Frosty mornings, low winter sunshine, the long shadows, bright stars by night. Long winter walks are one of our favourite things, and we’ve put together a selection for you that will really help you to explore our region. Go grab your coat, scarf and hat, put on your best sturdy boots and let’s explore. Please make sure you take care on these walks, be aware of traffic and the rules of the countryside.  

City walks

Follow in the footsteps of the Victorians

We might think of tramping round the countryside, but Leicester itself is full of some fantastic routes for you to explore. Start from the city centre at the Town Hall and head to New Walk, take a wander up this Victorian promenade and walk in the footsteps of Romans, Georgians past Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. You’ll soon reach Victoria Park, where you can admire the beautiful Lutyens war memorial. Then cross the park to Queens Road where you can reward yourself with a coffee from one of the many cafes.

Distance: 1.5 miles

From DMU to Abbey Park

Take a riverside walk through history as you begun your journey from Leicester’s Newarke outside De Montfort University’s Hugh Aston Building and the 15th century Gateway. Head past Newarke Houses Museum to Castle view, where you will pass under Rupert’s Gateway and past the Castle Great Hall and St Mary de Castro Church. Turn left onto Castle Street and then into Castle Gardens. Cross the bridge over the Grand Union Canal and then turn right, following the footpath alongside the river. When the river forks cross over the bridge at the weir and past the industrial areas where you’ll see some amazing street art. You’ll soon reach Abbey Park where you can explore to your hearts content around the boating lake, bandstand and crossing the bridge to the café finally end up at the ruins of Cavendish House and the Abbey that gave this beautiful park its name.

Distance: 2 miles

Out in the parks

All the way round Watermead

This is a long one, but well worth it. Start from Watermead North Car Park, and turn right round the lake, follow the path until you reach the bridge to Birstall, follow this path all around Meadow Pool then to the Meadow Lane Car Park. Keep on the path and follow it along the River Soar to Birstall Lock 45 where you can cross over to Mammoth Lake of Watermead South. Follow the path around until you can cut through past Leicester Marina then follow the path along the river to where there is an island. You can keep following the river, until you reach a weir, cross it and it brings you back to Watermead North and Lear’s Lake. You’ll have earned your Sunday Roast after this!

Distance: 3.7 miles

A lap of Bradgate

See all the sights of Bradgate Park as you explore this historic natural treasure where the rocks under your feet. Park in the Newtown Linford car park and walk down the main path alongside the river. You’ll pass by Lady Jane Grey’s ruined mansion, continue on to the café and turn left and make your way up the paths and up the hill towards the iconic Old John. Take in the view at the top, then head through the trees to the war memorial and keep going along the crags, where you’re sure to see some of the deer which call the park home. Keep following the path all the way back to the car park, and you’ll definitely feel that winter glow.

Distance: 3 miles

Tramping round the county

Walking Wistow

Wistow is the perfect place to get your feet muddy, and you’ll probably need wellies for this one. Start at the Wistow Rural Centre and head out onto the road to the left. Walk until you reach St Wistan’s Church and you can head onto the field. Follow the hedge across the fields and you’ll reach the River Sence. Follow its winding route past the sheep (with any luck they’ll have lambs soon!) and when it finally reaches the road, head through the gate, turning left to follow the route back to the rural centre, where you can grab something from the café to warm your cockles.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Buzzing round Blaby

Blaby District have put together some fantastic trails for you to explore their area, and this is just one. It takes you from Stoney Stanton to Croft, along by the Quarry and Croft Pastures, then back across the fields past Stanton Lakes and Stoney Cove the amazing National Dive Centre, before returning to Stoney Stanton, where you can get a well earned pub lunch. You can view the route here on the Visit Blaby website alongside their full list of heritage walks here  

Distance: 6.5 miles




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