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Your comments on High Lodge Thetford Forest

5 Stars 5 Stars

Visited for the first time on Sunday 2nd September. Initially my heart sank when I saw how crowed it was. Fortunately once we went a short distance from the main complex it was a lot quieter and we found many more play areas. Our children aged 4 & 6 really enjoyed it. Toilets were clean. The site was clearly signed. Really good value for the amount of play equipment available.

Anonymous, 3/Sep/2018
3 Stars 3 Stars

Visited High Lodge, Thetford Tuesday 28th August in the afternoon with my daughter and grandchildren. Grandson 8yrs old was upset about the disgusting state of the gents toilets. My daughter had to take him into the ladies. Considering the car park etc charges, this is unacceptable more especially so that an 8 year old is so upset. Surely this should be monitored?

Sue Hunter, 29/Aug/2018

Please accept our apologies and the condition of all the toilets on site are regularly monitored to ensure these are an acceptable standard for visitors. The toilets you are referring to are the responsibility of a business partner. Please be assured that the Duty Manager brought this to their attention, as soon as this was reported to the High Lodge Information Point staff.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Excellent place to visit and the staff are amazing .... and in this heat it's great that there is free water for dogs as well as humans

Nikki , 4/Jul/2018
1 Star 1 Star

I find it hard to believe that can hire a new car for 13 for 24 hours but here it costs 60 to hire 6 bicycles for 1 hour.

Total rip off, and to make matters worse, after the cycling everyone is thirsty I had to pay 9 pounds for 6 very small bottles of water. It would be very handy if there was a free water fountain.

#TOTALRIPOFF

Anonymous, 1/Jul/2018
5 Stars 5 Stars

Great bbq area. Would be better if seating was screwed down as other groups had taken picnic benches.

Reese / Rhys? was a particular star. He cleaned the baby change area amazingly. Really thorough despite us waiting - there may have been a temptation to rush, but he didn't.

Great afternoon. Thank you.

Caroline, 28/Jun/2018
4 Stars 4 Stars

very nice :)

Billis, 25/Jun/2018
5 Stars 5 Stars

9 o'clock opening!

Need to open the gates much earlier

Daddy, 24/Jun/2018
5 Stars 5 Stars

Hi, Went to Saurday's show with Billy Bragg ( I Love a bit of Billy) and Heaton and Abbott.

I must say... Absolutely Cracking. Brilliant show, brilliant venue and No dodging around unwanted Noodles

Excellent and the service provided by the camp site was Tip Top.

Had a Cracking Weekend. Keep it up please, I thought I was finished with Festivals...

Wayne and Karen, 11/Jun/2018
5 Stars 5 Stars

My sister and I (both 60+) attended the Gary Barlow concert on Friday 8 June - and what a night it was! The concert itself was brilliant and further enhanced by the friendliness of every member of the security and marshalling staff we encountered who gave a warm welcome and a cheery farewell. I assume this is part of their training but to be treated so respectfully as a fellow human being was greatly appreciated, Congratulations to everyone involved in organising and preparing such an enjoyable event (and to the weather for staying dry!).

Lynne Hammond, 10/Jun/2018
4 Stars 4 Stars

Where else can you park up for the day for 12 and enjoy so many of the things to do here at high lodge? Seriously people complaining about the cost to park? There is not an additional entrance fee!! How else will they be able to maintain the forest, build and maintain the playing areas, various trails and continuously make improvements? If you don't like the cafe food or prices, bring a picnic??

If you are reading these reviews bear in mind there are many positives about the forest. I have invested in a discovery pass because i come here so often with the kids and also with my bike!

A great low cost way to enjoy a day out!

Anonymous, 1/Jun/2018
4 Stars 4 Stars

Lovely place, clean and tidy. Very busy as we went on Bank Holiday, there was 6 of us and 2 dogs. Plenty to keep kids entertained without having to go in the go ape area. Staff friendly, and good idea to pay for car parking in advance, rather than queuing to park later. Negatives. Definitely need more bins around and seeing as it is dog friendly, maybe some water dishes or taps around.

Lisa, 28/May/2018

Hi, Im looking at organising a fundraising event to help support the fight against mental health, Ive been in contact with the charity Heads Together whatcha as you probably know is run by the Duke and Dutches of Cambridge. I was hoping to possibly hold the fundraising event at high lodge

Where we could raise money on laps of the poachers trail. Participants can be sponsored fo a house lap they complete over the coarse of 2 days.

