Monkey and I were staying with my best friend in Derbyshire for a couple of days last month and I she’d suggested a couple of places we could visit. One hit the mark immediately and off we went for a day out exploring Rosliston Forestry Centre on the outskirts of Swadlincote (half way between Burton upon Trent and Ashby de la Zouch). The Centre is situated in the National Forest and is a great place to just be outdoors.
Rosliston Forestry Centre is well sign posted, you do pay to park, but for £3 we all agreed this was a bargain as that was it for the day for us. I would suggest arriving early, especially in busy periods as it’s very popular and by the time we were leaving in the afternoon people were struggling to find a parking space.
As soon as we arrived we could see a big play ground area, the perfect place for friends to get together and kids to explore. But Monkey wanted to explore further afield. There are a number of trails throughout the centre, so we headed off on a little adventure.
Monkey and Auntie A were chatting away and I followed on behind. They have a lovely relationship and Monkey is always so relaxed in her company. We decided to follow the Discovery Trail (1.9 miles) first so we could get an overview of the whole centre. It was amazing how quickly we were away for the hubbub of the entrance area and in quiet countryside. It was lovely.
Could we see a Gruffalo in the deep dark woods?
Working along quiet pathways we had time to talk, and just enjoy being outdoors on a lovely sunny August day.
We stopped for a moment or two to learn about the Derbyshire Collieries, lots of questions from Monkey along the way.
There are a couple of ponds around the site and one is large enough to have a walkway over it (sadly it was closed for renovation when we visited).
We saw lots of dragonflies on our visit, but do you think I could get one of them to sit still long enough to photograph – not a chance. Between their reluctance to take a break and a Monkey who was on a mission to scare off every mini beast in sight, I got very few nature shots!
We may not have a Gruffalo whilst working through the deep dark woods, but we certainly found some rather interesting characters instead.
Lots of story telling as we went.
If we’d been more organised we would have had a picnic as there are plenty of benches dotted about. But for those, like us, there is a lovely Hub Cafe, offering freshly made sandwiches, hot food and kids lunch boxes, all at a really good price too.
Once we’d refueled it was time to explore the wildlife and sensory gardens. We also spotted some owls and bird of prey. You can pay to have a hand holding session but Monkey wasn’t up for that added extra!
We’d had a really enjoyable day exploring Rosliston Forestry Centre, just a simple day out with nature all around us. You can actually hire bikes to explore the site and I think this is something we might do in the future once Monkey has cracked the cycling and Mummy has had a refresher session.
We even got to have a rare mother and son photo, thanks to Auntie A.
It’s also worth noting that the Forestry Centre is included in one of the #StayPlayExplore packages I’ve featured previously.
All in all, our kind of day out, I’m sure we’ll be back in the future too.