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Haldon Forest Park

dog at haldon forest park

Adventure Awaits at Haldon Forest Park

Covering over 3,500 acres of woodland, heathland, meadows and trails, Haldon Forest Park offers countless opportunities for outdoor family adventures and discovery in Devon’s wilderness playground. Just a short drive from Exeter, this scenic landscape promises exhilarating days of cycling, walking, climbing and open-air adventures for all ages and abilities.

From bike hire and skills centres perfect for developing confidence on two wheels to peaceful nature walks and splash parks for cooling off, Haldon Forest Park has it all. Here’s your complete guide to an active escape surrounded by nature at this must-visit outdoor attraction.

segway at haldon forest park

Getting There

Haldon Forest Park sits just outside the village of Kennford, approximately 6 miles southwest of Exeter. Well signed from the A38, the main entrance and parking is located off the A3192 Exeter to Ashburton road.

By Car

Driving takes just 15 minutes from Exeter, following signs for the Brown Tourist signposted main entrance. On arrival, there is a pay and display parking area. Charges apply 9am to 5pm.

By Bus

Frequent bus services run from Exeter city centre, Dawlish, Teignmouth and Newton Abbot to Kennford village. From there, it’s a short walk to the park entrance.

Opening Times

Haldon Forest Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round for visitors to freely explore. The parking fees apply 9am – 5pm daily. It costs £4 for 2 hours, £6 for 4 hours or £8 for all day.

The bike hire centre, cafe, toilets and other facilities are open from 9am to 5pm daily. Some zones close earlier in winter – check online for variations.

Entry is free with charges for parking, bike hire and other activities.

Cycling Trails and Bike Hire

With over 45km of dedicated cycling trails weaving through pine forests and meadows, Haldon is a haven for bike lovers. Routes span gentle green beginner loops to fast, daredevil black downhill runs.

The excellent on-site bike hire centre Equicycle provides top quality mountain bikes for adults and kids. Trailers, tag-a-longs and balance bikes cater for all ages and abilities. Helmets included.

The trails reward all levels, from toddlers experiencing their first pedal bike to experienced mountain bikers hitting jumps and technical sections.

boy cycling at haldon forest park

Play Zones

When it’s time for a break from all that pedalling, refuel while the kids enjoy Haldon’s outdoor play areas.

The Aldern Forest hub features natural woodland play using logs, ropes and timbers to inspire creativity and balance. Or make a splash in the water play zone with spray cannons and fountains.

The Meadow has an expansive adventure frame with jungle bridges, a 4.5m high watchtower and twisting tube slides. Burn off energy while admiring forest views.

sandpit at haldon forest park

Walking Trails

Beyond cycling, Haldon Forest Park has picturesque walking trails for all abilities through heather, gorse and forests. Spot Highland cattle grazing and local ponies along the way.

  • Tree Gazing Trail – A short 1km route ideal for families with an activity booklet.
  • Longer paths – Gentle 3-4km routes like the Belvedere Trail or Old Ticket Line trail.

The expansive network provides hikers scenic options from 20 minute toddler trails to day hikes for more active walkers.

haldon forest park view

Go Ape and Climbing

Haldon brings adventure up a level with exhilarating high rope challenges between the tree canopies courtesy of Go Ape. Featuring zip wires, Tarzan swings and rope bridges, it gets your heart racing!

The Scramble Zone caters for younger kids with obstacles closer to the ground. Or book Wallace the treetop rope adventure course for ages 10+.

Go Ape Haldon Woods

Discovery Centre

The indoor Discovery Centre provides interactive experiences about the forest’s ecology:

  • Wildlife exhibits and microscopes.
  • Arts and crafts activities.
  • 3D forest theatre and trail.
  • Cafe with outdoor deck over tree canopy views.

It’s an enlightening break from the outdoor adventure, with hot drinks and hunger-busting meals.

Whether it’s biking, walking, playing or climbing, Haldon Forest Park promises exhilarating days surrounded by nature. Just off the A38, it offers easily accessible outdoor escapism for all the family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who manages and owns Haldon Forest Park? – It is owned by Forestry England.

Are dogs allowed? – Yes, dogs are welcome in the forest

Is Haldon Forest Park accessible for prams and wheelchairs? – Yes. The surfaced trail has regular resting points, and is suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs, and mobility vehicles.

Other places to visit nearby

  • Becky Falls – Enchanting ancient woodland site near Newton Abbot with a cascading waterfall surrounded by lush trees and tranquil lakes.
  • Canonteign Falls – England’s highest waterfall set within a lush wooded gorge. Viewing platforms provide scenic vantage points. Tea room nearby.
  • Fingle Bridge – Charming 17th century bridge crossing the River Teign in Dartmoor National Park. Picturesque countryside spot surrounded by woodland.
  • Powderham Castle – 600 year old castle near Exeter, home to the Earl of Devon. Guided tours offer a glimpse into stately living with knowledgeable guides.
  • Topsham Museum – Museum set inside a Dutch merchant’s historic house, detailing Topsham’s international trading history as a major port. Period rooms to browse.
  • Crealy Adventure Park – Large family theme park near Exeter packed with over 60 rides and attractions including animals, rollercoasters and water fun.
  • River Exe Cruises – Relaxing cruises exploring the wildlife and scenic views along the meandering River Exe. Commentaries outline the key sights.
  • Killerton House – 18th century country house and gardens with parkland and trails to explore. Costumed interpreters bring the history to life.
  • Bicton Park Botanical Gardens – Beautiful ornamental gardens from the 18th century containing glasshouses, woodland walks, play zones and railway.

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