Our Conkers Adventure

We were excited to be off to Conkers, outdoor pursuits centre, in the National Forest last weekend. We’d heard of it and often seen signs and leaflets for it, but this was to be our first foray and we were keen to find out what it was all about.

On entering, we were given a map and directed to a board sharing various activities on that day. On the day we visited, they had storytelling, pond dipping, gingerbread-man making and Forest Dwellers and Pirate Pat shows, as well as all of the normal attractions and activities. I was immediately impressed!

On entering, we took in the Discovery Centre….

Conkers Discovery Centre

conkers discovery centre montage

There are lots of interactive exhibits about the world around us, from recycling and energy through to nature and wildlife. I found it fascinating, and though the children were a little young to appreciate it all, there was plenty there for their senses to take in. There’s also an Enchanted Forest play zone, with rope walks and slides, but it’s for slightly older children (though the Husband still enjoyed a good look round in there!)

We then had lunch in The Olive Tree Restaurant. They have both hot and cold meals, and a kids menu, and as well as the service and food being good, there was a little tree slide in there that kept the kids happy while waiting! After lunch, we headed out to explore outside, and this is where Conkers really comes into it’s own.


It’s in the National Forest, so all activities and trails aside, it’s beautiful. A place to stroll around and take in the nature around you, or run about like little crazy people in loads of space, as my children are wont to do. There are plenty of trails to keep you busy..Conkers Trails

We headed to the Fairy Labyrinth…

conkers fairy labyrinth

As you walk round there are fairy signs for each month, a little like horoscopes, so we were looking eagerly for Boo’s as she wanted to see what hers would be like and was delighted that her ‘fairy symbol’ was a butterfly.

We then strolled a wildlife trail through the woodland, putting hands in boxes to discover what they held (I couldn’t really get past the whole Flash Gordon thing with this, so struggled, but the kids loved it!)

Conkers wildlife trail

We took a train ride…


We loved the train! It’s quite a short journey, but it’s part of the ticket price, and the kids loved going on it. They run every 10 minutes, have room for pushchairs on the back and the drivers are really friendly. Little Man’s highlight would have to be the ConkerChoo!

The train took us to a fabulous playground, and as you can imagine, we spent a fair bit of time there, chasing both of the children around…

conkers play area

And my highlight of the day, we all took a Barefoot Walk..

conker barefoot walk

Now, be prepared with this one. You do walk across stones so it will be uncomfortable! Boo put us to shame, just running around it all, whereas I was there yelping in parts! There is a little cabin to wash and dry your feet in at the end, but there’s only one little dryer that you’ll wait a while for on busy days, so take a towel to save you waiting.

We had a great day out there, though I’d say to make the absolute most of your time there, the kids would need to be a little older, as much of the Discovery centre went over Little Man and Boo’s heads, and some of the trails and activities were for older children. I can see it being a place that we’ll be returning to in a couple of years time, when they’re both that bit older, and we will definitely return as this is now on our list of brilliant places to visit! That said, there is plenty to do here for little ones, as you can no doubt see, I just want them to be old enough to every single part of it!

We visited Conkers as part of our Stay Play Explore pass. For £109, a family of four can stay at a 4* hotel in Leicestershire (we’ve yet to do this part but I will fill you in when we do), and choose to visit 3 great attractions from a list of 5, so we’ve been to Twycross Zoo, which we loved and I blogged about last week, and we’ll be going to Twinlakes Theme Park in a couple of weeks time. There are other breaks available, too, for family adventures, theme parks, and adults gourmet breaks, amongst others – take a look, they’re fab!

Disclosure: We received a Stay Play Explore Family Fun Break FOC for the purposes of this review, but as ever, all words and opinions remain my own. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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26 thoughts on “Our Conkers Adventure”

  1. It looks sooo good! At first I thought this post would be about looking for actual conkers. I’ve never heard of this place before though, wonder how far away it is from us.

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      It’s great – it’s in the Midlands, Leicestershire. There’s the StayPlayExplore offer, too, so you can get a hotel break with it and make it into a weekend if it’s a bit of travelling x

  2. This place looks like so much fun – There’s such a variety of things to do. We love exploring forests, especially when there’s a playground and things too but there aren’t that many forests within a nice driving distance from us x

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      There’s loads there. My two love a good play area, and a ride on the train gets them ridiculously excited!

  3. I love how forests like National Forest has so many activities and trails to make it a real outdoor adventure and learning experience for families. Good to know about the special deal too as I really want to visit Leicestershire again.

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      It’s such a good deal! I think we’ll get it again as it makes it all such good value, even thought we don;t even live that far away!

  4. I love the idea of all the different trails to try and the barefoot walk. It has so much to offer children of all ages and judging by the photos it’s located in a beautiful setting too. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  5. This brings back many memories! Every year when I was working at a special school in the area, I would take my class here and then, when my nephews were old enough we would go. I also used to go to their firework display every year!

    1. It’s good there, isn’t it? This was our first visit, but we’ll definitely go again as there’s loads to do and it’s so beautiful there x

  6. what a great place to visit, I think I would love the barefoot trail, and would love to see if my son would join in as he can be a bit of a whimp at times when it comes to taking off his shoes!

  7. Pingback: #StayPlayExplore Family Fun

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