Walking Group

Our walking group runs walks on the first and third Friday of each month.  Four times a year we have a fifth Friday in the month walk and we try to run something farther afield during the summer months when the weather is better.

Walks are organised by members of the group who plan and arrange a lunch stop where possible.  Our walks are generally of 5 to 6 miles in length and there is nearly always the option of a shorter 3 mile walk available.

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.

Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.

Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated.  We always have room for new members. 

Contact chrisandsue@rectory-cottage.co.uk to join our merry band of walkers.

East Carlton Park and Desborough Aerodrome

31st May 2024

Some decent weather and a good walk in the North Northamptonshire countryside rewarded our walkers this morning.  We were greeted by several Red Kites on our way back along the Jurassic Way.  The cafeteria at East Carlton Park does a wonderful range of hot pasties which several of our number tried.  They also do a range of jacket potatoes and cream teas in the afternoon.

Brigstock Walk

31st May 2024

This was a first for several of the walkers.  Our route took in Fermyn and Harry's Park Woods as well as field edges and The Lord's Walk with a visit to the Bocase Stone.  On our return we chanced upon the renovators of The Matchbox, a nineteenth century factory where flags were made, amongst other things.  It is now being converted into 8 Air B and B flats.

Pictures by Roger and Chris

"The Matchbox" undergoing conversion into Air B and B.  The bell has been refurbished and is dated 1873.



The Bocase Stone is an historic monument to the long gone Bocase Tree, a giant oak that served as a meeting place. There are several legends attached to the Bocase Tree. Many people have attempted to explain the history of this tree, some holding it to be where bucks were skinned having been killed by some royal personage. The explanation behind this is that the old English word for skin was “case” therefore the “buck case” tree. 

The author of “The History of the Brocas Family”, Captain Montagu Burrows RN, professor of modern history at Oxford, maintains that it is a corruption of “Brocase”, and the king’s hounds met there. Taken into connection with the adjoining wood, called Harry’s Park, and the field in which it stands, known as Lord’s Walk, he thinks this is conclusive. 

Stoney Cove Walks

17th May 2024

This was our first visit to Stoney Cove though not our first to Croft Quarry.  David Holmes laid on a challenging  7 and a half mile walk with some good inclines to get the old pulse racing, a total of 567 feet in all.  This was followed by a jolly good meal at Nemo's Bar.

The short walkers had a rather less arduous 3 and a half miles followed by coffee overlooking the scenic Stoney Cove.  Excellent walks all round.  Thanks to David, Stephen Sue and Josie for organising.

Photos by Stephen, Barbara and Chris

Note the superb nosh served up at the end of the walk.  Excellent food and excellent service with a fine pint to accompany the meal.

Tugby Walks

3rd May 2024

With the Fox and Hounds under new management, it was time for a return to Tugby and a couple of walks in the beautiful South Leicestershire countryside.  The longer walk took in Goadby and the road to Glooston before veering off and back to Tugby along the MIdshires Way.  There were no stiles but some steep inclines added to a decent walk.  The weather, given the forecast at breakfast time, was surprisingly benign with no rain and spring-like temperatures for once.  

The short walkers completed 3.9 miles.

Pictures by Di, Stephen and Chris.

Thank you to Jane, Shirley and Julie for organising the Longer Walk.  Thank you to Sue and Josie for organising the Shorter Walk.  Thank you to all the walkers in the group who make this such a worthwhile thing to do.  Thank you to all at The Fox and Hounds at Tugby for such a splendid lunch.  Excellent beer too.

Smeeton Westerby Walks

19th April 2024

A welcome return to the King's Head in Smeeton Westerby for the Walking Group.  30 members set off on 2 walks with the majority walking to and from the pub too.  The weather was reasonable and the ground drying up after the winter rains.  Even the canal towing path was reasonably dry with only one muddy patch to navigate.  The long walk was Led by John K. and took in Mill Lane,  the canal from Millennium Wood to Debdale and then Debdale Lane back to the pub, 6 and a half miles in all.  

The short walk was led by Margaret and Janice and was some 3 and a half miles long.

Lunch was a selection of cobs which were excellent and a good natter with the Short Walkers.

Pictures by Stephen and Chris

Saddington Walks

5th April 2024

Undaunted by the heavy rain of the previous evening, 20 of us set off on two walks from the Queen's Head at Saddington.  The longer walk went towards Fleckney, skirted The Millennium Wood before heading down Mill Lane.  The heavy rains necessitated a modification to the route to avoid the worst of the muddy fields.  From Smeeton, we headed back towards Saddington via the canal aqueduct and the fields next to the canal service stream from the reservoir.  A splendid lunch was served up at the Queen's Head.

Pictures by Stephen and Chris

Tur Langton Walks

Good Friday, 29th March 2024

31 members of the Walking Group took on two walks from The Crown at Tur Langton.  The Short Walk of some 4 miles featured a stop at Mint and Ginger for coffee.

