36 metres climb
Risk assessed route
Distance - 5.1 miles
Bike suitability - All bike types
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Starting point

Loughborough Leisure Centre, meet at the back car park (over bridge over the brook)
Browns Lane
LE11 3HE


The 'Woodbrook and Charnwood Forest Railway' route takes a short tour of Loughborough's cycle route network, yet packs in lots of sights with links to Loughborough's past along the way.  Starting and finishing at Loughborough's modern Leisure Centre, the route picks up cycle route 5 and starts more or less following Woodbrook for almost 2 miles all the way up to Brook Lane. 

Woodbrook was used by John Heathcoat and John Boden to power their revolutionary lace making machines in their factory in Market Street in the early 1800's.  From Brook Lane the route passes through the thriving modern Loughborough University campus and up to the developing Charnwood College campus.  Here the route picks up cycle route 4 following the path of the old 'Charnwood Forest Railway' which ceased operating back in the 1950's, but once linked Loughborough to Coalville via Shepshed, Thringstone and Whitwick. 

The route turns onto Epinal Way and shortly joins national cycle route 6 - on another day, if you were to follow route 6 out west you'd eventually meet national cycle route 52, which takes you towards Coalville into Grace Dieu Woods and picks up the route of the 'Charnwood Forest Railway' near its former halt at Thringstone.  From Epinal Way the route returns to the Leisure Centre passing close by the expanding Loughborough College campus.

The majority of this route makes use of the cycle route network around Loughborough, but please note there are sections where you will have to use quiet residential streets which are open to traffic