Ancient woodlandsFamily funGreat viewsHeritageHistoric buildingsLots of wildlife
On its eastern-most section, the National Forest Way leads you through the craggy uplands of Charnwood. En route you will go through ancient woodlands and pass some of the oldest rocks in Britain. Heathland characterises the open summits affording stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the city of Leicester.
Points of Interest
Beacon Hill Country Park
Rising to a height of 245 metres, Beacon Hill is the second highest point in Leicestershire. Look out for the unusual rock formation, which has been dubbed the ‘Old Man of Beacon Hill’. The Country Park has won awards for its management and conservation work, most visible in the grazing sheep, cattle and alpaca that are moved around the site to graze the grassland and heathland.
Broombriggs provides a fascinating insight into the workings of a typical Charnwood arable and livestock farm. Follow the circular way-marked trail around the farm and then take in the views across the Soar Valley from the remains of the former windmill
Swithland Wood is an attractive and atmospheric area of ancient woodland, a remnant of the original Charnwood Forest oak woods. Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Swithland Wood is an important habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species including bluebell and wood anemone.
Bradgate Park is an historic medieval deer park in the heart of the ancient Charnwood Forest. It retains much of its original wild and rugged landscape with dramatic rocky outcrops and gnarled oak trees, many of which are well over 500 years old. Herds of red and fallow deer still roam amongst the bracken
Parking is available at Beacon Hill and Bradgate Park. Please note that there is a charge for parking at both sites and also take note of car park closing times as overnight parking is not always permitted.
Woodhouse Eaves is on the 154 Loughborough-Leicester bus route (Mon-Fri) and 123 Loughbrough-Leicester (Sat only). Newtown Linford is on the 120 Coalville- Leicester bus route (Mon-Sat). Change at Anstey to travel between the start and finish of the stage.
Further information on bus routes and times is available from Traveline or call them on 0871 200 22 33 (charges apply)