Deer at Calke Park Calke Park Dimminsdale Nature Reserve

Stage 5 National Forest Way: Ashby de la Zouch & Ticknall

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

Between Ashby de la Zouch and Ticknall, distant woodlands frame this 7½-mile section of Way.

Look out for glorious views across Staunton Harold Reservoir before entering the undulating Calke Uplands where parkland, wooded country estates and large arable fields are prominent in the landscape. 

At the heart of this is Calke Abbey, with its historic parkland and herds of deer.

Location Map

Ashby de la Zouch Leicestershire

Walk type National Forest Way Stage

Points of Interest

Ticknall
Ticknall is an attractive village that until recently was largely owned by the Calke Abbey estate. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the village was busy with lime quarries and potteries. The imposing arch on the main road carried a lime tramway through the Calke estate to the Ashby canal.

Calke Abbey
With peeling paintwork and overgrown courtyards, the National Trust's Calke Abbey tells the dramatic story of the country house estate in decline. Calke Park, part of which is designated a National Nature Reserve, features an ancient deer park and gnarly thousand-year-old oak trees, remnants of a vast forest that historically covered much of this area.

Dimminsdale Nature Reserve
A history of mineral working accounts for the 'hobbitesque' appearance of Dimminsdale Nature Reserve. When limestone and lead mining ceased, the quarries flooded to create pools and brooks. Each spring, parts of the reserve are carpeted with a spectacular display of snowdrops.

Ivanhoe Way
Along this stretch, the Way follows the route of the Ivanhoe Way - so called in tribute to Sir Walter Scott and his novel Ivanhoe, set around Ashby-de-la-Zouch castle and the surrounding countryside. Enjoy distant views across connected new Forest plantations including Alistair's, Bignall's & Jaguar Lount Woods.

Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby's fascinating castle, built in the 15th century was mostly destroyed during the Civil War and is now a captivating ruin. Elsewhere, browse Ashby's farmers' market and independent shops, and visit the town's intriguing museum to discover where the 'de-la-Zouch' in its name came from.