In the Area

Eat

Enjoy a wonderful choice of local pubs and good restaurants locally. We keep menus and details for guests use.

For a list of local eating places, click here

THE SHEARSBY BATH, Weddings and Private Hire.  LE17 6PP          0116 2478202

Set in the beautiful leicestershire  countryside, SB is a unique venue offering superior cuisine, elegant decor ,fantastic weddings and events .New addition are the Old spa treatment rooms which offer a wide range of beauty treatments. Just 400 yards away

THE CHANDLERS ARMS, SHEARSBY (The Candle Makers Arms), LE17 6PL        0116 2478384

The Chandlers Arms is an award winning traditional village Pub with a cosy, comfortable atmosphere. Pub food at reasonable prices .It is a haven for real ale enthusiasts. 1 mile

THE JOINERS ARMS, BRUNTINGTHORPE, LE17 6NT           0116 2478258

The Joiners Arms is a small village Pub/Restaurant which seats around 50 people. It has an excellent reputation having recently won an award for Best pub in England. It is an eating rather than drinking place. It is advisable to book in advance.1 mile away

THE SHIRES INN and RESTAURANT, PEATLING PARVA, LE17 5PU           0116 2478271

Menu varied to suit all tastes .Serving modern english food. Large Portions, beware having a starter. Special Menu on  Monday Evening Curry Night. Sunday Carvery. 2.5 miles away

THE STAFF OF LIFE, MOWSLEY, LE17 6NT           0116 2478251

Good pub guide 2007 & the AA. Village pub with log fires offering modern british dishes made using local ingredients. 3.00 miles away

THE OLD COCK INN, ARNESBY/LITTLE INDIA, LE8 5WJ           0116 2478251

 Sunday Buffet, eat as much as you like - £9.50 per adult.

This pub is now an Indian Restaurant and Take Away which adds to the variety of eating out in the area. It has two Restaurant Areas and is run by an Indian family who also have another successful restaurant at Countesthorpe. 2.5 miles away

THE GREY GOOSE, GILMORTON, LE17 5PN           01455 552555

 The Grey Goose offers a contemporary & modern experience for both dining & drinking. All ingredients are of the finest and are sourced locally. Look on website for special offers! 3.8 miles away

The Crown Inn,Gilmorton, LE17 5NY       01455  550560

The crown in has a menu to suit all tastes. It is well known locally for its specials nights when it is best to book to ensure a table.Tuesday -evening carvery £6.95.  6.00-9.00pm . Thursday –steak & fish night £7.95 .6.00-9.30pm Friday-chip shop style buffet. £7.95  6.00-9.30pm. Great value and good food.  3.7 miles away

Visit

There are many wonderful places to visit and things to do near our accommodation...

Places To Visit

Foxton Locks

Gumley Road, Foxton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7RA

The whole family will enjoy a fun-packed visit to Foxton Locks, situated within a few miles of us. Surrounded by Leicestershire’s beautiful countryside, you will experience all that this unique waterways landmark has to offer – colourful narrow boats, the famous flight of 10 locks and the new Boiler House virtual experiences.

Bruntingthorpe Events

Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, Bruntingthorpe, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 5QS

Enjoy a number of top class events facilities all on one huge and impressive site, designed to accommodate just about any kind of event from exhibitions and conferences through to large gala dinners and product launches.

Armourgeddon

Southfields Farm, Husband Bosworth, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6NW

Experience the fun and exhilaration of driving monster tanks and other military vehicles over courses set around a real life World War II bombing range.

Rockingham Castle

Rockingham Castle Estate, Rockingham, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 8TH

Set in a panoramic location with views over five counties, the Castle has magnificently furnished rooms of several periods, and is surrounded by 18 acres of superbly contrasting gardens.

Kilworth House Theatre

There’s a special aura and magic about open-air theatre on a beautiful summer’s evening, so what better way to experience that magic than amidst the magnificent surroundings of the Kilworth estate.

 

Wistow Maze

Wistow Maze is a giant 8 acre maize maze with a fun Quiz Trail hidden amongst 3 miles of pathways, with high-level bridges and towers giving fabulous panoramic views.

The Gliding Centre

The Airfield, Husbands Bosworth, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6JJ

Whether you’re new to gliding, already learning to fly or an experienced pilot looking for a top class gliding club, you’ll be very welcome at The Gliding Centre.

Bird on the Hand

Barn Owl Hollow, Stonton Road, Church Langton, Market Harborough, LE16 7SZ .A great introduction to birds of prey and a great gift for young and old. A fantastic memorable experience getting up close and personal flying hawks, falcons, eagles and owls

Stanford Hall

Stanford Hall is open on select days throughout the year and hosts a number of public events and car rallies through the summer season. On these days the publis can enjoy guided tours around the house, relaxing afternoons in the park and the stableyard cafe is open for light lunches and teas. It is also well known for hosting The Wolf Run.

