Two picturesque walks from the village of Exton, starting at The Fox and Hounds at the village green.
Exton Walk 1 (blue) – Distance: 4.8 miles
Exton Walk 2 (red) – Distance: 4.7 miles
Exton Walk Number 1. Start from the Fox and Hounds Inn.
1 Standing with your back to the Fox and Hounds follow High Street to the left of the Green. As you reach the top of High Street on your right you will see the brick piers and tiled roof of the Old Pump House on a small green. At the junction turn left on to West End. After only a short distance take a right onto the road to Home Farm. This leads you past farm buildings to a cattle grid and gate with a sign post for the Viking Way.
2 Once through the gate turn right and follow the tarmac bridleway sign posted “Bridleway to Fort Henry” as it passes farm buildings and a cemetery.
3 On reaching a junction with another pathway turn right to continue along the Viking Way. The bridleway skirts the trees of Tunneley Wood as it starts to veer to the right.
4 Turn left at the sign post for the Viking Way footpath. The bridleway to Fort Henry continues on your right. After a short distance the footpath leaves the stone track and passes over a pasture field with stiles at either end before rejoining the track.
5 After climbing a short hill turn right when you reach a junction with another footpath. After about a mile the path passes through a plantation of young trees leading into Toll Bar Spinney.
6 Turn right when you reach a crossroads with steps descending on both sides. Take the path heading south that follows the course of the North Brook. You will soon reach two lakes.
7 Turn right to follow a path that passes between the lakes – lower lake on the left and Fort Henry Lake on the right.
8 After you pass the lakes there is a fork in the bridleway. Take the tarmac path on the right and continue straight ahead. After about a mile, with Tunneley Wood now on your left, the path curves to the left and rejoins the Viking Way. Now you will need to retrace your route back to the Fox and Hounds Inn.
Exton Walk Number 2. Start from the Fox and Hounds Inn.
1 Starting with your back to the Fox and Hounds Inn follow Stamford Road around the right hand side of The Green. At the top of the road bear right and cross over on to New Field Road.
2 At the end of New Field Road cross over a cattle grid and continue along a public bridleway through a grazed field set with large horse chestnuts.
3 Passing over another cattle grid the bridleway now curves to the left passing through a quarried area. During the 1960’s and 70’s ironstone was excavated here by ‘Sundew’, which at that time was one of the worlds largest dragline walking excavators.
4 Eventually you will reach a crossroads. Bridleways are sign posted to your left and straight ahead. You need to follow the tarmac footpath on the right.
5 Follow the footpath for almost a kilometre until you find yourself at a stile alongside a field gate. Pass over the stile and you will find yourself at the southern end of lower lake. After passing the lake on your left leave the tarmac path to join another footpath signposted to your right. On either side of the footpath earthworks can now be seen that are all that remains of the medieval village of Horn.
6 Continue heading south and after a little under a mile you will reach Horn Mill. Turn right on to the road and follow it around the corner. In the distance you will soon see a footpath sign posted on the right.
7 Turn right and cross over a stile to follow the footpath. The path now roughly follows the course of the stream, heading west and back to Exton.
8 As you near the village you will reach a junction between two footpaths. On your left there is a path heading west and back to the road but you want the path on your right leading uphill along the edge of a field. Continue along this path which leads on to Garden Road. At the end of Garden Road turn right on to Stamford Road and this will lead you back to the Fox and Hounds Inn.