Swinley Forest is a great low cost destination for a outdoor family day. Park at the Look Out and enjoy free access to walking and bike trails and the fantastic outdoor adventure playground.
Parking at the Look Out
There is a large car park. Parking costs £3 for up to 4 hours and £6 for all day (April 2021)
Bike Trails at Swinley Forest
There are miles of forest trails suitable for biking with children or going for a lovely walk. Try the flat trails (towards the Go Ape centre) with younger children. Older children can enjoy trying out mountain biking. There are three routes – green (easiest), blue (harder), red (hardest). We started out on the green track (1 mile) but the track was narrow and slippery after rain and was a bit too challenging for my 6 year old so we’ll be back to try it again next year. We were happy instead to explore the flatter pathways.
You can hire bikes at Swinley Bike Hub, next to the car park.
The Look Out Adventure Playground
There’s a brilliant adventure playground next to the cafe with equipment suitable for a wide age range. There is also an inclusive play are designed for all children especially those with additional needs.
The Look Out Cafe
There is a cafe at The Look Out overlooking the adventure playground with indoor and outdoor seating. They serve a range of coffee, sandwiches, hot dogs and bacon rolls. The bacon rolls are great after a bike ride! There are also plenty of outdoor picnic tables if you want to bring your own picnic.
For an adventurous high rope course, check out the Go Ape centre, a short walk from the car park/cafe. You can also pay an entry fee for the Look Out Discovery Centre where there is an excellent hands on science centre for children.