Marvellous, huge forest, trails of all kinds - steep gradients for serious mountain-bikers, less-strenuous ones for walkers, many even suitable for wheelchairs. You can walk all day in this forest admiring the lovely views without retracing your steps - and without meeting many other people either. There are some benches here and there and picnic tables down by the river. There are useful maps available in the visitor centre and there's a small shop for gifts in there too. I find the self service cafe very disappointing however as the menu (which hasn't changed for years) is extremely boring and unimaginative and the staff aren't friendly. There's almost nothing available for vegetarians either and nothing for vegans apart from the inevitable potato with boring old baked beans. Why on earth can't they even keep a box of veggie burgers in the freezer? So, to sum up: fantastic forest but poor cafe. UPDATE JAN 2009: Same old menu but when we asked, they found a tin of vegetable soup which was very nice. The lady who served us was friendlier this time. They had a delivery when we were there and I noticed that all the boxes contained pre-cooked baked potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, and other ready-meals. So don't expect home cooking but it's not expensive so that's one good thing. It's somewhere warm to shelter from the freezing wind too.
A beautiful scenic place, that has many paths and tracks to ensure you come back again and again. It's free to use, so that's a major plus. However, the staff can be a bit on the un-friendly side, although you don't see them enough for it to spoil your day.
Great for cycling and walking. The children will love the wildlife, or you may just enjoy a quiet walk in the woods.
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