Old John & Beacon Hill

This circular walk in rural Leicestershire climbs two of the county's most popular hills - Old John and Beacon Hill. In addition, the route includes visits to Ulverscroft Priory and the pretty village of Newtown Linford.

Technical sheet
No. 293170
A Newtown Linford walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 11/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h30[?]
Distance Distance : 8.57mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 755ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 748ft
Highest point Highest point : 794ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 364ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Newtown Linford
Starting point Starting point : N 52.683172° / W 1.227864°
Arrival Arrival : N 52.682552° / W 1.229355°
Download :
Ulverscroft Priory Top of Beacon Hill Deer relaxing on way up to old john

Description

(D/A)Leave the car-park serving Bradgate Park in Newtown Linford on the main driveway to the north and then immediately cut left on the clear bridle-track heading gradually uphill into Bradgate Park. After 200yds or so, take one of a number of forks right onto clear paths through the heathland heading quite steeply up to the little copse, Tyburn, at the highest point of the horizon. This is a very pleasant shady and quiet spot even when the rest of the park is busy.

(1)Veer right out of the copse to join a very wide and worn track north towards the obelisk-topped hill ahead; the gradient is slightly easier and the path more pleasant if you slant left onto a narrower path about halfway there. The obelisk commemorates the dead of the two World Wars, and this is a good point both for reflection and to take in the views of the rest of the park. Bradgate Park is lovely walking territory, and you can easily spend hours here tramping around the many good paths between the hills and spinneys, with many half-wild deer inhabiting the eastern areas of the park.

(2)Skirt to the right of the small copse to the north of the memorial and then steeply uphill to the top of Old John. This rock-topped hill is named after the impressive tankard-shaped tower on its summit, an 18th-century folly. Next, head downhill towards the gate at the north-west corner of the park and go through the carpark to emerge at a road junction. Head across here and onto Benscliffe Road, turning right after 200yds onto the waymarked ( 'Leicestershire Round') path heading downhill through Rough Hill Wood.

(3)Stay on the main track where it forks to emerge from the woods onto a golf-course. The next part of the walk is a little bit of a trial as the right-of way spends a good distance crossing the fairways - keep to the waymarks (of which there are many, with the path also being worn and clear on the ground) and show due respect for the players. On leaving the golf-course, the path heads across a field before joining a track and then a road heading right downhill into Woodhouse Eaves. Stay on the road until just before a pub, then take Mill Road uphill to the left.

(4)This lane soon becomes unsurfaced and then a path, but follows a straight route across the wooded flanks of Windmill Hill, with good views over the hills of Broombriggs Country Park to your left. When reaching a road, head straight across and then turn left onto the cycle-track opposite to begin the climb of Beacon Hill. Turn right at the first opportunity, beside a sign warning of pedestrians, to leave the track and then after about 125 yds, turn left again onto the main path heading gradually up the hill for nearly a mile. Towards the top, you may wish to take a gate on your right onto a grassy track that cuts the corner and heads straight up through a field of brooding long-horned cattle. The summit area, which features a trig-point and a helpful AA toposcope among the rock crops, is a very good viewpoint and - easily accessible - usually quite busy.

(5)Leave the summit area south through the car-park and then turn right and fork left (signed for pedestrians) onto a pleasant gravelled path heading downhill through the woods. As this curves right at its lowest point, there is a somewhat out-of-character charcoal burner to your left; take the narrow grassy path that heads behind this out of the park to a crossroads. Cross carefully and take the road signed to Copt Oak, heading uphill on a wide verge.

(6)After about 300yds take the signed lane left just before a small wood, forking right as the trees end to take the footpath south-west. On reaching a house, turn left (due south) to join the drive heading past a pond to the largely-intact ruins of the moated Ulverscroft Priory. The drive continues past the Priory, with pleasant views of the wooded hills to your right, to emerge at a road junction. Continue across and onto Ulverscroft Lane and then follow this quiet tree-lined road for about three-quarters of a mile.

(7)Take the footpath signed to Newtown Linford to your right, forking left to follow the clearer of the two signed paths when it opens out into a field after crossing a stile. The way is generally clear from here as the well-trodden path heads across fields and through woods, but there is one slightly confusing point where another path cuts across shortly after you pass a ruined building to the left. Turn left here and then almost immediately right over a slab footbridge to head back into Newtown Linford. Walk down the main street of this very well-kept village (passing - or not… - two good pubs on the way) to return to your vehicle.

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Start: Newtown Linford car park
1 : mi 0.49 - alt. mi 0.49 - Veer right out of Tyburn copse
2 : mi 1.04 - alt. mi 1.04 - Old John hill
3 : mi 1.51 - alt. mi 1.51 - Turn right onto Leicestershire Round path
4 : mi 3.07 - alt. mi 3.07 - Take Mill Road uphill to left
5 : mi 4.48 - alt. mi 4.48 - Beacon Hill
6 : mi 5.09 - alt. mi 5.09 - Turn left along lane
7 : mi 7.08 - alt. mi 7.08 - Turn right along footpath
A : mi 8.57 - alt. mi 8.57 - Finish: Newtown Linford car park

Useful Information

This circular walk climbs two of Leicestershire's most popular hills, also visiting Ulverscroft Priory and the pretty village of Newtown Linford. Although there are two fairly long climbs, the paths are very clear and the going easy throughout. Bradgate Park and Beacon Hill can both be very busy on summer weekends, and those seeking peace might prefer this walk in the week. The walk is described from the large pay-and-display car-park serving Bradgate Park in Newtown Linford, but there are several other car-parks close to the route and also limited street parking in both Newtown Linford and Woodhouse Eaves.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments

Average

Global average : 4.73/5
Number of opinions : 5
Description quality : 4.8/5
Routemap quality : 4.8/5
Walk interest : 4.6/5


Walker
on Sun 08 Sep 2019 17:48:10 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 08/09/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

A really nice walk with a few climbs but nothing too strenuous and some great views from the top of Old John and Beacon Hill especially as it was a lovely clear day. The first half of the walk there were quite a few people around including lots of runners but on the second half we only saw one person. There is a reasonable amount of road walking but little traffic. Parking at Newton Linford car park costs £3 on weekdays and £4 at weekends .


Walker
on Mon 24 Jun 2019 16:55:27 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 24/06/19
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Average

Enjoyed the walk, a little too much road and not enough cross county for me personally. Some instructions were a little confusing which led us to take a wrong turning along a private road to the annoyance of the owner. Have done better walks in this area but am keen to try other walks from your site.


Walker
on Mon 17 Jun 2019 14:41:52 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 13/06/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

This is a great walk with variety and lovely views, and the map and instruction are easy to follow. I went the day after the torrential downpours and had to delay the start of my walk by 1.5 hrs. While driving I passed a flooded field at the side of the River Soar. On the walk, the ground was sodden and I was 'puddling' through some of the fields but luckily none of them were flooded. Some of the roads had water streaming across them. I was lucky with a couple of footbridges where the streams were running very high and splashing against the wood or concrete beams. However if it wasn't flooded after this rain then I assume it is unlikely to be. My only reservation about the walk is that there is an unpleasant section of about 1k on a busy country road just after Bradgate Park with lorries and delivery vans hurtling by. The grass verge is reasonably wide and mown but vehicles are a bit too close for comfort. However there is a delightful section of road going through woods after Ulverscroft Priory and I didn't see a single vehicle.


Walker
on Fri 19 Apr 2019 12:05:43 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 17/04/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

We did this walk in spring sunshine and had great views from Old John and Beacon Hill over the Leicestershire countryside.
There is also a lovely section from Beacon Hill down to Ulverscroft Priory and then back in to Newtown Linford where there are plenty of tea shops for refreshment at the end of the walk. Overall a great walk with good directions.


Moderator hiker
on Tue 27 Feb 2018 15:38:52 CET

Thank you for your feedback! If you have any photos of your walk, please feel free to post them to share with other walkers


Walker
on Mon 26 Feb 2018 10:46:23 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 24/02/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

First time using the app and I couldn't fault it - a few teething issues but after a few miles we worked it out. Its extremely accurate and the alarm to say you're off route is incredible - we doubled back at one point and will know next time. The walk was excellent and I can't wait to try out another. Incredible for a free app!! 10/10 top marks

Other walks in the area

distance 12.24mi Vertical gain +207ft Vertical drop -207ft Durée 5h45 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Rearsby - Leicestershire

This Leicestershire walk starts from the attractive village of Rearsby and explores the countryside and villages lying to the east. The route also includes a section of the Leicestershire Round.

distance 10.9mi Vertical gain +276ft Vertical drop -253ft Durée 5h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Croft - Leicestershire

This Leicestershire walk explores the area to the west and north of the village of Croft, which lies to the south-east of Leicester. The walk uses paths and bridleways and a section of road walking to complete the route.

distance 6.83mi Vertical gain +203ft Vertical drop -217ft Durée 3h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Countesthorpe - Leicestershire

This Leicestershire walk explores the countryside and villages to the southeast of Countesthorpe. The route includes a section of the Leicestershire Round long distance footpath.

distance 4.43mi Vertical gain +112ft Vertical drop -108ft Durée 2h05 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Countesthorpe - Leicestershire

A pleasant amble through the Leicestershire countryside that lies to the south of Countesthorpe. The route visits the village of Peatling Magna before heading north back to the start.

distance 13.71mi Vertical gain +492ft Vertical drop -476ft Durée 6h40 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Long Whatton and Diseworth - Leicestershire

A lengthy Leicestershire walk in the north west of the county. The walk visits a number of historic villages using paths, lanes and a section of old railway line. There are some opportunities for refreshments during the walk.

distance 10.3mi Vertical gain +302ft Vertical drop -285ft Durée 4h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Long Whatton and Diseworth - Leicestershire

This Leicestershire walk explores the northwest of the county. The walk visits a number of historic villages using paths, lanes and a section of old railway line. There are some opportunities for refreshments during the walk.

Hoby circular walk
distance 5.49mi Vertical gain +167ft Vertical drop -190ft Durée 2h40 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Hoby with Rotherby - Leicestershire

This walk is about 5.5 miles long, starting and ending at the village of Hoby. There are fine views across the undulating Leicestershire countryside from the elevated ground near Ragdale Hall. The route and footpaths are well maintained with visible waymarkers and only a few stiles. Most paths are across crop or pasture fields but note some fields may contain bullocks depending on the time of year.

distance 2.81mi Vertical gain +36ft Vertical drop -36ft Durée 1h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Great Glen - Leicestershire

A short Leicestershire walk that explores the countryside to the south of Great Glen. The walk also includes a short section of the Grand Union Canal including Crane's Lock.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.