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Your comments on Grizedale

4 Stars 4 Stars

I came up to Grizedale for the first time with my girlfriend to watch the Grizedale rally and we loved every minute of it despite the cold weather. The only down side was that my girlfriend lost a pair of sunglasses. We only realised when we got back home and came back up the next day to find them to no avail. They were a pair of Oakley Breadbox sunglasses with a dark grey frame and purple/blue mirrored lens. We were parked at bowkerstead farm and they were lost from walking up the footpath there to the spectator spot. We suspect somebody has found and taken them but hope you had them handed in?

We will definately be back next year for the rally and probably again to see the forest as we were really surprised how nice it all was.

Dominic Topping, 28/Nov/2016

So pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit. We've checked through hall our lost property and I'm afraid there's nothing matching the description of the sunglasses you lost.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I love Grizedale Forest and am a frequent visitor.

*Please can you repair 'The Bathers' - the chute is blocked with leaves and the water is falling over the sides instead of cascading onto the man.

(We had an interesting debate about how one could get a ladder up there)!

Many thanks in anticipation.

Jane M, 25/Oct/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

We visited Grizedale on Monday 5th September and after a lovely (yet wet!) walk in the forrest, our 2 year old had an accident on the slide in the playground and banged her head on the way down. I went to the information desk and asked that a first aider come to look at her as she wasn't very well after this.

In the time it took me to get my daughter from her dad the first aider was already there and waiting for us. He checked her over and the lady on the desk even booked her a doctors appointment in the nearby village so we could ensure she was ok as we were on holiday. Unfortunately in the panic we didn't get their names but we cannot thank the first aider and the lady on reception enough. They even waved the car parking fee for us to get out and get to the doctors asap.

Thankfully out daughter was fine later that day and we can come back again in better circumstances. Thank you again to the lovely and helpful staff at Grizedale.

Andy & Heather, 10/Sep/2016

Thank you, we've passed your appreciation on to the staff in the visitor centre. Glad to hear your daughter is ok and we hope to see you again soon.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Only 3 stars you ask? The North Face is a great trail, and my local one, but its in need of some serious TLC and investment yet it seems (feels) like the cash is being relocated up to Whinlatter (which is ace but....)!!?? Why??? Grizedale is bustling with walkers and bikers alike yet no work on the trails is going to drive them to other trails meaning less income!? Please please please invest and give the North Face the love (and cash) it deserves before it causes accidents (yes the rocks are becoming THAT exposed).

This is all that stops me making it a 5 star ride.....

Chris Schofield, 30/Jul/2016

Thanks for talking the time to share your concerns. Please rest assured that we are investing in the North Face Trail, we have recently spent £16,000, and some more work is due to start very soon. All trails are inspected on a regular basis to ensure they conform to Forestry Commission guidance. The Forestry Commission is non-profit making and every penny of income we receive at Grizedale, including your car parking fee, is reinvested back into Grizedale, money is not being diverted to other forests. We do hope you will continue to visit, we rely on the support of our visitors to keep these awesome trails open and hopefully develop more!

Forestry Commission Response

When can we come to the stick man trail

Leanne Jackson, 23/Jul/2016

The Stick Man trail is open every day until 31st October 2016. You can pick up an activity pack for the trail from visitor information on site. Through the school holidays we also have Twiggy Tuesdays - additional family activities such as minibeast hunting or willow weaving.

Forestry Commission Response

I saw a red kite it was on the A591 between Kendal and Windermere just outside Burneside not see one in that area before

Sarah , 3/Jul/2016

Great, thanks for letting us know. If you see any more we would be very grateful if you could report them via our sightings survey form, The Grizedale Red Kites Facebook page has all the latest news and information about the project,

Forestry Commission Response

Me and my nephews and niece went ti Grizedale today the 26th June 2016 for the second time this month bike riding and my nephew and niece have found Ticks on them. Has anybody been there this month and have found Ticks on them?