Would this be something you might be able to help with?

Kind Regards

Ben Clarke

Ben Clarke, 26/May/2018

Thank you for your fundraising enquiry which I have passed on to a member of the High Lodge team, who will not be available to reply until later next week. We are currently setting up for concerts to be held later this week, at High Lodge.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

12.50 to park a car!!!!! Not happy at all... will not be going again... no water stations to fill up water... but will charge you 2.10 for a bottle of water... rip off

Anonymous, 21/May/2018
3 Stars 3 Stars

Good place for the kids to let off steam 😉... but the prices you have to pay for a drink are extortionate and as for the carpark ! 7.50 for two and a half hours... won't be visiting any time soon.

Jacinda Westhorpe, 6/May/2018

quick question....do you allow dogs into the cafe?

ian, 29/Apr/2018

A dog that aid a person who has a disability e.g. a guide dog, are allowed into the Café. All other dogs are welcome to sit with their owners on the large patio in front of the High Lodge Café.

Forestry Commission Response

Love going but the cafe is ridiculously expensive which is a real shame

Anonymous, 25/Mar/2018
4 Stars 4 Stars

I am sorry to repeat myself about trail diversion maps. However, whilst they are always updated monthly on site at the information point, your website has not been updated since 8 September last year.

Andrew, 26/Jan/2018

Please accept our apologies but we are currently experiencing difficulties with the background system that runs our website. The trails web page is showing it was last updated on 7 Dec 2017 but you are quite correct in that the attached diversion map is now an out of date one of 8 Sept! I will have uploaded the revised map at 7 Dec when updating the page.

Forestry Commission Response

Love the trials & paths and so does the dog! Just a shame the coffee is terrible. Would spend a lot more time there if they invested in a decent barista and bakery selection.

Suzahn Wilson, 26/Jan/2018
5 Stars 5 Stars

:)

Anonymous, 24/Jan/2018
3 Stars 3 Stars

Hi, we traveled here using Google for directions as I'm sure many do, however it takes you no where near the main visitor centre, pretty frustrating! This is an easy fix on Google that can be changed by the FC. Not a great start to the day.

Although the cafe is a franchise, I was really disappointed to find them using coffee pods, really unsustainable, takeaway cups to sit in and polystyrene trays to serve food in, completely the wrong message the FC should be sending out.

Christina, 17/Jan/2018

Thank you for your feedback. We are in the process of reviewing our website which will include how customers can access directions.

Forestry Commission Response

Why are the cycle trail diversion maps on your website so many weeks/months out of date? I have been a season ticket holder for about eight years and a regular visitor. It occurs to me that those travelling long distances would benefit from up to date information. For example, I would not want to travel the 90 mile round trip that I have, to find that the trails or section that I was looking forward to riding were closed.

Andrew, 1/Dec/2017

Thank you for your comment. Cycle trail diversion maps may take a few days to load onto the website dependant on staff availability. However it would not be weeks/ months out of date. The latest version is also always available from staff at the High Lodge Information Point when you arrive on site.

Forestry Commission Response

Can you please explain why you are not allowing discovery pass holders are not being given priority booking for Gary Barlow. I have been a pass holder for many years and was so pleased when you offered priority booking for Olly Muirs, long overdue may I add. I don't use any of the other benefits on offer with the pass and am beginning to wonder if it's worth having one, a lot of others in the Thetford area feel the same. Kind regards D Buffin

Daphne Buffin, 16/Oct/2017

Apologies for the delay in responding to your comment due to a breakdown in the system. I have forwarded your enquiry to our CRM team who will reply direct to you, via e-mail.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Be careful of ticks. My daughter had one in her neck after a visit October 17.

The cafe was extremely slow and staff not very friendly.

Anonymous, 12/Oct/2017

Hello, my husband and I are thinking of visiting but can't find any information on how to access the forest without driving there. Can we use any public transport to get there? In the absence of this, are there secure bike parking facilities on site?

Thanks

Felicity

Felicity Baynes, 30/Sep/2017

Apologies for the delay in responding to your enquiry. The nearest train station is Brandon but you will then need to take a taxi to the Forest Centre. Alternatively, it is a 3.7 mile cycle ride from the station. There are bike parking areas on site but you will need to bring a heavy duty lock for security.

