Spring moments in The National Forest | Visit National Forest

Spring moments in The National Forest

Posted on Thursday 30th March

Kids feeding sheep

Watch The National Forest burst into new leaf this spring. Welcome new arrivals, explore dazzling bluebell displays and discover an assortment of outdoor activities for you and your family to enjoy. Below are just a few ways you can embrace the #forestlife and make some magical memories throughout spring.


Let the Forest spoil you this Easter

Adventure Farm Easter RabbitEaster has always been a special time of year in the Forest, creating excitement and spreading joy as new arrivals are welcomed and families indulge themselves in exciting Easter egg hunts.

Make your way to The National Forest Adventure Farm throughout the Easter holidays or Home Farm at Calke Abbey (1st-2nd April) where you and your family can be part of an exciting and special time. Watch, as newborn lambs play with their mother, nurture the tiny lambs yourself by bottle-feeding them and if you’re lucky enough, you may even get to experience first-hand the birth of one of the new baby lambs too!

lamb feedingGet your Easter egg hunting caps on and make your way to Calke Abbey this Easter weekend. Amble
through Calke’s wonderful parkland in a magical treasure hunt, which will enable the kids to guess the clues and head in the direction of a delicious treat.  The egg hunt will be open from Friday 14th – Sunday 16th April – so be sure to keep a day free in your diary!


Wander through a carpet of bluebells

Bed of BluebellsBe inspired by bursts of luminous blue swooping through our woodlands this spring. Be sure to bring your camera and capture those special moments, as you stroll through carpets of bluebells at Lodge Hill. This very special place hopes to be in full bloom by the end of April, and will be open for visitors from 19th April – 7th May, when you’ll be able to enjoy walking trails through 20 acres of mature woodland. Take in the breathtakingly beautiful sights, whilst relaxing at the Bluebell Café in the Half Moon Field, with a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of homemade cake.

Put on your walking boots and make your way to Calke Abbey, where you can explore the wider estate and meander through a national nature reserve to find the carpets of bluebells. Take a deep breath of cool woody air and explore Jackson’s Bank; part of the ancient Forest of Needwood, which comes alive with seas of luminous blue from April into May. Other walks where bluebells can be discovered at ancient Burrow Wood, The Outwoods and Swithland Wood.


Fun for the kids this spring
Gruffolo PictureDon’t worry about entertaining your kids over the Easter holidays – we’ve got you covered!

Help your children to bring the Gruffalo and other characters to life with the Forestry Commission’s brand new Gruffalo spotters trail!  Even the adults can get involved in this fun adventure, and enjoy following clues and collecting evidence. Watch the characters come to life right before your eyes by downloading the app and exploring the trail at Hicks Lodge: The National Forest Cycle Centre.

Family bushcraftThe Forest plays host to a number of activity and craft workshops throughout spring, including Conkers which offers an abundance of workshops for the kids to get stuck into all throughout April, trying their hand at pond dipping, orienteering and bush craft. Over at Field Sport UK, families can get involved in lots of outdoor activities such as; building dens, tracking animals and even campfire cooking. Whilst over at Beehive Farm, the jam-packed three day Bushcraft Show  will take families on a survival adventure, teaching essential woodland crafts, fire lighting, shelter building and more!

If the British weather is up to its usual tricks, fear not, Conkers will keep you sheltered from the rain inside their 4D cinema this Easter.  This new experience will allow you and your family to lose yourself in a whole new dimension, filled with tonnes of special effects. First up is ‘The Little Ant Adventures’ which is full of weird and wonderful surprises, as families can follow the characters as they swing through the branches and swim through the river on a rollercoaster journey!


Stretch your legs in the Forest

WalkersThere’s no time like the present to get outside and enjoy the wonders of the Forest, and when it’s the 10th National Walking Festival, there really is no excuse! Explore our beautiful Forest this spring, by taking part in guided and themed walks, suitable for all ages and abilities.

Put the spring back into your step by discovering a wealth of history and nature intertwined. Bring your friends and family for a day filled with fun, adventure, great company and delightful scenery.

Walking FestivalEmbark on a 6 mile journey to see how The National Forest has developed into a landscape of outstanding beauty (13th May). Take a more challenging route by weaving your way through the quaint villages of Smisby, Hartshorne, Foremark and the Calke Estate, (14th May) and celebrate 25 years since the forests first trees were planted, with a circular route leading you down into Trent Valley (17th May).

Discover our versatile range of walks available this year, by downloading our 2017 Walking Festival booklet.


Make yourself at home in the Heart of the Forest

Ready Camp TentAs camping season approaches, it’s time to book you and your family in for a cosy stay at one of our accommodation venues. Looking for a big adventure for you and your family? The Ready Camp family will be showcasing their new additions throughout the Forest this spring and the Conkers Craven and Camping Site is definitely not one to be missed! After enjoying a day of adventure in the Forest, you’ll be welcomed back to your accommodation by snug bedrooms, roomy living areas, dining spaces and even a terrace.

Dandelion HideawaySurrounded by lush fields and trees, sits our wonderfully relaxing Dandelion Hideaway. Enjoy the ultimate Forest treat, as you indulge in a weekend of luxury, putting your feet up in one the secluded canvas cottages. As the kids enjoy real farm life, picking freshly laid eggs and seeing the animals, you can sit back and relax, as you watch the sun set from your very own veranda – perfection!



Keep us updated with your family forest adventures this spring, by using the #ForestLife