Shearsby Bath

Set in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside, Shearsby Bath is a unique venue offering superior cuisine, elegant décor, fantastic weddings and events.

Old Spa Treatment rooms at Shearsby Bath

The Old Spa Treatment Rooms is a place where you can come and enjoy treatments in privacy and comfort. The surrounding area compliments the salon allowing you to fully switch off and relax. With over 15 years experience in the beauty industry this personal service endeavour’s to offer a wide range and high standard of beauty treatments...

King Richard III Visitor Centre

Become a forensic scientist for the day and learn how the remains of King Richard III were proved to be his as the Richard III Visitor Centre

Leicestershire Records Office

For family history researchers it is located nearby at Wigston

Bridge 67 Cookery school

Come and enjoy a session of cookery lessons and share a passion for food and to teach you with little or no experience some basics, and for those who can cook, to share different ideas and improve cookery skills.

Bruntingthorpe Aircraft Museum

Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome is home to the Cold War Jet Collection including a Victor, Hunter, Canberra, Comet, 2 off Lightnings, Starfighter, Mystere, Sea Vixen, 4 off Buccaneers, 4 off Jet Provosts, Super Guppy, Iskra and a Jaguar. April 2010 saw a Nimrod MR2 arrive at the airfield. The latest aircraft to join the museum fleet is a sea harrier .

Digital Photography Courses –Smeeton Westerby

Are you disappointed with the results from your digital camera? Would you like to get off the full auto setting & learn how take fantastic photographs in just one day? Yes! Then this is the best photography course for you.

 

Peter Welton Painting Courses-

Watercolour Class at Arnesby. Would you like to paint in watercolour using my technique? I run occasional one-day classes in Arnesby, where I live, when I introduce students to my watercolour painting techniques. The cost is £60.00 for the day

Walks

Walk straight out of The Greenway and you can enjoy  a stroll up to our mediaeval fish ponds. We are also happy to lend you our footpath map centred on the farm so you can venture further taking a number of walks to either Bruntinthorpe, Shearsby or Mowsley. We are lucky to be close to the well known Leicestershire Round at Shearsby. Walking boots are an asset, but not usually essential in summer.

Nearby

  • Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground & Events
  • Manheim auctions
  • IOSH Centre Wigston
  • Leicester University
  • NEC Exhibitions ,Birmingham
  • Bruntingthorpe Aircraft Museum

Local Taxis

Karls Kars (Fleckney) 07815 044068
Rural Connect (Fleckney) 07803 552580
Fleckney Rural Cars (Fleckney)01162 404567
George's Taxis (Lutterworth) 01455 559000
Wigston Taxis 01162 777111
Stage Taxis (Wigston) 01162 788333

Farm & Family

Welcome to Knaptoft

When we first came to Knaptoft in 1973, we realised that most of the farm had not been ploughed for perhaps centuries, in fact Jim Jellis, our next door neighbour at Holt Farm, told us that the last time the farm had been under the plough, it had been ploughed by oxen. We had very good ridge and furrow over most of the farm, which told us that it had been part of the mediaeval village system.

Read More...

W.G.Hoskins, the historian who wrote the T.V. series “The Making of the English Landscape”, was my hero, one of my pet quotes was "Hoskins says..."  One of the things Hoskins said is that all ridge and furrow should be mapped before old pasture is ploughed out, as it can be indicative of what happened hundreds of years ago in the old villages.

With this in mind, we contacted the Archaeology Department in Leicester and Terry Pierce, one of the archaeologists came out to look at the farm. He brought with him aerial photographs of Knaptoft, which was a surprise to us because we had no idea that it was of any great interest. He showed us that apart from the ridge and furrow, which had already been mapped, we had fish ponds from the mediaeval village of Knaptoft. At that stage, having newly arrived, we didn't even know that Knaptoft was a Deserted Mediaeval Village, one of several in Leicestershire. As we walked back to the farm, he casually mentioned that it was Hoskins who had actually realised that Knaptoft was a deserted village, that he had cycled out from Leicester University one hot afternoon in the late 1930s and sat in the lane down to Knaptoft looking over the fields. As he looked, he wondered what the humps and bumps were in the field and realised that they were similar to sites of deserted villages in Yorkshire. His research then led him to the interesting story of Knaptoft. Having been depopulated during the Black Death which ravaged Europe in the 14th century, it is not certain when the last peasant left Knaptoft but certainly early on, probably in the 15th century. The early church registers are missing, it is not even known who the church was dedicated to, though it is possible that the Turpin family, who owned the Knaptoft Estate at the time of the battle of Naseby, took the registers with them when they fled from Knaptoft after the battle. They were Royalists and their loyalty to Charles 1st cost them their home and church. The church was razed by fire after Naseby by the Parliamentarians and only one wall now remains. The Turpins totally disappeared and no trace of the family has been found since.

