Mountsorrel village is situated between the River Soar and the rocky crags of Charnwood Forest. The village grew in between rock and river with the communication links of canal, rail and road. The village today consists of ancient buildings, inns, boatyards and housing.
An ideal way to see the beauty of Mountsorrel is to take the delightful village trail. Parking your car in the free car park off the Leicester Road (A6), look behind you to see the Memorial Hall. Now cross over the road keeping the Church House to your right and walk up The Green to the village green. This is one of the largest and best kept greens in the country. Walking up The Green, taking in the 17th century coaching inn and a Commons House, you will see the Christ Church directly in front of you. This Victorian church dates back to 1844. Walking back down The Green on the opposite side, take time to admire the picturesque cottages on your left. Near the bus stop you will see the pump.
This is made of local granite and was erected to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Carry on walking down The Green back to the Leicester Road and then turn left. In front of you, across the road, is the baptist witness. This has been in the village for 200 years, the present Chapel bearing the date 1879. Now turn left into the Castle park. Walking through the gardens you will see the statue of a Knight which is the work of the former local sculptor, Mike Grevatte. The footpath continues, over a stile, up to Castle Hill, however, this part of the trail is not suitable for wheelchairs and is very steep and rocky. (If you choose not to take this part of the trail, then walk back out onto the Leicester Road, turn left, and continue along to the Buttermarket).
This site is a registered Ancient Monument and is now administered by the Parish Council but overseen by English Heritage. The site also includes a War Memorial commemorating the fallen in both World Wars and is the site of a former castle. Head back down the hill to the railings and walk left, keeping the railings to your right. Continue along this footpath until you come out by the houses on Watling Street. Looking to your left on the opposite side of the road you will see the former St Peters School, which has been converted into private flats. Turn right and walk down to the Buttermarket.
This was erected In 1793 to protect stallholders from the weather and to replace the original medieval market cross which is now sited at Swithland. Turn left and walk along Loughborough Road. On your left you will see St Peter’s Church which is mainly c.1800, but does incorporate a medieval tower and West Window. Keep walking down the road passing the Swan on the corner of Crown Lane. This was also designed by local sculptor Mike Grevatte. When you reach Bond Lane turn left and then take the first right into Stonehurst Family Farm and Museum.
Stonehurst Family Farm & Museum
This unique farm has more to offer than the average farm park, housing a blacksmiths forge, vintage car museum, a natural foods and gift shop, tea room with home made cakes and hands on experiences on the farm. Once you have enjoyed Stonehurst return to the Loughborough Road and cross over walking back down the way you came but on the opposite side of the road. The Swan pub has a beautiful beer garden backing onto the River Soar. Take time to relax in this garden and if you look to your left you will see the 1860 bridge.
This red brick bridge was built in 1860 to carry granite over the river and with its span of 90 feet it is still one of the largest brick arches in the country. Continue along the road passing St Peters Old Vicarage on your left on the corner of Sileby Road. Turn left down here and walk down to The Waterside Inn and Mountsorrel Lock.
The whole area here is very picturesque with the Inn dating back to 1795. The lock is 1.23m and adjusts the canal level where a natural weir occurs in the adjacent river. Walk back up the road and as you turn left you will see an interpretation of the Mountsorrel Cross. The original is considered too delicate to move from its present site in Swithland. As you walk back to the car park take a look at The Grapes which used to be the largest of the village’s coaching inns. Also on this stretch of the trail you will pass the Parish Rooms which was originally built as a school in 1847 and is now the Parish Council Head Quarters. Turn left back to the car park.