Vale of Belvoir
18 September 2022
Vale of Belvoir – Two Counties, a Canal and a Castle.
The walk takes us through the Vale of Belvoir through rural Leicestershire across the border to Lincolnshire with a finish back in Leicestershire and we encounter the delightful 18th century Grantham Canal and imposing Belvoir Castle en-route. Our walk starts at the village of Harby in the the County of Leicestershire. We take a green lane and cross rural fields to the village of Stathern, a delightful village of approximately 600 people. We steadily climb out the village to take the trail along a ridge through Stathern Wood, Plungar Wood and Barkestone Wood. There are wonderful views from the trail across the Vale of Belvoir and Newark and beyond. We then arrive at Belvoir Castle. The castle is the seat of the Duke of Rutland. We will have our lunch break here. There are various artisan shops and a café you can visit which have been restored from old Belvoir Castle Estate Buildings or sit and enjoy your own refreshments nearby. After suitable refreshment we cross the county boundary to Lincolnshire to the village of Woolsthorpe By Belvoir, a village with many honey coloured houses designated as a conservation area by Kestevan District Council. We have a small uphill climb past the 17th century Chequers Inn with the best views of Belvoir Castle of the day (remember your cameras or phones for the view!!). We join the Viking Way and drop down for a short towpath walk along the Grantham Canal. The canal was opened in 1797 and is now largely disused but in a process of restoration and a haven for wildlife. We pass a series of locks to enable passage of water of a climb of about 50 feet, five of the locks have been restored since 1994 by the Grantham Canal Society. After a walk along the towpath, we veer off through arable fields to our final destination the village of Muston in Leicestershire, where we finish at the Gap Inn for our journey home, at 6pm. A walk of about 12 miles.