Thetford Forest Park - Santon Downham

Woods, National Park, Tourism, Vacances



Brandon, Santon Downham, IP27 0TJ

+44 1842 815434




Based on 201 reviews.


Agregated reviews (201) Thetford Forest Park - Santon Downham

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Excellent venue for a family outing, worth the £11.50 per car for an all--day visit. This is a very well managed Forestry Commission site with loads to do.

Bring your bikes and enjoy miles of forest cycle trails, or hire them from the on-site cycle centre. There's even a 'bike wash' for muddy days! If you're on foot there are a range of well-marked forest walks suitable for all.

There are plenty of open spaces for picnics, etc, too. There is a great main children's play area, as well as a few satellite one dotted about. There's a cafe on site, as well as some other concessions during school holidays.

Dogs are allowed, and away from the play areas they can be sensibly let off the lead on the forest walks if they are well-behaved.

No fires or barbecues are allowed on site, but they have a few permanent barbecues that are available to hire if you want a cook-up!

High Lodge is also host to Go Ape if you and/or the kids fancy a tree-top challenge!

Parking is by number-plate recognition. Pay before you exit at the machines by the Information kiosk. Prices range from £11.50 for cars 'all day' down to a couple of quid for 1-2 hours. Bikes and motorcycles are free entry.

5 by Simon Newton Review source

It's full of trees. More trees than you'd ever would want. Honestly. Acres of them trees & trees & trees. For someone who doesn't like trees this wouldn't be the best place to be. I wouldn't recommend anyone scared of trees to go here. If you like trees then this would be fine. In fact, if you like trees this could be the place you've been waiting to discover. Trees are in plentiful abundance here. Everywhere you look there are trees. Left, right, anywhere, trees. You don't have to walk far before you come across a tree. Trees are so accessible here. Snappily named 'Thetford Forest' it gives a clue that this is a place for trees, & for those who like trees. This I'd a review of Theford Forest. Forests have trees. Not a lot else. Trees don't serve alcohol, offer contactless payment, provide Sunday roasts or child care facilities. Just trees. That's it. I hope whoever reads this will find it helpful. If you didn't expect this review to feature trees seek help. It's going to get worse before it gets better. Hey...go trees.

5 by Laudate Dominum Review source

I was totally blown away by the sheer amount of people that were here. It reminded me of one of those 'Where's Wally?' Cartoons, with tightly packed countless groups of people doing every activity imaginable, like BBQs, football, sunbathing and cycling, with hundreds of screaming kids everywhere. There was no chance of getting served in the café or finding your car easily in the huge and full car parks either. This was quite a shock and it took some time to get away from all that and into a more peaceful forest to bond with nature. But even that just wasn't exciting. If you like walking in woodland then there are much better places. If you like chaotic family friendly activities, then you will probably love this place.

2 by Jon-Cameron Bates Review source

Go Ape is amazing, such a fun activity! The forest itself is beautiful and you can take a picnic and have a wonderful day here just exploring. Lots of children's play areas dotted around the forest to keep them happy and the Gruffalo trail is a lovely idea. Toilets and food & drink amenities available at the lodge. Plenty of parking spaces for busy periods although some parking areas are further away from the amenities than others and parking charges are quite expensive though. There are other areas throughout the forest (like Two Mile Bottom) where you can park and explore that are away from the main lodge and Go Ape areas but they don't have the amenities and children's play equipment.

4 by Hannah Moss Review source

A stunning and easy to follow walk! As keen hikers, my partner and I needed somewhere to have a nice longish distant walk as part of our training, so we took a lovely 10 mile walk around Thetford Forest Park. There is a mixture of the 'main' area, which is quite busy on a sunny day with lots of activities for children all looking like they're having lots of fun and then walking tracks around the park. We found the walk very easy to follow and came across some stunning scenery and buildings. If you prefer peace and quite, after around a mile in there was barely anyone around! And that was on a really hot lovely summers day.

5 by Taylor Skea Review source

We went here on a very busy bank holiday and cycled the blue graded Beaters track. The track was excellent and in good condition and takes you through some lovely woodland. And visit here for cycling is thoroughly recommended.

The only problem is the same problem with all forestry commission places the cafe is overpriced and staffed by demotivated extremely young people. The forestry commission seem to employ young people aged under 20 presumably so they can only pay them the minimum wage which is currently £5.06 an hour.

4 by Rob Walkham Review source

As a group of 3 families we visited Thetford Forest for our first Go Ape adventure. The instructors were very friendly and helpful and the course was challenging and enjoyable. This part of the trip was memorable but we were put off by the exorbitant parking charges. You would assume that after spending £300 on adventure rides the parking would be free but it's not. This could be the only reason why we will reconsider going to this place again.

3 by Mandar Kulkarni Review source

Absolutely wonderful park for young and old. Easy cheap automatic parking (no ticket) includes entrance fee. Amenities are excellent, food, loos etc. Full of fun from going Ape to a great sandpit for little ones. Walk in the woods, find and make music, create\\u200b a den of logs and sticks, find the Gruffalo, swings, climbing and more. Doesn't feel crowded even in a busy day in school holidays... excellent.

5 by Alan Novak Review source

Great park will loads for the kids to do but can be expensive. For a family of 2 adults and 3 kids you have to pay to go on inflatables which was £3 each then drinks and ice cream which was nearly £20 and if your there all day with kids you will need more that one coffee :0) You have to pay parking BEFORE you go back to your car not at the barrier or you can't get out but it does say that and is easy to do.

