Leicestershire Round – updates to the old blue guide

These notes were prepared in 2015 to update the old blue guide. We recommend that you purchase the 2017 Guide which has route alterations.

Go to the 2017 Leicestershire Round Guide

Information last updated 17/11/2015
For any information to add or correct the notes below, or questions for clarification please email footpaths@leics.gov.uk

The Leicestershire Round book was last re-issued in 1996. Since then development or other changes have affected the route in several places. This page provides an update on these and some difficult locations referred to in the book. The notes follow the same order as the book, starting from Newtown Linford and working clockwise. To check the current routes of any of the paths referred to, go to the online paths map.

Leaving Mountsorrel – (page 19) A new route has been adopted from Mountsorrel to Sileby Mill – This is a more pleasant and easier alternative route.
From the Buttercross in the centre of Mountsorrel go north along Market Place then, opposite St Peters Church, turn right onto Sileby Road. At The Waterside Inn* turn right past the lock and follow the navigable River Soar along the towpath. This passes under the A6 bypass and over a footbridge over a branch of the river. A further footbridge takes the path over the main river and along the other bank. The Sileby Marina and Mill building are on the opposite bank. Just before the footbridge over the lock this route joins the original route of the Round.
* Where the route leaves the road at the Waterside Inn, a Leicestershire Round sign has already been installed in anticipation of the change.
If you wish to follow the original route turn south along the main street. Turn left into Little Lane, an area of new housing. Turn right along a surfaced track which leads through to the recreation ground. You must now pass the front of the club pavilion on your right. Head for the far corner of the field, leave the field and continue along a surfaced path which wends its way through a new housing development. Lookout for the several Leicestershire Round finger posts which mark the way.
Crossing the A6 Mountsorrel bypass –  (page 21) The book notes that the original Round route crosses the dual carriageway on the level. Though the footpath officially goes this way, it is not readily passable and then involves a dash over the busy road. The alternative route is 400m south to an underpass, but this is not very clear on maps as only some sections of the path are official public footpath. On the ground the route is clearer. A pathway from the housing estate and house number 24 comes to the west side of the A6 dual carriageway. Bearing left, paralleling the road there is a stoney path which runs behind the housing development and then goes along the base of the embankment. At the end of the slope turn left and under the underpass then left again. There is no single path on the other side. It is possible to follow the east side of the dual carriageway and eventually re-connect with the footpath that forms the Leicestershire Round. However, from the underpass, the more discernible path is short-cut, off almost at right angles from the dual carriageway straight across the fields towards the river crossing and Sileby Mill.
 
