Bradgate Park - Old John

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From Bradgate Park, we cross the fields into the ancient Swithland Woods. The walk takes you in almost a circle through the 130 acres of beautiful trees, old slate quarries and in season, the carpets of daffodils. Each year the Salvation Army hold a Daffodil Sunday service in this superb setting.

From there it's up to Old John (a folly in the shape of a beer tankard), a neo-Gothic castellated tower erected in 1786 by the 5th Earl of Stamford. According to legend the earl's oldest son was celebrating his 21st birthday with a bonfire on the 600 foot hilltop, the highest point in the park, when the flagpole around which the fire was built burnt through. Old John the miller was killed by the falling flagpole. The tower was erected soon afterwards, used by hunting parties for rest and refreshment and named after the miller. From the tower and the nearby war memorial commemorating the Leicestershire Yeomanry, are breathtaking views across Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Bradgate Park is Leicestershire’s largest country park. It comprises 850 acres of heath, bracken, rocky outcrops, small woods and herds of deer. The remains of Bradgate House, built about 1500, will be passed. This was where Lady Jane Grey, nine-day Queen of England, was born. After the visitors' centre is a slight climb again, to take in the views across Cropston Reservoir as you return to your car.

England - Central England - Leicestershire - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
27/02/2019 - Kirsti Smith

I’ve done this walk several times and I always really enjoy it. Great directions and lovely views.

08/04/2009 - Roy Davenport

OK April 09 RD

26/05/2007 - Roy Davenport

Ok May 2007 RD

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29.2 Miles