Local Walks

Showing 1 - 12 of 28 Results

Normanton le Heath & Swepstone

Average Time: 1 and a half hours

Type of Walking: Mainly cross country on farmland with 2 short road sections

A pretty, circular, walk that crosses farmland between the  villages of Normanton Le Heath and Swepstone.  On the first half of the walk you get a good view of the tower of Swepstone Church while on the return loop you are see the spire of Normanton Church.  There is a bit of quiet lane at the start of the walk and a short road section through Swepstone.  The paths were mostly very well marked with the exception of the start of the return path from Swepstone where it leads off the road onto to the drive of Upperfield Farm, it is signed after you leave the farm though.    Allow about an hour and a half for this walk.  The instructions start from Main Street in Normanton, I parked on the road near the church.  The postcode for Sat Nav users is LE67 2TB.

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Ticknall Tramway Tunnel and Limeyards

Ticknall Tramway Tunnel and Limeyards

Average Time: Allow around an hour

Type of Walking: Family friendly

This is a brilliant walk to take the kids on as it has a tunnel plus caves, rocky outcrops and ponds to explore along the route.  I would recommend taking torches - the tunnel is lit by shafts and you can see the end but it can be slippery and is uneven underfoot.  For those who aren’t surefooted but would still like to enjoy the walk there is an above ground option to avoid the tunnel itself.  Allow around an hour for the walk.  If you fancy refreshments afterwards The Wheel in Ticknall does excellent meals (booking is advisable) and the village shop and tea rooms offer hot drinks, cake and light refreshments.  The walk starts from Ticknall Village Hall car park which is situated just off Ingleby Lane in Ticknall.  The postcode for sat nav users is DE73 7JW.

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Forest Rock and Holly Heyes Wood

Average Time: 1 hour

Type of Walking: Woodland footpaths, hilly in places

This interesting walk takes you on a circuit from just outside Whitwick towards Mount St Bernard Abbey and around Whitwick Quarry before returning via a section of the Ivanhoe Way.  There are some steep bits as you climb up through Forest Rock Wood and then down and around the side of the same hill and you’ll pass by two stone circles though they certainly aren’t Stone Henge!  There are spots where you could enjoy a picnic in the later section of the walk, especially if you have lovely weather as I did.  The walk takes around an hour and enjoys views of Whitwick Quarry and Mount St Bernard Abbey, plus a pretty stretch through Holly Heyes Wood.

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Market Bosworth Park and Arboretum

Average Time: 1 hour

Type of Walking: Parkland and woodland tracks

This pretty stroll takes about an hour.  The route will lead you around Market Bosworth Country Park, exploring the beautiful arboretum plus the Stew Ponds and Bow Pool.  There are plenty of benches and open areas where you could picnic or, if you pop into the village centre, you’ll find a variety of pubs and cafes - perfect for after walk refreshments.  If you go on the 4th Sunday of the month you could combine your walk with a visit to Market Bosworth Farmers Market. There is a charge for the car park so change is handy.  The area is very well maintained and the paths are fairly flat but the second gateway may be muddy at certain times of year.  There are ducks and other water birds on the pond and a wide wooden platform where visitors feed them. 

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Needwood and South Derbyshire Claylands Noon Column

Average Time: 60 minutes

Type of Walking: Forest Tracks and public footpaths, very short section of lane. Muddy after wet weather, appropriate footwear advised

The last of our six Noon Columns is situated at Jacksons Bank, part of the ancient Needwood Forest and right on the outer reaches of the National Forest.  The walk is an easy hours stroll but you might like to complete your outing by making use of the large, and rather lovely, picnic area at the entrance to the woodland.  This beautiful Noon Column is the most rugged of the six - being carved to capture the essence of the many mature trees within this landscape.  Indeed it does it so well that at a glimpse one might pass by as it blends into the setting of the forest.  Stop to take a closer look and you’ll see how cleverly it has been crafted.

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Leicestershire and South Derbyshire Noon Column

Average Time: 60 to 75 Mins

Type of Walking: Footpaths and bridleways, well marked and easy to follow but a couple of spots can be muddy after wet weather

This Noon Column is situated very much in the heart of the National Forest at Sence Valley Forest Park.   It is easy to spot, being sited right alongside the car park as you enter the park.  The dark colours of both the column and the surround perfectly reflect the huge influence that mining has had on this area.  It is a wonderful way to contrast the past with the present and show what a difference planting the  National Forest has made - walkers leaving the column can choose between exploring the lakes and streams of Sence Valley, or taking  the  National Forest Way across the fields to either Kelham Bridge Nature Reserve or The Diamond Jubilee Wood.  Our walk follows part a of the National Forest Way before turning back across farmland to enter Sence Valley.   We then  meander around the lakes and back  to the Noon Column.  Allow a little over an hour for your walk.

