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Leicestershire Walk
Great Glen, Burton Overy, & Illston

County/Area - Leicestershire

Author - David McMahon

Length - 11.0 miles / 17.9 km

Ascent - 500 feet / 152 metres

Time - 6 hours 0 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SP655975
Lat 52.571388 // Long -1.034988
Postcode LE8 9GQ (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Great Glen, Burton Overy, & Illston
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This circular walk starts from Great Glen and visits three villages to the east of the City of Leicester, with Great Glen being by far the larger. Great Glen is on the Arriva X3, Leicester to Market Harborough bus route. See website for bus times.

The starting point is Great Glen's village green opposite the Old Greyhound Inn. Walk back along the old London Road towards Leicester. Very soon you will pass The Yews pub. Immediately after, go through the gate to the right. The left hand diagonal path takes you to the village church of St Cuthbert's. However follow the right hand one that parallels the hedgerow and go through another gate to your right. This brings you into Hewitt Close, which leads on to Sence Crescent. Turn left along Sence Crescent to reach Main Street. Cross the road and continue the length of High Street and go to the right.

Take the path to the Recreation Ground and swing to the left and pass through the gate. The bridleway continues around the perimeter of the football/cricket pitch until you are on the opposite side. Just after the gate there is a stile which gives you access to the pitch and you can cross it, but it is not recommended if there's a football game/cricket match on!

From there on is a wide lane which takes you into open country and is more or less a straight run until you reach the old Roman Road (grid ref. SK660003). As you progress you will see the tower of the church of Stretton Magna, the sole remaining building of the medieval village which once stood there. Unfortunately it's on private land.

Once you reach the road you need to do a road walk to the right. Alternatively, as it is a narrow and busy road it is safer to walk along the headland of the field which will bring you out just short of the bridge over the River Sense. Continue along and eventually there is a wide grass verge you can use.

On reaching the T-junction go straight across and follow the bridleway along the left-hand side of the hedgerow for the length of the field. Although it looks as if the path continues straight on, you need to turn left to the next corner and go through into the next field. Carry on in the same direction, but to the right-hand side of the hedgerow. At the end of that field you go through a gap and cross over to the left-hand side of the hedgerow. Continue along on the same side until you ?reach the road (grid ref.SP671988).

Cross over the road and follow the footpath along the hedgerow. Eventually, you will climb two stiles in quick succession and then angle off to the left. You will see a yellow post at the end of the hedgerow. Continue past it and aim for the far right-hand corner of the field. You will spot the stile just short of the corner to reach Washwood Lane with Burton Overy off to the left.

Continue along this lane into Burton Overy. Reaching Main Street, turn left. Go right into Carlton Lane. As you climb the slope you will pass a footpath sign to the left. Ignore this and continue along the road until it reaches a left-hand bend. Here go through the farm gate to the right and then climb the stile to the left of the barn. Follow along the path, dropping down the slope. After crossing the footbridge ascend the slope angling off slightly to the left. Near the top of the slope you get back onto the road via a farm gate.

Carry on to the village of Carlton Curlieu. When you reach the T-junction, turn left. Continue a short distance and follow the signpost indicating a bridleway off to the left. Walk along this until you reach a road (grid ref. SP698892). Cross the road and go through two farm gates. Follow the hedgerow as it curves off to the left. Pass through two more farm gates and then go slightly off to the right as the bridleway climbs a slope. Follow this usually well-marked bridleway until you see a yellow marker post at the top of the slope. Once reached, turn right. Drop down a slope and go through a gate. Carry on through some trees and then another gate bringing you on to the bottom end of Ilston. The Fox and Goose pub is further up the slope on the left-hand side. Food is only sold on certain evenings, so you have every chance of eating your own food in the daytime, either inside or out, if you ask politely.

Return to the aforementioned yellow marker post to begin the return journey. From this point as well as the bridleway you've just used there are two footpaths. One footpath continues along the hedgerow in a westerly direction, but the one you need is halfway between the two. Carry along until you reach the hedgerow and find the well-concealed stile. Next is a short walk to another stile and then facing you is a wood which conceals Illston Grange. Also to the left is another copse. Your route is diagonally between the two. Once over the slope you aim in the direction of the driveway to the Grange.

Cross the road and follow the footpath on the same diagonal through the first field. There is no post or waymark to aim for in the second field, so aim for a gap in the hedgerow and after that aim for the far left-hand corner of the next field. More of the same for the next field and this will bring you out onto a road. Go to your left, cross the cattle-grid and take the stile on the right immediately afterwards. Maintain the same diagonal as previous and you will come out onto the road just above Burton Overy by the previously mentioned footpath sign. Bear right and you are soon in Burton Overy.

Turn left along Main Street. Pass an attractive white-painted thatched cottage which was at one time the village Post Office. Carry on past it and then turn right at the village Coat of Arms into Town St. At the far end it joins up with Beadswell Lane.

Right in the corner you will see several wheelie bins and immediately behind them a high privet hedge. The narrow footpath is to the left of it and very quickly you're out of the village. Go to the right of the trees and follow on until you're walking parallel to Burton Brook. Once you reach the road, go right and you will pass the driveway for the alternative walk and then you will reach your starting point.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. Travel restrictions for exercise in Wales and Scotland will be lifted in early July.

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