Fleckney, Arnesby, Shearsby 7 miles
There was no sign of rain when 18 of us set off from the car park in Fleckney and, luckily, the weather was kind to us for the whole walk.
We headed up Main Street and turned off onto Wolsey Lane and followed the alleyways all the way up to the field after crossing Kilby Road, Batchelor Road and Coleman Road. There is a stile at the end of the estate that needs to be negotiated to get into the field and the footpath is clearly marked. The fields here were not as muddy as expected after all the recent rain – the mud was to turn up later!
After corssing the last field in this section the footpath splits four ways. The options are back to Fleckney the way we came, staight ahead over the stile to Kilby, right along the hedgerow to Wistow, and left through more fields to Arnesby. The latter was our choice but the gate leading into the lush green fields we wanted was rather wet and muddy, to say the least.
From this point down to Kilby Road was not too bad at all. After crossing the road, carefully, we headed towards the renamed farm and it’s wierdly shaped bridleway. We are required to leave the driveway to the residence and meander right then left and through a field only to rejoin the driveway closer to the buildings. One can only assume that horse droppings are not required on this piece of road.
Once past all the buildings we turned off the bridleway and along an invisible footpath to a stile and the start of the muddy section! It wasn’t too bad to start with but where the path was enclosed and narrow the mud was widespread but not too deep.
We eventually reached Arnesby and had a quick sustenance stop in the churchyard where you could see the grooves in the stonework where soldiers sharpened their swords before and after the battle of Naseby.
We moved on to Shearsby and again encountered some rather muddy sections of footpath. When we arrived at Shearsby we stationed ourselves around the park and had a spot of lunch before heading through the village an up to the now rather quiet Welford Road. We crossed the road and picked up the Leicestershire Round which would normally take us all the back to Fleckney. However, with the amount of recent rain and the apalling footpath diversion at the end we felt it best to stick to the black stuff. So, once we came out onto Fleckney Road we turned right and then left onto Arnesby Road and headed pubwards.
Following this route, the distance from the car park to The Golden Shield is seven miles.