For details of guided walks during the National Forest Walking Festival in May, the Leicestershire and Rutland Festival of Archaeology in July and the North West Leicestershire Hello Heritage Festival in September, see the Diary Page.
The Swannington Heritage do-it-yourself walks are split into four series:-
Just an hour – a couple of miles.
Developing a thirst – up to five miles.
Building up an appetite – up to eight miles.
Well Worth a Day – ten miles or more.
The walks can be downloaded free of charge, if you really enjoy your walk and feel that you would like to support the Trust, then you can send us a donation or become a member. Send us a photo of your group enjoying your walk.
The Trust welcomes feedback on the accuracy of the length of the walk, interesting features or navigational challenges; as well as suggestions for other walks. We know the Fountain Inn has closed and when our volunteers get a chance they will amend these walks
If you wish to use a pub car park in the village, as a courtesy please check with the owner beforehand. Please encourage landowners to be helpful to walkers by controlling dogs, preventing dog fouling and removing litter.
Some of our Trust members have a keen interest in local history and lead guided walks with much more information than can be included in the descriptions of our walks. See our Diary Page for walks open to the general public, our guides will also lead walks for groups by arrangement, see Contact Page.
Just An Hour
As the title suggests these walks are only a couple of miles and should only take you about an hour:-
Main Street Dash
A gentle stroll along the former Hinckley to Melbourne Turnpike that can bring butchery, tanning, early mining, farming, possibly the most expensive take-away, Quaker sufferings, railways and the school to life. Wheelchair friendly. (download a map)
Starting at the Robin Hood Public House trek along an ancient green lane to the site of the former Snibston No 3 colliery and the 1832 Leicester and Swannington railway. Continue to the top of the Incline where locomotives such as Goliath and Atlas could go no further, as they waited for the winding engine to haul coal trucks (from the pits of Swannington, Peggs Green and Coleorton) up the 1 in 17 slope to join their railway journey to Leicester. Head down the Swannington Incline and then onwards into the village passing the Quaker Smithy, Old Wesleyan Chapel and one of Leicestershire’s oldest primary schools. (download a map)
Starting at the Robin Hood Public House trek along an ancient green lane to the site of the former Snibston No 3 colliery and the 1832 Leicester and Swannington railway. Head through the fields towards New Swannington school before turning towards Potato Lane Bridge which has great views of the 1 in 17 Swannington Incline from above. Catch tantalising glimpses of the village on your way back to the start. (download a map)
Coal, Corn and C of E
Starting at the Fountain Inn follow the path to the former mining areas of the Califat Spinney and the Gorse Field which are now nature reserves. Wonder at the stories that could be told by the weathered bricks in the 200 year old Hough Mill. Visit St George’s Church with its literary origins and sad link with the 1863 Califat Colliery Disaster. (download a map)
Developing a thirst
These short walks are three to five miles in length and could finish with a refreshing drink.
Swannington’s Hidden Heritage
From the Station public house follow ancient green lanes and miners’ paths to Coleorton, Hough Mill and Limby Hall. Open your eyes to unlock the secrets of the woodlands and roads with wide verges. Visualise the mines and horse drawn tramways where now there are only trees, brambles and grass. (download a map)
Woodlands and Conservation
View and explore the thousands of trees planted in and around Swannington. Appreciate how former mine sites have been transformed into nature conservation areas. In autumn revel in the glorious leaf colours as the trees approach semi-maturity. (download a map)
Building up an appetite
These medium walks are seven to eight miles and could finish with a relaxing meal.
Four Railways And A Mill
From the New Inn at Peggs Green walk to St George’s Church, the isolation hospital, Coleorton railway, Jessop’s horse drawn tramway and the Calcutta mine, all within the first mile! Onward to Whitwick with it’s ancient church, the Charnwood Forest railway and Hermitage recreation areas. Pass Stephenson’s College on the way to George and Robert Stephenson’s 1832 Leicester and Swannington railway, the first steam railway in the English midlands. Through the Snibston No 3 mine, down the Swannington Inclined Plain, pass the Quaker smithy and walk through woodland plantations to the start of Jessop’s tramway. Explore the Gorse Field, Califat mine and Hough mill, then on to the Willis Walker mine, Billy Bakewell’s packhorses and along the Coleorton railway back to the New Inn. (download a map)
Well Worth a Day
Longer walks of ten miles or more, well worth spending a day enjoying the walk.
The Swannington Hokey Cokey
Follow an intriguing route that is in, out and twist about! Starting at The Station follow ancient green lanes and miners’ paths to Coleorton, Hough Mill, Jessop’s Tramway, St. George’s Church, Calcutta Colliery, New Swannington, Potato Lane Bridge, The Incline and Snibston No 3 Mine. Discover mines galore, horse drawn tramways, the route to the Charnwood Forest canal, one of the world’s first steam railways, a church with literary origins and a former isolation hospital. All within a couple of miles of the centre of Swannington! (download a map)