Leicestershire & Rutland
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SP574980 (4*) Restricted Access
A beast of a ford. From the south, you are warned that it is unsuitable for motors, but not from the north! It was around a foot deep on my visit and has a smooth concrete bottom with easy access. The water is poisonous (or so the sign says) so you don't want to be getting stuck in it. Keep those windows shut!
"A plan to 'gate' the road to the Ford on both sides of the river has been implemented (Image 2). This is to prevent vehicles (especially burnt out, abandoned cars) becoming stuck in the Ford and along the access roads. It will also prevent rat running through Blaby conservation area." Bad news and image sent in by Dave Smith (22/08/2007)
SK805391 (3*) Suitable for All
SK807391 (2*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Andy Brown (10/05/2003)
'Image 1 shows the main ford in Bottesford which is about 25 feet wide but can get up to 18 inches deep in winter. Always seems to be at least 8-10 inches deep even in summer. Image 2 shows the nearby larger road crossing designed as an Irish bridge' Mouseovers and Image 2 sent in by Peter D. Smith (21/10/2004)
SP682991 (2*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Peter D Smith (15/04/2005)
'This ancient ford lies on the line of the Roman road, Gartree Road,
shooting south-eastwards from Leicester. Unfortunately there was a new
sign (face down when I visited!) chained to the gatepost at the start of
this section proclaiming 'motor vehicles prohibited until further notice',
but there is presumably no reason why this ford can't be enjoyed by
cyclists. The stony road with some tarmac leads to a pebbly ford about 5
yards long and 4-6 inches deep. Of the two exits, the one on Leicester
side is much the steeper, and rather uneven. There is an iron footbridge,
but no signs. It is marked on the OS Explorer Map.'
SP547951 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Neil Farmer (27/07/2007)
Image 1 shows the Irish bridge in Cosby Leicestershire in full flood. Just 10 yards beyond the Irish bridge is a ford also, which goes up to a gate leading onto the Middleton Hotel and restaurant grounds. I imagine this was
used in years gone by. There are large rocks roughly fashioned as stepping stones, so wouldn't advise driving through it and as you can see in photo
no3 there is no where to go any way.'
SK848222 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Tony welsh (02/11/2003)
'20 foot wide all concrete open to all vehicles max depth after 3 day of rain 8ins'
SK469018 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Darren Whiley (23/08/2013)
'It is located down a very rough track, the ford itself is not very impressive about 3 inches deep. 4 wheel drive needed because of the rough approach' Carl Whitehead
SK833208 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Peter D. Smith (21/04/2003)
'This muddy ford lies on the southern edge of the village, probably forming
part of the old road to Wymondham; the modern road crosses the River Eye
further to the east. A footbridge is provided. It is marked on the OS
SP655980 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Simon Harwood (15/07/2007)
'It is a 1* Irish Bridge and normally has no
water over the road. It currently has 90cm of water over the road. The ford is in a built up area and is approached by tarmac roads on both
sides. The road slopes up relatively steeply for a short distance on
The image mouseover was taken in the floods of 1st July '07.
The water doesn't often get that deep, but has been considerably deeper in the past.'
SP779969 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in By John Walton (22/08/2012)
SK408092 (1*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Carl Whitehead (Image 1: 23/01/2005) and Ernie Feargrieve (Image 2: 01/06/2016)
'Situated down a tarmac lane concrete bottom, about 6 inches deep when I visited'
SP683862 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Arran Lamb (04/06/2003)
'Normally about 8 to 12" deep but I have once had it to headlight depth!'
SK749077 (1*) Suitable for All
SK748075 (1*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Peter D Smith (15/04/2005)
'Both fords are indicated on the OS Explorer Map and lie on the respectably
stony Marefield Lane, which runs south from Marefield towards
Tilton-on-the-Hill. At the first one (Image 1), a fast-flowing stream
crosses the lane in a gully eroded through concrete, exposing the uneven
stones beneath, so some care is needed. The water was about 4 inches deep
at my visit, and about 18 inches wide at most. There is a good
footbridge, but no signs.
The second (Image 2) is a charming watersplash: a smaller stream flows
along one half of the road for about 7 yards before dutifully turning a
right-angle to cross the lane. The water was not more than a yard wide
and a couple of inches deep when I visited, but someone saw the need to
construct a little-used footbridge. It would have been too much to expect
warning signs as well, though.'
SP799930 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Neil Farmer (10/04/2007)
'Medbourne is just an Irish bridge as you can see, but it does regularly
flow over the road, ironically it's the first time I've visited it when it
SK472057 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
A good 4x4 ford. Roughly a foot deep on this visit with a smoothish bottom (a few stray rocks knocking around though). Length is around 50m with the deepest part occuring at the far end of the picture. The sign says the ford is public access, but I am unsure about the road beyond so better check before driving up that exit ramp! Mouseover sent in by Dave Tipping (01/12/2002), Image 2 sent in by Earl Ronald Taylor (25/07/2004).
