Bradgate Park is a public park in Charnwood Forest, just northwest of Leicester, England. The park covers 850 acres and lies between the villages of Newtown Linford, Anstey, Cropston, Woodhouse Eaves and Swithland.
A hidden gem in the Leicestershire countryside the landscape is a mix of rocky moorland with a covering of coarse grass and bracken. Several spinneys of woodland are enclosed by stone walls and are not accessible to the public. There are a number of magnificent specimens of ancient oaks several hundreds of years old, and a small river runs through part of the park. Originally a hunting park it is still home to herds of red deer and fallow deer which roam freely within the boundary walls.
The park rises to nearly 700ft where two prominent landmarks, “Old John”, an 18th century folly, and a war memorial stand proudly overlooking Cropston Reservoir. Since Medieval times it has been part of the Manor of Groby and in 1445 was passed to the Grey family who retained it for the next 500 years until, in 1928 it was given, as a plaque in the park describes, “to be preserved in its natural state for the quiet enjoyment of the people of Leicestershire”. The spectacular ruins of “Bradgate House”, the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey, still lie in the centre of the park.
In terms of photography it really is a “park for all seasons” with lots of opportunity no matter what the weather. Late October always attract crowds of photographers for the rutting season and at this time of the year numerous types of fungi can also be photographed.