Public house in Cossington – contrary to page 22 there is now a pub in Cossington just a short way off  the route of the Round. The Royal Oak (Tel: 01509 813937) re-opened some years ago having burned down around the time the book was last revised.
Ratcliffe College (page 23/24) – At point *7 where you turn right this is now waymarked and is after the last house on the right ‘Ambrose House’
No Public House in Thorpe Satchville – (page 38) The Fox Inn has now closed and been converted into a dwelling.
Dalby Hills permissive path – closure during the shooting season (page 42) From Burrough Hill Country Park eastwards to immediately south of Little Dalby Hall, the Round follows the ‘Dalby Hills permissive path’. This is not a public right of way but is open to the public by the permission of the landowners. They close the path for events during the shooting season on Thursdays between November and February. The guidebook and most recent Ordnance Survey maps indicate there is an alternative route for these occasions. The alternative follows the bridleway which heads north from the north east end of Burrough Hill Country Park / the west end of the permissive path. It meets a minor road just east of Home Farm then follows this road to near Little Dalby Hall. Just after the sharp bend at the Hall entrance gates crossing the road is a footpath signposted as the Jubilee Way. Turn right onto this which leads to the east end of the permissive path near the Punch Bowl Covert, where you rejoin the main Round route heading south to Somerby.
Public houses in Somerby – contrary to page 44 the Old Brewery pub to your left in Somerby is no longer available. The Stilton Cheese (www.stiltoncheeseinn.co.uk) to your right is still in business.
Mud in Owston Woods – (page 47) The book notes that the section through the Wood can be muddy at anytime of year. The path through the wood is slighten sunken but the earth banks either side may offer an easier route. The Forestry Commission, who own the Wood, have confirmed it is acceptable for people to walk off the path, into the woodland a little, to walk around the muddy sections – though the rest of the Wood is not open for public access as it is ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Alternative route avoiding Owston Woods – If the weather has been wet, you may wish to take an alternative route. At the end of Main Street in Owston turn left rather than right. After 80m take the footpath on your right. This goes through two fields following the hedge on the left, then crosses an overgrown brook. It then continues in roughly the same direction uphill across a large open field. The path heads for the hedge 90m left of the corner of the field to your right. Through the hedge the path turns right, skirts the field turning sharp left at the corner then passing right into the adjacent field. The path now runs roughly straight ahead through one field, then angles slightly right, through the next, to meet the road. Turn right along the relatively quiet road for 1.25km. After the section through the woods at the T-junction turn left and walk along the busy Tilton – Oakham road for 80m. Then turn right onto the footpath that heads straight for the Withcote Hall farm building, in the midst of which you rejoin the ‘Round’ route (beware of a large hole hidden by nettles just near the path). Note this alternative route does not have Leicestershire Round waymarks and, in a few places the route is not fully up to the same standard.
Drainage problems around Withcote Hall and Farm – Around Withcote Hall (page 49) the geography of the area compounds some drainage issues with problems on this stretch particularly after winter rain. The footpath passes through the yard of Withcote Hall Farm where there can be a mire of slippery mud and slurry. Beyond the farmyard, where the footpath skirts the Withcote Hall Lake, the path can also be very muddy. The suggested alternative route is, when at the road south of Owston Woods, to turn right or west along the road for 430m. Beware of fast traffic as the road is a cross-country route from Oakham direct to Leicester. When you reach the drive for Sauvey Castle Farm, turn left into the drive which is also a bridleway. After the farm this skirts the south side of the lake before crossing a footpath where you turn right to rejoin the existing ‘Round’ route. Note that the bridleway does not have Leicestershire Round waymarks.
Launde Abbey now open to public – (page 49) Extensively refurbished during 2010 this Church of England-run retreat house and conference venue is now open to the public most days for morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon tea; bed and breakfast accommodation is also sometimes available in this tranquil setting. For more information contact Launde on 01572 717254 (10am–4pm) email laundeabbey@leicester.anglican.org or see the web at www.launde.org.uk
Issues or queries about the Rutland section. The stretch of the Round route from just east of Launde Abbey, to the brook just before Allexton, via Belton in Rutland is the responsibility of Rutland County Council. To report on any issues or problems with this section please phone: 01572 771117 or email: rightsofway@rutland.gov.uk. Rutland County Council continue to support the route but circumstances on the ground in the Leighfield area mean the route is lacking some waymark posts on this stretch.
Peatling Magna correction – (page 84) in the bottom paragraph of the book it should refer to Holly Tree Farm (not Hollow Tree Farm) and in the third and fourth sentences about Mere Lane it should say ‘…the old boundary hedged track (Mere Lane). Turn right onto Mere Lane and follow this for 100 yards before turning left into the field to follow the hedge on your right.’
