Bradgate Park Museum: Exploring the Wonders of Leicestershire’s Natural and Cultural Heritage

Bradgate Park Museum, operated by the Bradgate Park & Swithland Wood Charity, is a free-to-visit visitor center located in the heart of Bradgate Park, a public park in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, England. This museum offers a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history, geology, archaeology, and natural wonders of this stunning 850-acre (340-hectare) park.

The Geological and Archaeological Wonders of Bradgate Park

The Bradgate Park Museum’s geology section highlights the park’s fascinating formation, which dates back millions of years. Visitors can learn about the volcanic activity, glacial erosion, and the presence of Ediacara biota, some of the earliest known complex multicellular organisms on Earth. The archaeology section, on the other hand, showcases evidence of Creswellian sites from 14,500 years ago, providing a glimpse into the park’s ancient human history.

Exploring the Park’s Diverse Wildlife

bradgate park museum

Bradgate Park is home to a rich and diverse array of wildlife, including herds of red deer and fallow deer. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, such as yellowhammer, reed bunting, skylark, and meadow pipit, among the park’s rocky moorland, coarse grass, bracken, and woodland spinneys. The park’s reservoir also attracts a wide range of wildfowl, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Volunteering Opportunities at Bradgate Park Museum

The Bradgate Park Museum offers a range of volunteering opportunities for those interested in contributing to the park’s conservation and visitor experience. Volunteers can assist with projects such as conservation work, visitor support, guided walks and tours, event organization, school visits, and community talks. These volunteer roles provide a unique chance to engage with the park’s natural and cultural heritage while giving back to the local community.

Accessibility and Amenities at Bradgate Park

Bradgate Park is publicly accessible year-round, with visitors able to explore the park’s footpaths, cycle, or arrive by bus or personal car. The park’s world-class Visitor Centre, which houses the Bradgate Park Museum, offers exhibitions that tell the story of Bradgate and its fascinating history. On-site eateries, such as the Deer Barn tea room, provide refreshments for visitors.

Exploring the Birthplace of Lady Jane Grey

One of the park’s most notable features is its connection to Lady Jane Grey, the nine-day Queen of England in the 16th century. The ruins of her childhood home, one of the earliest country houses built for royalty, can be explored within the park, offering visitors a glimpse into the park’s rich historical significance.


Bradgate Park Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the natural and cultural heritage of Leicestershire. With its captivating geology, archaeology, wildlife, and historical significance, the museum and the surrounding park provide a truly immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful outdoor adventure, Bradgate Park Museum is sure to leave a lasting impression.


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