Anonymous, 27/Jun/2016

There is always a chance of coming into contact with ticks in the forest, as they are present in all woodland, moorland and grassy areas. We’re not aware that there are significantly higher numbers than normally expected at this time of year. It is always advisable to check for ticks when you have been out in nature, especially places such as arm pits, the back of your knee, and hair lines, and remove any ticks as soon as possible. What to do if you're bitten: Use a tick removal tool to remove the entire tick. Slide the tool under the tick, twirl the tool in either direction and gently pull away. Only use tweezers if you do not have a tick removal tool. Grab the tick as closely to the skin as possible, then pull slowly upward to remove it. Contact your GP if you start feeling unwell, and tell them you have been bitten by a tick. You can find more detailed advice and information here:

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Your go ape staff who worked on the kids course this afternoon were brilliant, really patient with my daughter and I. Would recommend it

Lisa Francis, 25/Jun/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

I have visited grizedale many times over the years.It is well maintained and a great day out for all ages and all levels of ability...there is something for everyone.

John Toes7hv, 6/Apr/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

Our first visit. We parked our car (parking attendant was really welcoming), picked up a map and walked for two hours. We then went to the cafe and had soup and a roll. It was busy so we had to queue but the staff are really friendly and attentive. The portion of soup was hot, tasty and very generous and was accompanied by a crusty roll. Lovely place. We will definitely come back.

Liz, 28/Mar/2016

Sounds like you had a great day, thanks for sharing!

Forestry Commission Response

Can you hire a bike nearby? We are coming up in a weeks time looks good and would like to cycle?

Jackie, 24/Mar/2016

Yes, bikes are available to hire on site from Grizedale Mountain Bikes, including electric bikes and tag-alongs for children. You can book online or give them a call,

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We are extremely lucky to live within 30 minutes of the forest, and both we and our 2 chocolate labs love the many safe tracks and trails all well maintained. The care and attention this gorgeous site receives from staff and volunteers is a credit to you all and much appreciated. We also love the cafe where the staff are very helpful and welcoming - and the food is great too!

JW, 26/Jan/2016

Thanks for your comments, really glad to hear you enjoy visiting so much!

Forestry Commission Response

I wondered if you please could tell me if the gruffalo trail is still there ar grizedale forest ? We would like to visit this weekend thankyou emma

Emma , 14/Jan/2016

The Gruffalo trail has now finished but we do have a Stick Man activity trail that will be available until October. You can find out more about this on our website, the main Forestry Commission website also has links to downloadable activity sheets etc, There is still a Gruffalo sculpture at Whinlatter forest near Keswick with a waymarked route to help you find him.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

A fantastic spot and well worth the parking fee that others have complained about. If these charges put Lisa of visiting the Lake District again (shame) then perhaps she could use the time to learn how to write in English instead.

David, 27/Oct/2015
5 Stars 5 Stars

Fabulous day out with my son on our mountain bikes. Free map provided and very well maintained trails plus the insaine black run which we did twice. My son can't stop smiling.

Alastair, 26/Oct/2015
5 Stars 5 Stars

Anonymous, 2/Oct/2015
2 Stars 2 Stars

A nice accessible place with extortionate parking fees. For a realistic duration of visit then the minimum you are looking at paying is 4.80. Along with the fact that prices of food, drink and activities are also pretty expensive then its not a cheap place to visit. It pretty much equates to a entry fee from a governmental organisation.

dan, 22/Sep/2015

We work hard to try and provide facilities for everyone to enjoy the forest and we do rely on the support of our visitors to manage and maintain the facilities that we provide. The revenue we receive from car parking goes directly towards maintaining and improving the high standard and wide range of facilities available to visitors. I’m sorry you were unhappy with the parking charges but we do feel that the parking charges offer good value. It is possible for a family to enjoy a three hour visit for the £4.80 you suggest without needing to spend any extra. Access to the large network of waymarked walking and cycling trails, playground, picnic areas, sculptures, art exhibitions, toilets etc. are all covered by your parking fee. We do of course provide the option to enjoy the thrill of Go Ape, hire a bike or have the convenience of the cafe at an additional cost, for those who choose to do so. If you’re a regular visitor you might like to consider buying a Discovery Pass which would provide you with year-round parking as well as a wide range of discounts and other benefits. Go to for more details.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

A parking system no one understands ! We would of had lunch at grizedale but not with the car park fee after 1 hour 40p for every 20 minutes ... We had 15 minutes there the machine said free up to 20 minutes but when we put our car registration in was charged for 1 hour. We then carried on to hawks head to find the same charges scandalous money making between grizedale hawks head and Ambleside 7 spent on car park fees Lake District rip off !

