Walk 8 – Mountsorrel Old & New
This walk takes you around Mountsorrel, an historic village situated in the Regional Park and typical of the settlements around the area. The walk of 3 miles with one stile takes under two hours and passes Mountsorrel Station; the Great Central Railway heritage line; through a working quarry and over Castle Hill to the Buttermarket in the village centre.
It starts from the Mountsorrel Heritage Centre on the site of the former Nunckley quarry which has a café and museum that gives more history of the area (240 Swithland Road, Rothley LE7 7UE.)
From the car park, cross the road and turn left along the footpath. Follow it along the field edge until it turns onto Wood Lane. Continue along the road (Bond Lane) with the newly reinstated Mountsorrel Station on the right.
This branch line runs for 1.2 miles to Swithland Sidings where it joins the Great Central Railway. It was restored in 2015 by local volunteers.
Keeping right on to the footpath where the road bends left. A short way along the footpath you will find an entrance to Broad Hill a site of special scientific interest under ecological restoration. Turn along this path, through the gate and follow it around to the left. At the top of the slope there are good views of Charnwood Forest and a stone carving of "Albert" the quarryman.
Continue along the path around the quarry area, following yellow marker posts. Pass through the gateway at the end and turn right along the quarry road. Continue along this road until you reach The Navins where the grassy slopes of Castle Hill appear. Note the footpath signpost and follow its pointer to the top of the hill and the rocky outcrop.
From here there is a good view looking down over Mountsorrel village and beyond the A6 bypass and River Soar. Since this new road has been in use Mountsorrel has been designated a conservation area and has ancient churches, inns, farms, workshops and houses which reflect its early industry.
Go left across to the historic war memorial monument perched on the highest point. Then you will need to retrace your steps a few yards and look for the handrail and steps on your right leading down.
Turn right to the bottom and turn right along Watling Street to the Buttermarket ahead.
The Buttermarket was built in 1793 on the site of the former market cross although there has been a market held here since 1292.
Continue on, passing the Buttermarket and turn left along Leicester Road.
A short way along you will see the Swan Inn a former 16th century coaching inn with many of its original features. Keep straight ahead, under the railway bridge and turn left into Bond Lane. As you walk up the lane, Stonehurst Family Farm, with its museum and café is on your right.
Continue under the double bridge and shortly you will see a footpath entrance on the right. Turn in here and follow the route through the working quarry, observing the traffic light controls and noting the viewpoints of operations. After crossing the stile, bear left and follow the footpath around the wood edge, parallel with the road.
At one point the path takes you to a group of boulders by the roadside. If you wish to lengthen your walk, cross over and bear slightly left to a footpath leading through the woods to a gate. From here there is a circular path that takes you up the hillside and gives you an impressive view of an enormous quarry and its workings. The circular path takes around 15 minutes to walk and brings you back to the road.
Cross over and resume following the path to the end where it passes under a spreading oak and the Heritage Centre is ahead of you.