Charnwood Forest is an upland tract in north-western Leicestershire, England, bounded by Leicester, Loughborough and Coalville.The area is undulating, rocky and picturesque, with barren areas.In the 200 years after the Norman conquest, newly created settlements took major areas of land out of the forest for use in agriculture.
The area was the inspiration for "Charnwood Poems", a collection of poems by the author, playwright and poet Albert Francis Cross (1863–1940).
It is also the setting for the speculative fiction novel "Some Kind of Fairy Tale" by Graham Joyce (2012), in which it is depicted as a possible portal to the realm of fairies.
The hard stone of Charnwood Forest has been quarried for centuries, and was a source of whetstones and quern-stones.
The granite quarries at Bardon Hill, Buddon Hill and Whitwick are of national importance and supply crushed aggregate, much by train, to a wide area of southern Britain.
This is extensively quarried for roadstone around Groby, Markfield and Whitwick, and is known as granite (formerly also called Markfieldite).
The central area of the forest has older rocks still.
Over half of Charnwood Forest is included within the English National Forest.
It is also crossed by two waymarked long distance walking routes – the Leicestershire Round and the Ivanhoe Way.
Some sources give cwern as the derivation, meaning a tool used to grind grain and other materials by hand.
The area was a source of stone for these tools, called quern-stones.
) of Leicestershire, split over three local government districts: Charnwood Borough, North West Leicestershire District and Hinckley and Bosworth District.