Lisa Armitage , 22/Sep/2015

Sorry to hear you’ve experienced difficulties with our car park. The machines are set to provide 20 minutes free so I’m afraid I can’t explain the problem you experienced but on this occasion, if you’d like to call Visitor Information we’d be happy to arrange a refund for the hour you paid for. The Forestry Commission is non-profit making and your money for parking will go towards the upkeep of the forest and is used to maintain and improve the recreation facilities you use on your visit. Whilst we are not responsible for the other car parks you refer to, the money received for car parking by the different land owners across the Lake District is used to deliver long-term sustainable management of the National Park by caring for the landscape and facilities that make it such a wonderful place to explore and enjoy.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

first time i have visited, had a good day but sort your signposts out i got lost several times, and i am sure i missed a section due to a lack of or hidden signposts. With what you charge for parking i am sure you can sort some better signs

i shall not be rushing back

Kevin Moon, 6/Sep/2015

Thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear that you had difficulty in following one of our way-marked trails. All the trails are inspected on a monthly basis to ensure they are fit for use. This includes checking that all way-markers are in place and in good order. I will ensure the ranger team pay particular attention to these on the next inspections.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

It was disappointing and would not return. Walked the red route - very boring and bland. It would be great to have wildlife, maybe bird hides. Sunday cyclists nearly crashing into walkers and cars flying around the access roads. Far better places to visit in Lakes.

John, 4/Sep/2015

I’m very sorry to hear that the red route didn’t meet your expectations. It is one of our most popular trails as it takes walkers to the highest point in the forest, Carron Crag, affording great views to the surrounding fells. Bank holiday is also a very busy time for us so perhaps you would consider a return visit at a quieter time when there may be more opportunity to discover the wildlife in the forest. The staff in Visitor Information would be happy to advise on alternative routes. We’ll pass your suggestion of a bird hide to the ranger team for consideration. Any vehicles in the forest will have been issued with a permit which clearly states the speed limit of 15mph so we will investigate and speak with those concerned.

Forestry Commission Response

Hello we visited in grizedale, in go ape forest, we have been there 4 hours and i forgat to pay for the parking. My car registration is ko15NKP. Please let me know how can i pay. Thanks oz. Email

oz, 26/Aug/2015

Please could you give Visitor Information a call on 0300 067 4495 and they will assist with your payment for parking. I've also sent you an e-mail with more details. Hope you had a fun time doing Go Ape!

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Fab day out yesterday 3 adults, 2 children & 2 dogs. We used bogle crag car park & were rather surprised to say the least with the speed of the "go ape" vehicles transporting their customers to & fro. Given that the forest trails are sign posted for walking & mountain biking the first landrover we met round a blind bend had to brake surprisingly fast!!

Any chance of please making sure the visitors to the area are aware vehicles do use the forest too?

Sally Cliffe, 13/Aug/2015

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your visit, great to hear you had fun. There is a speed limit of 15mph for the vehicles with permits to use the forest roads so we will pass your feedback to the GoApe team. The ranger team will also investigate options for improved information for visitors.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

My 7year old loved the go ape and the young men fitting the harnesses and giving instruction were fantastic with all the children. Thank you for a lovely dy. spoilt only by my not being able to work out how to pay for parking.if anyone can tell me how to do it before I get a hefty fine for non payment I'd appreciate it.

