The inland beaches in and around Leicestershire if Skeggy is out of reach

The weather is not so hot at the moment, but last week’s burst of sunshine gave us a hint of what’s to come before too long. And, while a day at the seaside is a trek for us here in landlocked Leicestershire, there is an alternative – the inland beach. With lockdown restrictions easing, our colleagues at NottinghamshireLive have come up with this guide to the best places to head for when the sun shines again.

We have our own attractions here in the county, but if you are able to take a short hop over the border into Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire a day of splashing in the water and building sandcastles awaits. If Skeggy is too much of a stretch, consider at day out at one of these.

Bosworth Water Park

Less than an hour away from Leicester is Bosworth Water Park – a place that is about as close to a real beach as you’re likely to get without travelling to Skegness. Parking is simple to sort, there’s often an ice-cream truck parked up and there’s a stack of seaside rides that aren’t open yet, but surely will be in the near future.

Bosworth Water Park

Crucially there’s a popular beach next to a lake that warms up nicely after some sunshine.

There are playgrounds galore too if your kids don’t fancy a dip. One caveat though – in normal times it can get busy when the sun shines.

Staunton Harold Reservoir

Just a couple of miles north of Ashby, this site is managed by Severn Trent. Even if you do not fancy getting sand between your toes, it’s a beautiful location and well worth a socially-distanced visit.

The inland beaches in and around Leicestershire if Skeggy is out of reachSecret beach at Staunton Harold Reservoir

Other activities here include bird watching, dinghy and sailboarding and angling.

The wildfolower meadow is also very popular. Car parking costs just GBP3 a day and there are plenty of facilities – including toilets – if you fancy spending the day.

Gunthorpe

Gunthorpe lock is a beautiful place to visit too even if you’re not too fussed about beaches, with plenty of picnic spots and lots of wildlife to spot. It’s looked after by the Canal and River Trust.

The inland beaches in and around Leicestershire if Skeggy is out of reachA view of the River Trent at Gunthorpe

The river is described as very fast flowing in this areas and dangerous and people should not enter the water under any circumstances.

Rutland Water

A truly beautiful location, Rutland Water is sure to be popular when the weather starts to improve.

The county of Rutland, itself a tourist destination in normal times, has been playing it pretty safe during the pandemic though so don’t expect crowds of people showing up – they won’t get in. The Rutland Water website says: “Further to the publishing of the government easing of lockdown, we are beginning to open areas around our parks which have been temporarily closed.

The inland beaches in and around Leicestershire if Skeggy is out of reachRutland Water

“Currently our parks are open for access to the tracks, play parks and cafes are open for takeaway only. “As soon as Government advice allows, we plan to open access to angling, watersports, mini golf and cycle hire from 29th March onwards (please see relevant park page for specific centre dates).

“From 12th April, we hope to open our retail shops.”

Spring Lakes

There’s an awful lot on offer at Spring Lakes, in Long Eaton. The beach resort, which is open now, has 50 metres of shoreline meaning there should be plenty of space to enjoy the scenery.

The inland beaches in and around Leicestershire if Skeggy is out of reachSpring Lakes, in Long Eaton

And if you want further reassurance the Spring Lakes website says: “Access to the beach is restricted to ensure no overcrowding, and we will have lifeguards on duty looking after your safety at all times.” It costs GBP5 per person and under-twos go free.

You’re advised to book online to avoid disappointment. There are also watersports on offer.

Beeston Marina

Ok, beach might be stretching this a bit, but there is a sandbank on the river. It’s nice and local though, just upriver from Nottingham city centre on the River Trent and there’s stacks of facilities to make your day a memorable one.

The team behind the marina say: “Easily accessible with great transport links we offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind in one of Nottingham’s most idyllic areas.”

Sounds pretty fantastic to us.