Harby - Barkestone - Plungar - Harby

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This walk is level and follows easy paths, but is classified as an easy walk due to the few stiles and the distance. It quickly gets you into the heart of the countryside and the first stretch along the canal is particularly beautiful. This canal is no longer used for boating traffic (although you may see the odd canoe or two), but the towpath has been well-maintained for walking. The plantlife attracted butterflies and dragonflies during my outing in August.

The return covers a short section of the canal, but also takes in the three villages mentioned before, all of which have their own merits. All three have pubs in them, with one at Harby offering Cantonese cuisine! The return takes you through mixed arable and pastoral fields (and someone's back garden) and provides an interesting contrast to the towpath stretches.

England - Central England - Leicestershire - Canal Walk


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Play Area, Pub, Toilets
5/1/2017 - Deryck Shead

Found this to be a very pleasant walk, the canal path had been mown so was very wide, we found a new tea room just before Plunger village called "the cow shed" only open Sat & Sun, Staff were very friendly and drinks were very reasonably priced. The car park is on School Lane and is now identified with a proper Parking sign and is free.

4/19/2015 - Leigh Pick

Chose this walk for my Martial Arts walking group. Very flat but lots of interesting wildlife, farm activity and a memorial to a crashed Lancaster and its crew part of the way. Pubs on this walk (done on a Sunday) There is the John Dory in Barkston although not tried has good reviews on the CAMRA website. We visited the Anchor in Plungar down Granby Lane. Very well priced, friendly staff and relaxed feel. The walk is very well signposted throughout and the instructions are still spot on. We finished our day with a cream tea at Harby Village hall which was very pleasant. Just to note at bridge No 45 is the Dove Cottage Day Hospice tea room which does light refreshments and lunch if you want to go at the end of your walk. Proceeds go to funding the day hospice for terminally ill people. Whatever you decide a lovely walk to while away a Sunday afternoon.

4/20/2014 - Anthony Wallace

Very pleasant walk for an Easter weekend but it is a bit more than 7.5 miles; my GPS clocked in at a fraction over 10 although we did make a couple of short detours to find a pub for lunch. The one at Barkestone is closed at the moment but looks like it will shortly re-open as the John Dory. The Anchor at Plungar was nice and sold good food.

3/18/2012 - Bob Danylec

A most enjoyable walk, lots to see and plenty of interest. Very peaceful and due to the early rain hardly another soul in sight. The return from Barkestone across the fields left us with very heavy muddy boots, but all part of the fun.

4/5/2010 - Peter Holland

The access to the canal from the bridge at point 2 has been re-engineered by the Highways Authority and is no longer an obvious direct one. You now need to continue along the road for 100 metres then follow a track on the right to get to the canal.

2/4/2007 - Barry Payne

For Berkestone please read Barkestone!!

8/14/2004 - Ross Bofinger

I've bought the map and guide, but where is the play area listed under "Features" please?

6/1/2004 - K&P Savage

31/3/04 really enjoyed this walk. Watched a grass snake swimmimg under the first bridge. Point 6 is now well marked but look out for the horses!

8/5/2003 - Keith Golding

Do not plan to use pubs in Plungar and Barkestone as they are closed on a weekday during the day. Point 6 the path was not well marked and at one point was crossed by electric fence.