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Medbourne and Nevill Holt

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Medbourne and Nevill Holt
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 13 Aug 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Medbourne and Nevill Holt Walking Guidestar1 Medbourne and Nevill Holt Walking Guidestar1 Medbourne and Nevill Holt Walking Guidestar0 Medbourne and Nevill Holt Walking Guidestar0 Medbourne and Nevill Holt Walking Guide
Leicestershire, Market Harborough
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Medbourne and Nevill Holt
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Medbourne and Nevill Holt Walking Guide boot Medbourne and Nevill Holt Walking Guide
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A 4.5 mile circular walk from the small village of Medbourne in Leicestershire. Having explored the centre of the village with its medieval Packhorse Bridge and pretty church, the route leads you out through arable fields to reach the nearby old mansion, Nevill Holt. The paths through the estate give you great views of the chapel, stable block and mansion, as well as the beautiful pieces of sculpture that are dotted around the grounds. The return leg follows a quiet lane which leads you back into the village. The route is incredibly peaceful and you will have lovely views throughout.

The route has several long and steady climbs and descents throughout. You will be following a mixture of stone and grass tracks, field paths (which can get muddy) and tarmac lanes. The vast majority of the route is livestock free, ideal for dogs, with just one very short stretch through a sheep pasture so take care with dogs at this point. You will need to negotiate a couple of bridle gates and one kissing gate, but there are no stiles on route. Allow 2.5 hours.

The village of Medbourne is located about 6 miles north-east of Market Harborough in Leicestershire. The walk starts and finishes at the Packhorse Bridge in the centre of the village, alongside St Giles Church and on Hallaton Road. There is some roadside parking within the village, including on Main Street and on Rectory Lane, but please park with respect for local residents. Approximate post code LE16 8DR.

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Walk Sections

Start to Leviathan Wood
Start to Leviathan Wood

Start point: 52.5297 lat, -0.8235 long
End point: 52.5372 lat, -0.821 long

The walk starts at the Packhorse Bridge, which connects Hallaton Road with the churchyard. This multi-arch medieval bridge spans the Medbourne Brook and is thought to date from the 1200s. The smaller road bridge alongside, would once have been the ford crossing within the village.

Cross the bridge to enter the churchyard where you will find a choice of three tarmac paths. Take the left-hand of these, which leads you through the churchyard passing the church on your right. You will emerge out into a small side road. Keep straight ahead, passing the Village Stores on your left to reach a T-junction with the main road.

Turn left and follow the pavement heading north. At the edge of the village, where the pavement ends, simply continue ahead along the road, taking care of traffic. You will cross an old brick arched bridge, leading you over the line of the former railway. About 250 metres later, where the road bears right, fork left onto a narrow tarmac lane, signed as a field road to Blaston.

Follow this lane ahead, which soon dwindles to a stone track, passing Leviathan Wood on your left. This is one of several woodlands planted by the Woodland Trust in 2005 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Leviathan Wood to Uppingham Road
Leviathan Wood to Uppingham Road

Start point: 52.5372 lat, -0.821 long
End point: 52.5408 lat, -0.8097 long

Keep straight ahead on the main stone track, with the young woodland on your left and crop fields on your right. When the woodland ends, simply continue ahead on the track now with crop fields each side. The track climbs steadily (with views opening up all around), swinging steadily right and leading you past a large woodland copse on your right. About 150 metres beyond the copse, you will see a tall yellow waymarker post on your right. Turn right here to join the grass and stone track, leading you steadily uphill with a hedgerow on your left.

At the top of the slope (where the hedgerow on your left ends), you will come to a large crop field ahead. Take the obvious path at about 11 o’clock, leading you diagonally across this field. At the far side, bear right to follow the field-edge grass track, with a hedgerow running on your left. Just before the bottom of the field, turn left through the gap in the hedgerow and follow the obvious grass track ahead.

The path swings right, leading you through a belt of trees and across a stream to reach the next crop field. Keep straight ahead on the path through the centre of this field. You will emerge to a junction with Uppingham Road.

