High Lodge is a fantastic place to visit, it is set in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, full details can be found here.
The site entrance fee is in the form of an hourly car park charge. Currently it is £2.10 per hour per car, with a maximum charge of £11, this can be paid on arrival to beat the queues at the end of the day. As today's cars can comfortably seat up to 7 people, this is very good value.
Minibuses and coaches have a fixed charge.
If you just want to walk around the grounds, or bring your own bikes, this is the only charge. Dogs are welcome but must be kept under control and cleaned up after.
And there is plenty to walk around. There are 4 marked walks, 3 starting from the main area and 1 starting within the forest, these are either 1.5km or 5km. You can also make your own route up.
There are 6 cycle trails too, upto 18km in length. Bike hire is available, adult hire is £8 for the first hour and £4 per hour after that (upto a maximum of £32 per day), child's hire is £7 for the first hour and £3 for any further hours (a maximum of £24 per day).
You can also hire child seats.
You cannot use disposable barbecues or open fires at High Lodge, but you can hire barbecues.
This year sees the Forestry Commission celebrating 15 years of the Gruffalo with sculpted Gruffalos at several country parks around the country, you can find a list here. And I found the Gruffalo!
I also found the fox, but don't know what he said.
In another part of the forest, there is a musical trail. Scaled up instruments made from wood and metal which you either hit or stand on to make music. Being alone I had great fun finding out what sounds each made.
There are plenty of things for children to climb on and swing from.
This was a giant seesaw, the signs said that only teamwork could make it work, however, I am ashamed to say that I managed to get it moving all by myself.
The morning I visited it was very misty, the mist and low cloud making a very quiet forest even quieter. Very Blair Witch in fact, for those of you remember the film, the mysterious and random stacks of logs adding to the atmosphere.
Or maybe Deliverance, with half built platforms.
But I loved every minute of it.
There is a cafe where I had a fantastic breakfast, there is plenty of seating both inside and out. There was also an eating area called the Pantry but this was closed when I visited as it was still early.
There are plenty of toilets.
Go Ape is available here too, I didn't try this out myself, but did enjoy watching others crossing wires and using death slides. The shouts and laughter of the Go Apers added to the spookiness of parts of the forest as you could hear them but not see them.
You can also hire Segways from Go Ape, but these are £35 per hour.
I would love to visit again, maybe next time I WILL hire a bike.