A mouse took a stroll in the deep, dark woods… and so can you! Haldon Forest is made up of 3,500 acres of forest situated just outside of Exeter in Devon. Park in the main carpark and explore the whole forestry area; whether that’s on foot, by bike, via the high-wires of Go Ape or even on a Segway. It’s a great base for a day of outdoor activities, with a cafe and toilets onsite as well. Oh and you can’t forget the Gruffalo, hunt him down in the woods as well as his friend, Stick Man.
What’s At Haldon Forest Park?
Haldon hosts three walking trails; a short 2.5km fully surfaced ‘Discovery Trail’ which is perfect for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Along the way you’ll find places to stop and enjoy the views, wooden dens and small play areas. This trail is often themed and in the past you’ve been able to hunt the Gruffalo’s friends here and track down Shaun The Sheep. Keep an eye on their facebook for up to date information about any theming that’s happening.
The two longer trails are the 4.5km ‘Raptor Trail’ that’s fully surfaced but steep in places and the 6km ‘Butterfly Trail’ which has varied surfaces and steep parts. Both take you through different forestry areas with the Raptor Trail taking you out toward the birds of prey viewpoint and the Butterfly Trail helping you to find… you guessed it… rare butterflies. The two trails start together before branching off at a marked turn.
On site you’ll also find four cycling trails for different levels, including a small ramp and jump area near the main zone. In the same area is Go Ape Haldon with an adult and a child route, Segway tours and an area for picnics. At Christmas time you’ll also find a christmas tree selling area for fresh trees of different sizes.
How To Find Haldon Forest Park
Haldon Forest Park is situated just outside of Exeter just off of the Devon Expressway (A38). The site is well signposted with brown signs from this road, or by following the sat nav at EX6 7XR.
What Does Haldon Forest Cost?
Parking is on site and can either be paid at the machine or via the RingGo app (mobile phone signal can be patchy so be warned!). Charges start at £4 for two hours, £6 for four hours or £8 for all day. You can get slight reductions on these prices on term time weekdays. Memberships can be bought which give free parking to members, for information on this see their site.
Entrance to the Forest is free but activity packs and trail maps can sometimes be purchased from the main site if they have a themed trail on. A cafe on site offers reasonably priced food.
Is It Pushchair Friendly?
It is. You’ll be able to access the Discovery walking trail and the main site areas with a pushchair although the stroller type ones may find it a little bumpy and uneven.
What Amenities Are There?
Just back from the car park are toilet blocks but these are the only ones on the site, so worth a visit before heading off on a trail. As mentioned, there’s a cafe on site and plenty of space for picnics if you’d prefer to bring your own food.
Haldon Forest does close to the public in bad weather; this is generally when there are high winds or after storms in order for them to check the trails are safe. If the weather is questionable, we’d recommend going on their Facebook page to check, Haldon will always announce when the Forest is closed.