GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

National Forest Way

75 miles (120 km)

This splendid 75 mile walk runs from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire.
On the route you'll visit several National Forest highlights including several peaceful woodland areas, a series of reservoirs, attractive parks and historic villages.
The route starts at the western end in Staffordshire at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, near Lichfield. From here you head north towards Yoxall and the Needwood Forest. You'll head east through the forest towards Tatenhill before visiting the pretty Branston Water Park on the Trent and Mersey Canal.
You continue through Walton on Trent, the Rosliston Forestry Centre and Netherseal before coming to another route highlight at Moira Furnace. The historic industrial site includes pleasant trails along the Ashby Canal and the Donisthorpe Woodland park.
You continue through Blackfordby and Hartshorne before coming to Foremark Reservoir. You'll pass along a lovely waterside trail on the eastern side of this expansive lake.
The next stage passes Ticknall where you can explore the gardens and parkland surrounding the historic Calke Park and enjoy more lakeside footpaths at Staunton Harold Reservoir.
The trail continues south through Ashby de la Zouch and Packington before coming to the attractive Sence Valley Forest Park near Coalville. The woodland park is a great place for walks and cycling with lakes and lots of wildlife to see.
The next stage heads east past Bagworth Heath Woods, Thornton Reservoir and MartinshawWood before coming to a major route highlight at Bradgate Country Park. There's hundreds of acres of wonderful parkland with resident deer and the nearby Cropston Reservoir and Swithland Woods to explore. Just north of here the route finishes at Beacon Hill where there are some wonderful views over the area.

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

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


One nice place for a pit stop is the Hub Cafe at the 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.


The National Memorial Arboretum - - 847853

The National Memorial Arboretum. View towards Visitors Centre and Chapel.

Branston Water Park - - 6866

Branston Water Park

Moira Furnace and Ashby Canal - - 603807

Moira Furnace and Ashby Canal

Ha-ha at Calke Abbey - - 1428143

Ha-ha at Calke Abbey

Foremark reservoir - - 393759

Foremark reservoir

Sence Valley Forest Park - - 1495157

Sence Valley Forest Park

Bradgate Country Park, Leicestershire - - 389798

Bradgate Country Park, Leicestershire

Beacon Hill - - 946866

Beacon Hill. Looking down on Loughborough. At 245m (802 feet), Beacon Hill is the second highest point in Leicestershire and is easily reachable from the nearby car park.


GPS Files

GPX File

National Forest Way.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')