15 Best Walks In Lincoln (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Leicester (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Leicester is an amazing city for hikers and those who enjoy lovely walks.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike, there’s something for everyone!
From the picturesque Victoria Park to the rugged Charnwood Forest, there are countless routes to explore.
Here I’ve listed 15 of the best walks in Leicester, all of which offer something unique and beautiful.
So grab your walking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to explore some of the city’s most stunning locations.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park, Leicester
Photo by David Howard

Victoria Park is a serene oasis in the midst of Leicester, providing a great spot for a peaceful stroll.

Established in 1882, Victoria Park was built as a result of the public’s desire to have a larger and more fitting park in the city.

It is home to a host of different attractions, including an aviary, a children’s play area, and a lake.

The lake is the centerpiece of the park, and it is a popular spot for morning and evening walks.

In addition to the lake, you can also find winding pathways through the park, benches, and several monuments.

On a sunny day, the park is a wonderful place to take a stroll and relax, with plenty of natural beauty to take in along the way.

Watermead Country Park

Grand Union Canal at the Watermead Country Park
Photo by Mat Fascione

You’ll love exploring Watermead Country Park! Located in the south of Leicester, it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a peaceful stroll.

Covering over 600 hectares, this is the largest country park in Leicestershire and it’s full of wildlife and nature reserves.

The park is divided into two sections, the North Park and the South Park. The North Park is home to a large lake, which is perfect for a peaceful paddle as well as a network of trails and footpaths for those who want to explore the area further.

The South Park is the larger of the two and is filled with grassy meadows, wetlands, and woodlands. It’s a great place for bird and wildlife enthusiasts, as there is a wide variety of species that can be spotted here.

The park is also home to a number of historical sites, including a 13th-century church and a Roman fort.

Whether you’re after a relaxing stroll or a more adventurous hike, Watermead Country Park is the perfect place to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.

Bradgate Park

War Memorial, Bradgate Park
Photo by Jim Barton

Located just north of Leicester, Bradgate Park is a tranquil paradise for nature-lovers. This picturesque 830-acre park offers a variety of landscapes, including rolling hills, meadows, woodlands, and the ruins of Bradgate House.

It’s a great spot to take a leisurely stroll, as the terrain is relatively flat and the paths are clearly marked. There are even several benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the park.

The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, badgers, and even wild boar. Bird-watchers will also be delighted, as there are many species of birds to be spotted in the park. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a red kite soaring overhead.

There’s also a well-stocked visitor centre and a cafe for when you need to refuel.

Groby Pool Nature Reserve

Nestled just south of Leicester, Groby Pool Nature Reserve is a hidden gem for those seeking a peaceful escape. The area is composed of several woodlands, meadows, and pools, including Groby Pool itself, a shallow lake with a rich birdlife.

The area has a plethora of trails and paths to explore, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. All trails are clearly marked and explore the area’s natural beauty – lush meadows, wildflower-filled grasslands, and a variety of wildlife.

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The area offers an opportunity to take in the fresh air and appreciate the peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The sight of wildflowers, trees, and wildlife is a wonderful way to spend a day.

Whether you’re looking for a casual stroll or a more involved trek, Groby Pool Nature Reserve is the perfect spot to explore the great outdoors.

Charnwood Forest

Surrounded by ancient woodland and rolling hills, Charnwood Forest offers a truly tranquil escape. This area of Leicestershire is one of the most beautiful and secluded in the county, and it’s a great place for a leisurely stroll or a longer hike. With an abundance of wildlife, this area is a haven for nature-lovers. Visitors can take their time to explore the forest and admire the views.

The forest is also known for its rich history. There are many ancient monuments and archaeological sites dotted around the area. From Iron Age hillforts to medieval villages, there is plenty to discover and explore. Of course, the forest is also home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the region. From the rocky outcrops of Beacon Hill to the lush and verdant woodlands, Charnwood Forest is a great place to spend a day exploring and taking in the sights.

Beacon Hill Country Park

Take a step back in time and explore Beacon Hill Country Park, an area of Leicestershire full of breathtaking natural landscapes and rich history.

Stretching across 126 acres, this country park is a great location to spend the day, and it’s even open at night for those wanting a unique experience.

From its winding woodland trails to its wide open plateaus, the park offers a range of diverse landscapes for hikers to explore. The park also features a unique Iron Age hill fort, which is just one of the many archaeological features located here. It’s an ideal spot for those wanting to learn more about the area’s rich history.

The park also offers a range of activities, including fishing, birdwatching, and golf. Its lakes are stocked with a variety of fish, making it a great spot to enjoy a relaxing day of fishing. Birdwatchers will love the variety of species that can be seen in the area. And the park also features a golf course, which is perfect for those wanting to enjoy a day of golfing in the outdoors.

Whether you’re looking for a scenic walk or a challenging hike, Beacon Hill Country Park is the perfect destination.

Abbey Park

Abbey Park in Leicester is a great place to experience the city’s history and nature. It provides a unique combination of attractions and activities.

This 82-acre park dates back to the 12th century when it was founded by the Cistercian Abbey of Leicester. It’s full of history with its ruins of the Abbey and its old walls.

The Abbey is the largest open space in the city and is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, squirrels, and other small mammals. There are paths and trails that offer great opportunities for walking and cycling. The park also has two lakes, providing a great backdrop for a relaxing stroll.

Abbey Park is also home to a range of activities such as tennis, basketball, rugby, and cricket. It even has a children’s play area. Visitors can also enjoy a cafe, picnic area, and a bandstand.

This is a great place to enjoy a leisurely day out in Leicester and to appreciate its history and natural beauty.

