Monday, 4 January 2010

Sir Henry's Lane Melbourne to Breedon and Back

Sir Henry's Lane

A lovely crisp day to walk from Sir Henry's Lane (above) to Breedon and onto Staunton Harold and back. The lane (named after one of the Harpur Crewes) is now blocked by two large tree trunks and is only accessible for 300 metres but before the reservoir was built it crossed the valley to Derby Hills and became Broadstone Lane. Even this short stretch is still evocative of an old coach road.

Opposite Sir Henry’s Lane is Melbourne Footpath 25 which leads to the Park Drive near Breedon. The path is not clear to begin with but follow the poles and it should become clearer. You pass by a curious concrete stile on your left which is not now connected to any Right of Way. Eventually it meets the Weir to Burney Rough path (FP24), also known as the Motts Path. According to the OS map the path should go straight over but the reality is different. Turn right and by a footpath sign turn left down a well marked path towards a little wood known as Paddock Pool.

Curious stile - Melbourne Common
Curious concrete stile – Melbourne Common

The route through Paddock Pool is obvious and involves a little climb.
At the top you cross a track and an open stretch of land. Follow the hedge uphill keeping it on your left. The next stile is slightly to your right. The next wooded area is very small and you leave it with a nice view of Breedon Church ahead. Walk towards the church across a large field. The path is usually well trod here. At the other side of this field you meet a track running left to right coming up from Green Lane Wilson. Turn right then at the next junction follow the path to the left of the hedge. You are walking along the edge of a green belonging to Breedon Priory Golf Club. Watch out for a path on your left that drops down into a ditch. If you reach forest planting you have gone too far.

The route now is very clear into Breedon where you can stop for a drink (two pubs). However if you want to press on, about 100 metres before reaching the main Breedon Road there is a stile on your right. Take this and watch out for posts all the way to Staunton Harold. It is Leicestershire path M1 and is well named as it is pretty straightforward throughout. You basically head straight on (south west if you have a compass) following those lovely Leicestershire yellow topped posts from point to point avoiding any paths to the left or right.

Sheep at Staunton Harold overlooking Dimminsdale
Sheep at Staunton Harold – viewed from the Permissive Path

When you arrive at the entrance to Staunton Harold turn right. I suppose you could go down the drive and ignore the no entry traffic signs and pick up the path on your right. However if you walk along the main road for about 80 metres you will see a gate on the left. Squeeze around the side of it (it looks like this has been done many times before) and follow the track to meet a stile on the Permissive Path. Follow the path along the wall for about a kilometre. Don't be tempted to head downhill at any stage. Stay on the ridge. The path eventually crosses the Calke to Burney Lane road into Spring Wood.

The markers in the wood are easy to follow (thanks to John Blunt of Staunton Harold Hall) and eventually you emerge on the B587. Turn left and return to wherever you parked your car.

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