Friday, 30 September 2016

DAY OUT: Conker hunting, playing in leaves and tree top walking at Salcey Forest

When it comes to autumn I am more than happy to completely immerse myself in all things autumnal as soon as I can. I love the cooler days, wrapping up warm and the changing scenery. So when it comes to family days out where better to experience all of these but in a forest? We searched around for a forest that had some facilities (a day out without a toilet is no fun for anyone) and we came across Salcey Forest in Northamptonshire. It's owned by the Forestry Commission, with parking, toilets, café, tree top walk and trials to discover. Parking is £4 a day, so very reasonable for a full day of fun!

We parked up (with a prime spot next to the café - oh the small wins in life) and had the standard 'have we got enough change?' panic. We didn't, so a trip to the café and a bottle of water later we had paid and were popping our wellies on. We took Isabella in our LittleLife Voyager S3 Child Carrier, which we love and use all the time. It amazes me because we often get people coming up to us asking where its from and that they haven't seen anything like it before, yet we don't know what we'd do without it!
There are a variety of length trials you can follow around the forest; the Elephant Walk (0.75 miles), Church Path Walk (1.5 miles), Horse Trial (5 miles), Family Cycle Trial (5 miles) and Woodpecker Trial (6 miles). We decided on the Church Path Walk because we wanted Isabella to have plenty of chances to walk and 5 miles is far too long for her little legs! Though we did take a slight diversion to visit the tree top walk as well.
Much of the forest has proper paths, which are wheelchair and pram friendly, though it's often single file. There are also vast amounts of the trials that are more of a muddy path, which we enjoy more as it feels like you're truly exploring the heart of the forest. Isabella loved picking up acorns, conkers, leaves and pebbles...as always!
It took us a couple of hours to get around the Church Path Walk, but we did stop for a flash of tea, snack and many times for Isabella to explore. It's a great place to visit if you have a dog too, Isabella loved shouting "woof woof" at every dog that went past. There was also a Stickman trial based on the book by Julia Donaldson around the forest where children could follow a map to find certain signs. We didn't do this but it looks like a lovely activity for older children and I believe other Forestry Commission forests also have this trial too.

We didn't end up visiting the café, as we had booked into a pub for a Sunday Roast, but it looked perfectly nice. The menu included sandwiches, jacket potatoes, breakfasts, cakes etc. There was a large outdoor seating area for the café, as well as picnic benches dotted around the forest. Next to the café there's a large children's play area too, but Isabella was a little bit too young to go on most of it. One to remember for when she's a bit older!
Which is your favourite forest to visit?

Feel free to leave a comment :)


Helen x
Pick N Mix FridaysYou Baby Me Mummy
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11 comments

  1. We have a few walking trails around here. Not really an actual forest. Just woodlands I think you might call them? But now I'm pretty inspired to attempt to take Maddie to some of them, they aren't nearly as pretty as the one you have visited but they do have free parking! Most of the forests in my state are an hour or more away.

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  2. What a great time out. Love a forest walk they are magical. Great value to for £4 bet that's on the list to go back to. I love the season changing too #picknmix

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  3. What gorgeous pictures! I love days out in the woods, it's such a lovely thing to do. My favourite woods are right next door to my mums house! :)

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  4. I love a walk in the woods, kicking through the autumn leaves! Such a cheap and magical day out. Following it with a Sunday roast sounds perfect :) #TheList

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  6. Your photos are gorgeous and that looks like a beautiful place. Nothing like a jaunt in the forest this time of year. I went with my son's class yesterday on their nature trail. So much fun filling little bags with leaves and conkers and pine cones... #picknmix

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  7. I dream of the day when the Woodland Trust take over the management of Salcey Forest from the incompetent Forestry Commission. They've left a disgraceful mess after the recent tree felling....appalling!

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  8. Sounds like a perfect Autumn day to me. We are lucky to have lots of woodland walks near us and I'm planning on heading out this weekend - if it doesn't rain!! #PicknMix

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  9. What a lovely day out, I love a long walk in the woods. Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

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  10. Aw this looks like such a wonderful adventure and beautiful pictures. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

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  11. Always get a guide who is knowledgeable about the area you are planning to hunt in. Make reservations beforehand while planning for the trip. My response

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