Forestry Commission Response

This may sound a strange request but my son took part in an Airsoft (Combat) day at Thetford Forest on Sunday 24th September 2017. Sadly he lost his phone, It's a Samsung Galaxy and possibly has a cracked screen. They covered a good 2-3 square miles that day unfortunately. It contains all his University stuff etc. If anyone hands it in, are you able to contact me (his mum) on 07719682940 as he is currently without a phone. I believe he mentioned this to someone on sunday before he left, but not sure if it was yourselves or Combat Airsoft (The Event holder?) Much appreciated, Julie Cook (Mum)

Cook, 28/Sep/2017

Apologies for the delay in responding to your comment. I have forwarded your request to High Lodge Information Point for checking of Lost Property.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi we're wanting to come visit you at the weekend, are dogs welcome to?

Ami, 1/Sep/2017

Dogs are welcome on site but we do ask that they are kept on a lead in busy areas.

Forestry Commission Response

I have emailed you 2 times and i have not had any correspondance !! Can you tell me if you intend on getting back to me ????

Carolyn Flowerdew, 20/Aug/2017

Apologies for the delay in responding but there has been a glitch in the system, so we have not been notified of comments being left on the website. Alternatively you can e-mail highlodgefeedback@forestry.gsi.gov.uk.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi There, thought I should mention Tick Bites and Lyme Disease.

I'm fairly certain my son got a tick bite and developed the tell tale Bulls Eye rash about 2 weeks after visting Thetford. He has now been prescribed the strong antibiotics required and should have no further complications. Always best the check out any bites that don't look like your normal mozzy bites.

Anonymous, 26/Jul/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Many thanks to the staff at High Lodge for assisting us when our dog, Ruby, was bitten by an adder on 15th July 2017. You helped us find a vet and gave us transport to our car. Because of you, we were able to get to the vets within the hour of the incident. Ruby was deteriorating fast so she needed the help quickly. She was bitten on the paw which has caused severe bruising all the way to the chest. She is in recovery so we are just hoping the swelling does not get much worse. Many thanks again for reacting so promptly.

Maria White, 16/Jul/2017

Thank you for your comments and our staff were pleased to help. We hope Ruby has now made a full recovery and will be able to visit High Lodge again soon.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

I came to do 'Look out' archery on June 10th 2017. I am disabled and in a wheelchair, when I got to the area for the archery I found that there was no access for me there without help, as there is a large tree trunk laying across the entrance, and wood chips in front of the area where you do the archery which made it very difficult for me to move about and position myself to be able to take part in the archery.

If this could be addressed it would be very helpful, I offer my help as a disabled person if you require any help in this matter.

Apart form this minor problem. I had a very enjoyable afternoon and will be coming again.

Robert Carty, 18/Jun/2017

Thank you for your feedback regarding disabled access for this attraction. I have forwarded your comments to the Ranger who liaises with attraction providers so this can be discussed further. We look forward to welcoming you to site again soon.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Cannot understand all the whinges about car parking fees where else can one go with family plus children, with lots of adventures to keep children occupied and happy while parents too can enjoy the forests walks, and relax while children are having a great day all for one parking price

Valerie Watkins, 16/Jun/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

We travelled on a quiet day in February, had a great time with my wife and 2YO, parking was a little high but when compared to entrance fees at similar places, we thought it was reasonable for the activities available. Will be coming again soon

Visitor from kings lynn area, 1/Jun/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

First time we've visited and we loved this place, no wifi or signal so GREAT for the escape from normal life, who would want to go to a beautiful place like this and sit there staring at their phone? The ONLY thing I was disappointed with was the signs for ice cream outside the shop, we got our hopes up for a nice cold ice cream but when we went in the shop there were just fridges full of ice lollies, still nice on a hot day but proper ice cream would of just been so much more enjoyable, apart from that we had a great day and are planning on coming back in a few week.

Shane, 29/May/2017

Thank you for your positive comments. There was an issue with ice cream deliveries over the late May Bank holiday weekend. This situation has now been rectified by our business partner, who manages the High Lodge Café.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Visited Oak Lodge with U3A yesterday, had a lovely lady giving us a talk about history of forest, how it started, maintenance ongoing work etc very good interesting, she also took us for a walk in forest pointing out different things that she had been talking about, she made it so interesting. But paying for parking was a wake up call, bearing in mind we are all persioners and on limited budget paying out almost 7 for 3 hours was a huge amount out of my days money, so while I would have liked to stay for lunch just not affordable.

