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

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.


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

A fabulous experience! Wonderful to get out into nature and something for all the family to enjoy, thank you.

Anon, 24/Jan/2015
5 Stars 5 Stars

Visited today 31 Dec. Beautiful bright,winters day for a visit. Easy to find and plenty of parking. Cosy cafe serving hot food and drink. 2 for a Grufallo trail pack. Set off with 2 coffees and 3 small kids. The Grufallo trail itself is easy to follow. The cut outs of the characters are great and the boys enjoyed looking out for them. It was further than we had anticipated and the boys (1,2 and 4) were getting tired, and quite heavy!! We should have taken the stroller with us but anticipated the trail would not be suitable, it was actually fine and I would recommend taking your pram or stroller. The tree top walk started at the end of the Grufallo trail and was great, again suitable for prams. Then a 10-15 minute walk back to the cafe area for another coffee, yummy hot chocolate and picnic. Recommend for family morning/afternoon out.

Louise and Family, 31/Dec/2014

Hi there - we are glad you enjoyed your recent woodland experience, and thank you for the positive feedback. For information, the 2 shortest trails (Elephant Walk and Church Path Walk) are both considered suitable for buggies, etc. Please feel free to revisit in the Spring or Summer to experience the seasonal differences in the woodland.

Forestry Commission Response
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
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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


OS Grid ref: SP795514
Postcode: NN7 2HX

Get directions


Northants Office

01623 822447

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Winter GMT (Nov - Mar): 8am - 5pm
Summer BST (Apr - Oct): 8am - 7pm
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