Barbara glass, 29/Jul/2015

Great to hear you enjoyed your visit. Sorry to hear you had difficulties with parking, you should have been able to do this at the machines in the car park at the end of your visit by entering your car registration but you can pay online at If you have any problems please give our visitor information a call on 0300 067 4495

Forestry Commission Response

I now everone things "what a wheelchair at Grizedale Forest?" - but I'm wondeing - Is their Facilties at Grizedale for wheelchairs? Is their any were a run fir wheelchairs?? Is there any were for wheelchairs - or do we just not fit in?? Please email me back. I've tried to talk to you, but Ive had a stroke, and my speech is not so good. Thank you very much

Clare, 5/Jul/2015

Sorry that you've experienced difficulties getting the information you need. We have a 1 mile circular forest trail which has a tarmac surface and is suitable for wheelchair users. This is the Ridding Wood trail and is waymarked from the Visitor Centre. Depending on the type of chair you use, you may also find it possible to explore more of the forest using our forest road network. These are wide gravel trails that extend to all areas of the forest but are steep in places. Forest roads are marked on our map as thick white lines. You can download our maps from the links on the right of this page.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi. Are dogs allowed everywhere in the area? Thanks

Jane Thornley, 2/Jul/2015

Yes, dogs are allowed everywhere in the forest, including the shop and café at the Visitor Centre. We are happy for dogs to be off leads provided they are under control. Please follow our forest dog code which can be found on posters around site or on our Paws Outdoors web page, This web page also has lots of ideas and information about enjoying the forest with your dog.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Great cycle trail, North Face: technical single track climbs fun down hill sections. A bit disappointed to find my 'forestry' discovery pass is site specefic, of no use here. I also thought parking system poor, i did not have 5.40 in change and would not accept my cards, just paid online to find gone up to 5.85! What about the twenty minutes you have to get out of the car park if you pay at the machine?!

Andrew Firth, 30/May/2015

Thanks for taking the time to send your feedback and great to hear you enjoyed the trails. You should have been made aware of the conditions of the Discovery Pass when purchased so I apologise for any confusion caused. Sorry to hear you experienced a problem with the parking machines, our remote location sometimes causes temporary loss of signal so thank you for using the online payment option. Your car parking fee helps us to maintain the trails and facilities at Grizedale.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

i enjoyed our visit but had a few issues about the car park firstly the lack of litter bins,the pay station didnt give change,whats wrong with the old fashioned pay and display.45p for every 20 minutes seems a bit steep.And finally is the dvla allowed to give my car registration number out to anyone?

paul, 25/May/2015

Thank you for taking the time to send us feedback on your recent visit. Sorry that you feel there is a lack of litter bins. We do provide four sets of bins around the Visitor Centre, all with general waste and recycling options which we feel meets the requirements of our visitors but I will pass your comment on for consideration by the ranger team. We do believe that the new parking system offers more flexibility and better value for our visitors, as you now only pay for the time spent on site rather than needing to purchase a block of time on arrival. Indeed, a two hour visit is now cheaper than it was with the old pay and display system. The new system also offers the option to pay by card or online up to 48 hours after your visit for those short of change. Your money for parking will go directly towards the upkeep of Grizedale forest and to maintaining and improving the facilities that you use on your visit. Car registrations are public information, however a licence is required to access the associated personal information. The Forestry Commission does not have such a licence but contracts a licenced provider nationally to pursue non-payment of parking charges when necessary. I hope this answers your questions and hope you will continue to visit and enjoy Grizedale in the future.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi, we are coming to Grizedale this weekend (May bank holiday) and wondered if the Gruffalo was still there

Helen, 19/May/2015

The Gruffalo activity trail finished in February but we now have a Superworm activity trail in the forest. If you're referring to the Gruffalo sculpture - that is at Whinlatter forest near Keswick,

Forestry Commission Response

Had a great day out walking in the forest and a very good lunch in the cafe. Did Carron Crag too. The views were excellent. Loved all the wild flowers on route, only downside we only spotted 1 butterfly but it was a cool aft. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

swifty, 16/May/2015
4 Stars 4 Stars

Had a lovely time the safternoon walking through the buetiful forest with my dog ...... Really enjoyed it footpaths where all sign posted and couldn't believe how busy the forest was as it was raining 😀

Nicola, 2/May/2015

North Face route? ?? No signs on where to go...waste of time....turned round and came back!!

