The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday 18 November 2014

The Heady Heights of Leicestershire

It was nice and sunny when I left home this morning – a fine day for a walk up the biggest hill in Leicestershire – Bardon Hill.

Somehow (not to mention rather cruelly), I’m still suffering the same luck as stalked me on the latter part of my Scottish trip, as the sunny day had transformed itself to a grey one as I crossed the border into Leicestershire and, by the time I had ascended up to the heady heights of 278m, I was well and truly in the cloud. Harrumph!


First ‘view’ of my objective. How inviting…


There’s the trig point – and a hint of blue sky


Proof that I was there, and a stunning view behind.

With the hint of blue sky above me, I thought that the sun might be about to burst through, so (even though it wasn’t yet 11.30) I sat myself in the shelter of the trig point for lunch, overlooking the huge quarry below. Or, more precisely, overlooking lots of cloud, in the direction from which quarry-like noises were emanating, and where the map tells me there is a huge quarry.

I might have sat up there even after my sandwiches had been despatched (for example, I might have drunk my flask of tea, if it hadn’t still been sitting next to the kettle at home), except that it was rather cool, so rather than putting my jumper back on, I hauled myself back to my feet and opted for the shorter descent route. I’d walked around the base of the hill before ascending and it wasn’t an attractive route. My descent path was one of the nicer bits of the outing.

Back at the car (which I’d parked at Cademan Wood, just north of Whitwick), I thought it would be rude not to make the very short out-and-back detour to the trig point shown in the woods. It only took a small handful of minutes for it to come into view, on a little rocky outcrop:


It even boasted a bit of a view (only a bit though, on account of the trees). This snap doesn’t really show it off; I might have managed a slightly better snap if I’d had the camera with me.


The whole outing was 7.5 miles with a whole 850 feet of ascent.

Incidentally, I used the Ivanhoe Way to get me from Cademan Wood to Bardon Hill, and I’m not sure if my perception was unfairly skewed by the weather and the season, or whether it really is the dullest of walks. Apparently (so t’internet tells me), it’s only a 36-mile circular route, so I saw a reasonable chunk of it. The bit through a National Forest plantation was pleasant enough (but exactly the same as the National Forest plantations near home), and Cademan Wood was okay too, but otherwise it didn’t leave me feeling inspired to investigate any more of it. On a positive note, it was reasonably well waymarked – once you know to scrutinise street name signs for the smallest waymarking stickers known to man.