GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Thornton Reservoir

2 miles (3.5 km)

Enjoy cycling and walking around this pretty reservoir in Thornton, Leicestershire. There is a well surfaced track running along the waterside for just over 2 miles. The water is surrounded by some lovely countryside and woodland. There are good facilites with a parking area, visitor centre and picnic areas. There is also a sculpture trail to follow and a variety of wildfowl to look out for on the water.
On the northern side of the reservoir there is the option of extending your walk into the adjacent Browns Wood. The Leicestershire Round also runs past the reservoir so you could pick this up and extend your walk to the nearby Bagworth Heath Woods.
The Ivanhoe Way also runs past the reservoir so you could follow this north through the Charnwood Forest to Blackbrook Reservoir. The Sence Valley Forest Park is also nearby and has miles of good woodland cycling and walking trails to try.
Next to the woods is the adjacent Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood which was planted in 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It's another pleasant area with woodland trails and a lake in the centre.


LE67 1AR - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Thornton Reservoir OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Thornton Reservoir Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Bricklayers Arms pub is located on the western side of the water in the village of Thornton. The pub even has its own convenient footpath, direct from the large car park, down to the Reservoir. They have a good menu and an interesting interior with local memorabilia and real fires. Outside there's a good sized garden area to relax in on warmer days. You can find the pub at 213 Main St with a postcode of LE67 1AH for your sat navs.

Dog Walking

Dogs are welcome at the site but you are requested to please keep them on a lead. There's some good woodland areas right next to the reservoir which are also good for dog walking. To the north there's Browns Wood and just to the west Bagworth Heath Woods. The Bricklayers Arms pub mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The circular Coalville Walk visits the reservoir from the nearby town. It goes on to visit several other local highlights including the historic 17th century Donington le Heath Manor House, Sence Valley Forest Park, Grange Woods, Bagworth Heath Woods and the highest point in Leicestershire at Bardon Hill.
The National Forest Way passes through the area. The long distance trail takes you to several of the highlights of the National Forest area.
For cyclists National Cycle Route 63 runs past the lake. It will take you through the heart of the National Forest from Burton on Trent to Wisbech
For more walking ideas in the area see the Leicestershire Walks page.


Outflow at Thornton Reservoir - - 331931

Outflow at the reservoir. Geese and ducks sunning themselves on the outflow bank.

From the dam at Thornton Reservoir - - 331927

From the dam at the reservoir. The car park can be seen amongst the trees on the left. The pines mark the start of the path that follows the shoreline to the car park at the other end of the dam.

Looking towards the northeast arm of Thornton Reservoir - - 331921

Looking towards the northeast arm of Thornton Reservoir This 75 acre Severn Trent reservoir is set in rolling farmland and woodland with public access. There are trails for walkers, cyclists and for the disabled. Leicester relied on wells and springs for drinking water, like most large cities and towns, until the 19th century when the cholera epidemics in 1831,1832 and 1847 forced Parliament into action. In 1847, an Act of Parliament allowed a private company to be formed to supply the city. By 1854, it had already built Thornton reservoir, together with a treatment plant and distribution mains.Cropston Reservoir was added in 1866, andSwithland Reservoir in 1896.

View of Thornton Reservoir - - 514944

View over the green fields to the water. Looking north east from Merrylees Road.

Swan in Thornton Reservoir carpark - - 331933

A swan in the car park

Thornton Church and Reservoir - - 32520

Vew across the reservoir to the tower and spire of St Peter's parish church in the village


GPS Files

GPX File

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

Memory Map Route

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