Thornton Reservoir

Thornton Reservoir, just a short drive away from Leicester city centre, is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This attractive reservoir offers a peaceful, tranquil walk with stunning views across the water and surrounding countryside.

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The reservoir was built in the late 18th century and is home to a variety of wildlife, including many species of birds.

There is a wide variety of trails around the reservoir, including a 4-mile trail that takes you around the entire reservoir. Along the way, you will find plenty of places to stop and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

The trails are well-maintained and provide the perfect opportunity to relax and take in the beauty of the area.

The reservoir is also home to a café, where you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a snack before heading back to the city.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll or a more challenging hike, Thornton Reservoir is a great option for a leisurely walk.

Western Park

Leaving the beauty of Thornton Reservoir behind, I now turn to the equally stunning Western Park.

Situated on the western side of Leicester, this park is a treasure trove of natural beauty and is a must-visit for anyone looking for a nice walk in the area.

This park is packed with lush green foliage, with a variety of trees, shrubs, and grassland. It’s the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a leisurely stroll.

The park also features a large lake, which is a great spot to sit and relax, or even take a dip if you’re feeling adventurous. The lake is surrounded by a variety of trees, providing a shady spot for visitors to take in the beauty of the park.

The park also features a number of walking paths, making it a great spot for a leisurely stroll. With a variety of pathways, you can explore the park and enjoy its natural beauty, all while getting some exercise.

National Forest

For a truly breathtaking outdoor experience, take a trip to the National Forest, just a short drive away from Leicester.

The National Forest is a unique landscape stretching over 200 square miles across parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire. It is an area of great beauty and diversity, with a mix of woodlands, meadows, rivers, canals, and archaeological sites.

The area is home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers. Visitors can explore the area by foot, bike, or car, and there are plenty of scenic routes and trails to explore.

There are also a number of visitor centres dotted around the forest, providing information on the area’s history and wildlife, as well as a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. There are also plenty of picnic spots, perfect for a peaceful lunch with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The National Forest is a great destination for a memorable day out in the fresh air and is definitely worth a visit.

Bosworth Water Park

Experience a day of outdoor fun and relaxation at Bosworth Water Park, just a short drive away from Leicester!

Boasting a large range of activities, this park has something to offer for everyone.

From the tranquil setting of the fishing lake, to the fun and adventure of the go-karting track, Bosworth Water Park is a great place to spend the day.

The park also features a small beach, perfect for a picnic lunch or a game of beach volleyball.

For the more adventurous, there are numerous activities available, including climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and even rope activities.

With its breathtaking views and numerous activities, Bosworth Water Park is sure to provide a unique and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Swithland Wood

After exploring Bosworth Water Park, I’m ready to move on to my next destination: Swithland Wood.

This is a stunning area of woodland located near Leicester, covering an area of over 400 acres. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll through nature, with plenty of paths and trails to explore.

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The wood is full of lush, green trees and is home to many species of birds, making it a great place for birdwatching. There are also plenty of wild flowers, including bluebells, foxgloves, and yellow rattle. The area is filled with wildlife, so you’re sure to spot something interesting. And if you’re lucky, you may even spot a deer or two!

Swithland Wood is a great place to enjoy some fresh air and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s well worth a visit, whether you’re a local or just passing through.

Bradgate Park

Next on my adventure is Bradgate Park, a charming 830-acre park located near Leicester. This is one of the most popular attractions in the area, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and find some peace and tranquility.

The park is full of incredible wildlife and stunning views, with a variety of walking trails that run through the park. Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or a more challenging hike, Bradgate Park has something for everyone.

You can explore the ruins of Bradgate House, the birthplace of the nine-day Queen Lady Jane Grey, or take a dip in the River Lin. You can also explore the many woodlands and grassy areas, with plenty of wildlife to keep you entertained.

With plenty of benches and picnic tables scattered around the park, it’s the perfect place to take a break and enjoy the surroundings.

Charnwood Forest

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Charnwood Forest, a tranquil woodland that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of life.

Boasting a landscape of rolling hills, ancient oaks, and tranquil streams, Charnwood Forest is a great place to explore.

From short, easy-to-follow trails to more adventurous walks, you’ll find something to suit everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, you’ll discover a variety of paths with stunning views.

Plus, you’ll find plenty of wildlife to observe along the way.

From birds of prey to wildflowers, Charnwood Forest has it all.

Take the time to explore and you’ll be rewarded with a tranquil experience that’ll leave you feeling refreshed and energised.

Foxton Locks

Discover the beauty of Foxton Locks, where history and nature collide to create a truly spectacular experience.

Situated in the Leicestershire countryside, Foxton Locks is a series of two flights of ten locks – the locks located at the bottom of the hill being the oldest.

This two mile stretch of canal was built in 1810 and is a popular tourist destination.

As you walk along the towpath and through the locks, you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside and spot a variety of wildlife including swans, ducks, and herons.

The locks are a great place to take a picnic and spend time with family and friends, or to just simply admire the scenery.

There’s also a pub and a cafe located nearby, so you can refuel after a long day of exploring.

The area is also a great spot for photographers, offering lots of opportunities to capture the beauty of the locks.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Foxton Locks is sure to leave you with a lasting impression.

Conclusion

Having explored Leicester’s outdoors, it’s safe to say there’s no shortage of beautiful places to take a walk.

From the ancient woodlands of Charnwood Forest, the rugged terrain of Bradgate Park, and the tranquil waters of Foxton Locks, Leicester has something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Leicester’s nature reserves, parks, and waterways offer something for every type of walker.

So, grab your walking boots and get out there to explore the best of Leicester’s countryside!

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.