Spring has well and truly sprung, school’s out for the Easter holidays and outdoor spaces will start to open as lockdown restrictions ease on April 12. There’s only one thing for it – grab a waterproof (just in case) and get out and about in the great outdoors!

Don’t know where to start? Our 21 suggestions for 2021 feature a little bit of everything, from healthy pursuits and relaxed strolls to wonderful wildlife encounters.  

Stride out in Charnwood Forest

Leicestershire is blessed with mile upon mile of glorious countryside, and a top spot for walkers is Charnwood Forest. Ever-popular is Bradgate Park, but have you considered visiting first thing in the morning or at dusk. Watching the sun rise or set over the ruins of Bradgate House is a sublime experience.

Just across the road, there’s Swithland Wood, where well-signed routes are home to mature trees, a variety of birds and carpets of wildflowers in spring.

Feast your eyes on the National Forest

Charnwood Forest collides with the National Forest, where you’ll find a luscious landscape once blighted by heavy industry and coalmining. At its heart is Conkers – a 120-acre indoor and outdoor adventure park offering fun for all the family. Take a ramble around Thornton Reservoir, or clamber to the top of Beacon Hill for stunning views as far as the eye can see. It’s one of the highest points in the county, so why not visit at sunset and really end your day on a high.

From pit to Snibston Colliery Park

Telling the story of Coalville, this former pit has been transformed into a mini country park with the Grange Nature Reserve at its heart. Stroll along the wetland boardwalk, and follow the Snibston Heritage Trail on a journey through the area’s mining past.

Saddle up at Rutland Cycling

If you’re just as happy to explore on foot as you are on two wheels, try both with a walk from the city centre to Everards Meadows. Here, you can hire bicycles at Rutland Cycling and pedal around the National Cycle Network. Stop at Jenno’s Coffee House for an iced coffee or a warming cuppa, before walking back via riverside nature reserve and all-round oasis, Aylestone Meadows.

Turn up and tee off at Blaby Golf

Slated by Mark Twain as a good walk spoiled, those in the know would disagree, saying this social sport gets you out in the fresh air and is great for your mental health. Tee off at Blaby Golf Centre, and as well as a traditional 9-hole course, there’s Congo River Adventure Golf. With life-size animal models and sounds of the jungle, it couldn’t be more exciting!

Let’s Get Lost Leicester

Getting lost is a bad thing, right? Wrong, not when it’s with Let’s Get Lost Leicester! Board a kayak for an adventure on Leicestershire’s idyllic waterways, pausing the paddling for a picnic with bubbles, or a well-earned drink in a riverside pub garden. 

Foxton Locks – key to a great day out

Once a busy working waterway, this is now a peaceful haven where you can take a canal-side walk, watch narrowboats glide by and marvel at the UK’s longest and steepest staircase of locks. Its other claim to fame is its magnificent inclined plane – a type of boat lift and a true feat of Victorian engineering.

Water, water, everywhere at Watermead Country Park

Overlooked by a life-size mammoth sculpture, Watermead Country Park, with its ponds, reed beds and lakes, is a haven for plenty of real wildlife. Walk or cycle through meadows and tranquil nature reserves, or simply enjoy the views, keeping a lookout for ospreys swooping for fish, or the distinctive blue flash of a kingfisher.

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park

Pack up a picnic, put on your comfiest shoes and head off on more than just a walk. As you follow the Battlefield Trail, you’ll be taking an incredible journey through English history in the spot where Richard III fell and the Middle Ages were brought to a dramatic end.

University of Leicester Botanic Garden

The perfect place for a stroll or just somewhere to relax and take in its beauty, this gorgeous garden in Oadby showcases a diverse collection of plants, water features, sculptures and more.

Animal magic at Gorse Hill City Farm

Does exactly what it says on the tin – an adorable collection of farmyard animals smack bang in the heart of the city. Get up close to rare and native breeds, and if chicks and ducklings send you all gooey, spring is the perfect time to visit.

A wild day out at Twycross Zoo

More than 500 animals, including all four of the great apes and many rare species, are waiting to welcome visitors back to Twycross Zoo for a wild outdoor adventure.  

Start small with your local park

By far the most convenient way to enjoy the outdoors is with a stroll to your local park. We’ve all probably got to know them better over the past 12 months, but instead of just wondering what those huge pieces of metal equipment are, have you ever thought about using the outdoor gym?

Across the city, Active Leicester supports 30 outdoor gyms – they offer a great, and free, way to stay active and healthy. There’s nothing quite like exercising outdoors, with the birds singing and the sun shining. It’s also a great way to meet fellow park-users, and did we mention, they’re free?


Twycross Zoo
Animal Collection
Twycross Zoo

With a 60-year history, Twycross Zoo has more than 500 animals, and is the only UK zoo which is home to all four species of great apes

Bosworth Battlefield
Heritage / Visitor Centre
Bosworth Battlefield

The Leicestershire field that changed the landscape of English history. Experience the Battle of Bosworth and discover how King Richard III was defeated in a conflict which transformed the history of Britain, bringing the Middle Ages to an end and ushering in the Tudor dynasty which shaped the future of our country.

Foxton Locks
Foxton Locks

Explore Foxton Locks, a historic canal marvel in Leicestershire, offering picturesque landscapes, canal heritage, boat trips, and a glimpse into 19th-century engineering brilliance.

Watermead Country Park South
Municipal Park
Watermead - Parks, Sports and Recreation in Leicester

On the edge of Leicester north of the city centre, Watermead Country Park is a green oasis. It is a haven for wildlife and a peaceful stretch of countryside, easily accessible for many people.



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