Ab Kettleby and the Melton Wolds

On a cold but bright November morning ten brave souls left the Sugar Loaf car park in Ab Kettleby to embark on an eight mile circular walk through the beautiful Melton Mowbray Southern Wolds. For quiz fans, Ab Kettleby is the only place name in the country beginning “Ab”.

Our route through the village takes us to the 13th century St James’ Church which contains a memorial to Everard Digby, one of the Gunpowder Plotters. Our path leaves the church yard and heads off across the rolling fields towards the woodland known as Cant’s Thorns. As we exit the wood we head for the spire of St Peters’ Church in the isolated agricultural village of Saxelbye where we take a well-earned coffee break. Saxelbye has no less than eight listed buildings.

Fully refreshed we head across the Wolds passing Saxelbye Pastures towards the village of Grimston where we encounter a most unusual stile that has a small gate fitted on top. We enter Grimston which is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and pass the set of ancient stocks on the village green before we divert across pasture and drovers track towards Warntnaby, a remote settlement once owned by the Knights Templar. Warntnaby is Old English for “watch tower” a looking post that had commanding views north over the Trent Valley. We enjoy a picnic lunch in the porch of the picture perfect Michael of All Angels church.

After which we exit the village and continue our trek over recently ploughed fields. In under an hour we arrive back in Ab Kettleby to enjoy a very well-earned drink in the Sugar Loaf.

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