Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ivanhoe Way (part of) (part 3)

  • Walked: 1st April 2007.
  • Distance: 12 miles
  • Total time 5 hrs
  • Terrain: some inclines
  • Summary: circular walk starting from Odstone, through Nailstone and Bagworth, and around in a circle.
  • map: Explorer 245
  • Nature Watch: More trees are starting to show signs of life, and we spotted two butterflies, a red admiral and a bright yellow one, which did look a bit bewildered in a 'where is everyone' kind of way. Even at this early stage in the season, the ground seems parched and cracked.

We fancied a decent Sunday afternoon walk (less than 15 miles) and I wanted to continue my fragmented offensive on the Ivanhoe Way. Starting at Odstone (where I left off last time) and continuing for several miles, around in a circle; the route planned itself. For something with such little planning, this was a really pleasant walk.

Maybe this was a particularly exposed route, or maybe it was particularly windy, but I did find myself (more accurate to say that Roger pointed out that I was) compaining a lot about the persistent and annoying strong breeze.

The first part of this walk is once again part of the Leicester Round as well as the Ivanhoe Way, but be aware that the wayposts only tend to only mention the former. However, the paths were good and pretty easy to follow.

This is the unusual tower / spire at Nailstone.

The Ivanhoe Way / Leics Round are a bit difficult to follow here, they disintergrate into a number of small footpaths through Nailstone. The idea is to walk around the back of the church through the beautifully-kept graveyard and cross a road to pick up the IW / LR. Across some fields, and we find this very new piece of National Forest - so new that there aren't actually any trees, but this polo-shaped pond will be nice when there are things growing around and in it. There's a bit of a hill to climb here, but the view from the top is far and wide and beautiful.

We go through Bagworth, which although conjouring up images of a major with a curled handlebar moustache and a shotgun over his arm, is a rebuilt mining village and feels depressingly like a dormitary. The other side of Bagworth, the Ivanhoe Way passes under a railway line via this pretty bridge.

Today we left the Ivanhoe Way at the Quarry - this isn't the same one that you look into from the top of Bardon Hill (see Leicestershire 3 Peaks) but is close by, just the other side of the A511. I enjoyed this beautiful piece of PR - a tree recognition chart, which tells you about all the wonderful trees they've planted to screen off the quarry.

And here we have the enormous hole in the ground:

From here we have a wonderful view of Billa Barra with its crown of trees at the top - again see Leicestershire 3 Peaks:

Having left the quarry and crossed a road, we walk alongside a railway and eventually cross it. I can't believe it's possible to walk across the tracks with nothing more than a 'be careful' sign. Even though you can see a long way, you really do feel pretty vulnerable when you're half way across.

This is one of the nicest bits of National Forest we've seen. The trees are particularly well-developed, and now really starting to green up. Signs mentioned a 'Birthday Walk' (I guess 10 years of the NF?) - a 10-mile route. Note to self - investigate this further.

And this, I guess, is the end product of the National Forest. it's nice to see that it's being harvested already.

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.

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