Autumn is a fantastic time to get out and about in the great Outdoors. It is also an amazing time if you like photography as the colours are so vibrant and the lighting on a good day is perfect!
So, you can imagine when we were delighted to learn The Forestry Commission had chosen us as review bloggers of one of our favourite haunts, Sherwood Pines!
Pulling into Sherwood Pines feels like therapy on its own, driving through the peaceful woodland full of beautiful pine trees and gorgeous scenery feels like entering an oasis of calm, leaving the rush of daily life behind.
It is a perfect place to go on a beautiful autumn day for some fresh air and to blow the cobwebs away. We love to just walk and explore the beautiful offerings from nature the forest has to offer. The boys particularly love a bit of den building piling up stray sticks and making up stories of Gruffalos, bear hunts and dragons along the way.
There are a selection of walks available, as well as cycle routes varying from family friendly (green) to much more advanced (red). Bikes can be hired from as little as one hour as well as tag ons, buggies and seats. The fab 3 mile family route is challenging enough but can easily be accomplished in just an hour. Hiring bikes here can work out expensive if there are lots of you, but you are of course free to bring your own bikes and the bikes for hire are of extremely high quality. The staff in the shop of very friendly and knowledgeable. There are also Segways to hire for something a little different (haven’t tried these but look fun!) and of course a Go Ape course for an adventurous forest experience (minimum age of 10 to try this one).
The Forest has an amazing children’s play area featuring a Mushroom Village and The Boardwalk, perfect for younger kids to run around exploring and having fun in a safe environment. It is perfect for our children aged 3 and 5. There is another play area further in the forest suitable for older children 7-12 years of age, so plenty of options to suit all ages!
To keep you recharged there is a great cafe selling hot food and drinks and indoor seating as well as a take out service for coffee, ice cream etc. There are lots of picnic benches dotted around as well. We always take a flask of hot chocolate and a picnic to keep us going. The toilet block is clean and easily accessible.
The Information centre has lots of leaflets and all the information you need to enjoy a lovely educational day out. We loved the fun ideas to make the most of your forest visit such as getting arty and making a picture in the ground like this one we made of a halloween spider or a leaf snake.
Car parking is £1 for one hour only or £4 for the whole day. This can be confusing as if you just want to stay 2 hours you would have to pay £4 for the whole day. However it is a complete bargain in my opinion as you don’t have to pay any admission to use the fantastic facilities on offer.
What I think I love best about Sherwood Pines is the simplicity of it. You can go just to pass an hour or so taking in the scenery, allowing the kids some free space in a safe environment or you can make a full day of it and bring a picnic, hire bikes or do a nature trail. Sherwood Pines is beautiful in the Autumn but it offers just as much fun and variety in all seasons. It is a great place to visit for the day, particularly in the week when it is a little quieter.
Disclaimer: We received a Forest Discovery Pass, which costs £40 a year and gives you free car parking and discounts on bike hire and cafe, in exchange for this review but all opinions are our own.
Also linking up with The Gallery where the theme this week is Autumn.. If you would like to see more similar posts click on The Gallery badge below..
And Fun Photo Fun who have also chosen Autumn as the theme..