This circular walk to the east of Leicester follows a section of the Leicestershire Round. The walk visits the villages of Somerby, Thorpe Satchville, Owston and, of course, Twyford.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D)From the village church of St Andrews (grid ref. SK729100), take the tarmac path to the right of it, in a northerly direction until you hit the Great Dalby Road. Turn right onto it and road walk until you drop down into a dip. Ignore the bridleway and pick up the footpath immediately after the discontinued railway line. Follow this footpath almost due north, up the slope, and after crossing the minor road drop down the dip and up again to St Michaels and All Angels Thorpe Satchville. Go to the right of the church and turn right once onto the side road. When reaching the Great Dalby Road again cross straight over and walk down Bakers Lane. You are now on the Leicestershire Round proper.
(1)Continue along the lane until you reach a junction with a minor road, coming in from the left.There is also a track continuing on in the same direction as you have been walking. But ignore these; turn right and walk down the slope with a view of Burrough Hill on the horizon. Continue on down the slope, cross the road and then you swing to the right as you reach the base of the fort. You then pass through a gate and swing back left as the Leicestershire Round parallels the south-facing side of the fort. Look for a gap in the gorse and bracken and walk to the top, explore the Iron Age fort and enjoy the views from the summit whilst having a tea break.
(2)Retrace your steps and continue along the base. The Round then swings round to the left up a rough track and after doing so go off immediately to the right and through a farm gate next to an enclosed wood. Next coming up on the left you have a choice of footpaths, the first cuts straight across the field, which is usually badly cut up because of the farm animals in it, or the second (the Round) takes you down a track, but eventually you have to veer to the left across the field to reach the gate. Once through, follow the hedgerow until the next field boundary. Carry on in a northerly direction and then the path reaches Rise Hill Spinney where it drops down a steep slope.
(3)Two thirds down the slope, take the path off to the right through the wood (this doubles up as the Jubilee Way as well as the Leics Round). This wide wooded track is usually muddy as it is north-facing and never sees any sunlight. After a distance of 1.5 kilometres (almost a mile) though it feels longer you pass through another farm gate and out into the open. The path curves off to the right and then you re-enter Buttermilk Hill Spinney where the path continues right and then you are faced with a short, sharp, steep climb with some wooden steps provided near the top in order to make it easier to ascend in wet weather.
(4)After this lung-bursting effort (and a fine example of alliteration) the Round continues almost due south. Follow the hedgerow and then you will see a access gate slightly off to the right with a copse just behind it. Go through the gate, drop down to cross a stream, within the copse, and then straighten up back onto a southerly direction. Apart from one kink the footpath will take you directly into Somerby. There is a bench placed conveniently nearby and also the village has the Stilton Cheese pub, equally nearby, which offers good food and real ales for the discerning drinker.
(5)The second half of the walk initially continues along the Leicestershire Round. To start walk down the lane to the left of the village school, which is also nearby. Soon you are in open countryside and you continue in the same southerly direction. Eventually, the path parallels a stream to the left. The path then crosses the stream (after about 1.5km from the start) and follows the headland to the right and then left, crosses the hedgerow almost immediately to have it on your left. The path continues its southerly direction and with the exception of one left-hand kink in it there is no variation until a junction with a road.
(6)Go left and road walk into Owston. At the t-junction go right, ignore the first footpath sign, but follow the bridleway immediately after. Continue along in a westerly direction until just short of Owston Lodge Farm (now a riding school) where the bridleway leaves the track off to the right. When you hit the road, the bridleway continues to the left of White House Farm. The next thing you will see is a railway viaduct and the route passes under the left-hand arch. Continue along with the hedgerow to you right, passing a discontinued chicken farm.
(7)On reaching the road turn right and then pick up the footpath to the left. Cross the footbrige and follow the sign to the right of the farm buildings. Go across the farmyard to the next hedgerow, climb the stile, go to your right and over the next stile and the road should be in sight. Once on the road, follow it to the left, it then curves slightly to the right and the church will come into sight on your right hand side. I hope you've enjoyed yourself or selves.(A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Twyford village church
1 : km 3.35 - alt. km 3.35 - Turn right at road junction
2 : km 5.03 - alt. km 5.03 - Iron age fort
3 : km 6.06 - alt. km 6.06 - Take righthand path through woods
4 : km 7.07 - alt. km 7.07 - Continue due south
5 : km 9.49 - alt. km 9.49 - Walk down lane left of school
6 : km 11.87 - alt. km 11.87 - Turn left along road to Owston
7 : km 16.3 - alt. km 16.3 - Turn right along road
D/A : km 17.64 - alt. km 17.64 - Twyford village church
Twyford is a quiet Leicestershire village to the East of the City of Leicester and to the South of the Town of Melton. It has one pub, The Saddle. There is an hourly bus service (Centrebus No. 100) from Leicester. Bus Times can be checked on the internet. The walk follows a section of the Leicestershire Round.
Tony Kellett suggests a slightly modified version of this walk. Rather than going round Burrough Hill we followed the Leicestershire Round track up to the fort at the top where the views are wonderful. Tony also notes that the Stilton Cheese Inn in Somerby was excellent - a CAMRA pub of the year with a charming landlady who really knew her beer and a menu with 15 home made puddings of very high quality!
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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