Average Time: 1 hour
Type of Walking: Woodland footpaths, hilly in places
Refreshments Available: No
Starting Point: Leicester Road, Whitwick, LE67 5GJ
Published date: 30th August 2018
Forest Rock and Holly Heyes Wood
The walk starts on Leicester Road in Whitwick. As you the road goes up the hill out of Whitwick there is a grey dry stone wall on your left, look for a wooden kissing gate leading to Forest Rock Wood with a space where a couple of cars can pull in beside it. For Sat Nav users, the postcode LE67 5GJ should bring you to the start.
Go through the kissing gate to Forest Rock Wood (1) and follow the path straight up the hill, it’s steep and there are a couple of tracks off to either side on the way up but keep to the main path all the way, passing by a large rock on your way up (2), until you emerge at a circle of small stones right on top of the hill.
Walk into the centre of the circle - there are two paths leading off, take the smaller one that goes back down the side of the hill to your left. This path will curve around to the left and drop down through another rather overgrown, circle of stones before arriving at a T junction with a yellow footpath post with 2 arrows on (3). Curiously both of the arrows point the same way (to your left) - I wonder if someone put one on the wrong way? You actually want to turn the other way (to your right) so that the dry stone wall is on your left. Soon you will start to pass attractive rocky outcrops to the left (4) and you will see the green chain fence surrounding Whitwick quarry on your right (this fence will feature later in the walk too).
Keep straight along this path until you reach a T junction at the end of it where you can just see the top of Mount St Bernard Abbey in the distance. Turn right at this junction, following the yellow arrow along the next path. Ignore the public footpath that goes off to your left across the field, keeping straight on instead. You will have a wall on your left for a little way and then go steeply uphill. The quarry is now on your right and as you continue on this stretch you enjoy some fine views across it (5). Stay on this path as it curves right and is joined by another path coming in from the direction of Mount St Bernard Abbey which is off to your left.
Shortly after the end of the quarry the path forks - take the unmarked right hand fork, turning so that the Abbey which was visible to your left is now behind you. Follow this along onto a wide track and keep bearing around to the right (away from the marked path). As you walk along this track (6) the green quarry fencing is on your right again and you will pass a permissive way arrow shortly before emerging in the car park of Midland Quarry Products.
Cross straight over the main road from the car park and then turn left for just a few yards – look for a narrow path on your right that leads through the trees and out into the corner of the field behind them. Go down this path and then up the field edge (narrow in places) to join a track at the end of the field beside three large stones.
Turn right onto this track (you are now on the Ivanhoe Way) and following it you will pass by the entrance to Coalville Meadow, a site of special scientific interest (7), and then come to green metal barriers marking the entrance to Holly Hayes Wood. Keep straight ahead on the main path through the wood to emerge between houses on to St Bernards Road. Turn left, then first right and first right again to return to Leicester Road with the start of the walk just a short distance along to your right on the opposite side of the road.