The longer walk took in Gartree Road, Stonton Wyville and was some 6 miles in length.  The weather was not kind and we had horizontal rain for a short period as we wended our way home.  A superb lunch was on offer at The Crown along with an excellent pint of Tribute (from St Austell Brewery).

Pictures by Stephen and Chris

Maidwell Walks

15th March - Beware the ides of March!

Today 22 brave souls tackled the muddy fields and tracks of the area around Maidwell in Northamptonshire.  The going was very heavy and wet underfoot.  Terry unfortunately lost a wellington boot in one section helping another person free of the mud.  The walk overran it's schedule and was cut short to allow members of the group to return to the Stag at Maidwell on time for a superb lunch.  Many thanks to Bruce, Su and Sue for organising the walks and to Stephen and Chris for the photographs.

Gumley Walks to Laughton and Foxton

1st March 2024 - St. David's Day

For the longer walk, Julie Hart put on a sensible route containing some road sections and some fields tackled downhill to avoid trudging uphill in the rain..  The ground was fairly boggy with a lot of standing water for us for negotiate.  Several people to called in sick with sniffles, opting to nurse a cold in the warmth of their own home rather than brave the elements.  We hope to see our Group out fit and well in the near future.

Sue Dargie ran the short walk over to Foxton Locks for coffee at Bridge 61.  This walk also proved to be a bit muddy in places.

Pictures by Stephen and Chris

Weston by Welland and Ashley Loop

16th February 2024

Heather and Terry had us slip sliding away down the hill, up the hill and through m'lady's gateways.  A real mudfest if ever there was one.  Several people tested the mud at close quarters and most had slippery incidents.  It was a fine day for a walk and just a little sad that the preceding week had been so wet.  We ere rewarded with superb views over South Leicestershire and North Northamptonshire.

It was a similar story for the short walkers too (pictured right).  We all lived to tell the tale in the pub afterwards over some decent pub grub.

Pictures by Roger, Stephen and Chris

                                                         Is it time for a banana break yet?

Time for a cuppa for our esteemed walk leaders.

Sibbertoft and Marston Trussell Loop

2nd February 2024

Jane and Shirley put on a good winter walk in the area of Marston Trussell with a splendid pub lunch at the Red Lion in Sibbertoft.  Good weather made for a splendid 6.2 mile winter walk with a stop for some old fashioned hedge laying and a banana stop at St. Nicholas's Church in Marston Trussell where we learned of it links with the Battle of Naseby in June 1645.

St Nicholas's Church is an Anglican church and the parish church of Marston Trussell in Northamptonshire, England.  It is a Grade I listed building and stands on the south side of Lubenham Road at the eastern edge of the village.

The record made in 1086 for Marston Trussell in the Domesday Book does not mention the presence of a priest or a church.

The main structure of the present building was erected in the 13th and 14th centuries. It now consists of a nave, north and south aisles, chancel and west tower. A detailed description appears on the Historic England website.

The parish registers survive from 1561, the historic registers being deposited at Northamptonshire Record Office.

Marston Trussell is part of a united benefice along with Sibbertoft and Welford.  Each parish retains its own church building.

Detail of the slaughter of Royalist Troops at Marston Trussell after the Battle of Naseby.  They mistakenly headed towards the church to make their escape but the road only led to the church, what was known as a "pudding bag end".

Historic Buildings Tour of Leicester with David Holmes

January 19th 2024

We were treated to an informative stroll around the historic factories of Leicester City Centre with a detailed history of the Hosiery industry through the 19th and 20th centuries.  Many of the old factories have been turned into flats now.

Our tour finished at the Globe Pub in Silver Street where we had a very decent "Silver Lunch".

Many thanks to David for such an informative tour.

Pictures by Stephen & Chris

David was on top form with his talks about the history of Leicester's industrial past.  So many of the products used every day in the home were made in Leicester.  Sadly, not any more.

Market Harborough Tour

5th January 2024

Denise, John and Sue led us round the back streets and jitties of Market Harborough avoiding the puddles and swollen streams for a delightful first longer walk of the year.

An excellent lunch was provided by the Oat Hill pub.

Many thanks to Denise, John and Sue for organising the walks and to Denise and Stephen for the pictures.

New Year's Day Walk 2024

New Year's Day Walk 2024.  A brisk walk around the village of Kibworth followed by tea and cakes at Headquarters.  Well done all for braving the weather.

Billesdon Christmas Walk

For our final walk of the year, Alan and Marion put on an old favourite in the shape of the Billesdon, Rolleston and Skeffington walk with lunch at the Queen's Head in Billesdon.  This is an excellent walk for this time of year as it is mainly on farm tracks with only 1 field to cause muddy problems.  Alan had ordered some decent weather for us and both walks set off for Rolleston and a mince pie break by the lake.  The short walkers then headed straight back to Billesdon and coffee whilst the long walkers took in Skeffington before returning to Billesdon for an excellent lunch at the Queen's Head.  What a splendid way to finish the year.  Thanks Alan and Marion.

