A Visit to CONKERS! in the National Forest

We have seen the signs on the A42 for CONKERS! many times but never really thought to head over there with  the children, as we normally head to the north of Nottingham. So, when we were invited to spend the day there I was really interested to see what it had up it's sleeve.

The day was planned out with a few tasks to get us exploring the site, we started with some orienteering, this not only tested out map reading skills to find the letters around the park, but there were also clues that got us using our heads to work out a password that would get us some extra treats later.


We figured out the word, which was amphibian, and headed to the meeting point in the Bush Craft area, a wonderful wooded location where we were asked to make our own den/shelter and fire. My two are seven and four and both relished this task, with each of them helping both mum and dad to find wood for the fire and sticks for the shelter.


We were shown how to build a fire and then set about lighting it with flint, steel and some nice dry cotton wool, my son was really good at it and Daddy was alright but Mummy excelled at the task, certainly makes me wonder whether it was cave man or woman that had this sorted?!?


Once we had the fire going (with a little help from the lovely Becky at Baby Budgeting and her family, thanks for sharing your fire guys) we were on our way to marshmallow toasting heaven. We all love toasted marshmallows and it is a really great experience to share with the children, really getting back to the basics.


Once we had finished toasting our marshmallows and had basked in the almost success of den building we headed to the Barefoot Walk, we saw one of these at a farm we visited in France a few years ago but never got to do it as the children were too young. Both said they'd give this a go and, although it was cold when walking through the water sections and slippery on the mud parts, we all really enjoyed it.


After lunch we had free reign over what we did next so we headed to the sensory trail to see what we could see, smell and feel. This was something we had done previously elsewhere and I have to say this one wasn't as good, some of the contents of the boxes were worn and the plants for smell etc long dead and it certainly wasn't as good as it could of been, none the less the children didn't notice and enjoyed running round the woods.


Afterwards we explored the labyrinth and went over to see the low and high ropes, a new installation for July which looked awesome. We didn't have time to book on to one of these otherwise I think my son and husband would have liked to gone on them. This is an extra charge but I don't think it's too overpriced for what is a very unique experience, even without this, there are plenty of trails and assault courses (for teenagers and adults only) to keep you busy which don't cost anything extra.


There were so many of the other areas that we didn't get to visit around the site, we could have spent all day just exploring the woodland and countryside as there was so much. There is a huge playground over at the Waterside Centre which is accessible by the conkachoo train and more woodland to explore but that will have to wait until another time.

Before we left, we did pop into the Discovery Centre, sadly a few of the interactive exhibits were broken and in need of repair, the toilets were covered in toilet paper as the dispensers were empty and new rolls just left on the side. This was a slightly disappointing end to the day and there seemed to be very few staff about at this point, the staff members we did come into contact with though were helpful and polite.

Overall we did have a great time and I think we would go back again, there were so many butterflies, insects, flowers and trees, if you like exploring the outdoors then this is certainly a great place to go. As the children get older and can go on more too, I think it will be the perfect place to take them for a run about.

NB: We were given free entry for the day to the park to form this review, all opinions are my own.

14 comments:

  1. Sounds like a really fun day out!

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    1. It was a great day out, we certainly all slept well ;)

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  2. This looks like an amazing day out, so much fun stuff to do that's guaranteed to wear out the kiddos!

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  3. It looks so amazing! We have been invited but it is quite a trek for us and think Baby needs to be a little older. Great post x

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    1. Yes definitely it is for slightly older children, my daughter who is 4 just about managed to get round unaided. Something to put on the list for when she is older :)

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  4. What a brilliant place to visit and so many different things to explore. I've got family living in Northamptonshire so I'll pass on the details to them :)

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  5. wow that looks like a fab place to go. Looks like you had a great time

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  6. That looks like our kind of place and day out. Just a shame it's so far from us!

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  7. Conkers always looks like a fab day out for all the family, I bet your two really enjoyed their experience. It's great that you managed to share some fire, your two wouldn't have stopped complaining if they'd missed out on Marshamallows! It's a shame the day ended in a bit of a bad place but overall it looks like you had a great day.

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  8. Looks like a lovely place to visit this summer! So many things to see and do there. #magicmoments

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  9. We loved our visit to Conkers and were at the Hi and Lo Ropes course for almost 2 hours - it was very badly organsied but like you had a great time anyway. Shame its so far away for us. Lovely to meet you xx

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  10. This place looks fab and reading your post has given me a real craving for toasted marshmallows! #MagicMoments

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