30th December, 2018

For our last walk of 2018 Kathy took us back to Thurlaston for a modified version of one of Dave’s Thursday evening jaunts. We parked up in the car park of The Elephant and Castle and set off in a westerly direction, through the sports ground before heading south towards Normanton Park. We crossed the bridge over the M69 and strolled along Thurlaston Lane for a while (this stretch seems to be a favourite with fly-tippers!) before hanging a right then a left and heading up the steep climb to the top of Croft Hill. At just over 400 feet it’s not the highest part of Leicestershire but there are excellent panoramic views of the countryside from the top.

Here we met some of the runners of the annual Huncote Hash – a race organised by the Huncote Harriers that has been running since the mid 1980s and is a ‘back to basics’ cross country race with low entry fees and no prizes, other than the soup and a roll that everyone receives regardless of where they finish. The race covers approximately 10K and takes in local footpaths around the village of Huncote in Leicestershire, including a climb over Croft Hill and the odd skirmish into the stream. Snow, ice, frost, mud and even sunshine have all graced the Hash over the years.

We decided to make Croft Hill our coffee and lunch stop before heading downward and northward back to Thurlaston and the welcoming Elephant and Castle for a very pleasant brew.