Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Saturday morning stroll up Beacon Hill


A return down to Leicestershire for me last weekend to visit a couple of friend Chris and Dave Vaux. Sal took the opportunity to go and stay with her parents in South Yorkshire so I dropped her off on the way down and picked her up again Sunday afternoon on my way home.

I stayed at a small town outside Loughborough called Quorn or Quorndon as it was previously known. Having had a late lunch, I arrived only to see the table set for a dinner which was duly followed by a few pints in the local pubs that night, so as Sunday morning dawned I was really ready for a bit of exercise and fresh air.

A short drive took us to Charnwood Forest. The highest point of the forest is Beacon Hill at about 800ft which is also the second highest point in Leicestershire so as you can imagine, the view is extensive.

An extinct volcano in Whitwick four miles to the west is responsible for the fine-grained igneous rocks which jut out at the summit and it is also the site of a Bronze Age hill fort. A toposcope indicates landmarks which can be seen from the summit which includes Lincoln Cathedral (with binoculars), the hills of the Peak District, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.

It was just a steady stroll really, the incline being very gradual but it was bitterly cold and very windy on top, just what I needed after the previous days gallivanting. It starts off going through the forest before reaching open countryside and is a circular forest track so there's no possibility getting lost. I left my Nikon at home and just took the Lumix GF1 which is as light as a feather and takes remarkably good photos.

There are also wooden sculptures scatter around the forest and it seems a popular biking spot as we found out when we were confronted by about ten of then coming full pelt towards us on the main track. All in all it's a very pleasant place to spend a few hours and I should imagine it would be very busy in Summer.

Hand carved bench


Forest sculpture


Looking towards Loughborough


Charnwood Forest


Charnwood Forest


Summit rocks


Summit rocks


Looking over Leicestershire


Trigpoint


Toposcope


Woodland track


Memorial bench


Charnwood Forest


Dave getting genned up


A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...