Adventures in High Leicestershire
As soon as I heard of ‘High Leicestershire’ I just knew it was ripe for exploration.
The name conjures up a certain remote wild fastness that tugs at my adventuring spirit. It brought to mind Edith Durham‘s wonderful adventure-travel book ‘High Albania‘ and y’know, if it’s good enough for Edith then it’s good enough for me!
One late Saturday morning at the end of May, I hopped on the train from Ely and an hour later arrived at Oakham in Rutland.
I headed west out of Oakham and 15 minutes later had crossed the border into Leicestershire and was climbing the first hill of the day (Mill Hill 180m!). I rested at the summit, crunched on a handful of pork scratchings. and took in the view of Rutland Water.
My destination was the Iron Age hillfort at Burrough Hill, ten miles away.
I followed public footpaths that took me up and over gently rolling hills…
…and through fields of oilseed rape.
As the clouds cleared and the sun put in an appearance, the meadows and fields took on a lush glow, the English countryside at the start of summer, gorgeous!
The approach to the hillfort took me up through the wooded canopy of Dalby Hills.
After a steep climb I reached the summit of Burrough Hill (2oom), the views were tremendous.
The embankments of the hillfort are well defined and run around its entire perimeter.
I walked a circuit of the hillfort, imaging the community that once lived up here.
Here’s an “artist’s impression” of the fort:
The fort is now home to sheep and a few cattle. I had considered the summit of Burrough Hill as a wild camping site but am not so sure now. Do sheep bleet throughout the night? And what are the implications for sleeping amongst all those droppings?
Or am I being a complete wimp?
You tell me.
I ate my cornish pastie lunch and enjoyed the lofty views. Oh, and I took a selfie, as you can see.
And then it was time to walk the 10 miles back to Oakham, which I was pleased to note is twinned with ‘Dodgeville’, USA, a name right out of a wild west cowboy gunfight film.
Before hopping on the train back home I purchased a very cold can of Stella, a perfect way to finish a fine day’s hiking in the ‘lonely hills’ of High Leicestershire.