Clarification on leaving Leire On page 88 it says about leaving the village of Leire ‘Pass the White Horse Inn on your left and turn right right into Station Lane. Pass Wales Orchard on your left and continue on the track…’. You actually turn right into Back Lane. The sign post on the road states ‘Back Lane through to Wales Orchards’. This route then leads onto the section named Station Lane.
West of Leire – hedges removed (page 89) in the first paragraph after mention of the old disused railway track, it says ‘Continue up the next field close to the hedge on your right. Cross right in the top corner of the field and turn immediately left to continue in the same direction.’ However, the hedges beside the footpath were removed some years ago so it is now a large open field which you have to walk across the middle of. It isn’t possible to see the top of the field from the bottom.
Claybrooke Parva complications near the Primary School (pages 92 and 94) Clarification may be helpful because, as the last paragraph on page 92 predicted, the footpath has subsequently been diverted. Instead use the following instructions instead of the text from the last paragraph on page 92 up to the third sentence of paragraph 2 on page 94:
The route now goes through the car park of Claybrooke Parva Primary School, around the left hand side of the school buildings, to the field behind the school. Here the footpath turns right and runs along behind the school and playing fields. Now follow the waymark signs to reach (*51).
The hedge will also be on your right to start with, but shortly the path veers to the right and goes through the hedge to the other side, so that the hedge will then be on your left. Keep on this path, through the right/left dogleg until you get to (51*), which is now a converted farmhouse rather than a ‘barn’.
Pass through the gate and follow the path along the left hand side of the field, following the left-hand hedge. When you get to the corner of the hedge, you should take the footpath diagonally across the field ahead of you. Go downhill to cross the footbridge and walk uphill, slightly away from the hedge over to your left.
Fosse Way section of the Round – (page 96) Between High Cross (where the A5 meets the B4455) through to near the Fosse Meadows nature reserve, the Round route follows a track marked on OS maps as an ‘Other Route with Public Access’. This was originally part of the Fosse Way Roman road. Previously this stretch could be quite muddy. However, to improve this situation, in late 2010 / early 2011 the drainage has been improved and extensive sections have been surfaced with loose stones.
Burbage Common – After the railway underbridge and section through Sheepy Wood (page 102) the route emerges onto an open section of the Common. The route at this point is not very clear. The only waymark that is easily visible is on another path to the left. There a thin belt of younger trees which run across the common some distance away; head towards the right hand end of this area of trees. On the far side of the tree belt is an eastern finger of the golf course. There are two waymark posts either side which show the Round.
Beyond Bosworth Battlefield visitor centre – (page 106) The route around the visitor centre was clarified in Autumn 2013, having previous been rather unclear, particularly as the description in the book is rather sketchy. The route passes the western entrance of the visitor centre, as noted, then skirts the northern edge of the buildings with the main car park beyond the fence on your left. At the far end of the buildings is the main entrance to the centre. The bridleway to Sutton Cheney now goes straight ahead through gates into the field beyond and then follows the left hedge most of the way to Sutton Cheney.
Market Bosworth Country Park (page 109) In early 2011 several public footpaths in Bosworth Park were slightly
diverted. Partly this was to resolve some anomalies including on the path to Cadeby. This has also provided the opportunity to clarify the route of the Leicestershire Round through the park (see the note below about how it appears on OS maps). From near the sensory garden, the public footpath now turns sharp right to actually meet the Bow Pool lake, then sharp left to follow the track past the Country Park Ranger’s hut. The footpath has been officially extended so it now follows the surfaced paths to the north west corner of the park where it meets Rectory Lane.
Shackerstone Station Footbridge (page 114) The public footpath over the station footbridge is closed as the bridge is in an unsafe condition. There is now a diversion to the route described on page 114, see the map below. At the corner of Orange Hill Plantation, instead of crossing into the field beside the station, the path heads northwards following the fence until a stile and junction with the bridleway from Barton in the Beans. Turn left onto the bridleway (which is a concrete farm drive) and follow this under the railway bridge. Eventually you come to the entrance to the station drive, near the Turn Bridge over the canal, where you rejoin the usual Leicestershire Round route. The waymarked temporary alternative route is available by the kind permission of the Crown Estate and their tenants.
.Leicestershire Round diversion at Shackerstone
A447 crossing NW of Nailstone – As noted on page 116, this is a fast road with limited visibility for drivers and walkers due to bends in either direction. The footpath meets the hedge at a stile then descends some steep narrow steps; there is only a small space at the bottom for walkers waiting to cross. Please be very careful at this point.

