Leicestershire Border Walk – part 11

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Lubenham – Bringhurst 12 miles (19 km)

I had extended section 10 to finish on Leicester Road (B6047) so it was easy this time to do total bus yet again today. The X3 from Leicester to Market Harborough dropped me at the hospital stop where I could use footpath A24 and its bridge to access the canal.

Nevill Holt Hall from footpath B65a

Nevill Holt Hall from footpath B65a

But I must start this description from Lubenham. We leave opposite a striking black and white building constructed in 1876 as a Hunting Box with stabling for twelve hunters. Gore Lodge known also as The House that Jack Built, now offers B&B.

The plateau site north of the village was ideal for an airfield built in 1941-2. It was used by the R.A.F. until 1946. Traces can still be seen as our path crosses the site.

Great Bowden Hall flats from the canal

Great Bowden Hall flats from the canal

It turned out to be a fairly easy walk starting along the well used level and stone surfaced towpath then a short cross field section to Great Bowden. It was also the return of more attractive and interesting terrain. A bit early in the walk but Great Bowden offers a shop, tea room and inns which may be more tempting if you have walked from Lubenham.

Rectory House Great Bowden

Rectory House Great Bowden

The next stretch is along Welham Road but there can be no through traffic as you will discover when crossing the Langton Brook by a narrow bridge. Easy it is but tiresome it becomes so I was pleased to cut the corner along a footpath across pleasant pasture. We are walking parallel to the boundary here, just a couple of fields over to the right.

The clock at Welham church was stopped but I’m assured that it will soon be repaired. The Old Red Lion could offer lunch but I’m on a tight schedule so pass by. The next path takes the walk along side the small river Welland which marks the boundary with Northamptonshire.

The Old Red Lion at Welham

The Old Red Lion at Welham

This walks gets better by the mile. Medbourne is a secret gem of a village with much to attract the eye including the Nevill Arms, a walk beside the Medbourne Brook then over the ancient bridge. The interior of the church is also worth exploring and a village shop offers an alternative to the Inn.

Entering Nevill Holt

Entering Nevill Holt

Just a mile up the road we pass through the ever open grand gates to enter Nevill Holt and we are close to the highlight of this walk, Nevill Holt Hall owned by The Cunard shipping family from 1876 to 1912. In 1919 the hall became a preparatory school but this closed in 1998. In 2000, it was bought and restored by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross and we get a grand view as the footpath almost crosses his front lawn. (Navigational note. The Definitive footpath used here was badly overgrown at the time of my visit. Although the area appears to be well waymarked the footpath was difficult to follow.)

It’s down hill from here but still gems to be discovered at Drayton. The church of St. James is the smallest consecrated church in Leicestershire, externally a rather uninteresting former chapel of ease which appears to have an assured if perhaps under used future. Close by stands the village hall, well it did when I passed in 2014. From a distance I managed to read the sign on the door “Do Not Enter – Dangerous Structure”.

Drayton village hall

Drayton village hall

Yet again I had ignored contour lines and hence it came as a surprise that the next settlement stood atop a small but perfectly formed rise. Clustered around the church the iron stone houses made a congenial setting at the extremity of this Leicestershire peninsula, close to Corby.

The sections ends here but I’d just missed the hourly bus to Oakham so decided to press on to Great Easton but more about that in stage 12.

Bringhurst walk's end

Bringhurst walk’s end

Go to the next part of the walk Part 12 click here

Go to the Leicestershire Border Walk home page

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