GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

River Soar Walk in Leicester

7 miles (11 km)

This lovely circular waterside walk takes you along both sides of the River Soar in the city centre of Leicester. It's a lovely area for a stroll with 2 beautiful parks and the Grand Union Canal to visit as well.
The walk starts on the pretty bridge in Abbey Park which spans the river. Here you will find formal gardens, a sensory garden, a boating lake, a model boat lake and a miniature railway. Follow the riverside paths north to Ellis Meadows and then on to Watermead Country Park. It's a real highlight of the area with over 12 lakes and ponds, wildflower meadows, woodland, grassland and reedbeds set in 350 acres of parkland.
After exploring the park the route heads south along the other side of the Soar, passing the canal in Belgrave before returning to Abbey Park. Here you can visit the historic Abbey Grounds with the remains of the twelfth century Leicester Abbey, and the ruins of Cavendish House, a seventeenth century mansion. There's also a fine cafe where you can enjoy refreshments after your walk.
To continue your walking in the area try our Loughborough Canal Walk which runs to Barrow upon Soar and Loughborough along both the river and the canal.


LE4 5AQ - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

River Soar OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

River Soar Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Head south east of the city and you could pay a visit to the delightful hamlet of Wistow. There's much to see here with a popular maze, a Rural Centre with a large garden centre, a model village, a cafe/bistro, a Mediterranean deli, an art gallery and a notable 12th century church. There's also nice paths along the Grand Union Canal and the River Sence to enjoy.
Head south along the river and you could visit Aylestone Meadows. The large local nature reserve has more nice riverside trails with grazing horses and lot of wildlife to see.
If you head east towards Oadby and Wigston there's a pleasant community orchard and pretty meadows to explore at Brocks Hill Country Park.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Leicestershire Walks page.


Abbey Park Leicester entrance gate

Abbey Park Leicester entrance gate

Gardens at Abbey Park, Leicester

Formal planting area in the centre of Leicester's Abbey Park 

Abbey Park - - 6795

View of the delightful bridge in Abbey Park

River Soar at Abbey Park

River Soar at Abbey Park

Watermead Country Park, Leicester - - 473502

Watermead Country Park, Leicester

Watermead Country Park - - 1560558

Watermead Country Park. Looking towards the Melton Road car park at the southern end of the Country Park. This clearly shows the proximity to the lakeside industrial estate in Thurmaston where a marina used by school groups has grown up. Sand and gravel have been extracted from the valley of the River Soar for many years. In the early 1980s the Leicestershire County, Leicester City and Charnwood Borough Councils joined forces to begin to reclaim the area’s derelict pits for recreation and nature conservation creating this important recreational facility for North East Leicester.

Footbridge across the Old River Soar, Leicester (geograph 5540019)

Footbridge across the Old River Soar, Leicester. The footbridge carries the towpath of the Grand Union Canal across the Old River soar, at the point where it joins the Grand Union Canal.

River Soar, Belgrave, Leicester - - 70275

River Soar, Belgrave, Leicester. The Grand Union Canal joins the River Soar at this lock. The footbridge over the canal also straddles the grid line. 

GPS Files

GPX File

River Soar.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

River Soar.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)