The dictionary definition of 'dank', is "unpleasantly damp and chilly". The day of our walk to Foxton via the Langtons was certainly dank! Coupled with various holiday commitments to warmer climates and, in one instance, snow shoeing on colder climates, the numbers on our walk amounted to just 12.
Meeting at The Langton Greenhouse Cafe we bravely wrapped up warm and picked up the start of the Leicestershire Round where it crosses the A6 Harborough by-pass. The remnants of overnight frost fortunately held the ground firm so we didn't collect too much mud on our boots as we headed for East Langton. The first challenge was to navigate a flooded tunnel beneath the Midland Mainline, using strategically placed girders and planks to form a bridge, most were successful in keeping their boots dry.
Our next encounter of note was a remote and weathered stone 'monument' erected in the middle of a sheep field. Standing about six feet high it had the simple inscription 'Lottery Feb 1886'. We soon discounted the idea that this was to mark a lottery win (surely not in 1886) but we felt more confident that it was in recognition of a racehorse called 'Lottery'. But, if this was the case, was it the date it won an important race, or maybe of its sad demise? We really don't know but if any of the Chronicle readers can explain its existence, please get in touch with us.
Moving on we pick up and follow the road south of East Langton village before dropping back onto the Leicestershire Round and heading towards Thorpe Langton. Skirting this village we followed the road in the direction of Great Bowden before again going cross country and this time crossing over the Midland Mainline using what us local ramblers call 'Norman's Bridge'. Then a quick but careful traverse of the Harborough by pass, across more muddy field and onto the more walker friendly tow paths of the Grand Union.
After a fairly long stretch of canal path walking we were so relieved to remove our muddy boots and enjoy a wholesome, value for money lunch within the friendly and comfortable Black Horse Inn, Foxton. The return journey was a short but tiring, 2 mile walk through more water logged fields arriving back at The Langton Greenhouse Cafe at a respectable 3pm. Plenty of time for us to discard back packs, slip on clean shoes and seek the warmth of the cafe, where we tuck into delicious chocolate brownies washed down with piping hot teas and coffees - all served in a speedy and friendly manner. Well worth that effort!