Monday, November 20, 2006

Shiela's Leicestershire 3-Peaks Challenge

  • Walked: 19th November 2006
  • Distance: 11.5m
  • Terrain: The clue's in the title
  • Summary: From the A511 between Coalville and Leicester, walk to Bardon Hill, then Beacon Hill, before returning via Billa Barra.
  • Time: 5.5 hrs
  • Note to self: Find out why the footpath at SK471131 has disappeared from the map!

The title of this walk is tongue-in-cheek, and based on the 'real' 3 Peaks Challenge. (In title only!) This walk was hastily-planned when we realised that the weather wasn't going to be as the weather forecast had suggested, very wet, but very pleasant and sunny. I've been up Bardon Hill and Billa Barra before, but it was with a squeal of delight that we realised that it would be easy to climb these two 'peaks', and make Beacon Hill too. We're only talking 250 metres high, but Leicestershire is a flat county. Bardon hill is apparently the highest point in Leicestershire.

There's a really useful lay-by at SK458120, on the A511 between Bardon and the M1. You have to walk back towards Bardon for a couple of hundred metres to find the footpath.

This is the real live genuine moat around Brook Farm:

Curling around to the left and picking up the Ivanhoe Way takes you to the top of Bardon Hill. This is the view from the top. Billa Barra, the third peak on this walk, is just about visible through the mist on the horizon in the middle of the picture.

Follow the road down and at the bottom, don't follow the footpath round to the left, instead, cross the track which is used by the quarry traffic and cut through to the tarmac road just beyond. At the farm, pick up the footpath. I'm not sure what's going on here, maybe a path has been moved, but according to the slightly older Explorer 245 we were using on Sunday, the right of way follows the power line to the road, skirting the ancient circular earthwork. On my more up to date Explorer, this path isn't marked, there's just the straight one joining Kellam's Farm and Upper Greenhill Farm. Hmmm.

We walk almost a straight line to a small road which goes beneath the M1. Follow some minor roads and footpaths to Beacon hill Country Park. It was disappointing to find that due to a car park close to the top of this hill, we were far from alone. A view this damn good deserves working for - not driving nearly to the top and doing the last few metres in fashionable heels!

My picture doesn't do the view justice. The strange wiggly lines in the sky are my hair, I think.

A short road walk before picking up footpaths again, through to Copt Oak. The radio masts there are good landmarks to head for. We cross the M1 once more. This is our premier motorway - remarkably quiet today:

Another bit of the Ivanhoe Way takes us back towards Billa Barra. I have to confess that we didn't finish the 'challenge' and make that third peak, due to a combination of cold, hunger, and being temptingly close to the car. This is that third peak with its intriguing crown of trees:

The route above was generated using Meander.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Map image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.


tazacorte said...

A most beautiful and invigorating

dive said...

It's beautiful; that bit of rolling countryside between your house and Leicester.
Though next time I come up, I'll be driving and wearing my "fashionalbe shoes" …

Sassy Sundry said...

That looks like a sweet walk. Lovely pictures.

Old Knudsen said...

cold and hunger, you make it sound so desperate, I wouldn't be surprised if that far hill with the trees isn't the site of an old fort.

peahen said...

Thanks Sassy - it was a sweet walk, you can see that the weather was great and the views are just lovely. It just took a lot longer than we expected - and being November, the days are really short now, hence cutting it a bit short. I'll be trying it again at some point, making sure to leave enough time to take in Billa Barra as well.

I wouldn't be surprised, Knudsen. It has a brilliant 360 degree view and so if I'd been Boudicca then I would have built a fort at the top to defend my land from the kilted savages (Or have I got several bits of history muddled up?)