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|Thornton Reservoir and Bagworth Heath Woods|
|Author: Claire, Published: 14 Dec 2016||Walk Rating:|
|Leicestershire, National Forest|
|A 6 mile circular walk from the village of Thornton in Leicestershire. The route is a real countryside classic, starting with a circuit around Thornton Reservoir with lots of wildlife to enjoy. Leaving the reservoir behind, the route heads through the village, passing Thornton Mill and crossing paddocks and a railway line to reach a section of the National Forest. Manor Wood and Bagworth Heath Woods occupy the site of a former colliery and are now planted with a huge variety of native trees giving a wonderful wild effect. Beyond the National Forest, you join a simple enclosed path and then a short section across pastures to return to the village where hospitality awaits. |
The route has several steady climbs and descents throughout. Some of the paths are surfaced, but the unmade stretches can get very muddy. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, some steps plus 7 stiles (3 of the stiles have adjacent dog gates, the other 4 have fencing gaps suitable for small dogs and are fairly low for larger dogs to climb – our standard poodle managed to hop over with no problems). You will need to cross the railway twice, at official crossing points but without signals, so look and listen carefully for trains before you cross. Most of the route is free from livestock, but you will need to cross three paddocks (one holding three inquisitive donkeys and two holding horses when we walked), two pastures that may be holding cattle and one pasture that may be holding sheep. Allow 3 hours.
Thornton village is located just west of the M1 motorway, about a 3 mile drive from Junction 22 in Leicestershire. The walk starts and finishes from the Severn Trent Water Thornton Reservoir car park, which is open daily 9am to dusk (except Christmas Day) and is free of charge (correct Dec 2016). Approaching Thornton village along Reservoir Road, you will find the car park entrance on your right, just before the 30mph signs. The nearest post code, LE67 1AN, would take you further into the village so don’t miss the reservoir car park.
|Start to Reservoir Exit|
Start point: 52.6625 lat, -1.3056 long
Standing at the bottom of the reservoir car park, facing the water, turn right along the gravel path and follow this out through the metal gates to reach a T-junction with the road. Cross over to the far side and turn left, joining the pavement which leads you over the reservoir dam wall. At the far end of the dam wall, turn left (crossing back over the road) and passing through the wooden kissing gate to enter the Severn Trent Water reservoir site.
|Reservoir Exit to Thornton Mill|
Start point: 52.6684 lat, -1.3121 long
Turn right through this kissing gate, follow the path through the small belt of woodland and you will emerge to the bottom of the village playing fields. Walk straight ahead on the path leading you uphill to reach the kissing gate at the top. Pass through this and follow the enclosed path between buildings to reach the junction with the village road.
|Thornton Mill to Bagworth Heath Woods|
Start point: 52.6669 lat, -1.3207 long
Immediately beyond the buildings, turn right and cross the stone bridge over the mill race to enter a small paddock (this was holding three inquisitive donkeys when we walked). Cross this small paddock and cross the second bridge (via two gates) over a stream to enter a second paddock. Continue straight ahead across this horse paddock and leave via the kissing gate at the far side.
|Bagworth Heath Woods to Car Park|
Start point: 52.6639 lat, -1.3256 long
Now simply follow the main surfaced path, as it winds and undulates through the woodland. There are several benches along the way that make the most of the lovely views. This 75 hectare Country Park has been transformed from the scarred industrial landscape of Desford Colliery into a valuable recreational resource. Owned and managed by Leicestershire County Council, Bagworth Heath Woods are made up of woodland, grassland, heathland, lakes and ponds.
|Car Park to Rail Crossing|
Start point: 52.657 lat, -1.3243 long
Turn left through this parking area, follow this as it begins to swing right and then turn left onto the stone path (soon passing between wooden bollards). On the left here, is a section of beautiful old dry stone wall. Pass a tall metal sculpture on your right (which marks the site of the old coal mine and honours the miners) and the path swings right to reach a T-junction.
|Rail Crossing to End|
Start point: 52.656 lat, -1.3137 long
Again, this is an official crossing point but is unsignalled, so look and listen carefully for trains before you continue. Cross the stile, climb the steps, go over the rail line with care and, at the far side, descend the steep stone steps to reach a footbridge. Cross the bridge and take the stile into the pasture ahead (which may be holding cattle).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Walked this route on 19/02/17 & really enjoyed it. I'm new to walking and my primary goal is to loose weight and get fit so that as I progress my walks can get longer and more demanding. Took 2 hours to complete walking at a fairly steady pace and had s couple of challenging uphill sections that get the blood pumping! The scenery is great around the reservoir and then out through the woods, the trail is well defined and wasn't too muddy.
|By merrikin on 20 Feb 2017|
We walked this route on May 1st 2017. Lovely walk with lots of different scenery. As said in the previous comment a couple of uphills, one near the end, which are challenging to a new walker but good. Recommend the tortilla wraps at the reservoir inn in Thornton, which you pass just before you finish. Loving the map which helps you stay on track. Car park gets very busy so try to go early.
|By jilltomordy on 01 May 2017|
Walked into in June 2017. Nice walk within fields and woods. Like the start to warm up on flat ground. Beware of cows at the end.
|By Jry on 25 Jun 2017|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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