Grace Dieu Priory or A Broken House With No Beds

We took a trip to Grace Dieu Priory  yesterday.  I’ve seen the old priory when on our way to the swimming pool at Whitwick and thought it looked intriguing, I also saw a sign for a woodland trail.  The Fireman showed an interest too as he thought it looked like a castle. So I thought we should definitely take a trip there at some point.

The weather here has been scorching for the past week, which has been lovely but it can get quite hard work with active little ones.  We left early before it could get too hot.  You can park for free at The Bulls Head car park just down the road and follow the trail which is really well signposted.

This place was perfect for a hot day as the trail took you woodlands of dappled sunshine.  I’m happy to take our time when it’s like this.  To keep The Farmer going I try to point out any interesting features along the way, a bridge, a tunnel, a stream etc.  I got a bit stuck at one point and the only thing I could suggest was ‘look a rotten bench’.

The rotten bench of doom

It worked great they ran over to it and sat down.  Then the problem started, they both knew that I had their lunch bags in my rucsac.  The Farmer was the first to start ‘ma lunch mummy’, ‘ma sit on bench, ma lunch mummy’.  OK, I’m always happy to have an early lunch, but 9.30am is ridiculous, plus they’d just had a snack. The Fireman added his comment ‘ I’m hungry mummy, my tummy is rummmmbling’.  No, no no, we cannot have lunch now, commence the tantrums.

Yellow archangel

I looked around for some inpiration/distraction, ah ha sticks! ‘Look sticks boys, oh and a tunnel with a stream!’. Phew that got me out of that one. Onwards to the priory.  The woodland is very pretty with lots of wildflowers out at the minute with some of my favourites including yellow archangel.

We got to the gate before the priory and I saw a sign, ‘caution farm animals’. Deep breathes, keep calm, don’t show your fear in front of the boys.  I cautiously walked into the field to find there were cows, but in the surrounding field which was fenced, phew!

The boys thought this place was so exciting because it had so many fireplaces. They immediately sat in one of the fireplaces and started cooking. They plated me up a delicious lunch of potatoes, pickles, peppers and peas.  We were obviously having a ‘P’ day.  Thankfully they found the shaded fireplaces the best place to play as this part was in full sun.

It’s a fascinating building, I didn’t get much time to read the interpretation, so all I could do was take a quick picture.

All aboard the fallen tree choo choo

Eventually the heat was getting too much, so we headed back up the path to a nice grassy area for our picnic at 11.15am, that’s a bit more acceptable. We spent about 3 hours here and it was completely free.  There are a lot more trails to explore, so I’ll definitely go back again.

Our evening dinner time discussion were along the usual lines of The Fireman asking ‘daddy what did you have for your lunch today?’, The Farmer telling everyone they were naughty and the two of them showing each other what was in their mouths.  When my husband asked The Fireman what he’d done today he said, in his saddest voice, ‘we went to a broken down house and it had no beds daddy’. If this was his biggest concern for the day I feel I have done my job well.

You’ll also find info and be able to share you experiences of Grace Dieu Priory Woods on The Woodland Trust’s VisitWoods website.

Walks in Coalville | Grace Dieu-West | Leicestershire Walks.