Thetford Forest Park is a magnificent woodland in the heart of East Anglia and a wonderful place for all the family to visit. Spanning the Norfolk and Suffolk border, it is a beautiful mixture of pines, heath land and broad leafs. The various habitats provide the perfect environment for numerous wildlife and bird species along with many of nature's plants and flowers, and also provide a fantastic backdrop to activity holidays. Thetford Forest is perfect for cycling, walking, horse riding, and orienteering.
Places to visit in and around Thetford Forest
To really discover what's on offer and the exciting events taking place in Thetford Forest your first stop has to be High Lodge Forest Centre. Here you can pick up useful information on the best places to explore, what wildlife to look out for, where you can have your picnic and purchase guides to make the most of your visit. There is also a play area for children, a shop and restaurant.
Within Thetford Forest, there are plenty of activities and attractions for all the family. For the energetic visit Go Ape! - an assault course of ropes swings and zip slides set in the glorious Norfolk woodland, or hire bikes to discover the woodland at your own pace.
Or take a trip out to Grimes Graves, a fascinating Neolithic flint mine and displays, and for the brave visitor, descend 9 metres into an excavated mine for an incredible experience.
At the heart of The Brecks lies Thetford, a town steeped in history with connections to many historical figures and legends such as the Queen of the Iceni Tribe, Boudicca and the influential Thomas Paine who championed the rights of the common man. Explore Thetford on foot following one of the town trails, including The Dad's Army Trail (the series was filmed here!) browse the shops or visit one of the museums such as the Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life or the Charles Burrell Museum, perfect for steam fans of all ages.
Activities in Thetford Forest
Be prepared for everything during your visit to Thetford Forest Park! Bring trainers, wellies and, of course, some sensible walking shoes so you can really make the most of your time here. From gentle walks through leafy woodland canopies to the challenge of orienteering, there is plenty to keep you active!
Walking in Thetford Forest
There are 26 walking trails around the forest for all to enjoy. For family fun enjoy the Giant Play Sculpture Trail or for wildlife enthusiasts, stroll through the rich woodland keeping your eyes peeled for shy deer. Each walk is clearly marked and most are suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs. A guide of all the walks can be purchased from High Lodge Forest Centre.
Cycling in Thetford Forest
A great way of exploring Thetford Forest is on a bike and with a variety of routes to chose from we're certain there is something to suit every ability. Graded by colour, the Green Trail is a gentle route and great for all the family with wide tracks and fairly level ground while the Black Trail is for the experienced rider covering around 11 miles across various terrains.
Horseriding in Thetford Forest
Thetford Forest has an open access policy for horse riders making them welcome throughout the park.
Orienteering in Thetford Forest
There is a permanent Orienteering Course at Thetford Forest and all ages will enjoy the challenge of this great outdoor activity. A map can be purchased from High Lodge Forest Centre
Nature & wildlife in Thetford Forest
Thetford Forest has some spectacular wildlife from Red Squirrels to Muntjac Deer - although you'll have to keep very still and quiet to see them! Start your wildlife spotting at High Lodge Forest Centre where you can find out the best places to spot Roe and Red Deer, while next door there is a bat hibernaculum, a shelter for both common and unusual bat species including the Pipistrelle and Barbastrelle.
Visit the Forest in the autumn and discover the many beautiful species of fungi that thrive here. Risbeth Woods are particularly good for this. Vibrant displays of colour can be enjoyed at Shouldham Warren when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom and for gorgeous Snowdrops visit Little Ouse Valley, a nature reserve in the heart of the Forest.
For the birdwatching enthusiast, Thetford Forest is perfect. The many different woodland areas are home to a variety of bird species including Woodlarks, Nightjars and Crossbills. Visit High Lodge Forest Centre and look out for woodpeckers and chaffinches in the surrounding woodland. Keep your binoculars at the ready at Lynford Lakes where Kingfishers can often be seen, while Mayday is a welcome habitat for Goshawks and Golden Pheasants.
Insects and Reptiles of all sorts can be found in the undergrowth in Thetford Forest, including Adders and the Common Lizard. The wetland areas, such as Cranberry Rough, are home to Common Toads and Great Crested Newts. West Stow, on the north edge of the Lark Valley, is a great place to see colourful dragonflies gliding around and the heather and grasses at Two Mile Bottom attracts bees and many butterfly species.
Where to Stay in the Thetford Forest area
With so much on offer in Thetford Forest, make the most of your Norfolk holiday by staying a charming bed and breakfast or holiday cottage in the surrounding area.
Find out more about the Theford Forest Area
You can also find more information on Thetford Forest and the Brecks area from:
Other useful links:
Related pages on Visit Norfolk: