As there were only two of us I decided we should check out a cheeky route out of town that I have been meaning to explore for ages. This is the old railway line that starts in the country park and heads to Scalford. It's not signed as a right of way of any kind but is an obvious off road link to get out of town northwards. A definite candidate for a cycle track. Checking on the County Council web site it would appear the trail was designated a footpath back in 2003 but it is not signed and has several fences and some locked gates on it?

The remnants of the old railway embankments and cuttings actually start within the park and we started on a fun, if short, section of singletrack twisting along these and through trees. At the end of the park where a signed footpath turns off right down some steps we lifted our bikes over the low fence and carried on. The trail is obviously well used and the first mile or so consisted of a narrow line of singletrack through encroaching vegetation. We saw several other users on the trail: some kids on mountain bikes and some dog walkers. We both obtained a few nettle stings and the same bramble drew blood from the inside of our left elbows but the trail is definitely better than road for getting out of town (or back into it) from this direction. The second half of the trail was vegetation free and much wider with a few gates (some locked). At the end there was a climb over a fence to roll a steep drop down to the road. This was tricky due to the lack of run in caused by the fence and Steve opted to walk it.

We crossed the road and headed up Ironstone lane discussing the exploration we had just done but had to cease our conversation when passing Grange Farm in order to shout at a roaming greyhound that was definitely eyeing us up for a chase! The dog backed down at our shouts and we turned right down the green lane that leads to the top of Pasture Lane. The second section of this has some tricky, deep ruts so I was happy when I cleaned it.
As we pedalled along Clawson Lane and across the short bridleway to the top of Clawson Hill we could see black clouds dispensing rain over towards Melton and further south. It was still sunny and nice where we were though so we continued across the second short bridleway at Holwell Mouth. The last section of this is really nice singletrack. It's a shame its only a few yards long! I wish there were a few more miles of that around here!

We continued on via Wartnaby and the permissive bridleway to Saxelbye all the time looking at the rain and clouds we were skirting around. We managed to get to Welby before we felt any spots of rain. We opted to miss having a play at Asfordby Hill and instead hurried back on the road to The Welby. Our timing was impeccable as we got a pint in and sheltered in the smoking shed as a heavier shower hit. :-) Luckily there were no smokers wanting to use the shed whilst we had a pint and waited for the rain to stop before heading home.