Ambion WayMy sister invited me to see her new house last Bank Holiday weekend and, as she lives around 45 minutes drive away from me, I saw it as an opportunity to try a walk in a different area. I haven’t done much walking in the gently rolling arable farmland of South Leicestershire so I printed off a leaflet for a circular walk I had downloaded some time ago and set out to complete it.

The Ambion Way is a 9 ½ mile circuit devised by Leicestershire County Council which begins and ends at Bosworth Battlefield visitors centre near Sutton Cheney. Driving towards the Battlefield I found a delightful little car park a few fields away from the visitors centre and decided to leave the car here rather than pay to use the official car park. This decision was to prove quite costly…

I happily left the car, and crossed the fields to the visitors centre using part of the Leicestershire Round long distance path. The Battlefield is famous for King Richard 111’s last stand against Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485. King Richard was the last English king to die in battle; the battle that ended the Wars of the Roses and ushered in the Tudor dynasty. The traditional site of the battle was Ambion Hill, after which my walk was named. However, recent archaeological excavations have now placed the likely battle site on private agricultural land a mile away. So technically the visitors centre is in the wrong place- but it is well worth a visit if you would like to know more about this turbulent period in England’s history.

I left the centre behind and followed a delightful path through woods to the Ashby de la Zouch Canal, still following the Leicestershire Round past Sutton Wharf. The canal was completed in 1804 to link Coventry Canal with the coalfields at Ashby Woulds.

Sutton Wharf

Sutton Wharf

The Ambion Way soon turns away from the canal through fields full of sheep and crops of all different shades of green. This is a gentle landscape and easy walking, so I took my time snapping photographs and just taking in the sweeping views. After gently climbing out of the valley the route skirts the village of Stoke Golding to rejoin the canal tow path.

Ambion Way
This was a delightful stretch of canal and, hearing their distinctive cries, I looked up to see a pair of buzzards flying overhead. I managed a little shuffle here, until the Ambion Way left the canal to cross more fields and farmland as it heads towards the village of Shenton. Although there are a few distinct Ambion Way markers, only a small part of the route is actually marked so a map borrowed from the library came in very handy. I passed by Apple Orchard Farm but was far from impressed when a barking dog followed me whilst the farm owners just stood there watching it. My mood wasn’t helped by the fact that the weather was a lot warmer than I expected and I had run out of water.

Shenton is a compact little village with a lovely church and an impressive hall. The Ambion Way passes through parkland to leave the village and it was here that I had another unpleasant encounter in the form of a herd of young cows. I had hoped to sneak around their rear but their curiosity got the better of them and as they charged towards me I let out an involuntary ‘oh crap!’

Shenton Church

Shenton Church

Fortunately they halted their wild assault and, still alive, I stumbled into the Shenton Railway Station and filled my water bottle in the loos. I ordered a coffee and ice cream and sat for a while just watching the world go by, before climbing Ambion Hill back to the visitor’s centre for a lovely view over brilliant yellow rape fields.

The view from Ambion Hill

The view from Ambion Hill

Although the Ambion Way isn’t particularly long or tough, it makes a nice easy stroll… just be careful where you park!

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