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              Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, 29th September, 2019

'A' Walk -Distance - 11 miles.       Leader - Dennis Neal.      Grade - Moderate       Ascent -1370  feet.

Swithland WoodSwithland WoodWe start today's walk from Bradgate Country Park car park by going North to make the first climb of the day at a steady pace to the Old John Tower which sits at the top of the hill overlooking the park. We will have a coffee break here after our longish journey from Doncaster.

From this point we are on the level for several miles on good paths and tracks, passing through several small plantations and the heart of Lingdale Golf Course where we need to be watchful of the weekend golfers.

We eventually emerge on to the  road at the edge of Woodhouse Eaves where we start our second and last ascent of the day in the Beacon Hill Country Park. When we reach the top of Beacon Hill we will have our lunch and enjoy the great views.

After lunch we descend southwards towards Woodhouse Eves to join the Beacon HillBeacon HillLeicestershire Round which will lead into Swithland Wood and then into Bradgate Country Park. A final section along various tracks and minor paths will take us back to our starting point.

There is a good selection of cafés and a pub in Newtown Linford where you can relax and reflect on what should have been an interesting and enjoyable day. You can hardly go wrong in this part of the world with so many excellent paths to choose from.

If you fancy giving an 'A' walk a try then this would be a good opportunity to do so.

One more walk not to be missed.

 'B' Walk - Distance - 8.6 miles.     Leader - Tony Marsh.       Grade - Easy/Moderate.     Ascent - 1023 feet.

Our last visit to this delightful area in Leicestershire was in May 2014. So although we are all some 5 years older I hope we can all still manage to do this interesting, varied walk in and around  the magnificent Bradgate Country Park.

Newtown Linford cottageNewtown Linford cottageWe begin in the picturesque village of Newtown Linford, which sits on the edge of the parkland, and make our way upwards towards the Old John Folly which sits at some 700 feet on the nearby hillside. Once at the top we will have an early coffee break and take advantage of the best views of the day. Refreshed, we descend gently towards Lingdale Golf Course via Newtown Plantation, before threading our way around the greens and fairways of the golf course, to emerge on a minor road on the outskirts of Woodhouse Eves.

We walk through the village, passing and ignoring the busy pub as we continue to follow the Leicestershire Round Footpath across fields and along farm lanes towards Swithland Wood, once part of the vast ancient Charnwood Forest. We will stop for lunch somewhere suitable along this section of the walk.

After the break we continue though the wood for a mile or so beforeOld John FollyOld John Folly re-entering the 'Park' alongside Cropston Reservoir, and then heading westwards to skirt 'Coppice Plantation and 'Dale Spinney'. These are both areas of woodland with surrounding walls which were built to prevent the deer from damaging the young trees. We continue south westwards, walking between 'Bowling Green Spinney' and 'Elder Plantation' which will lead back to our starting point. A choice of three cafés and a pub for final refreshments- the choice is yours.

This is a lovely walk which will take you back in time to when this area was part of a vast ancient country park. Look out for the many ancient trees and the deer which wander freely in the park.

You may have been here before but there is still much to appreciate and enjoy. An easy/moderate 8.6 miles  at a sensible pace.

  'C' Walk - Distance - 6.0 miles.       Leader - Sheila Francis.     Grade - Moderate.        Ascent - 725 feet.

 We begin the day with our usual 'civilised' start at the excellent Bradgate Park Tea Rooms and then head northwards up the 'horse trail' which will take us to the west of the Old John Tower. This is a steady climb so we may have a short early break at the top of the hill to catch our breath and also enjoy the views.

 We now join the National Forest Way to walk in an easterly direction on a tree-lined path towards woodland at Hallgate Hill Spinney before crossing Roecliffe Road to leave the Country Park towards Cropston Leys.

 

At the T-junction in the path we turn left into Swithland Wood to follow the path through the woods until we meet the National Forest Way once again, which will take us back to the Old John Tower.

We follow a good track, roughly south easterly, across the open parkland down to the ruins of Bradgate Chapel and here we join a broad path which runs alongside a 'babbling brook' to take us back the start of our walk at Newtown Linford.

This is a lovely walk though this ancient park in an area steeped in history with plenty to see and hopefully enjoy along the way.

 Forthcoming Walks

                                            2019 ...                     

                                      October - 13th - Ripley, North Yorkshire

                                                             October 27th -  Matlock, Derbyshire 

                                                             November 10th - Otley, North Yorkshire

                                                             November 24th - Chatsworth, Derbyshire