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Mease and Sence Noon Column

Average Time: 60mins

Type of Walking: Grassy tracks and woodland paths, can be muddy after wet weather

The Mease and Sence Noon Column is sited within Grangewood, between Overseal and Coton in the Elms.  The shape of this, our fourth column, is carved to celebrate the church spires which can be viewed from the open farmland within this area.  Grangewood is a large area which combines young plantations with some lovely mature woodland - it is possible to amble for hours and get quite lost here so make sure to follow the directions carefully.  Our walk takes around an hour and includes a short section of the National Forest Way - we visit the noon column near the end of the walk. 

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Melbourne Parklands Noon Column

Average Time: 45 Mins

Type of Walking: Farm track and hard paths, short section of driveway

This, our third of the six carved noon columns, is a smooth and elegant structure carved out of English oak. The column  is situated within the Staunton Harold Estate and our circular walk takes us down part of the driveway to this lovely estate before heading out towards on a farm track.  Looping around we return via a hard path that winds down through young woodland to reach the site of the noon column.  This is a shortened version of the Staunton Harold/Lount Loop walk featured in Walks for all in the Heart of the Forest.  Allow 45 minutes to an hour for your walk - if you fancy refreshments afterwards you can choose from the tea rooms within the garden centre or those at the Ferrers Centre.

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Trent Valley Noon Column

Average Time: 30 Mins

Type of Walking: Wide hard core track

This month we visit our second of the six carved noon columns.  Each of these represents the character of a different part of the  National Forest and this one is carved in the form of a flood marker reflecting the natural wetlands in which it is located.   Croxall Lakes is situated at the joining of the River Trent with the Tame and the Mease and provides habitat for a wide range of wintering and breeding birds.  There is a hide situated on the edge of the lake, close to the noon column, and it is well worth taking a pair of binoculars.  Among the species seen on site are lapwings, oystercatchers and short eared owls - there are also signs of otters and water voles being present.  We took our dogs on this walk up to the noon column but if you want to explore further you should be aware that there are parts of the site where dogs are not permitted.

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Charnwood Noon Column

Average Time: 30minutes

Type of Walking: Grassy paths

Within the National Forest there are 6 Noon Columns - each is carved from English Oak to reflect the character of the landscape in which it sits.  Over the next few months we will be visiting 6 different areas of the National Forest to take a short stroll around the site of each of the columns.  We start with the Charnwood Noon Column which is situated within Billa Barra Nature Reserve, close to the A511 at Markfield.  I loved the smooth lines of this Noon Column and the small section of dry stone wall which has been built beside it.  Billa Barra Nature Reserve is a quiet spot with a mix of open grassland, young woodland and a wonderful old copse of trees on top of the hill.  Our loop goes up the hill, where you can explore the rocky outcrops, before heading down and circling the nature reserve. 

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New Year Challenge!

It’s that time again when we enter into the coming year full of new resolutions and good intentions.  Last year The Telegraph reported that the top 2 new year's resolutions were to exercise more and to lose weight.   Walking is often overlooked but it is easy, costs nothing, and is a brilliant way to become fitter and healthier.  It is also good for your mental health, helping you clear your mind and reconnect to the natural world.  Whether you are a seasoned walker or someone who has slipped out of the habit of making time for regular exercise now is a wonderful time to set some goals and give yourself a walking challenge for 2018.  Here are just a few ideas to help with that first step towards a fitter, more active year.

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Bardon Hill

Average Time: 1 hour

Type of Walking: Start is urban but soon onto woodland/heathland paths and tracks, steep in places

This is a beautiful circular walk round the woods and heathland of Bardon Hill.  The paths are all well marked, with part of the walk following the Ivanhoe Way.   Bardon Hill is the highest point in Leicestershire but by going around the hill first you avoid the steepest climb (though you do come down that way).  The views are  fantastic.

The hillside has been managed by grazing to encourage the growth of heathers and other heathland plants and attracts much wildlife.  The paths  can be slippery in places, especially after wet weather, so I’d advise sturdy footwear. 

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