Super fun Rosliston Forestry centre walks

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Rosliston Forestry Centre is located in the National Forest in South Derbyshire. This absolute gem of a day out isn’t too widely known making it an ideal place for a quiet hike. There are several routes you can try in and around the park but this is one of my favourite longer Rosliston Forestry centre walks.

red tractor carry a load of logs

Rosliston to Caldwell Route

We completed this walk at the end of last year, it was oh so very muddy so we had to reroute a couple of times. In total it took us around four hours and, including our detours, was six and a half miles.

We started at the Rosliston Forestry Centre carpark where we can always find plenty of space and headed off away from the visitor centre towards the entrance of the carpark. Veer off to the right just before you get back to the road and follow the path keeping the road to your left.

huge log pile with tall trees behind

I’m a sucker for a take out hot drink on a chilly walk so I was delighted when we spotted the bright red kiosk on the other side of the road. We popped over for a great value coffee and enjoyed watching the chickens pecking around looking for scraps.

Then it was back to the trail. Here you’re skirting the woods so make sure to take in the beauty of the tall trees all around you. You’ll eventually come out at the bottom of the children’s play area, which is a large open space of green. Fab to run around and burn off some energy if you’re with little ones.

Head round the bottom of this where you may spot some old forestry equipment and pick up the signposts for your walk. T this point you’re following the purple markers for the National Forest Way. You’ll pass some sweet covered wood areas, ideal places to shelter if you get caught in the rain. I think these are used for some of the school events often held at the centre and are part of the science trail.

Keep following the trail until you reach water of Greenheart Lake and a beautiful bridge crossing it. Walk across the bridge, seeing what wildlife you can spot as you go.

greenheart lake surrounded by tall reeds

Then take the first left fork in the path which takes you back round the other side of the pond. You’ll know you’re on the right path when you pick up the now orange National Forest Way signs. Keep going around the edge of the main forest. It was this part which was really muddy and we had to tread very carefully. But it did eventually dry up.

You’ll eventually get to the end of the forestry centre, past this sweet old gate (don’t go through) and onto a field. Head up towards the house in the distance. You’ll see the green sign to Caldwell.

At the edge of the field pass this beautiful old church and into the village of Caldwell.

At this point you could continue the loop back to the forestry centre or add a bit on. We were after a longer walk so decided to continue our walk looking for a good spot for lunch. We headed across the main road and continued along the quieter road heading up hill. Eventually stopping after around half a mile at the top.

sheep grazing in a green field

This was a lovely place to stop, take in the views and refuel with lunch. After a good break we retraced our steps back down the hill to the village. Instead of heading straight back into the countryside we decided to follow the main road a bit further to avoid some of the mud.

hunsband and wife walking along a road with a dog

You’ll pass Blakenhall Business Centre and Cinderlands Cat Boarding. At which point you can pick up the purple signs for the National Forest Way and head back into Rosliston. You’ll see the black and white gates indicating you’re in the right place.

Once back in the boundary skirt around the edge, keeping the tall trees to your right. After around fifteen minutes you’ll be back in the busiest part of the centre on a trail popular with both hikers and cyclists. Take time to spot the sweet wooden sculptures of various woodland creatures.

Finally it’s a quick walk back up the hill to the cafe and main visitor centre.

When logging work is being carried out at Rosliston certain paths may be closed, just follow the diversions to get through.

blue skies with white clouds above a path at rosliston forestry centre

Rosliston Forestry Centre easy walks

For a shower walk staying within the Forestry Centre, begin your walk as with the earlier route – out towards the main entrance road. Keep the woods to your right and skirt round but take the left fork in the path before you get to the playground. Follow this across the river and up to the bridge across the Lake. Keep going left (not back over the river) and follow the route to the bluebell memorial wood.

two hikers walking across a wooden bridge under very blue sky

Take the path to the left when you hit the T junction and follow along past another playground, back over the river to the snowdrop memorial wood. Keep going and the path will eventually take you back round to the main entrance.

Rosliston Forestry centre walks with dogs

Holly, our Hungarian Vizsla loves joining us on walks at Rosliston. Whilst we keep her on the lead around the busier areas and playgrounds she can happily run through the trees once we’re away from the visitor centre. Please make sure to always clean up after your dog, there are dog waste bins in the carpark. Dogs are not allowed in the cafe.

big brown dog looking back at the camera on a very muddy trail

Rosliston Forestry Centre Car Parking Charges

Entrance to the centre is free but you will need to pay for parking. You’ll see plenty of pay and display machines in the main carpark. It’s currently £1.50 for an hour or £4 for the whole day. I’d definitely recommend getting the full day, there’s loads to do and it would be horrid to have to rush back. You could also opt for an annual parking pass which is £35.

sign post and map at rosliston forestry centre

Rosliston Forestry Centre Cafe

The hub cafe at Rosliston Forestry Centre is a lovely place to grab a hot drink or quick snack. During winter it’s open from 10am until 4pm and from spring it stay open until 5pm. There are also plenty of outdoor seating areas if you want to bring your own picnic.

cafe at rosliston forestry centre

Where to eat near Rosliston

If you fancy a more substantial meal after your hike at Rosliston then I recommend heading to the nearby village of Walton-on-Trent. The Swan at Walton is one of my absolutely favourite places to eat in the area with amazing food, great ales and super friendly staff. It’s only around a five minute drive from Rosliston.

Rosliston Forestry Centre opening times

The Centre is open every day apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The gates for the carpark and facilities open at 7.30am and close at 5pm.

beautiful green field bordered by autumnal trees under a bright blue sky

Rosliston Forestry Centre address

Burton Road, Rosliston, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE12 8JX.

01283 563483

entrance to rosliston forestry centre

If you’re looking for other walks in the area then you’ll probably enjoy this Alrewas to Wychnor Loop. Or this climb up Battlestead Hill near Rangemore.

Pin for later to plan your Rosliston Forestry centre walks.

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