Spoilt what had been a very enjoyable visit

Anonymous, 17/May/2017

Thank you for your feedback. We believe that our costs to visit High Lodge offer exceptional value for money. Site Entry fees are vital in helping us achieve a sustainable business.The Forestry Commission Site Entry fees supports areas across the whole site from the road in and out, maintenance, cycle trails, car parks, play equipment, picnic benches, upkeep of toilets and first aid provision.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Visited the park on a bank holiday weekend as we had booked Go Ape. We left in good time however ended up being late anyway as it took 15 minutes to park! Never seen it so busy in my life.

Go Ape itself was extremely fun and the staff were polite and helpful.

Car parking charges on the other hand are barbaric! 11 for a days parking? Our day ended up being more expensive than we had hoped. That was also without visiting the cafe, as it was too damn busy to actually sit down anywhere and enjoy a coffee.

My advice to anyone visiting - be sure to go on the quieter days.

Kirsty, 10/May/2017

Thank you for your feedback. We have been experiencing high visitor numbers on Bank Holiday weekends so now have additional car parking resource on site at peak times.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

While visiting your site yesterday with my family I was rather disturbed to see a painter appear to kick a dog and shout at the owner for no apparent reason

This ruined an otherwise pleasant day

Peter Ellis, 5/May/2017

Thank you for reporting this incident which will be passed onto the High Lodge Manager. Visitor Services Assistants and the Duty Manager are available at High Lodge Information Point.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

No internet signal sat at table foot was missing making table unstable my son moved his chair and it tipped hot chochilate all over him burning his hand stomach and my hand told cafe people basically didn't want to know told me to go to other cafe I asked for manager she came and apologised but never offered him another drink until my mum asked she did give my son cold packs for his burns

Susan Pickett, 14/Apr/2017

Thank you for your feedback and High Lodge Café is run by Churchill Catering which is a partner business on the High Lodge site. Your experience will be discussed with their management team.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

The staff at Bike Art are the most obnoxious, rude, unhelpful people and their prices are ludicrous - we will never return their and warn others to avoid falling foul of there "service"!

The Cafe staff were not much better and started cleaning floors and stacking chairs on tables whilst we ate almost an hour before closing. They even locked the door so we had to ask to leave, 15 minutes before closing time - again, we will never visit here again either.

Go Ape was "ok" but again, staff were less than bothered with any requests out of the norm. Chaos and lots of waiting time.

For a day out, what with the highest priced parking I have ever known, it certainly tested our patience but our boys seemed to enjoy their day so that was a saving grace.

Anonymous, 9/Apr/2017

Thank you for your feedback and High Lodge Café is run by Churchill Catering which is a partner business on the High Lodge site. Bike Art and Go Ape are also partner businesses on site. Your comments will be followed up with their respective management teams.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

I think you need to have a word with the staff that run Bike Art. If you have a quick look across Google Reviews or Trip Advisor type sites, let alone the cycling interest groups, Bike Art's customer service has built up an infamous reputation for rude staff and shoddy bike service. Having a captive market means there is no choice for bike hire, which is where the Forestry Commission should step in. Much of the negative experiences cyclists have at Thetford comes from interaction with Bike Art. It is so bad that regular cyclists like myself prepare ourselves for the rude abuse that is part of the hire or servicing experience at Bike Art. Is this the kind of reputation you want High Lodge to have? Please - do something about this. They are also ruining the perception of the cycling community for those coming in to it. The owner(s) clearly think their behaviour is normal - they wouldn't last a few weeks in places like Cambridge.

Matt Polaine, 8/Apr/2017

Thank you for your feedback. Bike Art is a partner business on the High Lodge site. Your comments will be discussed with their management team.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Clean, fantastic woodland area with plenty of parks and trails to entertain all ages. I did find the hair braid/face painting lady quite patronising/rude though which is why I haven't given it 5 stars

Kim, 7/Apr/2017

Thank you for your feedback and the hair braid/ face paint lady is one of our additional attraction providers on site. Your comments will be passed on by the Ranger responsible for on site attractions.

Forestry Commission Response
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