Uppingham Road to Chapel
Uppingham Road to Chapel

Start point: 52.5408 lat, -0.8097 long
End point: 52.5351 lat, -0.7976 long

Cross over with care and walk straight ahead to continue on the bridleway, a grass track leading you steadily uphill with a hedgerow on your right and crop field on your left. At the end of the track, your path leads you through a gap in the hedgerow to meet the edge of a crop field ahead. Simply walk straight ahead on the path which leads you through the centre of this field.

At the far side, a bridle gate leads you out to a junction road. Cross over and walk straight ahead along the side road, with a section of the ornate old wall of Nevill Holt grounds running on your right. Just before the T-junction you will pass Gardeners Cottage on your left, the former residence for the gardener that would once have looked after the walled gardens on your right.

At the T-junction, turn right and follow this access road ahead, passing the Nevill Holt Chapel on your right. This is a good place to pause and understand the history of the Nevill Holt estate before we explore more of the grounds.

Nevill Holt Hall is thought to date to the 1200s and was originally in the hands of the Kirby family before passing through a series of owners called Nevill (from where it got its name). In 1876 the estate was sold at auction and was purchased by Edward Cunard of the shipping family. Nancy Cunard, the writer and political activist, was born here. Nancy would go on to become a queen of the jazz age, muse, patron and mistress to the most exciting writers and artists of the era, style icon and later fierce campaigner against prejudice and social injustice. In 1920, the hall was converted into a preparatory school and so it remained until 1998. The current owner, Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, bought the house in 2000 and has spent many years on its restoration as well as establishing a theatre within the old stable block. Nevill Holt has become known for both its opera festival and its outstanding collection of modern British art and sculpture.

Chapel to The Avenue
Chapel to The Avenue

Start point: 52.5351 lat, -0.7976 long
End point: 52.5348 lat, -0.7998 long

Keep ahead and, a few metres later, you will see the old stone stable block ahead, now home to the opera house. Turn left at this point and then keep ahead across the concrete hardstanding area, passing the wooden outbuildings on your right. Beyond this, continue ahead on the grass path leading you downhill through the orchard. At the bottom, turn right onto the grass track, with a woven fence running on your left and beautiful views beyond. (NOTE: This section is prone to becoming waterlogged, so take care underfoot).

Follow this grass track, with a sheep pasture to your left. After just 100 metres, you will come to a tall yellow waymarker post on your right. Turn right here, through a gate, and follow the grass path leading you uphill (with a small woodland on your left). You will come to grass lawns in front of you, keep straight ahead across these (passing another waymarker along the way). Across to your right you will now have superb views of Nevill Holt Hall and some of the sculpture collection (including a seemingly floating head of a grazing horse).

At the far side, a gateway leads you back onto an access road. Turn right along this, and take a moment to glance through the metal gates on your right. This is the intended view of the grazing horse head sculpture and it really is magical. The perspectives of the landscape seem to show the horse grazing on the distant hills.

A little further along, take the first side road on the left, The Avenue.

The Avenue to End
The Avenue to End

Start point: 52.5348 lat, -0.7998 long
End point: 52.5299 lat, -0.8236 long

Follow this quiet access road, lined with two beautiful rows of trees each side. The outer trees are a line of old lime trees, whilst the inner trees are younger oak trees. Pass the old lodge house on your right, Buffalo Lodge, and continue ahead through the vehicle gates to exit the grounds. Now simply keep ahead along the lane, taking care of any traffic.

Follow the lane ahead, taking time to enjoy the far-reaching views. Pass the entrance for Nut Bush on your left and continue on the lane, downhill, taking particular care of traffic on the left-hand bend. Pass the property, Moorlands, on your left and about 100 metres before the 30mph signs, turn right through a kissing gate (NOTE: This small pasture is likely to be holding sheep, so take care with dogs and make sure you re-chain the gates).

Follow the narrow tarmac path across this small pasture and exit via the gate at the far side. Walk ahead on the tarmac footpath, with garden fences on your right. You will emerge to the end of a residential road, Rectory Lane. Keep ahead along this to reach the T-junction with the main road in Medbourne. Cross over the road and go ahead into the churchyard. Follow the tarmac path directly ahead and this will lead you to the Packhorse Bridge where this walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Medbourne and Nevill Holt"

Great walk, some fantastic views and when you get to Nevill Holt you will be surprised by what you see.

By awizzbang on 2016-08-15 17:07:55

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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