About the National Forest Way

The Forest and walks

The National Forest Way was created by a partnership of the National Forest Company, Derbyshire County Council, Leicestershire County Council and Staffordshire County Council with the generous support of Fisher German.

The National Forest Way

The National Forest Way extends over 75 miles from the National Forest Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire. You can walk it west to east or east to west, the choice is yours.

The National Forest Way takes walkers on a journey through a transforming landscape. You'll discover the area's evolution from a rural landscape, through industrialisation and decline, to the modern-day creation of a new forest. Here, 21st-century life is threaded through a mosaic of green spaces, towns and villages, all frames by woodland.

Suitable for experienced and new walkers alike, the National Forest Way reveals the history of a changing landscape, and is accompanied by leaflets, online information and clear signage.

The National Forest Way

The National Forest Way extends over 75 miles from the National Forest Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire. You can walk it east to west or west to east, the choice is yours.

The National Forest Way takes walkers on a journey through a transforming landscape. You'll discover the area's evolution from a rural landscape, through industrialisation and decline, to the modern-day creation of a new forest. Here, 21st-century life is threaded through a mosaic of green spaces, towns and villages, all framed by woodland.

Suitable for experienced and new walkers alike, the National Forest Way reveals the history of a changing landscape, and is accompanied by leaflets, online information and clear signage.

Experience a varied landscape

The Way is divided into 12 stages ranging in length from 4 to 7½ miles. Each stage is designed to showcase a different aspect of The National Forest, such as the rugged natural beauty of Charnwood, the restored landscapes of the coalfield or the views from the Tatenhill ridge on the edge of Needwood Forest. This variety means that whether you are a nature lover, interested in industrial heritage or just love being in the open air, the National Forest Way has something for you to enjoy.

Colour-coded for clarity

You can walk the Way in the direction to suit you: westbound from Beacon Hill towards the NMA or eastbound from the NMA to Beacon Hill. To make this easier, we have colour-coded each direction of travel. If you are walking westbound, you will be using purple direction leaflets and following purple waymarker discs. If you are walking eastbound, the leaflets and waymarkers are orange.

Colour-coded for clarity

You can walk the Way in the direction to suit you: westbound from Beacon Hill towards the NMA or eastbound from the NMA to Beacon Hill. To make this easier, we have colour-coded each direction of travel. If you are walking westbound, you will be using purple direction leaflets and following purple waymarker discs. If you are walking eastbound, the leaflets and waymarkers are orange.

The National Forest

The National Forest is one of Britain's boldest environmental projects: the creation of a new forest across 200 square miles of parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire, linking the ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood.

In what was once one of the country's least wooded regions, the National Forest Company and its partners are increasing forest cover with ambition and imagination, creating habitats for wildlife, a woodland economy and a beautiful landscape for everyone to enjoy.

The Countryside Code

To ensure that you and everyone else enjoy the National Forest Way, please follow the Countryside Code. In particular:

  • Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths.
  • Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home.
  • Keep dogs under effective control, always clean up after your dog and dispose of the mess responsibly.

The Countryside Code

To ensure that you and everyone else enjoy the National Forest Way, please follow the Countryside Code. In particular:

  • Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths.
  • Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home.
  • Keep dogs under effective control, always clean up after your dog and dispose of the mess responsibly.