This circular walk takes you on one of the best approaches to Bradgate Park, the ancestral home of the 9 Days Queen, and still a wonderful deer park with much of interest for all visitors. You will experience some of the characteristic landscapes of the Charnwood Forest with granite outcrops, dry-stone walls, and acid-heath grassland.
This walk has been very muddy during recent winters and wellingtons are advised at these times. There is a bus stop for the 74 service from Leicester opposite the start and finish point (Bradgate Road).
The walk will take about an hour plus whatever time you wish to devote to exploring Bradgate Park.
- Walk to Link Road and find the footpath between numbers 273 and 275. Once at the back of the houses the view of the Charnwood Hills begins to reveal itself. You need to head broadly towards the high point in the distance and follow the well marked path for a kilometre across 4 fields.
- At the double gate you'll find one of the best views of Bradgate Park in front of you, with Bradgate House in the middle distance, Old John and the memorial to the Leicestershire Regiment in the background, the grounds of Bradgate wrapping round the scene and with any luck the odd herd of deer in the foreground. Go through the pedestrian gate in the wall and enjoy the Park and its scenery and facilities (which include cafes and toilets). When you're ready to proceed with your walk, or if you're not stopping, turn right inside the wall and walk about 100 metres to exit through another pedestrian gate.
- This path takes you across two meadows and then you skirt a large field on your right with Cropston Reservoir on your left. When you reach the high point at the far corner of the field, turn right onto the bridleway and enjoy the views from this high ground as you head back towards Anstey. As you approach Anstey, the bridleway passes to the right of the Anstey Martin Academy on an enclosed route with the school fence on your left.
- When you reach the railings you can either go straight on to Link Rd along a path or turn right along the bridleway back to your starting point.
Bradgate Park was bought by local industrialist Charles Bennion in 1928 and given 'to be preserved in its natural state for the quiet enjoyment of the people of Leicestershire'.