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National Forest Way

Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire

121 km / 75 miles
After four years of planning, the walking route was opened in May 2014. It takes in 75 miles of public and permissive footpaths, crossing the length and breadth of The National Forest from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire. The route can be walked from east to west or west to east. The trail leads through young and ancient woodlands, hidden valleys, along canal towpaths, visits the market town of Ashby de la Zouch and celebrates the industrial heritage of this changing landscape at the heart of the Midlands. Walkers will witness the area's evolution from a rural landscape, through industrialisation and its decline, to the modern-day creation of a new forest, where 21st century life is threaded through a mosaic of green spaces and settlements.

The National Forest Way is accompanied by leaflets, online information and clear signage, and has links into the main towns across the Forest. More information may be found on the link below at It will attract people who love walking, exploring the English countryside and discovering new places. The National Forest Trail Cycle Route 40km (25miles) is a figure of eight route around part of The National Forest from the visitor centre at Conkers visiting Moira, Donisthorpe, Acresford, Netherseal, Coton in the Elms, Rosliston, Caldwell, Catton, Croxall, Edingale, Lullington, Overseal and Spring Cottage.

The National Forest is regenerating a large area surrounded by the cities of Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham. Embracing 200 square miles of central England, it is transforming the landscape with the aim of linking the two ancient Forests of Charnwood on its eastern fringe with Needwood Forest to its west. Within its boundary are miles of rolling farmland and the former Midland Coalfield which was in desperate need of regeneration. Forest towns and villages include Burton upon Trent (famous for its brewing), Coalville and Swadlincote (formerly associated with the coal mining industry) and the historic town of Ashby de la Zouch. The Forest makes a growing contribution to tackling climate change with new plantings absorbing carbon.


Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Easy
Start: SK182145 - National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire View on StreetMap
Finish: SK522148 - Woodhouse Eaves., Leicestershire View on StreetMap
Web Sites: National Forest Way

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

E-Book National Forest Way  (Amazon Media Group  - 2015 )


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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 128, 129, 140
OS Landranger Active 128, 129, 140
OS Explorer 233, 245, 246
OS Explorer Active 233, 245, 246

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
46 km
Walkers are Welcome
3 km
69 km

Connected Paths:


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Route Profile:

118.0 km (73.3 miles)
1,625 m (5,331 ft) ascent
239 m (784 ft)  maximum height

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