Released: February 2015
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 220 x 120mm
Author: Clive Brown
Written by Clive Brown, Walks for all Ages Leicestershire & Rutland features 20 circular walks of up to 6 miles, suitable for all the family, that have been carefully chosen to deliver an enjoyable day or half day in the countryside.
Describing the local area at the start of each walk, the author then provides a detailed description of the walk with snippets of information as you go along.
Including Ordnance Survey mapping and superbly priced at just £5.99, Walks for all Ages - 20 Circular Walks in Leicestershire & Rutland is the perfect accompaniment for a stroll in the region.
01. Baggrave Park - 4½ miles
02. Bagworth Incline - 4¾ miles
03. Bisbrooke and Uppingham - 2¾ miles
04. Bosworth Field - 6 miles
05. Braunston-in-Rutland - 3¾ miles
06. Burbage Common - 2¾ miles
07. Burrough Hill Fort - 3 miles
08. Cossington Meadows - 2¾ miles
09. Exton Park - 4¾ miles
10. Great Central - 3 miles
11. Holwell Mineral Line - 2½ miles
12. Holygate Road - 4 miles
13. Ingarsby Hollow - 4¼ miles
14. Leicester and Swannington - 3 miles
15. Moira Furnace - 3¼ miles
16. Old Dalby Wood - 3¾ miles
17. Old John Tower - 3½ miles
18. Rainbow Bridge - 3¼ miles
19. Saddington Tunnel - 4¼ miles
20. Sheet Hedges Wood - 3¼ miles
Footpaths and rights of way in Leicestershire are possibly the most comprehensively marked tracks in the country. It is unusual if a signpost does not mark where a footpath leaves a road. It is perhaps more unusual if a marker post, which has the top 12 inches painted yellow and is therefore very easily seen, does not mark a stile or other significant point where a decision about direction needs to be made. The book contains just a small selection of walks within the county; other suggestions about where to walk include Bradgate Park, Watermead Park, Beacon Hill and Sence Valley Forest Park.
Three Iron Age forts grace the skyline in Leicestershire; Burrough Hill, south of Melton Mowbray, Beacon Hill north of Leicester and Breedon on the Hill in the north-east of the county. The National Forest had its beginnings in the last years of the 20th century. Before the project started only 6 per cent of the area contained woodland. The company’s aim is to increase the cover to 33,000 acres/135 square kilometres, particularly in locations that were once rural countryside that have been devastated by mining and excavation for quarries. The National Forest Way is a meandering 75-mile (120km) long trail, running from Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Communications within the county benefit from some excellent infrastructure. The Midland Mainline Railway from Sheffield to St Pancras passes north–south through Leicester, crossed by the east–west Peterborough to Birmingham railway. The Roman road, Watling Street, now the A5, forms the south-western border between Leicestershire and Warwickshire. It used to be crossed close to Leicester by Fosse Way, running between Lincoln and Bath. Nowadays this route takes the Leicester western bypass and continues along the M69.
The county has more than its fair share of reservoirs, from the enormous Rutland Water down to the smaller drinking water reservoirs like Thornton, built during the middle of the Victorian era. Cropston and Swithland also supply drinking water, but the reservoir at Saddington provides water to keep the canal at the right level between Foxton and Leicester (see walk no. 19). All of the reservoirs are now havens for wildlife. Eyebrook has an interesting claim to fame; in 1943 it was used to represent the German reservoir and dam at Möhne, so that the crews of the ‘Dambuster’ Lancasters could practise before their historic bombing raid.
The city of Leicester’s name appears to have derived from the Old English Caer Ligora or ‘Castle on the Soar’. The Romans called their settlement Ratae, and it was the site of a bridge carrying the Fosse Way over the river. Leicester had been classed as a city with a bishop controlling a diocese in Saxon times, but lost this status during the struggle between Danes and Saxons. It did not become a city again until 1919 and a diocese and bishop were not restored until 1927 when St Martin’s Church became a cathedral.