Stage 2 National Forest Way: Bradgate Park & Thornton Reservoir
The National Forest Way takes walkers on a 75-mile journey through a transforming landscape.
This 6-mile section of the Way takes you through an attractive stretch of maturing woodlands, one of the largest continuous tracts of woodland in the National Forest. It is where Charnwood Forest meets the coalfield: the transition between ancient and industrial.
Along the way, you will pass through Martinshaw Wood, which is split in two by the M1 motorway. Bradgate Park, the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey, is one of the most popular country parks in the Forest and is full of wildlife and local history.
Newtown Linford Leicestershire
Points of Interest
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.
Originally ancient woodland, the Woodland Trust's Martinshaw Wood is cut in two by the M1 motorway. Home to 36 different tree species, the site was extensively replanted with commercial conifers in the 1950's. The Trust's selective felling of many of the conifers to favour oak, beech, birch and other broadleaf species will restore some of the woodland's origin as a deer park.
Pear Tree Wood
Pear Tree Wood was created in 1997 to connect Burrough Wood and Martinshaw Wood. Although planted with essentially a mix of native broadleaved trees, conifers in the northern section blend into those at Martinshaw Wood, to encourage the movement of pine-loving wildlife, particularly moths.
This attractive and tranquil expanse of water is a delightful spot to pause along the Way. If you chose to take the three mile surfaced path around the reservoir, don't miss the sculpture trail hidden amongst the mature woodland.