the steaks smelled delicious!
Follow the wide path southwards past Glen Parva Moat and over the River Sence via a large footbridge. Continue through fields until you reach Mill Lane Farm. Turn left along Mill Lane for a short distance (about 600 feet) and then head south along the Guthlaxton Trail.
The trail brings you to the outskirts of Blaby where you turn left along Hospital Lane and traverse the lane for about 400 feet. Immediately past a large oak tree on the left is a footpath that takes you south to Ash Spinney. Take the footpath to the left and then where the footpath turns left again take the smaller path to the right. This path takes you south east past the railway line where you end up in a housing estate. Fight your way eastwards through the maze of streets until you come to Leicester Road by the mini roundabout.
Just across from the island is a footpath that heads parallel to Leicester Road for a while before bearing right around the edge of a field. The path continues to zig-zag past sewage works and eventually leads you back onto the canal at the lock by Taylor’s Bridge. Turn right on the towpath and waltz along for three-quarters of a mile until you reach The Navigation. This time there is no excuse – it’s refreshment time!
Once refreshed, take your life in your hands along the A5199 (Welford Road) for about a third of a mile. Heave a sigh of relief when you find the footpath on the left-hand side of the road as it means you made it in one piece!
The next mile of footpath takes you to Kilby, and The Dog and Gun. It would be impolite not to call in to relieve oneself and top up with more liquid fuel!
The final leg is a simple 2.5 mile, mostly downhill, slog through field after field. Some of the stiles are a bit awkward but all are negotiable. The path brings you out by the Library in Fleckney and from there it’s just a short hobble home!
Thank you Janet, it was a great walk and we all had a bit of fun and a laugh.