Local Walks

Showing 1 - 12 of 23 Results

Melbourne Parklands Noon Column

Published: 21st March 2018

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

Published: 21st February 2018

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

Published: 24th January 2018

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!

Published: 20th December 2017

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

Published: 23rd October 2017

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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Exploring Beacon Hill

Published: 28th September 2017

This walk is a little further out than usual but well worth the trip.  Beacon Hill Country Park is a beautiful spot and there is lots to see and do on this walk making it ideal for a family trip out.  En route you can spot  the chainsaw carvings, explore the spooky rhododendron labyrinth and look out for the alpacas, cattle and sheep which graze the hillside.  The paths are all good but be prepared for a bit of a climb - the views make it well worth the effort though. There is a charge for the car park which works on a ticket system with a machine to pay before leaving.  It cost me £3 for 2 hours parking - the walk takes a little under 90 minutes but you may well want to stay longer.  There are plenty of good places to enjoy a picnic. 

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Donisthorpe to Oakthorpe

Published: 23rd August 2017

This walk takes you on a pleasant circuit starting from the Church at Donisthorpe, out along the Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail to Oakthorpe and then through the quiet village before returning past the lakes of Saltersford Valley.  There is a short section of path near the end that cam get quite narrow in mid-summer but the remainder is very easy walking with a variety of different countryside to enjoy along the way.  I’d allow around 45 minutes for this walk.

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Staunton Harold / Lount Loop

Published: 26th July 2017

This month’s walk follows a loop from the Staunton Harold Estate out to Lount and then back through young woodland and past the noon column.  The grass and hedgerows can get quite well grown in places at this time of year but the paths are well signed.  There is a short section alongside the road at Lount and one at the start of the walk, alongside the driveway at Staunton Harold.  The walk took me around an hour and a quarter - if you fancy refreshments afterwards you can choose from Staunton Stables Tea Rooms at the Ferrers Centre or The Peach House Restaurant which is located within the garden centre. 

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A loop around Tunnel Woods

Published: 28th June 2017

A pretty stroll in the woodland between Albert Village and Church Gresley.  This circular walk will take you over the top of the railway tunnel that the woods are named after and then round through Church Gresley Woods.   The paths are well maintained with good surfaces and it’s all fairly easy walking.  Allow about an hour to enjoy this walk. 


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The Battlefield Line - Bosworth to Shackerstone

Published: 23rd May 2017

Now here’s a fun idea - this walk is one way but don’t worry you won’t be stranded as The Battlefield Line offers you the chance to hop on a steam train and return to your start point!  You do need to check www.battlefieldline.co.uk before setting out to find out which trains are running and when.  There appear to be services every weekend plus midweek during June and then more during the summer holidays.  You’ll also need ticket money - it cost us £6.50 for one adult, one dog.  Be sure to ask for a one way ticket as it costs less than the standard return.  The walk follows the towpath of the Ashby canal from Market Bosworth to Shackerstone and takes around 90 minutes.  It’s all easy walking and transports you back in time to an age where walking was the main form of transport for many, narrowboats worked the canals and a train journey was a memorable day out! 

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Bradgate Park and Old John

Published: 26th April 2017

The perfect spot for a day out - this walk takes around an hour and a half but you could easily extend that to a whole day out.  Bradgate Park has  a pretty stream, deer roaming free, picnic spots and some great landmarks - perfect for a family half term outing and with the car park costing just £3 for the day it won’t break the bank either.  The park is a popular spot so expect it to be busy, especially at weekends.   Dogs must be kept on lead in the lower sections of the park and you may encounter deer at any point in the park.  If you want refreshments there are tea rooms by the car park, in the village and also close to the ruins. 

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Donisthorpe Country Park

Published: 22nd March 2017

Spring may be well on its way but it can still be wet underfoot at this time of year so if you are fed up with mud then try this great walk that uses the hard paths around Donisthorpe Country Park.  It’s an easy route that is suitable for the whole family, including little ones in pushchairs, and with plenty to see and do it would make a perfect Easter outing.  You can explore Moira Furnace, see ducks and swans (and maybe a kingfisher if you are very lucky) along the Ashby Canal or play pooh sticks at the little stream part way round - there are refreshments available at The Hub Cafe at the start/finish or, part way round, at Donisthorpe Woodland Centre.   If you’d rather eat out in the fresh air you will also find picnic tables at various points.   Allow around 45 mins for the walk (at adult pace!) but plenty more if you have little ones who like to explore - don’t forget to take something to feed the ducks with.

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