Stage 1 National Forest Way: Beacon Hill & Bradgate Park

The National Forest Way takes walkers on a 75-mile journey through a transforming landscape.

On its eastern-most section, this 7¼-mile stage of the Way leads you through the craggy uplands of Charnwood Forest.

En route you will go through ancient woodlands and pass some of the oldest rocks in Britain. Heathland and granite outcrops characterise the open summits, which afford stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the city of Leicester.

Location Map

Woodhouse Eaves Leicestershire

Walk type National Forest Way Stage

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 Farm
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
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
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