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Walks in Leicester

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Get some fresh air and your steps in on these great walks in Leicester.

Whatever the weather, it’s so important to get some fresh air and to stay active. If you live in or around Leicester or are visiting for a few days, there are some great walks you can do from the city centre. 

Leicester has many open spaces amongst the hustle and bustle, like Museum Square Park and Castle Gardens. However, head a little further afield and you’ll be faced with vast green parks and gorgeous canal walks. Below are three of our favourite walks in Leicester, all within walking distance from Leicester train station.

Castle Gardens to Abbey Park

Alt – A bridge over a calm river and colourful foliage on the riverbank can be found on a walk in Leicester in Abbey Park.

Distance 1.3 miles
Typical duration 30 minutes
Start Castle Gardens
Finish Abbey Park
Start postcode LE2 7BY
Getting there Castle Gardens is around a 17 minute walk from the train station.

This lovely walk along the River Soar canal is a great way to escape the busy city centre. Starting in Abbey Park, cross the bridge to the west side of the canal, and begin by walking alongside the water.

After 10 minutes, you’ll find that you can take two paths, one continues straight along the canal and the other turns off across a long bridge that crosses the river. We’re choosing the bridge option. From here, follow the path for another 20 minutes and you’ll come across Abbey Park on your left.

Abbey Park is one of Leicester’s best parks and has a boating lake, a lavender maze and tennis courts. Take your rackets, a picnic, or just yourselves, and wander around lush surroundings close to the city centre.

The next walk continues along the canal, so you can head on and do both or stay in Abbey Park and chill. If you choose to stay, rather than walking back to the station you can hop on the 54 or 54A bus and arrive back in around 20 minutes.

Abbey Park to Watermead Country Park

Ducks sit on the Grand Union Canal on The River Soar in Leicester on an Autumn day.

Distance 2.4 miles
Typical duration 1 hour minimum
Start Abbey Park
Finish Watermead Country Park
Start postcode LE4 5AQ
Getting there You can follow the route above and walk to Abbey Park in around 30 minutes, or hop on the 54 or 54A bus for 20 minutes

As we mentioned, you can continue the walk above and set off to Watermead Country Park from Abbey Park, or do this one by itself on another day.

This route takes you from one park to another with a walking time of around an hour. However, there are a few breaks so it may take longer depending on how long you want to stop for.

Start by taking the bridge in Abbey Park over the river, head towards Abbey Park Pavilion Café, and then turn right (or grab a coffee). Follow the road around an oval shaped park. At the top of the park, branch off to the right and walk towards Cavendish House. Here you’ll find ruins of the house and, to the right, ruins of the original abbey for which the park is named.

After you’ve explored and taken a few pictures, leave Abbey Park, turn right and just before you reach the bridge, take a left turn onto a path that runs parallel to the canal.  Follow it for around 15 minutes and then cross the next bridge you come to over to the other side.

From here, continue following Vicarage Lane round until you see St Peter’s Church on your left. The church attracts tourists keen to see its ancient fonts and old headstones.

Walk through the church grounds and you’ll emerge onto Church Road. Grab a drink or takeaway at The Talbot Inn and head down Thurcaston Road, turning right just before the bridge to re-join the canal path.

After 15 minutes you’ll reach Watermead Country Park, the final stop on this route. However, there’s no rest for the wicked! The country park has numerous trails and walks you can do when you get there – most of them surrounding Mammoth Lake.

To get back to the station, you can walk a more urban route for an hour or get the 22B bus, this takes 40 minutes, including walking time.

Victoria Park via New Walk

Victoria Park amongst colourful autumn leaves is a beautiful walk near Leicester.

Distance 1 mile
Typical duration 20 minutes
Start New Walk, just off Welford Place
Finish Victoria Park
Start postcode LE1 6ZG
Getting there The start of New Walk is a 10 minute walk from the station

Situated next to the University of Leicester campus, Victoria Park is a vast green space easily accessible from the city centre. At its centre is a memorial arch, built to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War.

An ideal spot for a picnic after a hectic day out with the kids or a workout at the outdoor gym, the best thing about Victoria Park is that it’s only a short walk from the city centre. A more scenic route to take to get there is via the New Walk path, a Georgian pedestrian promenade surrounded by trees.

The New Walk path begins in the south of the city centre and is surrounded by an abundance of food and drink options, perfect for grabbing something to eat for when you get to the park. Start on Welford Place and verge left when you see the New Walk information board, just in front of a red post box. Simply follow this path the whole way until you reach Victoria Park – easy!  

We’ve also written guides on walks in Sheffield, Bournemouth and Edinburgh. These walks are great to do in winter but are beautiful all year round, so if you find yourself in these areas, make sure to give them a go. We aren’t encouraging travel at the moment, but why not check out our virtual tour of Britain? You can visit these attractions in person when the time is right.

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