Errors and clarifications on the Ordnance Survey maps

The Ordnance Survey Explorer maps are an excellent tool for following the route of the Round but there a few errors. The ones currently noted are:
Cossington Meadows Grid reference SK 599 139. Some OS maps have not yet been updated to reflect footpath changes in this area since the end of gravel workings (noted on page 22). A section of the Round route where it turns east away from the river was formerly a permitted path and is now a public footpath. Where the route turns south east towards Cossington the public footpath has been diverted to skirt the east edge of the field.
Ratcliffe on the Wreake Grid reference SK 639 150. Having turned east on to the Ratcliffe – Thrussington road the route takes the second path on the right heading south, which is the drive to Rearsby Mill. The Explorer map incorrectly shows the Round as taking the first footpath on the right. Also, this first path goes straight west off the road then angles south whereas the OS show it as heading south straight from the road.
Route within Burrough Hill Country Park Grid Reference SK 760 120 The route within the Country Park should go via the viewpoint then parallel the western ramparts of the hillfort, then continue in roughly the same direction to meet the Jubilee Way where it follows the Dalby Hill permissive path. This route is shown on the map below. The maps in the guidebook and earlier OS maps show the route as going south east, following a track south of the hill fort, then sharply turning north following a footpath and then a bridle way.
Leicestershire Round at Burrough Hill
Included here is a map showing this. The blue dashed line marks the incorrect route of the Round. The red dashed line shows where it should go. The situation is complicated here as the diamonds on the OS map on the bridleway (shown here in bright green) also correctly mark the route of the Jubilee Way which starts at the Country Park car park just off the map to the south east.
Route in Foxton village Grid Reference SP 701 899 Going west on the path within Foxton village there are two parallel footpaths. On the 1:25,000 OS map the more southerly of the two paths is marked with a diamond for the Leicestershire Round. In fact the Round route follows the more northerly path.
Edge of Burbage Grid reference SP 447 931. Where the footpath across fields meets the housing estate the green diamond on the Explorer map suggests the path goes straight ahead through the houses. As the book notes, the route actually follows the curve of Sherborne Road and then goes right along Winchester Road until it meets the A5070.
Burbage Common Grid reference SP 445 950 Sheepy Wood has spread further north and east than is shown on the Explorer meaning the path is within the wood rather than skirting its northern edge. Where another footpath diverges south west, the official line of the footpath heading north west which forms the Round route is lost in the woodland. At the point where you emerge from the woodland follow the notes under Burbage Common given under current route advice above.
Route into Barwell Grid reference SP 439 962. After several fields, the footpath comes out between houses onto Waterfall Way. The OS map shows the path continuing straight over the road following the stream on the north side. For historical reasons there is no trace on the ground of this dead-end section of path. The Round route turns left into Waterfall Way, right along St. Mary’s Ave, right along Hinckley Road which becomes Mill Street, then left into Moat Way and through the industrial estate as the OS marks clearly.
Sutton Cheney Grid reference SK 417 004. The Almhouses tea rooms mentioned on page 108 are now closed. Having just entered the village there is a footpath sign on the right pointing towards an unsurfaced lane on the left. The Explorer map incorrectly shows the ‘Round’ as following the footpath along the unsurfaced lane. Whereas to the right, just before the lane begins, there is a handgate into the churchyard where the ‘Round’ follows the church path through to Main Street. Coming from the other direction may be even more confusing as the Explorer map shows shows the ‘Round’ going right off Main Street westwards, to the unsurfaced lane, along a footpath which doesn’t actually exist on the ground.
Market Bosworth Country Park Grid reference SK 410 029. Approaching Market Bosworth the route goes through the Country Park (page 109). The footpath was diverted some years ago because of new housing adjoining the north west edge of the Park. The OS have moved the footpath but not the diamond showing the route of the Round. The Round should follow the Right of Way through the Park’s arboretum, pass near the Bow Pool lake (to your right), then head straight for the north west corner of the Park, where the main road through the park becomes Rectory Lane.
Route in Nailstone Grid reference SK 417 072. Within Nailstone village the Round follows the public footpath that runs in a jitty or alleyway south from Main Street to All Saints’ Church. This is shown on the current OS Explorer map but earlier editions marked the route as continuing along Main Street and then along Church Road to meet the footpath leaving the village east of the Church.
Route into Markfield Grid reference SK 485 096. As the route comes into Markfield the book on page 124 offers two
alternatives. The main route follows a footpath through a water meadow or an alternative up a farm track past Stepping Stones Farm. The Explorer map marks the farm track rather than the footpath as the main Round route, whereas the opposite is the case. The footpath which forms the main route is now much easier at all times of the year since drainage work, and the construction of a causeway over the boggy area.
Any comments or information to add or correct please email footpaths@leics.gov.uk

Page Last Updated: 22 December 2015


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