Exploring the Wonders of Bradgate Park Hunts Hill

Bradgate Park Hunts Hill is a captivating destination for state park touring enthusiasts, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and breathtaking views. Located in Leicestershire, England, on the southern edge of Charnwood Forest, this 830-acre medieval deer park is a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Iconic Old John Tower

The centerpiece of Bradgate Park Hunts Hill is the iconic Old John Tower, a grade II listed building that stands atop the highest hill in the park, Old John, at an impressive 212 meters (696 ft) in height. This distinctive “mug-shaped” tower was built in 1784 during the time of George Grey, the 5th Earl of Stamford, and has served various purposes over the years, including a meeting place for hunters and a luncheon house for shooting parties.

Visitors can access the upper floor of the Old John Tower via a narrow spiral staircase, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The tower’s unique architecture and historical significance make it a must-visit attraction for those exploring Bradgate Park Hunts Hill.

The Toposcope and War Memorial

bradgate park hunts hill

Adjacent to the Old John Tower, visitors will find a toposcope, erected in 1953, which was given by the people of Newtown Linford from money raised at the 1953 ‘Pageant of Lady Jane Grey’. This feature provides a helpful orientation for visitors, allowing them to identify landmarks and points of interest in the surrounding area.

Also located on the ridge is the Leicestershire Yeomanry War Memorial, built around 1920, which commemorates the fallen of the Leicestershire Yeomanry from their 1900-1902 Boer War campaign and World War I. This solemn monument serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who served their country.

Exploring the Trails and Landscapes

Bradgate Park Hunts Hill is open to the public during all daylight hours, and the Hunts Hill Car Park, or the ‘Old John Car Park’, provides the nearest access to the Old John landmark. From this car park, visitors can embark on a 6.8-km circular trail that takes an average of 1 h 54 min to complete, offering a chance to immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty and rich history.

The distinctive outline of the Old John hilltop, with its two landmark structures, has given it a particular local significance to the people of Leicestershire. As visitors explore the trails, they can witness the stunning vistas and appreciate the park’s diverse flora and fauna.

Seasonal Highlights

Bradgate Park Hunts Hill is a year-round destination, but certain seasons offer unique experiences for visitors. In the spring, the park comes alive with blooming wildflowers and the return of migratory birds, while the summer months provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the park’s lush greenery and warm weather. Autumn brings a stunning display of fall foliage, and the winter season offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for a brisk hike or a leisurely stroll.

Accessibility and Facilities

The Hunts Hill Car Park is open from 8 am to sunset, no later than 8.30 pm in the summer, 365 days a year, including holiday seasons, making it accessible to visitors throughout the year. The park also offers various facilities, such as picnic areas, walking trails, and guided tours, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all visitors.


Bradgate Park Hunts Hill is a true gem for state park touring enthusiasts, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and breathtaking views. From the iconic Old John Tower to the serene trails and diverse landscapes, this park is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the wonders of Leicestershire, England.


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