Cycle Route Submitted by: Darren Firth
This is a 19-(30)m cycle route taking you through the rolling Leicestershire countryside, comprised of quiet B roads, village streets and country lanes. There is a lot of beautiful scenery to take in along both routes (especially Cropston Reservoir and Bradgate Park) and an abundance of quality country pubs, eateries and cafes, if you fancy a more leisurely, social ride. Loughborough is the nearest mainline station, with regular fast trains to and from London (Every 20 Mins). There are also frequent services to Sheffield, Lincoln and Nottingham.
We decided to take the longer route (30m), which passes through the additional villages/towns of Normanton on Soar, Long Whatton, Shepshed, Copt Oak and Newtown Linford. Heading North out of Cropston from Horseshoe Cottage (Our recommended base for the night), you are immediately faced with a couple of gentle climbs to warm up the legs for the journey ahead. Once you reach the peak of the hill on Swithland Road, you are then presented with an easy 4.5m descent, passing through the picturesque villages of Woodhouse and Quorn, finishing up at Barrow upon Soar. After a short climb through the village, the route then heads back into the undulating countryside, right through to our first stop at the The Plough Inn at Normanton on Soar, which resides on the River Soar.
The next 12m involves a generous amount of climbing, but the views and scenery will reward you nicely. Once you the leave the canopy of Copt Oak Wood on Whitcroft's Ln, you can then enjoy the 3m descent on isolated country lanes into the picture-postcard village of Newtown Linford. Once you reach Newtown Linford, there's nothing between you and the end of the route but National Forest. Enjoy!
We added an extra 6m round trip onto the end of the route to call off at the Curzons Arms in Woodhouse Eaves, for a well earned pint and food.
LE7 7HQ ➞ LE7 7HQ