Come Hills and High Water
Having walked the route the week before it felt that the going would not be too difficult as there were few ploughed fields but much park land and glorious views. In the intervening six days it did not seem to have rained too much but then overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning the heavens must have opened. Despite this, and in the belief that the forecast for later was drier, twelve intrepid walkers rose to the challenge and joined the walk leaders Lin Rowland and Pauline Munro.
At some point en-route between Tilton and Lowesby the heavy rain eased and we were able to appreciate, just a little, the views from one of the highest areas of the county. Lowesby Hall, a Georgian building, looked magnificent and the whole estate well maintained hardly surprising when you learn that it is owned by David Wilson, the house builder.
From there we moved on towards Baggrave Hall, built late 18th and early 19th century, very well aware that streams were swollen and large lakes had appeared on previously well kept park land. We were making good time to our lunch destination at the Black Boy, Hungarton when we turned on to the road to find that the very small stream, the Queniborough Brook, had broken its banks and the road was awash with deep water. A number of large four wheel drive vehicles were able to drive through with the water almost to the top of their wheels.
What was to be done? Lunch a mile or so along the road, any other footpath would have taken us much, much longer with the likelihood of finding further swollen streams. There was only one clear solution, the whole group took to the fence and railings along the side of the road, we are not even sure whether it was a bridge or not. Led by Malcolm and Richard the group inched their way across the water with those with larger feet having greater difficulty in getting their boots through the fence rails! Cheered on by the rest of the group the fourteen of us made it to the other side.
A welcome drink and an excellent meal awaited us at the Black Boy. We all sat together at a table set for fourteen and congratulated ourselves on our courage and bravery!
With a little adjustment to our route to avoid further streams we made our way back to Tilton following the Midshires Way. Those who have walked this will know of its undulating terrain and we all agreed that on a clear day it would have been beautiful. Our final obstacle was the farm yard of what could be one of the highest farms in Leicestershire, very muddy. Pauline and Lin would like to thank the twelve wonderful walkers who joined them, faced with adversity they made it a walk to remember.