Sunday 29 December. It has become something of a tradition to walk somewhere different and perhaps a little more challenging on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year. The Peak District was a possibility but it’s a long drive. A return to the Ashridge Estate was ruled out as we went there last year. So, by way of a change, Linda and I drove to Bradgate Country Park, just north-west of Leicester, for a 9.35 mile walk with 1,400ft of ascent. As can be seen from the pictures, it was a beautiful day although the drive there was a little tricky as it was just 2c and the A47 didn’t appear to have been gritted.
There are many car parks around Bradgate Country Park but we picked Hunts Hill as it was on our route and had public toilets. It cost £5 for the day. Starting out on a northerly direction we soon picked up the route of the Leicestershire Round which took us across Lingdale golf course and some really beautiful countryside. We encountered numerous cross-country runners along the way. The first of 3 hills to be climbed was Broombriggs at just over 700ft. We had a coffee break just below the summit to drink in the magnificent views. From here we entered Beacon Plantation and the second climb of the day to Beacon Hill at 780ft. Many more ups and downs took us to our final climb of the day to the top of Old John Hill at 650ft. This may have been the smallest of our 3 hills but it didn’t feel like it as it came almost at the end of an arduous but very enjoyable walk. If there is sufficient interest, I could be persuaded to lead this walk again on Easter Sunday.