3 by Shelly Bell Review source

Really nice place to go an relax. Walking, jogging and cycling trails of varying lengths and difficulties, adventure playgrounds (tons of them) for the kids, including a Gruffalo hunt, and Go Ape on site too. It's beautiful. I'll be coming back with my mountain bike should the weather holds out.
Parking is a little expensive, but that's the only admission fee, so it evens out.

5 by Andi Springthorpe Review source

Fantastic park for children. Parking is expensive but the amount of free activities to do is great. We also did the Junior Go Ape which I'd recommend. It might be a little much for children just over 1m though; our two littlest struggled with some of the sections. Disposable barbecues are not allowed but there are barbecues that you can hire (!?) at an expensive rate.

4 by David McLaughlan Review source

Love this area it's great for the dogs to walk attand let of steam. There are many walks and tracks to follow, some well used some not so. There is lots of great wildlife including deer, squirrel and many birds, as well as the plants and trees. We have been here in summer when it's dry and in winter when cold and wet. Some areas do get muddy so best to use wellies.

5 by Baz Paul Review source

Beautiful place.

The trails are fantastic and there's a Go Ape here too which has 3 fantastic adventures for families of all ages and adventurous spirits.

Lots of parking and modern amenities. Only downside is the cost of parking.
The cafe needs a little uplifting too but won't let that knock the overall experience here.

5 by Craig H-R Review source

An amazingly well kept forest. Plenty for everyone. From young kids, with loads of play equipment, right up to adults with mountain bike trails and walking trails.

A great cafe which does food and drink but plenty of space for a picnic. There are also BBQs that you can rent.

Well worth exploring for a day.

5 by Jeremy Podolski Review source

Great for those loving the outdoors. Marvellous walks and cycle tracks. Go Ape high walk through the tree tops. Segway rides and my favourite barbeques to hire in the summer. For the little ones there is an exciting play park within the forest with a tremendous slide and flying Fox. Nice cafe and lots of parking.

5 by Kevin Gale Review source

From feeding the ducks on the pond, followed by a forest walk, then rounding the day off with time in the lovely park, it's a lovely day out for the family. Parking is cheap too for all day visits. You can lose a whole day here, bring a picnic and a blanket and it's a super cheap day out.

5 by Georgina Coulson Review source

Cranwich Heath is a great place for walking the dog. Completely fenced although the fences aren't high and there are gates that a determined escapee could get through or over, but nevertheless it feels safe to let your dog run free there. Lots of other dogs there to socialise with.

5 by Review source

Been a few times now and always enjoy it. Has some great walks and this time we tried the 'green' cycle track with our two young boys, which was just the right length and difficulty. The playground area is brilliant so spent another few hours here too.

5 by Gavin Dobson Review source

What a lovely place for nature lovers and families alike. So many activities to do: walking, cycling, exploring the forest, climbing through trees, building a den, playing in the many play areas, archery, organised tours and many more. You will NOT be bored here!

5 by Adrian Olaru Review source

Wonderful walks and plenty of wildlife to be seen. I love walking with my dog but it's a shame there are several dog owners who don't pick up their dogs poop ! Spoils a great walk if you have to keep looking down where to put your feet!

4 by Trisha Harvey Review source

Beautiful place to have a rave, dnb echoing through the mesmerising hills and Valleys, sun comming up over the evergreens after a long night of partying just makes the day, relaxes your mind and makes you really feel nature in all its hippy glory

5 by Review source

Very nice place for a day outdoors, nice mixed forest, maybe not the most natural looking one, but still.
A little bit expensive car park, other than that was ok.
Please keep our Planet clean and take your rubbish with You:-) Thanks

5 by Review source

Good area to watch wildlife nice place to run your dog adequate parking not to overrun with people outstanding place of natural beauty will stop every time I am passing as not on my doorstep I go near there once or twice a month and always stop

5 by Beads Beadle Review source

Bike, walk, 1-100 yrs. Great place, barbeques to rent, Go ape, see the gruffalo. For little and big kids, play games, park for kids, make music in the forest, play hide n seek .cheap but great eats. You could easily spend the day here.

5 by Daphne Whitaker Review source

Brilliant, well worth a days visit. The Gruffalo trail and the pictures taken from within the app are fun and make the day very memorable. The musical woods section was a big hit with all the family - it's not just for children!

5 by Ray Last Review source

Lovely walks all through the forest, great for cyclists and Dog walkers or just having a ramble. Plenty of places to have a picnic. Cafe at Brandon Country Park is excellent for a snack and High Lodge is great for a meal.

5 by Review source

Very peaceful and picturesque walks! Possible to do with a pushchair but best with a 3 wheel one due to being 'off road'! Saw The Flying Scotsman go past...a place for train enthusiasts to get good sightings!

5 by Abigail McCorrie Review source

Fantastic day out mountain biking. Red route sufficiently challenging for our family of 5 and kids (ages 10 - 13) enjoyed the challenge. Facilities at Thetford good with cafe / Go Ape high ropes / toilets etc.

5 by Andrew Harrison Review source

Worth the trip just for the Go Ape tree adventures. Which is a bit pricey at £18 a pop and car park was £12.50 for all day. But overall a good day out! There's also cycle and Segway hire. Dogs allowed.

4 by Steve Campbell Review source

Just Wonderful to be in such a beautiful park easy access for wheel chair's as well. There is paid Parking but it does get busy at week ends. No time to stop for tea at the restaurant but will be back.

5 by Christine Barker Review source

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