Fleckney, Saddington, Gumley, Laughton 9 miles

Map of John's walk

As usual, we met at the village car park (///loses.always.huts) and set off just after 9.30 a.m. for what was to turn out to be a terrific walk with a hilarious conclusion!

From the car park we headed off towards Saddington and through the Persimmon estate to pick up part of the Leicestershire Round. This route over the fields to Saddington was a little squishy and a great deal of mud had found it’s way to the double gate between the two fields.

From Saddington it was over Smeeton Gorse – yes that big hill! We continued along the Leicestershire Round all the way to Gumley. There is a library in the telephone box on the left-hand side if anyone fancies a read or has books to swap.

We then took the bridleway that is more or less opposite the telephone box. We went through a gate and headed along a long narrow paddock to the far end. The next field descended steeply to a gate, it was a little muddy here and beyond the gate it was very boggy. There was a wooden walkway on the right, but this was overgrown and unreachable without getting bogged down!

The bridleway continued through fields and onto a track. We crossed the track and kept going with Gumley Lodge on our left until we reached a stile. Here, the bridleway strangely finished and continued ahead as a footpath. Here also is where one of our number showed her athletic prowess by leaping over the fence. Well, maybe not so much leaping, but a bit more like clambering. 

Once we had all regained our composure, we continued straight ahead over three more stiles (and fences for our athlete) and four fields until we reached the road. We took the path opposite that led us diagonally across the last field on the outward section. There is a new gate here that avoids having to go through the woodyard. We turned left after the gate and headed for the seat by the telephone box – with a working telephone in it! This is always a great place for a rest and a coffee. Marmite decided to pop to the farm to get some eggs.

When everyone was ready we took the road opposite and went past the scenic little church of St. Luke’s on the right. If you venture on this walk, take a close look at the interesting thatched wall running around much of the graveyard, it is made of mud! We headed right, past the church along a rather muddy pathway to come out onto a track where we turned left. We could have headed anti-clockwise around Laughton along Main Street from our picnic stop, turned left at the triangle in the road, and then picked up the track without getting muddy, but where’s the fun in that?

We went down the track, through a gate, and then uphill for a short while. This is pretty much the highest point on the return leg and the views are fantastic!

We were now heading back towards Saddington and took the second gate on the left that we came to. This is a permissive way and it can be a bit muddy in places, and it exits onto Mowsely Road.

We turned right at the top and headed along the road. Just past “The Grange”, is a path on the left. The “proper” route would be to follow the left edge of the field down to the bottom corner, then turn right to follow a brook on your left. You would cross a stile and continue alongside the brook to reach a footbridge. Watch out for the falling tree here! Cross the footbridge and go right up the bank into a field. Follow the hedge on the left across two more fields to reach the road. The last section of this field can be very muddy at times as there are a lot of horses kept here. Cross the road and take the path through the stables, turn right onto the road and then right again into The Queen’s Head – the designated pub stop. On the day we decided that due to the amount of rain that had descended on the Fleckney area, we were better off on the road. This turned out to be a wise decision as the view of the fields from the road confirmed that in parts new lakes had formed! The Queen’s Head turned out to be a scene of more acrobatics much hilarity!

After a good share of refreshments, it should have been the well-known mile-long trek along the Leicestershire Round from Saddington to Fleckney. However, we decided again that, as our footwear was now quite clean, we would continue along the road into Fleckney. We did so and turned left onto Western Avenue and followed Elizabeth Road onto Gladstone Street then headed down Edward Road and took the footpath just after number 67. Lo and behold, we found ourselves in the car park of The Golden Shield and it would have been rude of us not to call in for a beer. Here the hilarity continued but I’m afraid if you want to find out the details of the merriment you’ll have to join us on one of our adventures!

The walk was about 9 miles long and had a fair amount of undulation and a few stiles (or in some cases, fences!). Walking poles became a very handy addition on this walk, but things would be much easier on a dry summer’s day.

Some pictures from the walk