Wistow Parish Walks
Where is Wistow? South of Leicester.
Wistow is set in pleasant parkland and attracts many visitors. The old village has disappeared but Wistow Hall remains. Here Charles I sheltered after his defeat at the Battle of Naseby in 1645. Wistow Rural Centre also provides a welcome break at its tearooms, garden centre and craft shops.
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About the Walks
- There are three walks 2.75, 6, and 4.5 miles long all starting from car park at Wistow Rural Centre
- All walks start from the car park at Wistow Rural Centre, Wistow
- All of the paths are waymarked.
This leaflet is now web-only, intended for printing out at home. Paper copies are no longer available from the County Council.
4½km (2¾ miles), taking approx. 1¼ hours, gentle flat walk, mostly hard surface paths
From the entrance to the car park turn right past Wistow Hall and walk along the road for 450m before taking the footpath left of the church. This attractive small church was dedicated to St Wistan, a Mercian royal prince who was martyred here 849.
A Go over the bridge beyond the church, and bear left across the fields towards Newton Harcourt in the distance. At the road, turn right to enter the village. You will see St Luke’s Church on the right and the attractive manor house, once a dower house, on the left. This was built in the early C17.
Continue over the Grand Union Canal and the railway line, and immediately turn left along the footpath to the School House (built 1866).
B Turn right into Post Office Lane and follow it to reach Glen Road. You will see opposite the Octagon Cottages, which in the past it were the toll-house where drovers paid tolls for watering their cattle, and is now two private dwellings
C Turn left along Glen Road and take the first road on the left, The Square. At the end of the road continue across the field to the Lock Keeper’s Cottage at Newton Top Lock, (a good place for a picnic)
D Turn left along the canal towpath, passing under Newton Bridge (No. 80). On the right you will glimpse St Luke’s Church as you continue along the canal bank to go under the next bridge (High Bridge No.79). On this stretch you will get good views towards Wistow.
At the next bridge (No. 78) you need to leave the towpath and cross over the canal to follow the footpath across the fields to St Wistan’s Church. Turn right at the road to return to car park
9km (6 miles), allow 2½ hours, gentle undulating countryside
From the entrance of the car park turn right past Wistow Hall and walk along the road for 450m before taking the footpath left at the side of the church. Go over the bridge beyond the church and continue straight towards the Grand Union Canal. Join the towpath, go under the bridge and continue along the canal bank.
1. At Crane’s Lock cross the canal and continue on the footpath to reach the road. Cross over and continue along the footpath to reach another road at Fleckney. Turn left and right at the mini roundabout into Kilby Road (for the shops and public houses of Fleckney bear left).
2. Turn right into the enclosed path opposite Wolsey Close and continue across Highfields Street, passing a school on the right. Cross the next road and turn right. After 50m take the path left, between house numbers 68 and 70.
Follow the path across the fields until it reaches a wide farm track, then turn right. The track leads straight back to the tearooms and car parking.
7km (4½ miles), allow 2 hours, relatively flat, many hard surface paths
Keeping the tearooms, garden centre and craft shops on your left follow the path from the end of the car park. Notice the ridge and furrow in the field on your right.
On reaching the road cross to the bridleway on the other side and continue along the well-worn track.
i. After 1200m leave the track, turning right towards Kilby, a small village with a population of under 300.
Cross the fields to a farmyard, passing through it to reach the road. Turn right along the road and after 250m take the footpath on the left.
ii. Cross at the public footpath sign to Newton Harcourt. The footpath crosses a footbridge over the River Sence and passes through fields, and along a track. Just before reaching the Harcourt Stud a path leads left to the canal and follows it to the road.
iii. Turn left at the road and cross the bridge over the canal before joining the towpath. The locks along this stretch were built in the 1790.s and renovated in the 1870’s but have been constantly maintained since those times.
Follow the towpath to the Lock Keeper’s Cottage at Newton Top Lock and return to Wistow car park as described in Walk 1 from point D
Page Last Updated: 10 August 2009