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Leicestershire Walk
Countesthorpe, Willoughby Waterleys & Bruntingthorpe

County/Area - Leicestershire

Author - David McMahon

Length - 9.2 miles / 15 km

Ascent - 500 feet / 152 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SP585954
Lat 52.553308 // Long -1.138629
Postcode LE8 5PT (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Countesthorpe, Willoughby Waterleys & Bruntingthorpe
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Countestorpe is a large village six miles to the south of Leicester. There is a regular bus service Arriva 85 from Leicester St Margarets Bus Station. To start the walk go south along Main Street, with St Andrew's Church on your right. Continue through the left and right-hand bends and walk south along Austrey Lane, which is on the corner of the second left-hand bend.

Walk along Austrey Lane and when you reach a field aim for the furthest point away from you. Go through a gate and this becomes a narrow enclosed footpath. It finishes with another gate where you go left with the hedgerow on your left-hand side. Continue straight ahead along this well-marked footpath through several fields, which will take you to the right-hand side of Westdale Farm.

Go along the driveway, passing the farm on your left and into the field straight ahead. Follow the hedgerow and then take the right-hand footpath (grid ref. SP584938). Cross the field slightly right diagonal and aim for the right-hand corner. At the time of writing there is a fenced off enclosure which is home to a crop of very long grass. You have the option of going through it or bypassing it to the right. Once you reach the far corner, there is a gap which will bring you onto a lane.

Turn left and then follow the footpath sign to Willoughby Waterleys (1.75 miles) as it goes sharp right and then swings around to the left. When you reach the end of the path go through the metal gate into a small field and then over a stile onto the road. Turn left and walk through the village of Willoughby Waterleys to reach a road junction at the southern end of the village (grid ref. SP576919).

Here you have a choice. Either turn left and pick up the footpath almost immediately on your right-hand side, or continue ahead along the road and pick up the footpath further on, on you left-hand side. The two options lead onto a well-signposted footpath through a number of fields to cross a well-defined track (Mere Road). Continue until you reach a field with telegraph poles in it. Aim diagonally to your left, toward a copse of fir trees. Go over a stile and through the copse into another field and then aim to the right of the church at the other end. Climb the stile and follow the footpath as it swings to the left and brings you out into Peatling Parva.

On the other side of the road is a large driveway and the onward path is to the left of it. Go along this enclosed footpath into a field and carry on in the same direction into a wood. Follow the path, over a footbridge and up a slope into a field. Turn left and follow the headland as it curves back to the right. When you reach a yellow post go diagonally to your right across the field and at the next field turn sharp right and follow the hedgerow until you reach a road.

Go straight across the road, through a gate and follow the hedgerow along until you reach a tarmac path. Here again go straight across and take the path which will bring you into the grounds of St Mary's Church, Bruntingthorpe. Walk past the church and go to your left to reach the road. The 'Joiners Arms' is further along or you can walk back to your right round the corner and you will find the other village pub 'The Plough.'

To continue the walk head north along the road and you pick up a section of the Leicestershire Round to your left (grid ref. SP601901). At first, you go slightly diagonally right then the route swings back north and ignoring the footpath off to the right by the wood it is a straight well-signposted path until you reach the crossroads when the path goes right across a concrete bridge (grid ref. SP593920). Take the footpath to the right on the other side of the crossroads; turn left in the field and then aim diagonally to the right of All Saints church. Find your way into the church grounds and through the white gate and follow the grass track which will bring you into the centre of Peatling Magna.

Turn right onto the road. Go past 'The Cock Inn' and you will find the footpath on the edge of the village, just past the telephone box on the left hand side of the road (grid ref. SP593927). The path goes diagonally to the right and is straightforward apart from one kink to the left and later on watch out for a yellow post indicating the path goes off diagonally to the left. The path take you to a road (grid ref. SP588947). Turn left along the road back into the village of Countesthorpe.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers

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