Camping in Charnwood Forest

Easily reached from major Midlands towns, Charnwood’s walks, narrowboating, and camping attract.

95% (623 reviews)
95% (623 reviews)

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Camping in Charnwood Forest guide

Overview

This surprisingly wild, craggy, and forested area of countryside sits roughly between Leicester, Loughborough, and Coalville. It encompasses several popular outdoor spaces including Bradgate Park and parts of Middle England’s major reforestation project, the National Forest. Take a walk in Bradgate Park, try your hand at narrowboating, or relax at a waterside country pub on the Grand Union Canal, then visit historic spots like the Battle of Bosworth Field battle site. The region’s best camping is around the parish of Quorn, where pitching places include Broome Island—only accessible by boat.

Where to go

Bradgate Park & Swithland Wood

The big go-to outdoor playground for citizens of Leicester, Bradgate Park is a delightful old deer park and a montage of moors, crags, and woods seeming more similar to the Peak District than to the suburb-adjacent country park it is. Come to walk, explore wildlife-reclaimed industrial land, bird-watch in Swithland Woods, and visit the former home of Lady Jane Grey, Britain’s shortest-reigning monarch.

Moira & The National Forest

The area around Moira was heavily scarred by its former coal mining industry, which was why it was chosen as the location for the National Forest. This major reforestation project straddles parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire, combining existing old-growth forest with newer plantations, and has rejuvenated the area as an outdoor destination for walkers, cyclists, and horse-riders. Ex-mining village Moira now hosts the National Forest Discovery Centre, some restored mining attractions, and camping options nearby.

Ashby Canal

The Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal links Leicestershire’s Moira and Warwickshire’s Bedworth, with the section between Bedworth and Snarestone navigable. Interesting sights along its course include the Battlefield Line heritage railway between Shackerstone and Shenton, plus the Bosworth Field battle site. The canal winds close to several campsites catering to tent campers, caravanners, and glampers.

Grand Union Canal

The UK’s longest canal brushes the northeast of Charnwood Forest at villages like Mountsorrel and nearby Sileby, with its convenient railway station. The 137-mile waterway, connecting Birmingham and London, is full of surprises, showing off a greener, quieter side to the big towns it passes through and crossing some pretty countryside too. Narrowboat, walk, or cycle the towpath, visit idyllic canal-side pubs and camp at unique waterside sites like Broome Island near Quorn—accessible only by boat.

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