A brook side meander and Shotwood Hill
This walk is about 2.5 miles (4 km). It enjoys nice countryside and has one of the few climbs on footpaths in the Parish of Rolleston. Many of the fields are pasture and used for cattle and sheep, so please be aware of this, and keep dogs on a lead. The Parish Council, with the support of the landowners, has recently replaced and repaired all the stiles and laid hardcore over the worst of the muddy areas.
Begin your walk at the Lychgate at the entrance to Rolleston Church.
- Cross the road and turn right on the pavement. Follow the pavement as it bends left into Brookside. Walk along the left hand side of Brookside until you see a fingerpost on your left marked “Public footpath Marston Lane” (footpath 7). Go left here. Follow the track to reach a gate. Pass through it and enter a field with farm buildings on the right hand side. The path swings slightly to the left leading to a second gate. Go through this and follow the footpath in the same direction towards a gate on the far side. Go through the gate and exit onto Marston Lane.
- Turn left and walk around 50 yards (45 m) to reach a finger post on the right hand side (footpath 5). Go over the stile here. The footpath is on the right hand side of the cattle pen and then follows the left hand field edge. Before reaching the end of the field look out for a stile in the hedge on the left. Go over the stile, turn right and follow the right hand edge of the field with the hedge and a brook on your right. You pass a pond on your right and walk to the left of a derelict stile. At the end of the field you reach a stile. Go over and continue in the same direction.
- Just before the end of the field the path goes right through the hedge towards a gate, over a new stile and then immediately left. Follow the hedge on your left for 22 yards (20 m), then go through it over a stile into another field. Follow the path which goes along the edge of the field with the hedge on your right. Once you reach the end of the hedge, the path continues towards a new finger post in the centre of the field (can be muddy in the middle). . Our ongoing path goes towards the bottom of the hill on your left and then continues in a straight line.
- Just before the end of the field there is a stile on the right. Go over the stile, down some steps and across a planked bridge. Bear left and follow the path to a stile on the opposite side of the field. This stile leads onto Cornmill Lane but do not take it. Immediately before the stile turn left, (footpath 4) and with a wire fence on your left, make your way up Shotwood Hill. The wire fence swings to the left but you continue straight on heading for the stile in the right hand corner of the field. Go over the stile and continue uphill along the right hand side of the field with the hedge on your right.
- At the top of the hill you reach a stile. Go over and continue in the same direction, now with the hedge on your left. At the right time of year this can be alive with Meadow Brown butterflies. At the bottom of the hill go over a stile onto a wide track (footpath 3). Follow this track for about 275 yards (250 m) until it bends to the right. Here you will see a stile in the hedge on your left (footpath 2). Go over the stile to enter a field and continue in a straight line with the field’s edge on your left. Exit the field at the far end over a stile onto a tarmac path through Rolleston Caravan Park. Leave the Caravan Park and join Marston Lane. Cross the road and go right. Follow Marston Lane as it swings to the right and reach a T junction with Church Road. Turn left here and in a few yards you are back at the Church.