North Kilworth – Lubenham 10 miles (16km)
Total bus again today, the X3 from Leicester to Market Harborough then 58B to Lutterworth dropped me at North Kilworth. I extended the walk to the old A6 near the Airfield Industrial Estate and hopped back on the X3 from there. This made the day’s walk twelve miles.
Boat horse in bronze at Foxton
North Kilworth is not the best served village for footpaths so field options were zero and I was forced to take the pavement alongside the main road towards Husbands Bosworth, as far as the canal. Although not a public right of way at this point the towpath is available and offered respite from the traffic. The canal banks soon started to rise leaving the water and me in a deepening cutting until the mouth of Husbands Bosworth tunnel came into view. This proved to be an interesting route because it also uses a part of the horse path over the tunnel but then another section of roadside footway to the village. My first impressions were not good but looking a little closer I found some character in a village intersected by two busy roads.
Here again only one path to the south and debatable if it leads anywhere and one out to the north which I took to cross the canal just east of the tunnel portal. Much of this section could, from here follow the canal towpath and initially much of it did. It’s easy walking but doesn’t really connect with the countryside so I decide to add a half mile and take in Mowsley and Laughton which will also provide a walk up the flight of staircase locks at Foxton. It’s an easy bridleway along a track for much of the way but take care after about a mile and follow the left fork which soon becomes a footpath. The climb into Mowsley may come as a shock after so much low level walking and a glance back offers a view over the Avon/Welland watershed.
No excuse to get lost in Mowsley
The other benefit of this late route change is the addition of two more villages. Mowsley could offer refreshment at The Staff of Life and the main street and church are attractive, but I was struck by the road sign. Not wanting to offend neighbours it lists five destinations on a traditional finger post. The cross field walk to Laughton came out by the small church where a thatched capped cob wall encloses the churchyard.
Laughton Village Hall
Leaving Laughton by the diminutive village hall there is now a good two miles with little sign of habitation. I especially liked the sloping pasture to the south of Oak Spinney, the sky was bright blue and I could hear buzzards calling and watched as they swooped trying to avoid the attacks from a crow.
Crossing the bottom lock at Foxton
After crossing Foxton Road on the edge of Gumley the top cottage and old engine house of Foxton locks and incline come into view. Our path crosses over the bottom lock where there is a choice of refreshment venues and just off our route a loo. Walking in summer you would be very unlucky not to see a boat passing through the locks but you will have to share this short section of path with other gongoozlers (people who enjoy watching activity on the canals).
Tower House Lubenham
The paths to Lubenham return tranquillity to the walk and arrival in the village offers another encounter with the boundary if you continue beyond the church and stand on the bridge over the Welland, before returning to the main road and perhaps celebrating the walks end in The Coach and Horses.
Go to the next part of the walk Part 11 click here