For this monthâ€™s walk we visited Thornton reservoir, a beautiful spot with hard paths that take you on a pretty walk following the banks of the reservoir. Having said that there were still quite a few puddles and muddy bits when we went. Severn Trent were advising visitors to wear wellingtons or walking boots. Dog walkers should note that there are signs at several points around the reservoir asking for dogs to be kept on lead and a short section at the end of the walk is on the pavement alongside the road that crosses the end of the reservoir. There is a small, free, car park and I met a variety of friendly ducks, geese and swans beside the shore there. On the walk you are likely to see a good selection of birds on the water including grebes and coots. Allow an hour to an hour and a half for this walk. The directions given are those that I felt were most straightforward, but there are probably shorter routes available if you cut across country. If you would like to use a sat. nav. to find the best route then the postcode is LE67 1AR.
This is a little further out of town than usual and Iâ€™m never sure which is the best route there but this one works for me! Leave Ashby on the A511 heading out towards Coalville. Continue on the A511, passing Coalville and Bardon until you come to the Flying Horse Roundabout just before Markfield. Turn right here, signed Stanton and Thornton. Stay on this road until you reach a turning on your right signed for Thornton. Take this turning and then keep following the signs to Thornton until you reach and then go through the village. At the end of the village turn left into Merrylees Road and immediately left again into Thornton Reservoir Car Park. Leaving the car park take the path that leads off to your left as you face the water. Follow this tarmac path along with the reservoir on your right hand side. After a little way you will come to an unusually shaped building that houses the exhibition centre, fishing lodge and toilets. Passing by the lodge, go through a wooden swing gate onto a hard-core path, still walking alongside the waters of the reservoir. Pass by the rear of St Peters Church and continue along this path to come to the weir that runs across this end of the reservoir. The weir is fenced off, not being safe to cross, and the path continues a little further before turning to the right and crossing a bridge to reach the next bank of the reservoir. The path briefly splits in two here, we took the right hand split which goes nearer to the water and gave us a lovely view of the various different water birds, but as the paths do rejoin a little further along either would do. Follow this well-made path for the whole distance of this side of the reservoir with farmland off to your left at the start and then a very attractive wooded area. If you are feeling a little more adventurous there are a variety of paths for both walkers and cyclists available so you can explore the woods which are on your left and then rejoin the main path. On coming to the end of this side of the reservoir you will again bear right and cross a bridge over a stream to follow along the opposite bank of this arm of the reservoir (the whole reservoir is shaped roughly like a letter Y and you are now on the second point of it). Keep straight on along this path, with the water still on your right hand side until you reach a large metal gate, with a smaller wooden swing gate beside it. Go through this into a small area alongside the road. Cross over the road to reach the pavement on the far side and turn right, following the road as it runs across the end of the reservoir. Where the pavement ends cross back over the road and go through the opening leading into the car park where you started out.
All walks are checked shortly before publication but please be aware that paths may change over time and with the seasons.