During the course of our conversation with Terry Pierce, he casually said how interesting it would be to restore the damaged banks of the fishponds and see if they would once more fill with water from the many springs round the site. These remarks fell onto very receptive ears. Our son Richard had always enjoyed making dams etc. So the idea gradually evolved and in the very dry year of 1976, the year of The Great Drought, Richard borrowed the Drott from our neighbour, Jim Jellis and did some work on the ponds. He had more or less completed this work by the September, when the first rain that summer fell overnight, so some drainage water also went in. The next morning there was water in the pools, quickly followed by ducks. This was marvellous, because these ancient pools still held water. So we admired the pools for perhaps twelve months, when one day Richard said it would be interesting to put some fish in the pools. He suggested that originally they would have held carp, which was one of the staple foods of the Middle Ages. Richard worked on the idea and soon he went down to Gloucestershire to a Carp Fishery and bought about 20 carp. We were still quite ignorant about fish and fishing, so it was with some surprise that the following year Howard came back and reported that there were hundreds of tiny silver fish jumping about in the sun. Our fish had spawned and the eggs had safely hatched. This is not as easy as it sounds, the water has to be exactly right in minerals, warmth,. etc. for this to happen. We are sure that the village people who dug those ponds, probably about 1200AD knew that the spring water was right and that the site would be a productive one. Certainly, the fish in there have done well up to now. The next idea, after another year or two, was to explore the idea of selling day tickets for anglers to fish this highly popular fish. We told the Angling shop in Wigston that we had some fishing and the rest is history. When we are in Leicester and have to give our address, I am constantly told "We go fishing there". The fishing has been Richard's enterprise and has been a good form of income. Unfortunately, numbers of people in the area have copied the idea and dug pools out, so there is a good deal of competition, but at least ours are real historical Carp Ponds of Knaptoft.

I have to say that one of my great joys since we came here has been to trace the history of our family. I cannot describe my amazement when we discovered that, right next door to us, the 1801 Licensees of The Shearsby Bath Hotel and Spa were members of my mother’s Reeve family from Clay Coton, Northamptonshire. Originally it was little more than a pull up for drovers taking livestock to the rich grazing lands of Market Harborough and the Welland Valley. They walked many miles, with their dogs, herding sheep, cattle and geese, even from as far away as Wales. Mineral Springs were discovered on Knaptoft and the Reeves developed the Spa Baths. Then as far back as 1557, my father’s Towers family was farming at Claybrooke, Leicestershire. It still fills me with amazement that we came here not knowing how close it is to my roots.

Since 1973 we have gone from keeping herds of pigs, beef cattle, sheep and corn growing plus a couple of house-cows for milk, to no arable, no cattle and a much reduced flock of sheep. Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 ravaged the livestock industry of this country. The political change in the outlook for food production, when the impression is gained that it is more economic to import from abroad, has led to these changes. We no longer produce food. We don’t like this but economics dictate that we must farm this way.

In 2000 we planted some of Knaptoft's hard won cultivated acres with trees. It saddens me to think of at least two thousand years of hard work, by peasants working with their bare hands to clear the land to scratch a living. They survived disease and wars to create the countryside which we now enjoy and love. But now we produce next to nothing to feed the our countrymen.

In 1974 I continued my arrangement taking students from a French Agricultural College who wanted to learn English and study our way of life. I had also done some bed and breakfast at Tewkesbury and when we came to Leicestershire, to a much smaller farmhouse, Howard promised me we would build onto the farmhouse so that I could continue with this. We added a new wing which upstairs consisted of two bedrooms with a large bathroom in the middle. I continued with my Language students, German, Swedish or French. Then I decided to develop the bed and breakfast business. Our kindly next door neighbour Joyce Jellis, was very concerned and told me no-one had ever done bed and breakfast round here and was afraid I would fail. I had enrolled to go on a bed and breakfast course in Cumbria, but, having put up a board at the end of the drive, my first guest booked in for several weeks. He was the forester who planted all the trees round the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground. Those tiny slips are now a well-grown wood. Our bed and breakfast business too has grown and is a very important part of our work here. Through the last thirty years we have upgraded our accommodation, and we have been busy right from that first guest. When Theresa left school, she helped for a while, then went to college to take train in Home Economics and Agriculture, returning home to work as a partner in the business. She now runs it with her husband John, who farms at Clay Coton, assisted by their children Hannah and Joseph.

