May 252024

First published in: The Times Click here to view a map for this walk in a new window
path through the oilseed rape our cohort of cattle, Peatling Parva 1 our cohort of cattle, Peatling Parva 2 buttercup meadow near Peatling Parva 1 buttercup meadow near Peatling Parva 2 brook near Peatling Parva All Saints Church, Peatling Magna 1 grotesque head in All Saints Church, Peatling Magna Trim hedgeside path near Bruntingthorpe All Saints Church, Peatling Magna 2

A sunlit late spring day in Leicestershire, the lush grass shin high in the pastures, enough dandelion clocks in the uncut meadows to teach the time to every child in Peatling Parva.

Young cattle blew and sighed as they followed us timidly among floods of buttercups. There were kingcups in the little trickling slip of a brook, and campion as pink as nail polish in the field margins. The hawthorns along the Leicestershire Round path were so thickly laden with may flowers it looked as though a giant had shaken a nine-league flour dredger over the gentle dip and roll of the landscape.

With a flutter of wings a skylark flew down to perch for a moment on a fence post, dull gold breast streaked with chocolate, crest flattened to its crown like a wonky toupee.

Ahead the steeple of All Saints Church at Peatling Magna rode the ridge of a cornfield. The heavy 19th-century slate gravestones of the Wayte family formed a guard of honour to the south door. Inside were the magnificently etched alabaster tombs of the Jervis family, husbands and wives lying on top in Tudor and Stuart dress, their many children ranged round the sides.

Up in the roof strange faces leered down – bosses fashioned with mischievous humour by some anonymous medieval wood carver. A hedgehog grinned, a lion waggled its tongue and a moustachioed Green Man looked out from a rosette of leaves.

From the church we headed east across old green earthworks, the remains of the manorial fishponds and gardens. Medieval ridge and furrow striped the fields beyond in green and gold, deep grassy furrows interspersed with ridges carpeted with buttercups.

On Lutterworth Road we met a procession of men in outsize handlebar moustaches and formed attire astride ancient eructating motorbikes – participants in the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research. A thoroughly splendid cavalcade, whose roaring and growling formed a gradually fading soundtrack to our trudge across ploughland to Bruntingthorpe.

We were sorely tempted to take tea outside the Joiners pub. But the prospect of Sunday roasts at the Shires Inn in Peatling Parva won the battle. We followed the homeward path through blue-green wheatfields where the afternoon sun had brought out a fine hatch of butterflies – orangetips, tortoise shells and peacocks.

How hard is it? 6 miles; easy; field paths

Start: The Shires Inn, Peatling Parva, Lutterworth LE17 5PU (OS ref SP 589894)

Getting there: Bruntingthorpe, then Peatling Parva, signed from A5199 (Leicester-Husbands Bosworth)

Walk (OS Explorer 233): Right along road; just before church, right (590896, fingerpost/FP). Stile into field; fork left (FP) to double gate by pond (591897). Cross field to kissing gate/KG (yellow-topped post/YTP). Follow path (YTPs, KGs, stiles, yellow arrows) for ½ mile to path T-junction (598904). Right; cross stream (footbridge, YTP). Left along hedge on Leicestershire Round path (YTP) for 1 mile to road junction (594920). Right up bank (FP); aim for stile/KG on right of Peatling Magna church (596924). Right on path (YTPs) to road bend (598921). Cross grass triangle, KG/YTP into field, and on for ¾ mile to Lutterworth Road (609916). Right, in 300m on right bend, left (608914, ‘Bruntingthorpe’) across fields for 1 mile to Bruntingthorpe (NB some YTPs are obscured by hedge growth. GPS is helpful hereabouts). At Bruntingthorpe ahead on concrete roadway to road (604898); right; left down Church Walk. Follow YAs and YTPs past church (601897) and on (YTPs) for ¾ mile to Peatling Parva.

Lunch: The Shires, Peatling Parva (0116-247-8271,

Accommodation: Greyhound Inn, Market St, Lutterworth LE17 4EJ (01455-553307,

Info: Leicester TIC (0116-299-4444);

 Posted by at 01:08

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.