Jamie Hacker , 29/Apr/2015

Sorry that you expereinced problems with the trail. It is waymarked with North Face Trail red plaques; the trail and signage is regularly inspected by our rangers and we've not had any other feedback suggesting any problems but we will pass your comments to the ranger team and ensure all waymarkers are in place. I hope you'll return to try the trail again, if you call into Visitor Information on site they can help direct you.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We had a great day. Parking does seem expensive but it is comparable to other places in the Lakes, plus the amenities are what we are paying for. 7 for the day is not bad value compared to 2.50 for a tub of Lakes ice cream!

Thanks to the staff at The Yan especially the lady from Flookburgh (can't remember her name!). We did mini beast hunt and made hats. Staff were super with the children-thank you. Didn't know it was Wormy Wednesday so maybe check out the website before you come!

We will be back soon, but will bring our bikes next time!

Sarah , 1/Apr/2015
4 Stars 4 Stars

Great walking, enjoyed the Carron Crag trail although the water coming off the hill made it more like walking up a stream than a path! Visitor Centre, cafe and other facilities are great and well marked out. Only negative is the cost of the parking; 5.40 for 3.5 hours felt pretty steep. Although we appreciate these funds are vital for maintaining everything it would put me off visiting quite so often.

Becca, 2/Mar/2015
3 Stars 3 Stars

Very enjoyable trails for the Mountain bikes. Signage could be clearer. Its easy to get lost. Car Parking ridiculously expensive and machines dont give change. Ill try telling my customers I dont give change! Its unfair and immoral. Also on the day of our visit they were refusing card payments. I know you can pay online but who needs the hassle. Machines dont take notes either.

Landmerc, 20/Feb/2015
3 Stars 3 Stars

Please get the parking system sorted out. We have a discovery pass and have done so for almost a year, in fact I think we bought it the weekend the new machines went in. The new machines still try to charge us, despite having a pass. Every time I have to either phone, or return to the visitor centre to sort it out and every time someone takes my details and promises to sort it for the "next time". It never does get sorted. It is inconvenient and annoying. It was much easier when you just shoved in in the window of your car and the job was done.

Christine, 9/Feb/2015

Hi Christine, One of the team has been in touch with you by phone today to clear up this confusion. I'm sorry to hear that you have been having problems with the system but there is no need to go to the machine each time you visit. We have your details registered in the system so your number plate is always automatically taken off when you leave. Apologies for the misunderstanding but rest assured you don't need to do anything with the machines on futuure visits.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Great information and maps available from centre. A fun day out by problems with parking

Sheila, 21/Jan/2015

Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. If you enjoyed the biking you might like to consider a visit to Whinlatter or Gisburn to try out their trails too!

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

We have been visiting grisedale forest for over twenty four years. We came with our three children from babies. We all loved the woodland walks especially the wooden instruments and animal carvings. We visited today with two of my adult children and we were all so disappointed to see the derelict state of the sculptures. Why were the sculptures left to decay in that way and why can they not be replaced? Who wants to see plastic signs with photos on. I am sorry but the magic had gone.

Carole mcgerty, 4/Jan/2015

Thanks for sharing your feedback, and giving us the chance to address some of your concerns. Many of the pieces made from natural materials were created with the intention that they would decay and change over time. However, many pieces have been in place since the sculpture programme started at Grizedale in the 1970s so we are currently going through a period of reviewing existing sculptures and decommissioning some that are at the end of their life. New pieces, including ‘Romeo’ and ‘Concrete Country’, have been installed in recent years to remedy this. Creating new pieces for future generations of visitors is a priority for us. Art Roots Grizedale is a major new commissioning programme which will re-establish Grizedale Forest as a centre of international excellence for art and sculpture in the environment. Working with nine artists, this will focus around two of our most popular trails - the Ridding Wood trail and the Millwood trail. Our current exhibition, Guardians of the Areng Valley, is the world premiere of a significant body of work by photographer Luke Duggleby presenting his journey into the Cardamom Forest in Southwest Cambodia. The images focus particular attention on a group of Buddhist monks pioneering a small but influential environmental movement aimed at reversing forest destruction to protect the indigenous peoples and endangered species of the remote Areng Valley. Information about the sculpture programme at Grizedale, including Art Roots, is available where you can also sign up to our sculpture e-newsletter to keep up to date with our future plans.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

