A great place to spend the day

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by jipp05 on October 24, 2012

We went to Grizedale primarily to do Go Ape which is an outdoor tree top adventure which involves climbing into the trees in the forest and going down on zip wires and over obstacles. Go Ape takes at least a couple of hours but when you are finished you really should spend some time in the forest as there is loads to see and do.

The Grizedale visitors centre is a good place to start as here you can get information on all the walking trails in the forest and information on things to do in the local area. We did one of the shorter trails around the forest and we found it to be really easy going and the scenery was stunning. The visitors centre also sells some tourist items but the staff didn’t try any hard sell on us when we were browsing around.

The reason that I wanted to go round the trail is that Grizedale has over 60 sculptures that are dotted around the forest. Some are out in the open and some are more hidden in out of the way places. We didn’t get to see all the sculptures but we did manage to see a few and the ones that we did see were pretty impressive.

Some of the sculptures are interactive with music and sound while some are just stationary pieces. I personally loved the Clockwork Forest instillation and also the sculpture of the troll which is located at the beginning of the trail into the forest.

As well as walking you can also hire a mountain bike and take to the specially designed mountain bike trails around the forest. We didn’t do that this time but it is something that I would like to do on my next visit to the forest as we seen loads of people renting bikes and it looked like a fun activity.

For those of you with children there is an adventure playground which looked amazing and to be honest I was a bit jealous that I wasn’t able to play on it too. There are also special trails in the forest designed especially for children with maps from the visitors centre where you can follow the trail and try and identify as many animal tracks as you can.

The onsite café was a real surprise and much nicer than most visitor cafes that I have been to in the past. The food on offer was a cut above the usual food served at these types of places and we enjoyed our lunch that we had. Be warned however that it is expensive and about double what you would expect to pay elsewhere for the same types of food and drinks but on the plus side at least it was good quality. The inside of the café was also really nice as was the outside patio area which is where we sat as the weather was nice. There is also a covered picnic area if you want to take your own food and the weather isn’t too good.

One of the best things about the forest is its size. Although the car park was full and there were loads of people milling about the visitors centre and the café on our walk round the trail we didn’t see all that many people and we could pretend that we were just on a nice leisurly stroll through the woods and not in the middle of a major tourist attraction in the Lake District National Park.

I would highly recommend visiting Grizedale Forest for the day. Go Ape is absolutely amazing and a must do but just walking around the forest and seeing the sculptures is also a fantastic way of spending a few hours. There are trails for all fitness levels and although I was pretty tired by the end I wasn’t absolutely exhausted and instead just felt invigorated.
Grizedale Forest
Lake District of NW England
Hawkshead, Cumbria
01229 860010


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