Pictures by Stephen and Chris

K&D u3a Walking Group and Strollers Christmas Lunch

1st December 2023

The Crown, Main Street, Tur Langton

This year's Christmas party was held at The Crown in Main Street, Tur Langton where we had a magnificent Christmas Lunch.  45 members of the Strollers and Walking Group got together to celebrate another year's walking together.  Some 18 members of the Walking Group took part on the walk from Kibworth to Tur Langton across the fields on a cold morning.  Other members of the group  travelled by car.  The walk was very muddy in places and the fields quite slippery underfoot.

Many thanks to Stephen for these excellent photographs.

Foxton Walks

17th November 2023

Friday dawned bright and cool with clear skies for our 2 walks at Foxton.  The ground was still waterlogged after the week's rains but that didn't dissuade the 32 walkers who set off from The Shoulder of Mutton pub.  Heather and Terry led the long walkers on 5 miles through the South Leicestershire countryside taking in the canal towpath, Debdale, Gumley Wood, Foxton Locks and a loop around the south side of Foxton to take in the nature reserve.

The short walk was led by Jill and Barbara (in the absence of Janice) and took in the canal and Foxton Locks.  A splendid lunch was provided at the pub at a very reasonable price.  We shall be returning in the Spring!

Welford Walk

3rd November 2023

A break between storms allowed us to pull in a good walk along the canal from Welford Wharf before the weather turned nasty again.  

There was good food and good ale for us back at The Wharf Inn.

Pictures by Stephen and Chris

Kilby and Wistow Walks

Friday 6th October 2023

A fine walking day and a little too warm if anything.  

Those on the short walk started and finished at the Wistow Rural Centre.

Those on the longer walk started from Kilby and took a circular route via Wistow to finish back at the Dog and Gun in Kilby.  We all then had a good lunch at the Dog and Gun.

Burton Overy, Illston and Carlton Curlieu Walk

Friday 29th September 2023

Excellent weather and 2 good walks starting from The Bell at Burton Overy.  The longer walk took in Illston on the Hill and Carlton Curlieu with some good hills to test the legs.  Good food at The Bell rounded off the walks.

Clipston and Sibbertoft Walk

15th September 2023

Jane L. led a good walk of some 6.2 miles from Clipston to Sibbertoft over quiet roads and fields followed by a straight walk back to Clipston along the road.  Fine, very warm weather made for an enjoyable walk.  The Red Lion at Sibbertoft provided an excellent lunch to round it all off.

Meanwhile, Sue D. led her merry band of short walkers on an extended trip around Sibbertoft including the steep hill!

Photos from Roger, Stephen and Chris.

Billesdon, Gaulby and Frisby Walk

1st September 2023

An excellent walk from Billesdon through harvested fields, with views across much of the South Leicestershire countryside.  The weather was once again kind to us.  We had the company of escaped bullocks and Jane stepped into the breach, as she so often does, and reported the incident to a local farmer who came out to retrieve his herd.

Lunch at The Queen's Head in Billesdon was superb, bang on time and as much as you could eat.  The perfect end to a splendid walk.

Market Harborough and Great Oxendon Walk

18th August 2023

Two good walks in near perfect conditions.  Once again, the forecast storms did not materialise and we were rewarded with some fine views over the North Northamptonshire countryside.

Lunch was taken at The Oat Hill in Market Harborough

East Carlton Park and Desborough Aerodrome Walk

4th August 2023

Two good walks in near perfect conditions.  Once again, the rain stayed away and we were rewarded with some fine views over the North Northamptonshire countryside.

Lunch was taken as a picnic in East Carlton Park.

Castle Ashby Walks

21st July 2023

Our further afield trip took us to Castle Ashby for two walks in Northamptonshire.  The weather held and we were enveloped in the peaceful tranquillity of a summer's day with only butterflies and birds to disturb the peace.  Colin added 2 unseen butterflies to his yearly count.  

The Tea Rooms at Castle Ashby put on a superb spread at very reasonable prices as well as giving us excellent service.

Welford Walks

7th July 2023

Two good walks from The Wharf Inn at Welford.

The long walk, led by Julie,  took us to North Kilworth and back via North Kilworth Marina and North Kilworth church.

David's short walk did the canal loop, starting at the allotments and finishing back at The Wharf.  It was a hot day for walking and we were grateful for the cold drinks at the end.

Exton Park Walk

June 30th 2023

Two very good walks ran from the Fox and Hounds through Exton Park.  Visits to Fort Henry and the Nature Reserve with some very long grass were the highlights of the day.  Good food at the Fox and Hounds with a decidedly Greek flavour.