GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

National Forest Walks

18 miles (29 km)

The National Forest is spread over 200 square miles in the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshireand Staffordshire.
There's some great areas for walkers with miles of trails through both ancient and newly planted woodland. Below you will find some of the walking highlights in the region including several reservoirs, forest parks and historic landmarks. Many of these can be reached on the National Forest Way which takes you on a tour of the area on a waymarked trail.
The circular walk on the map below explores the popular Charnwood Forest area where you will find some of these highlights including Cropston Reservoir, Swithland Reservoir, Swithland Woods, Bradgate Country Park, Beacon Hill Country Park and the high point of the forest at Bardon Hill.


Walks in the National Forest

  • Moira Furnace - This attraction in Moira includes a 36 acre country park with walking and cycling trails along the Ashby Canal
  • Bardon Hill - Climb to the highest point in Leicestershire on this walk near Coalville
  • Bradgate Country Park - Bradgate is a very large, 830 acre park located just outside the city of Leicester
  • National Memorial Arboretum - This peaceful circular walk takes you through the National Memorial Arboretum and its surrounding countryside in Alrewas, near Lichfield in Staffordshire
  • Grace Dieu Priory - This historic 13th century priory is located close to Coalville in North West Leicestershire.
  • Hicks Lodge - Enjoy cycling and walking trails in this converted coal mining site in Ashby-de-la-Zouch
  • Ashby Canal - Follow the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal from Bedworth in Warwickshire, to the little village of Snareston in Leicestershire
  • Calke Park - This walk takes you around the magnificent Calke country estate located in Ticknall, Derby
  • Beacon Hill Country Park - Explore 335 acres of mixed woodland, grassland, wildflower meadows and farmland on this country park walk or cycle near Loughborough
  • Alrewas and Fradley Junction - Enjoy a nice easy canal walk from Alrewas to Fradley Junction and then onto the village of Fradley
  • Horseshoe Trail - This cycling and walking trail in Derbyshire takes you on a tour of the countryside, villages and reservoirs near Burton-Upon-Trent and Swadlincote
  • Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail - This lovely short cycle and walking trail runs from Measham near Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Moira along a disused railway path
  • Foremark Reservoir - This walk visits the pretty Foremark Reservoir near Burton Upon Trent in Derbyshire
  • Kedleston Hall - Explore the 820 acres of parkland surrounding this country house near Derby in the Peak District
  • National Forest Trail - Explore the National Forest in Leicestershire and Derbyshire on this super figure-of-eight cycle ride
  • Sence Valley Forest Park - Enjoy a series of lovely cycling and walking trails in this good sized country park near Ibstock
  • Sudbury Hall - This wonderful 17th century mansion in Derbyshire boasts a superb Great Staircase, fine Long Gallery, exquisite plasterwork, wood carvings, classical story-based murals and portraits by John Michael Wright, and of Charles II's mistresses.
  • Charnwood Forest - This long circular walk explores the parks, woodland, hills, nature reserves and countryside in the attractive Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire
  • Burton on Trent to Barton under Needwood Canal Walk - This walk follows a lovely section of the Trent and Mersey Canal from Burton Upon Trent to Barton Marina in the the nearby village of Barton under Needwood
  • Melbourne Hall and Pool - This circular walk explores the area to the south of the Derbyshire town of Mlebourne
  • Mount St Bernard Abbey - Visit this Cistercian monastery near Coalville on this short walk
  • Staunton Harold Reservoir - Enjoy a waterside walk along this 210 acre reservoir in Melbourne, Derbyshire
  • Swithland Woods - These woods in the Charnwood Forest have a series of good footpaths to try
  • Thornton Reservoir - Enjoy cycling and walking around this pretty reservoir in Thornton, Leicestershire. Bagworth Heath Woods can also be visited in this area.
  • Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood - This walk explores the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood near Normanton Le Heath in the National Forest.
  • Rosliston Forestry Centre - The centre provides a wealth of information on the area and also has on site bike hire. The surrounding parkland is well worth exploring too with woodland trails, meadows, ponds, lots of butterfliesand some interesting sculptures to see.

Please click here for more information

National Forest OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

National Forest Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Photos

Geologists at Bardon Hill - geograph.org.uk - 2102183

Geologists at Bardon Hill - the high point of the National Forest in Leicestershire

Bradgate Park - geograph.org.uk - 1472586

Bradgate Park. Extensive view south-west from the war memorial across the 850-acre park with the city of Leicester in the distance.

Grace Dieu Priory - 1 - geograph.org.uk - 1540874

Grace Dieu Priory, Near to Thringstone, Leicestershire. Looking east from the A512. Although the area around Grace Dieu has historical connections dating back to the Romans and beyond, the Priory came into being around 1235-1241 as a house for Augustinian canonesses. The priory was dissolved in 1538 by Henry VIII.

Moira Furnace - geograph.org.uk - 275644

Moira Furnace. Moira Furnace, with its ramp over the Ashby Canal, was Built by Francis Rawdon Hastings in 1804. Intending to exploit local minerals to smelt iron, it failed within months and was soon colonised by locals in need of housing. The building was used in this way right through to the early 1970's when it was earmarked for demolition. Thankfully it was saved and now is a jewel in Britain's industrial heritage.

Calke Abbey - geograph.org.uk - 1704721

Calke Abbey. Calke Abbey is a baroque mansion built in 1704 and set in an historical landscape park. It has become famous as a graphic illustration of the country house.

Bridge - Sudbury Hall - geograph.org.uk - 231191

Bridge reflected in the lake at Sudbury Hall

Cropston Reservoir - geograph.org.uk - 3036952

Cropston Reservoir

Disused slate quarry in Swithland Wood - geograph.org.uk - 143623

Disused slate quarry in Swithland Wood

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

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