Beacon Hill Country Park and Gruffalo house
A couple of weeks ago we visited Beacon Hill Country Park. We’ve visited a few times and it’s always been a hit. I actually think this was one of the last hot sunny days of the year, so I was very glad we made the most of it, I was also grateful for the dappled sunlight in the woodland. If you fancy a trip to a woodland with little ones but don’t want to go somewhere too remote then this place is ideal. The peaceful and idyllic setting of this country park makes it feel like it is remote, whilst at the same time as having proper car parking (£2.50 for the day), toilets, picnic benches and well defined and waymarked paths. Beacon Hill is part of Charnwood Forest and situated in north west Leicestershire, it has a variety of habitats to explore, including some impressive rocky features. We usually park at the lower car park, the rocky parts are at the top, so we don’t often get that far. At the lower car park there is a large picnic field, which obviously we visited first, The Farmer requested an early lunch, approx 10.50am.
We then headed to the other side of the car park where there is a rhododendron labyrinth. This is brilliant! There is a boardwalk all the way around to guide you, but you must explore off the path and you will find some hidden magical woodland creatures! We were in there for 45mins it’s not that big but as rhododendrons have lots of low branches, they are great for climbing. Back towards the picnic field again and we passed a beautiful wildflower meadow. Beyond this there are a variety of tracks. We headed uphill into the woods. The path leads through mixed woodland where there has obviously been some sort of Forest Schools shelter building type of activities taking place. We headed over and started building our dens. On our last visit we built dens for a Gruffalo. Kids seem to like repetition, so guess what we built this time?? Yep Gruffalo dens.
It was so relaxing, I could just sit back and offer advice on sticks when required, which wasn’t very often, the boys were in their element.
Woods, sticks, dens, fresh air, that’s all they need and of course a cafe within their dens, I had a lot of cups of tea brought to me.
We carried on along our woodland journey to the natural play area. It’s a lovely little playground, lots of wooden carved creatures, logs to balance on, step across, fall off…… Again we were here for about 45mins. We meandered our way back down through the woods, across a brook, ideal for a spot of ‘fishing’. Then eventually back to the car. We were there for over 3 hours and managed to do all of these activities within less than 1mile of walking. Oh but did those boys sleep on the way back, yippee!!!!!!!!!!!
You’ll also find info and be able to share you experiences of Beacon Hill Country Park on The Woodland Trust’s VisitWoods website.