Sunday, January 06, 2008

Snarestone, Odstone, Newton Bergoland, Swepstone

  • Walked: 6 January 2007.
  • Distance: 8.7m
  • Total time 3 hrs
  • Terrain: fairly flat with a slight climb
  • Summary: circular walk starting from Snarestone, to Odstone and Swepstone.
  • map: Explorer 245

Today was the perfect winter walking day. The sky was crystal clear and a beautiful blue, the sun was shining, and although cold (there was frost on the ground in places all day today) the air was dry and reasonably still, so it didn't feel too cold.

I last did this walk about a year ago

Much of this 9-mile circular walk is on road, but they are quiet roads with decent views.

This is where our path joins the Ashby canal. Canal towpaths are good for walking, they're flat and always passable, regardless of the time of year. The Ivanhoe Way is well-marked.

This particular stretch of the Ivanhoe Way from Shackerstone to Odstone is a bit muddy at the best of times. I remember having trouble getting under this bridge once before, but this time it was completelyy flooded. Luckily it wasn't too difficult to get up the bank, over the bridge and back down the other side.

Once past the bridge, the track is still horribly muddy. It's been used by 4-wheel-drives, and so is really churned-up with deep ruts and huge puddles. I'm going to contact LCC because this is a stretch of the Ivanhoe Way and the Leicestershire Round but it has become very unpleasant for walking.

The track takes you uphill for a bit. Still very muddy, but the views from the top of the hill, just before arriving in Odstone, are wonderful. The sky had started to get a little bit cloudy, and the sun was beginning to set. This made for a great-looking sunset. At Odstone, this walk switches to road. It was quite a relief to be on a good surface again!

After Swepstone, we cross some very young National Forest (just planted).

A few more fields takes you back to the starting point at Snarestone.

The stats and route below were generated with 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.


dive said...

Snarestone, Odstone, Newton Bergoland, Swepstone, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb?
How many times have I been to Ashby? I never even knew you HAD a canal!
And those stupid Chelsea Tractors should be confined to the school run and banned from the countryside. It really is a shame.

peahen said...

You have to go a few miles from Ashby to get to the route of the canal. There's been a lot of restoration work recently to re-open the canal - now that the pits have closed, tourism is a big industry, and the canals that used to carry the coal, ore and clay from the mines are now used by holiday makers. There's more of the canal now open than is showing on the OS map, but even so, and rather ironically, the bit that's still not open is the bit that comes closest to Ashby!

I don't like Chelsea tractors either - there's no need for a vehicle that size. I only saw one Chelsea tractor complete with middle-class family inside. Other vehicles I saw were older Landys and more serious off-roaders which I have far more respect for. Unsurprisingly, the posh one was having more of a struggle with the route than the off-roaders.

If that's the way people like to spend their Sundays, then I'm all for them doing that. It's just that it's a bit incompatible with walking for the reasons I've illustrated, and LCC are including this route as part of 2 of their major well-promoted walking routes.

According to the OS map, it's a bridleway, and I think that means that it may not be open to motor vehicles. if that's true, then either that needs to be enforced, or LCC have to find an alternative route for their walks.

dive said...

Damn right, Pea.
Those idiots can go to one of the innumerable off road experience places to churn up mud rather than cutting up bridleways.
Farmers drive Landy's because they need to; townies drive 'em because they are dickwads.