Hugely accessible from Yorkshire, this great forest has plenty to keep you occupied for a day out. We seemed to be the only people there without a bike, but it has lots to offer families on foot! We’ve been to the area before; Sherwood Forest and NT Clumber Park are nearby but never stopped off… we’ll definitely be returning!
Parking: £6 all day, £4 if you squeeze it into two hours!
Accessibility: Gritted paths mean routes we used were for pushchairs.
We’d promised Jess the Zog trail, and got her excited in the car by re-reading the story, so on arrival there was no question of doing anything else first! The activity pack was £3 and included a Zog face mask, stickers, activity booklet and animal reveal.
The trail itself was relatively short, so perfect for little walkers (but don’t expect it to take too long). Activities are a combination of Zog related questions (spot the dragons) and nature questions that get children to think and engage with their surroundings.
Certain activities are done to reward yourself with a star sticker from the activity pack. Jess is a massive fan of stickers so this went down a treat!
After the trail we found a picnic bench (there were plenty) for lunch. We sat next to a large field where families were playing ball games and running round, a great space.
Refuelled, we set off to do one of the two walking trails. The Dragonfly walk is just 1mile on gritted paths, and the Nightjar trail is 3miles, suitable for off-road pushchairs. They are super easy to follow (Jess was our leader) with marked coloured posts and plenty of benches dotted around the pretty woodland.
For Jess, walking without whinging is often for the bribe of a good play area at the end. Luckily we had a few to choose from, with a mixture of climbing, exploring, den building and sandpits!
Other activities that we didn’t try but that are available are;
- The Gruffalo Orienteering Trail (£1.50 for the map) which is a really simple beginners orienteering course where you find 12 markers (although the link to the Gruffalo is only really by name)
- Finding Gruffalo sculptures dotted about the woodland
- Nets Adventure, which looked a bit ambitious for Jess, basically looked like huge trampolines with balls suspended in the air.
- Go Ape
- Mountain Biking
Next to the visitor centre there are good toilet facilities (changing area in male toilets too) as well as a cafe that we didn’t visit but seemed nice with indoor and outdoor seating.