Vale of Belvoir
A long circular walk through the lovely Vale of Belvoir on the borders of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. It's a varied walk with woodland trails, waterside paths along the Grantham Canal and a visit to the splendid Belvoir Castle. The walk runs for about 15 miles with some moderate climbing at the start through the Belvoir Estate. The remainder of the route is fairly easy going with nice flat paths from Stathern onwards.
The walk starts in the Lincolnshire village of Woolsthorpe by Belvoir and heads west along the Jubilee Way to Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.
The Grade I listed stately home is the ancestral seat of the family of the Dukes of Rutland. It was rebuilt in the Gothic Revival style in 1832 and is surrounded by a huge estate with lakes and woodland. From the elevated position of the castle there are magnificent views over the Vale of Belvoir. For a fee you can explore the castle grounds and inside view the fine artwork, exquisite furniture and museum detailing the interesting history of the castle.
You continue west through the Barkestone Wood to the village of Stathern. The route then turns north to follow footpaths through the countryside to Plungar, where you pick up the canal. The now disused canal runs for 33 miles (53 km) from Grantham, falling through 18 locks to West Bridgford where it joins the River Trent.
This section follows the canal east past Redmile, the pretty Bottesford Wharf and Longore Bridge before coming to Woolsthorpe Wharf. There's pretty locks, an old bridge and a nice canal-side country pub which is great for refreshments here. Shortly after you return to the village and the finish point for the walk.
To continue your walking in the area you could head south of Belvoir to Knipton Reservoir and visit the pretty villages of Knipton and Branston.
Vale of Belvoir Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Vale of Belvoir Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Vale of Belvoir OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Vale of Belvoir Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
In Grantham you'll find one of the highlights of the area at the splendid Belton House. The National Trust owned property includes 1300 acres of parkland surrounding a fine country house.