Walk along "Willesley Woodside" to the footpath
sign on the right, going into the National Forest. Walk along this path
through the woods, until it joins a track (Pastures Lane). Walk past the
farm, and along to the end of the track. Cross straight over the road, and
walk up the street, taking the footpath on the right. At the end of this
path, turn left onto the road.
bend, turn right, down the side of a house, into a field. The footpath
splits into two, take the RIGHT fork. Follow this path to the field
boundary, and walk right along the boundary, keeping it to the left, through
the gap into the next field, and walk round to the left, over the
footbridge. After the bridge, turn left. Keep on the footpath into Measham.
At the end of the path, cross straight over
into Bosworth Road, and walk along the road, past the Cemetery. Take the
footpath on the right, across to Measham Lodge. When the footpath reaches
the road, turn right, then take the footpath off to the left.
Walk along this footpath until you reach the
brook. Here, turn left, and walk up to the road. Turn right, cross over the
bridge, and walk along he road, past Quarry Lane, to the footpath shortly
AFTER Valley House Farm. Walk along the footpath, until you reach the road.
Leave the path here and walk along the road.
At the end of the road, cross over and
continue straight on down the track. Take the second (tree lined) footpath
on the left, coming out alongside a cottage. Turn right onto the road, ad
walk down into the village of Heather
AT THIS POINT, WE RECOMMEND
YOU STOP FOR LUNCH. THERE ARE TWO PUBS IN THE VILLAGE. IF YOU PREFER A
PICNIC LUNCH, CARRY ON HERE, THERE IS A PICNIC SITE ABOUT A MILE ON!
In the village, turn left, and
then turn right at the crossroads (towards Ibstock). Take the footpath on
the left into the Forest Park, and keep to the left of the first lake. This
is the best point to stop for a picnic.*
Continue walking through the
park, along the same footpath. This eventually leaves the forest park, and
joins a track. Turn left onto the track, until you reach Ravenstone Road.
Turn left onto the road. At the footpath sign, turn right. Walk to the right
of the hedge, across the field and continue along the footpath, until you
reach the road. Take the footpath in between the two forks of the road,
which comes out next to the church. Cross over, and continue along the path,
turning right after the field boundary, and then left at the next boundary.
Continue along this path, crossing over Red Burrow Lane, and walking into
the village of Packington.
At the road in packington,
turn left. Ignore the junction to the right. The second junction, near the
church, has a footpath sign on the corner. Go over the stile, and walk
diagonally across the field, up the embankment. Continue along the footpath
to the A42 Junction.
At the junction, cross over
the A42 sliproad, then cross over the road that goes under the bridge. Walk
under the bridge, and cross the next slip road. Go along the footpath, which
crosses the golf course, eventually bringing you out onto Willesley Woodside
- the start of your walk.
A very long walk... much improved by a pub
lunch at Heather! You will definately need a map for this walk, and walking
boots are really advised. You can cut a couple of miles off the walk by
walking along the road from Heather to Normanton rather than going through
the Sence Valley Forest Park.
Allow a full day for this walk! It is long,
but the terrain isn't too bad. I did the walk during April, during the long
dry spell, so I don't know how muddy it can get. There was some trouble with
a fence at Measham Lodge - you may be able to turn left down the track and
right onto the road to avoid this. I did the walk with a group of 12 scouts
(well, 6 at first but the the group I was supervising caught up with the
other group a couple of miles in). They found it quite tiring, but still
managed to cook dinner when they got back to camp at Willesley.
Please park considerately at Willesley. Coach
and Minibus access is required to the campsite, so please park further up
Willesley Woodside than the entrance. Under no circumstances should you park
in the private access drive to the campsite. This is quite an isolated road,
so ensure that you securely lock your car, and take any valuables with you.
A safer alternative may be to begin the walk elsewhere on the route.
Finally... Resist the temptation to go into
every pub you pass (I didn't have this problem with a group of scouts)!
contact me if you have any queries or comments about this walk!
* - if you require the toilet at this point,
walk through the park, past the main lake, and over the bridge. Wak through
the lower car park and Climb steeply up hill to the building visible on the
hill top. From here, walk along the hill top along the track, until you
reach a junction. Here, turn left along the track, and walk down hill,
rejoining the original route at SK 400 118.