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Arts and crafts in the Forest

EBike Tour 8

This lovely route highlights the wide range of arts and crafts found in the National Forest. As part of the tour, you will visit 5 of the unique Noon Column installations, carved from oak by the renowned sculptor, David Nash. Many of the craftsmen offer crafts and rural workshops. Ask us about availability for a truly unique experience.





< 20


Start any day, all year


This route uses small independent hotels

Bed and breakfast


From £639 per person

Price includes

Electric bike hire, accommodation on a b&b basis, luggage transfer each day, car parking, detailed self-guide route to follow at your own pace, helmets. We're on hand to offer local support when required

Price excludes

Travel to your holiday starting point. Entry to attractions. Single supplement. Dinners. Extra nights. Travel insurance


The Noon Columns, created by David Nash. The craft workshops at Staunton Harold. National Memorial Arboretum. Watching canal life at Barton Marina. The National Trust property of Calke Abbey. The 1620's house and gardens


DAY 1: Your short break starts close to the market town of Market Bosworth. We will meet you at your first hotel and ensure that the bikes are fitted to you and answer any questions. The area is a maze of small lanes and country pubs, just perfect for an evening ride.

DAY 2: Your first stop is just a short cycle ride from your hotel. Squirrel at Wellsborough is a hub for local crafts people, as well as offering a large choice of crafts and rural workshops. Your Ebike is perfect as you cycle through the gently undulating countryside to your next stop. Your journey will take you on a tour of the counties, as you cycle through Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. Enjoy lunch in one of the traditional pubs on your route, before arriving at the first of the Noon Columns at Croxall Lakes. Carved from oak, the Noon Column stands majestic by the lake, which is a haven for many birds. It's shape represents the flood markers found throughout the Trent Valley wetlands. On the other side of the River Trent, you will find the National Memorial Arboretum. Spread over 150 acres, the National Memorial Arboretum remembers those that have served the country. Planted with a wide range of trees and bordering onto the River Trent, the serene grounds are home to over 300 diverse memorials. Each memorial tells a story of those that have served the country. It's only a short cycle ride from the National Memorial Arboretum to your overnight hotel in Barton under Needwood. This is a delightful small village, with a range of pubs to enjoy. Football or spa lovers may prefer to overnight at the prestigious Hilton St George's Park, at the home of the English Football team training grounds.

DAY 3: Today starts with an uphill cycle through lovely Staffordshire countryside, giving you a chance to enjoy the delights of electric assistance! First stop is the Noon Column set in Jackson's Bank. This column has been designed to represent the trunk of a mature tree, in keeping with the surrounding and ancient Needwood Forest. Lovers of sustainable living and the environment will enjoy the community garden of Forest Harvest, just a short cycle ride from Jackson's Bank. You could take the opportunity to enjoy one of their rural courses, including clay oven building and bee keeping. It's mainly downhill from here to the bustling Barton Marina. Here you will find a wide range of independent shops and cafes to enjoy before cycling further into the National Forest. Cycling on peaceful lanes, you will pass the parkland of majestic Catton Hall, a private estate, before arriving at the Rosliston Forest Centre. Here you will find quiet walks and cycle trails set amongst woodland and lakes. Next stop is the 3rd of the Noon Columns, set in the tranquil countryside at Grangewood. This column sits close the entrance carpark and has been designed to represent the agricultural landscape of the this area. The last attraction for today is the historic Sharpe's Pottery. The beautifully restored building, with its iconic kilns, originally manufactured pottery, before becoming a leading manufacturer of toilets. Today it houses a number of regularly changing exhibitions, including a wide range of exhibits from South Derbyshire potteries. A warm welcome and great meal are guaranteed at tonight's stop in a peaceful village pub.

DAY 4: A short cycling day today, allowing you plenty of time to explore. First stop is the magnificent National Trust property of Calke Abbey. Billed as the “unstately” home, the house is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful objects from years gone by. The National Trust has left the house as they found it, with rooms full of discarded items or packed with treasures. The gardens are spectacular and packed with areas to explore. Get behind the scenes in the old potting sheds and marvel at the faded grandeur of the Orangery. The house is surrounded by acres of park and woodland, much of which can be explored by bike. Alternatively, enjoy a walk around the grounds, taking in the deer park and old limekilns. Once you finish exploring at Calke Abbey, you will cycle through the grounds and almost immediately enter the grounds of Staunton Harold Hall. The hall was originally the home of the Shirley family, who were loyal Royalists. Sir Robert Shirley built a church on the estate in defiance of Cromwell. In common with many stately homes, Staunton Harold fell into hard times during the first part of the 20th century. The reigning earl sold off much of the land, but refused to live life more modestly. In the 1950's the building became a Cheshire Home and later became a hospice, before reverting to a family home in 2003. Within the grounds you will find a bustling courtyard of craft studios and workshops, including a leather worker, artists, ceramics and a blacksmith. Watch the craftspeople at work and browse their work. The courtyard also includes a tearoom, which is a lovely place to sit outside and watch the world pass by. From Staunton Harold you will cycle through woodland, where you will discover the next of the noon columns. Sat in new woodland, this column includes an antler carving and sits on a bed of sandstone. The cycle path continues to wind through the woodland, before coming out on the outskirts of the market town of Ashby de la Zouch, where you will spend the night. You'll find a wide choice of pubs and restaurants within the town. Summer visitors may enjoy a visit to the open air lido, which opens every day from the end of May.

DAY 5: A cycle through quiet lanes brings you to this morning's first stop, your final Noon Column at Sence Valley Country Park. The column sits on a black base, representing the mining heritage of the region. A short cycle from here is the historic 1620's house and garden at Donington le Heath. The original building is one of the oldest houses in Leicestershire. In the 16th Century the house was purchased by the Digby family. Sir Everard Digby was executed for being part of the failed Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Today the house has been restored to tell the story of life in the late Elizabethan period. Outside you will find a herb garden, an orchard and a maze. Peaceful lanes though open countryside will bring you to the village of Market Bosworth. Built around an old square the village contains a number of individual shops, including an arts and crafts gallery. It's a great place to stop and enjoy a coffee before the final part of your journey. The last stop on your journey is a glass blower based in the old station of Shenton. There is a wide range of work on display and for sale and you are welcome to call in and watch Richard creating his intricate glass creations. From here it is a short cycle ride back to your start point.

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11


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