It is very sad what has happened to this place. We know this is a difficult time we live in financially but everybody is struggling. I completely agree with others annoyance at the new parking arrangements. And to add to my annoyance, my husband and I were in there for less than 20 minutes earlier this year (yes, definitely less than 20 minutes) and were charged despite signs stating that we wouldn't be. I wonder how many of these extra charges this set up has got away with? We are happy to pay something for parking as we understand the need for it, but there is such a thing as going too far and taking advantage of people, and even worse people getting hit with charges they shouldn't be hit with. As we were trying to understand this, another carpark user mentioned to us that he had paid by card the previous time he had visited and that he got sent a fine by yourselves stating that he hadn't paid. He therefore had to produce a card statement to prove it to you. Another customer with little trust in your system. We will be avoiding any carpark like this again.

Anonymous, 29/Nov/2014

Thanks for your feedback, we do appreciate this as it will help us to fine tune the new system. There was a short period of time shortly after installing the new machines when a misunderstanding by the engineer meant the grace period was wrongly set to 15 minutes. We are very sorry that this caused you a problem and we would be happy to provide you with a free hour of parking if you visit again and call at Visitor Information to explain. We were very lenient regarding non-payment whilst visitors got accustomed to the pay on exit system and have only pursued repeat non-payers so it is possible the other user you refer to had actually received their fine from another organisation using the same system.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

Not happy with your new parking arrangements. Popped into the lower car park to use the toilets before paying 5.90 to stay all day at Moor Top. Noticed there were cameras in the bottom one, and discovered you are trying to charge me an extra 1.80 for less than 15 minutes. You should consider expending a little less effort ripping off visitors, or you may find that, like me, visitors will use one of the numerous free parking spots littered around the forest in future.

Martin, 24/Nov/2014

Thanks for taking the time so send us your feedback. The new parking system is designed to be more flexible for visitors so you only pay for the time you're on site rather than having to purchase a set block of time. It also allows you to stay for 20 minutes without incurring a fee. All the money we receive through car parking goes directly back into the forest, to maintain and improve the trails and facilities you use. You could consider becoming a volunteer, helping with trail building or other activities. Volunteers have the chance to be involved in decisions about trails and regular volunteers receive a free parking pass to use anytime. contact for details.

Forestry Commission Response

I used to love Grizdale!?

Message sent to

About the car parking facilities at Grizedale.

Your pricing is truly extortionate!

Machine was out of order today 22/1/2014

No change available

Didn't accept cards (not just mine but all who were present)

Impossible to make payment on site as there is no internet facility either via the forestry commission site or via mobile facilities (there is no signal)

You may wish to do something about the short comings of your service!

I'm sure you do damage to the tourist sites at Grizedale.

Paid your exorbitant fees (6.30)

but will never again!

Sorry Grizedale



Mr Raymond Askew, 22/Nov/2014

We are aware that the credit card service has been a bit wobbly lately based on intermittent broadband service, we have now changed provider and are confident he situation will improve. There is however the option to pay on line up to two days later which takes the pressure off needing to pay on the day. We do believe that the new system offers more flexibility and better value for our visitors, as you are now paying just for the time spent on site rather than needing to purchase a block of time on arrival. We benchmark our charges against other attractions in the Lake District and offer very competitive rates. The Forestry Commission is non-profit making and your money for parking will go towards the upkeep of the forest and is used to maintain and improve the recreation facilities you use on your visit. Our Discovery Pass is great value if you’re a regular visitor, providing year-round parking for £40 along with a range of other benefits, including discount in the café and shop. Go to for details.

Forestry Commission Response
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.