Now that the beautiful Spring is upon us and the summer gets ever closer, we will be venturing out a lot more and spending days together as a family. Therefore I thought I would use my blog as a way of remembering those days, spreading the word to others and giving a little review on whether it (wherever that may be) is worth the visit!
So for Mother’s Day this year we thought we would keep it really simple and go for a little stroll around Salcey Forest in Northamptonshire. The weather was gorgeous, which made the forest look even prettier with the sun beaming down. I even ended up just sitting in a vest top outside to eat lunch! Bring on the summer!
As with most (all?) of the Forestry Commission sites, there is a Gruffalo Trail which is great for the kids! You download an app onto your phone, follow the trail and then as you take a picture after finding each animal from the Gruffalo story, it superimposes that animal onto the picture. Lyla was still a little bit young to understand what to do so we just followed the trail as it was a good length of walk for her little legs, we didn’t take the photos as we thought we would save that for when she understands, plus she does not smile on demand! She loved the big pictures of the animals which are at each spot though! You can also pay for a little goody bag for the kids (£3) with lots of extra exciting things in such as a magnifying glass, spotters guide, stickers etc in, otherwise it was just the parking which you pay for!
We arrived at about 10.30 and got a parking spot no problem, I had read online beforehand that parking spaces could be hard to come by on a weekend/school holiday so was a bit nervous as we arrived later than planned, but it was fine. When we were leaving, however (about 2pm), it was PACKED. And I mean, cars parked up on verges and along both sides of the main road leading up to the forest, so my top tip is get there early!! Parking was £4, pretty standard I’d say for these places. You can buy a yearly pass, which also gives you discount off Forest Holidays, which I would be tempted to do if it were a little closer to us (it took 45-50 minutes to get there). Well worth it though if you live a bit closer.
As well as the Gruffalo Trail, there are lots of other trails of varying length through the forest for both on foot, or by bike. We will definitely be back with the bikes once Daisy is old enough to go in the trailer! From where we walked and what I saw of the other trails, it is pretty flat, very buggy friendly, just a really nice relaxing walk 🙂 We walked for about 1.5-2 hours and it was so lovely.
One of the other great things about this forest is there is a ‘Tree Top’ way, which, as the name suggests, takes you up to the top of the trees and to a crows nest platform with amazing views over the forest, you can see for miles! It is wheelchair/buggy accessible and you can take the dogs up there too (although ours was not a fan of the steps up to the viewing platform!).
There is a great playground for children, it is described as an ‘adventure’ playground so is aimed at slightly older children than our 2 year old, but she gave it a pretty good go anyway! We took a picnic and set ourselves up on one of the benches (again, this got busy very quickly so aim to get a seat before the lunchtime rush). There is a lovely forest cafe too if you fancied somebody else cooking your lunch!
Finally, there is a ‘Tree Ninja’ course (think Go Ape, but on steroids by the look of it!). If you so desired, and had the suggested 3 hours (!!) to spare, then it looked like A LOT of fun!
So there we have it, Salcey Forest, somewhere I would recommend in a heartbeat to anyone local or visiting. A great day out, with so much to do that is child friendly, we loved it and will definitely go back in the summer. And best of all, its outside! In the fresh air! And you can’t get better than that…