The first part of this walk was a little uninspiring - along the road from Clipsham to Stretton, though we discovered that we could have walked a little further from the verge, too late for today.
We followed the road to the roundabouts under the A1. Our path left the slip road for the A1 North, via a plank bridge and a stile.
|A very free range hen|
This was near the flight path and approach lights for RAF Cottesmore. This is now known as Kendrew Barracks.
Soon after crossing the old flight path, we had a quick break, before following the route into Thistleton. John Williams's book and the waymarking helped make this straightforward.
Thistleton, the most northerly village in Rutland, is very small, but has a fine church and a herb farm.
|St Nicholas church, Thistleton|
On 28 September 1811 a massive crowd of up to 20,000 watched a prizefight at Thistleton Gap. Tom Cribb fought the American Tom Molineaux in a hotly contested re-match for the heavyweight championship of England. The match was a matter of national pride and the names of both these men were famous throughout the land. The venue was chosen as the three counties of Rutland, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire met there and if the police arrived to halt the illegal fight the boxers and crowd could escape across the county boundary. In the eleventh round Cribb knocked out Molineaux. The original match, a year before, had ended in exhaustion for both men after a gruelling 33 rounds with accusations of cheating. During the intervening period both men had lost weight; Cribb because of extensive training with the famous Captain Barclay and Molineaux due to loss of muscle whilst earning his keep at local prizefighting venues.We recognised the spot by the county boundary sign, and two large barns on the left hand side of the road.
|The barns near Thistleton Gap|
We continued with the hedge on our right, ignoring a path and stile on the right. We had to turn left then right with the field boundaries, joining a farm track just before a small industrial estate on our left. We carried on skirting some woodland, still with the hedge on our right. As we were on the south side of the hedge for most of the time, this was hot going, and the views weren't up to much for a while! We had another break when we found a suitably shady spot - at last.
|Just after walking past the wood there is a shadier path, with wider views - quite a relief!|
We turned left and later right around the wood's edge. The path is crossed by a path towards Edmondthorpe. We had to turn left at a point where a bridleway goes straight ahead.
Use the book and the OS maps here - much clearer than my description!
At the end of the last field is a gate, near the disused Melton to Oakham Canal. The track goes over the canal.
|The disused Oakham to Melton Canal|
We walked past a road to the right signposted to Whissendine, then just after the Teigh sign we turned right into the village and on to the imposing church. It wasn't open at the time, so that'll be one for another day.
|Holy Trinity church, Teigh|
|Not quite a rope bridge over a chasm, but . . .|
|'Pill-box' remnant of World War 2 defences|
Our path was along the bridleway for a good mile gradually uphill until it met the road to Whissendine. We turned left, and in a couple of hundred yards took a footpath to the right, over a stile.
|Whissendine windmill, seen from the path|
From here it was all downhill to the village centre, the shop for a sandwich and some liquid, and back to the circular seat round a tree on the village green, where we ate our rather late lunch.
Map and details
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