Richard, our son and his wife Julie, together with our granddaughter, Amy have developed their livery and stud side of the farm. Their son Edward a landscape gardener, is also our ever-helpful right-hand man, whether building, or working with the sheep.

Our elder daughter Sally, who came to Knaptoft with us, is married to David. They too farm and provide bed and breakfast at Jerico Farm, in Nottingham. Their two children, Thomas and Mary, are involved with them, Thomas in landscape gardening and Mary is at Harper Adams.

In the 1980s we built the bungalow in the orchard, which we call The Greenway after the farm where I was born at Pailton. Howard and I live there. We can still look over the beautiful countryside, walk the footpaths and see and listen to our bird population. From the windows we can see birds of many kinds. Of course we have blackbirds, wrens, thrushes, sparrows, robins, dunnocks, blue tits, tom tits, long tailed tits chaffinches, busy little wagtails green finches, gold finches, woodpeckers. We have swallows and house martins, owls in the hedges, jackdaws, crows, and magpies scavenging in the fields, and sometimes we are privileged to be visited by wild pheasants in their glorious plumage and hawks hunt in the fields. During the day, horses are ridden along the bridle paths up to Knaptoft, anglers drive up to enjoy the peace of the pools, where there are many water birds and the occasionally herons.

So, we have been at Knaptoft since 1973. We were planting hedges when “The man from the Ministry”, hearing of our plans, anxiously told Howard “But Mr Knight, farmers are pulling out hedges, not planting them” But Howard persisted, he is still of the opinion that hedges give shelter in the winter and shade in the summer, especially when we see the sheep run for the hedge in a sudden rain storm. What is more, he has had the satisfaction of cutting and laying the hedge he planted in those early years, and fashion has swung the other way and everyone is encouraged to plant hedges.

The pools that Richard restored are full of fish and wildlife, the wood of native British trees he planted in 2000 is growing well. The ridge and furrow of the mediaeval village is still here. We have looked after our part of Knaptoft well. We love Knaptoft and living here. We are very conscious of all those people who have looked after the land for hundreds of years previously, of those who cleared the land, dug the pools laboriously with wooden tools, ploughed the land with oxen and in recent years with machinery. Now it is all back to pasture. Make no mistake, without their work it would not be the beautiful place it is today.

For the best room rates book direct with The Greenway
or send us an enquiry

Very comfortable, beautifully presented B and B

"We were greeted warmly, on a horrid rainy and cold day, and the accommodation was equally warm and inviting, the room was beautiful and the views were peaceful and rural. What more could you ask!?"

R S 13 February 2018

Excellent

"Excellent location for the venue (Shearsby Bath) where we were attending a party.
Theresa was an excellent host meeting us on arrival and showing us to our room.
Everything we needed was to hand including water and drinks tray. Iron and ironing board provided and if needed a microwave and crockery to hand.
Breakfast first class.
Overall we had a very relaxing stay will definitely visit if in area again."

Mrs P - 26 January 2018

Excellent

"As usual, a comfortable stay at the end of a long, busy day"

J P - Ireland, 21 December 2017

Cosy and peaceful

"The location was perfect for the nearby Armourgeddon tank driving and tank museum. We turned up earlier than expected but this wasn't a problem and we were able to go straight to our room and have a cup of tea. Theresa was a friendly and very attentive host, she made sure that we had everything we needed and provided us with lots of information about where to have dinner and other places to visit the next day. The location was very peaceful. Our room was large, clean and homely with a very comfortable bed, an ensuite showroom and some thoughtful extras. Breakfast was absolutely delicious, highly recommend the full English! Overall a lovely peaceful stay. "

A H - UK, 25 November 2017

Excellent

"Had a wonderful restful stay when visiting a wedding venue nearby. The best rural stay I've ever had. Theresa, the owner could not do enough to make our stay as comfortable as possible. Will certainly recommend this place and will also visit again."

J K - Northamton, 8 October 2017

Beautiful stay would definitely go and stay again

"I have given my stay a 5 star because it was lovely in everyway "

K P - Leicestershire, 27 July 2017

Excellent - great location- super host - brilliant

"A perfect find in rural Leicestershire- would happily have stayed longer. And very comfortable bed with top end super cotton bedding. Excellent vfm too"

H K - Middx, 29 July 2017

The Greenway B&B, Bruntingthorpe Road, Knaptoft, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE176PR

E: info@knaptoft.co.uk | Tel: 07713 076970

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