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Explore Salcey Forest Centre
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.8/5)

Latest News (18/12/2014 11:54)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to timber harvesting operations this Autumn, the Family Cycle Route has got particularly muddy in places.  Please exercise caution if cycling on this route, and obey any warning signs that you may encounter. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this period.  

Salcey Forest is an oasis of nature and history only 7 miles from the centre of Northampton. Wildlife and history are in abundance at Salcey. So come and discover why elephants roamed the forest and where to find a roman road. 

Gruffalo’s Child Trails Join The Gruffalo’s Child on her forest adventure

Families are invited into the deep dark wood this autumn and winter to find The Gruffalo’s Child, who has followed The Gruffalo out of his comfortable cave for a forest trail adventure.

GruffaloRuff guide to Salcey Forest

Find out about me, my owner and my favourite place for a walk in Salcey Forest, as well as great dog friendly places to eat and sleep near by. 

Planning your visit

Check out car parking, opening times and more before you set off.

Trails for everyone

Whether you just want to visit our famous Tree Top Way, or plan to stretch your legs further, we have the trail for you.

Events and activities

Find out about the events and activities happening in Salcey Forest.

Adventurous play

The kids will have hours of fun playing in the adventure play area.

Horse riding

Our horse trail starts at the Horsebox car park and winds it way through the wood, whilst providing plenty of links to local and national bridleway routes.

Cycling

Perfect for family cycling this route which starts in the car park behind the cafe, is relatively flat, wide and smooth.

Food & drink

Tasty home made meals and cakes, to be enjoyed in warm friendly surroundings. To see the latest menu, or for more information, visit the cafe website here.

 Tree Ninja

Want to be nimble like a Ninja, climbing and swinging your way through the trees?  - Now you can, by attempting Salcey's 'Tree Ninja' high-ropes course!

Linda Johns' Sculptures

Salcey is currently home to 7 fascinating sculptures installed by local artist Linda Johns. For images of the pieces, or for a map, please click here

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

We had a fantastic day at Salcey forest on Monday 20th October. Tha Gruffalo trail was great and the trail guide bag was well worth the ■2 for each child with lots of things to do that kept my 7 and 5 year old children entertained. I don't think the lady in the cafe had sold any of the trail guides before and it would of helped if she'd given us some tips. Tip 1 - the trail markers in the forest are not in the same order as in the guide. Every marker in the forest has an activity in the guide so check on both sides of the booklet. Tip 2 children should collect things on the way e.g. leaves and pine cones to make a gruffalo picture at the end. We didn't realise and my children didn't want to at the end. Tip 3 you need to look up in trees for some clues.

The trail ended near the tree top walk which was great too.

It would help if the way back to the car park was sign posted more clearly but it didn't take to long to work it out.

Andy, 25/Oct/2014

Hi there, thank you for the very useful feedback regarding your recent Gruffalo Child's trail experiences. We do appreciate constructive feedback that can be used to improve the experience. Regarding the signage back to the car park - we have since put up temporary directional plaques on the waymarkers at the Tree Top Way. May we also take this opportunity to highlight that ALL onsite signage, maps, and waymarkers are being replaced throughout, later this month. Thanks again, and hopefully your trail tips will prove useful to other visitors!

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Enjoyed our visit re- walking the many trails we have known for forty years. Special thanks to

the warden who allowed us to visit the tree walk before it was closed for maintainence especially as we had travelled a considerable distance for this visit. He was a credit to your organization.

Anonymous, 22/Oct/2014
3 Stars 3 Stars

My daughter, myself & two very small children set off on the Griffalo Trail today then went up the Treetop Trail. We were ready to return to the car park by this stage but due to lack of signage we spent the next hour and a half trying to find a way out. There was no one around to ask and the path went on for ever, my daughter pushing a pram with two very small children with limited energy and patience! We eventually get back to the car only to find a ■25 car parking fine slapped on the screen. Due to said lack of signage, and there was no reminder to pay in the area behind the cafe, we failed to notice that there was a charge. This is so MEAN, as if we would attempt to avoid paying by parking in such a central position. There was precious little sign of help when we needed to find a way out, but someone found the time to leap out with a fine. If this is how Salcey Forest make their money then shame on you.

Anonymous, 15/Oct/2014

Hi there, we are disappointed that you had a negative experience and we apologise for that. Regarding the points you have raised, we do not deliberately mislead the public regarding our Pay & Display policies. The car park is signed as a Pay & Display on the access road as you drive in (with two separate signs), and is also clearly advertised as a Pay & Display on the official Salcey forest website in the 'Planning Your Visit' section. There are also four Pay & Display machines, two of which are easily visible around the main Visitor Centre area. Regarding the issuing of penalty notices, we fully conform to current Government best practice guidelines. The money generated by penalty notices is a negligible percentage of total revenue from Pay & Display ticket sales, proving that most visitors comply with our policies. Regarding your experience getting lost, the whole site is due for replacement waymarkers, maps and directional signage, which commences installation later this month. We apologise that this was not in place on this occasion; however we do recommend that visitors download the trail maps from the website, or study the main maps onsite before they venture into the woods.

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at sherwood.fdo@forestry.gsi.gov.uk if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

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What's Here?

  • Baby Changing
  • Hi-Rope
  • Walking
  • Viewpoint
  • Toliets
  • Arts
  • Sculptures by Linda Johns. See seperate information page
  • Cafe
  • Opening hrs: Summer 9am - 4pm Winter 9am - 5pm (some late fridays)
  • Cycling
  • Cyclists are welcome, but we politely request they stay on the Family Cycling Trail.
  • Horse riding
  • Horse boxes may park at the seperate car park off the Bullhead Road. Spaces can not be guaranteed, however.
  • Information
  • Information panels are located at the toilet block.
  • Parking (easy access)
  • Blue badge holders can park in front of the cafe. Charges apply to all vehicles
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 1 per hour or 3 for a full day
  • Picnic
  • Various picnic benches can be found around the main car park, and at the Elephant Pond Bridge
  • Play area
  • Located next to the Salcey Forest Cafe
More about what's here

Location

OS Grid ref: SP795514
Postcode: NN7 2HX

Get directions

Contact

Northants Office

01623 822447
sherwood.fdo@­forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Winter GMT (Nov - Mar): 8am - 5pm
Summer BST (Apr - Oct): 8am - 7pm
Parking
1 per hour or 3 for a full day
Discovery Pass
28 per year

Related documents

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedenjoy England quality assured visitor attractionForest Stewardship Council certified