'Checked with Leics CC Highways and the lane is full access apart from the SW end. There are two routs at this (Merry Lees) end. The ford is part of the public lane but the parallel bridge (normally gated) is private road. So - can run full length as long as not over bridge.' Simon Best
SK403073 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Paul Wright (05/02/2005)
'Shallow depth of about 6'' Gravel bottom, Foot bridge was about 3ft above water level.'
SK763088 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Peter D Smith (31/03/2005)
'A dirty 'road unsuitable for motor vehicles' leads south from the hamlet
of Newbold to this one. The stony base of the road is covered very
thickly with mud either side of the stream. The gravel-bottomed ford is
about 6 inches deep and 2 yards across. There are no warning signs or
depth gauge, but a slippery three-plank footbridge lurks downstream in the
undergrowth. It is marked on the OS Explorer Map.'
SK755074 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Peter D Smith (31/03/2005)
'This ford lies on Red Lodge Road, which is enclosed on the Tilton side of
the ford, but not on the Owston side. The ford's base is of sand and
gravel with some large pebbles, too. When I visited, the depth was up to
6 inches, the width about 5 yards. The biggest challenge for a vehicle
would be the very muddy and quite steep short ramp on the Tilton side.
There are stepping stones instead of a footbridge, and no signs
whatsoever, but it does appear on the OS Explorer Map.'
SK503061 (1*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Jan Bentley (02/02/2007)
'Another small ford, all year round, concrete bottomed. Easily passable unless there's been a lot of rain. It's on the road to Ratby Burroughs, which has a car park.'
SK651145 (2*) Suitable for All
SK650145 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Tony welsh (02/11/2003) and Peter D Smith (15/04/2005)
'12 foot wide concrete open to all vehicles max depth 6ins on the day even in the driving rain (Image 1).
About 100 yards or so downstream from the main ford at Rearsby is the second ford (Image 2), though you could only drive as far as the farmer's gate shown in the
image. It has the about same dimensions as the other Rearsby ford, but a
stony base instead of concrete.'
SP728965 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Steve Boddle (07/12/2009)
'It has been wet over the last week so the depth was about 2ft deep but I would imagine that it would normally be not much more that a trickle I would think under normal condition you would drop about 2 ft from either direction into a stream at the bottom the ford is on a curve and has a gravel bottom'
Sheepy Parva (x2!)
SK332023 (1*) Suitable for All
SK335022 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
The ford in Sheepy Parva is a timid 'part-timer', somewhat upstaged by the ford located on the nearby green lane (Image 2). Despite having a rugged bottom and being 'unsuitable for motors', this one might be possible in low flows. Image 1 mouseover sent in by Dan Taylor (03/03/2007), Image 2 mouseovre sent in by Lawrence Williams (28/11/11)
SP743929 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Russ Beck (10/05/2004)
'It was in flood when we tried it but in the summer it can be 18" deep. Gravel bottom, leading from a UCR to a byway on the far side. 4x4 recommended in winter especially.'
Sent in by William B:
'We tried this today. The ford was about 21 inches deep we had no problem
with this but the field road after has some big ruts you get funnelled into
and we got stuck trying to avoid a particulary deep bit. We met a couple of
others who had just come from the other way and had no problem but they
came down what is a fair incline. we would advise approaching from the north
not Thorpe Langton. There is not room to turn after the ford so a reverse
ford is the only option. it would appear the field road is an accepted route
from talking to the locals during my efforts to find someone to pull us out
. The locals seemed used to pulling people out and good natured about it .
We were pulled out by a JCB which was finding it heavy going.'
SP494976 (4*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Lee Chapman (Image 1: 20/05/2002) and Andy Doughty (Image 2: 17/02/2007)
This is an intimidating ford in terms of depth and length. When I visited, the depth gauge was showing over a foot so I decided not to bother. However, I watched in amazement as a Rover 200 ploughed through the ford with success. To be honest, I had the camera ready as I was convinced I was about to witness another victim. Earl Shilton is highly recommended and is one of the finest fords encountered so far on this guide.
I recently forded watery Gate near Earl Shilton (in my snorkel equipped
Discovery) and as I turned around to make the return crossing, I watched in disbelief as a woman in a new Mini drove into it at about 30mph! Of course she didn't make it across and was stranded in the middle with 3 young girls in the back seat and a baby strapped in the front!
"What have I done?" she asked as I drove in to her.
"Just flick the ignition and we'll see," I said "might just be water in the distributor."
"what have I done?" she asked again.
"You have killed it!" I said.
I then proceeded to winch her and her party out onto dry land. As I waded about in the water looking for the tow point I stood on what turned out to be fragments of her crank case!!!
"better phone your husband love, don't think this will be going anywhere for a while."
Her excuse for driving into it so fast? " I thought I would have a better chance of making it to the other side!"
After a quick lesson on how to do it properly I gallantly towed her home. Martyn Gleeson
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