Sitting just five miles north of Leicester, Watermead Country Park is a 140 hectare green oasis. It is a haven for wildlife and a peaceful stretch of countryside.
The country park is nearly two miles long and comprises over 12 lakes and smaller ponds, wildflower meadows, woodland, grassland and reedbeds. It is an ideal spot for walking, cycling, picnics, bird watching, and fishing.
Running through the park are the River Soar and Grand Union Canal which provide an essential corridor for wildlife.
Watermead is managed in a partnership of Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Charnwood Borough Council.
Watermead Country Park (South) is managed by Leicester City Council and forms part of the Riverside Park which runs through the centre of Leicester.
Blue Green Algae advice to visitors
Blooms of blue-green agae have been seen in King Lear's lake. Toxins produced by the algae may be harmful to people and dogs. Our continued advice to all visitors is to avoid contact with the water and keep their dogs on dry ground at all times. Thank you for your cooperation.
Downloadable children's activity sheets
A brand new set of children’s activity sheets have been produced for families to complete during visits to Watermead Country Park. The sheets have been designed for children of all ages and abilities, and to complement your own interests and learning goals. View and download any or all of the seven sheets to bring with you on your next family visit from our childrens activity sheets page.
Download the new Watermead Country Park Guide
Our brand new Guide to the country park is now available to download. Now you can plan your visit before you get here!
Swimming and bathing in our lakes
Entering the water can be dangerous for a number of reasons. Please do not swim or bathe, or allow your dogs to enter the lakes at any time.
- The car park uses an automated pay on entry access system.
- Car parking charge is £2.50 per car. The machine only accept coins (not 5 pence pieces), but does not give change or issues tickets.
- North Entrance Car Park, Wanlip Road, LE7 1PD (Grid Ref: SK 60721 11408)
- From this entrance four parking areas can be accessed: John Merrick's Lake, King Lear's Lake, Lily Pond and the Reedbed Nature Reserve
- South Entrance Car Park, Alderton Close, Thurmaston (Leicester City Council end)
- Car Park Season Ticket Information
- Bus Route: Arriva 6 (walking involved). Contact Traveline for further information
The car park has an automatic exit gate that will allow cars to leave the car park at any time. Please note we do not allow overnight parking.
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What to See and Do
- More than 12 lakes and ponds
- Fishing, which is permitted on John Merricks Lake, Lily Pond, King Lears Lake, and sections of the River Soar. See our Fisheries Page for more information
- Active water sports available for club members. See Activities in the Park for more details
- Four bird hides, including a 2-storey hide, and one of the largest reedbed areas in the Midlands
- The Jurassic Play Trail which features an earthmound, a rib-cage climbing frame, a henge-feature and stepping stones, is great for children of all ages to explore
- The Portrait Bench, part of a national art initiative, which depicts two Bronze Age people and an Aurochs
- The National Cycle Network passes through the park. The Sustrans Connect2 Project has recently improved much of this network
The Country Park Service has a number of different volunteer groups that work at various Country Parks throughout the year. The Beacon Hill Volunteer Group get together on the second and third Sundays of the month. Work sessions run from 10am to 3pm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please check our FAQs Page to find answers to our most commonly asked questions.
Check out our photos of the country park in our Photo Gallery. We'd love to see your photos from around the park too. Email them to us, or why not share them on Facebook, and we may use them on the website!
Tel: 0116 305 5000 (8.30am - 5pm Mon - Thu, 8.30am - 4.30pm Fri). Outside of these times, emergencies only please.
Email: email@example.com Emails are checked during the week. You will not receive a response to your email at weekends or Bank Holidays.
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Page Last Updated: 27 May 2014