Owned and managed by South Derbyshire District Council, the RoslistonForestry Centre is a large site, part of the National Forest and much of it was planted in the 1990s. All the equipment in the large play area has been built from wood, with bark chippings everywhere and includes climbing frame and slides in a huge sandpit, wheelchair accessible roundabouts, balance beams swings and a huge climbing frame shaped like a bird of prey. From the top you get a great view of the whole surrounding area (so my husband and toddler tell me!) It also has a huge grassy meadow to bring your own football and picnic.
Beyond the play area are nature trails, lakes, meadows and paths. It’s a great area for taking bikes, for treasure hunts and for going on bear hunts, or hunting for heffalumps or gruffalos. We had a particularly nice morning here recently, just at the start of autumn, when the trees were just starting to change colour – all very beautiful. There are also a series of family events, which we haven’t tried, and you can stay in one of the lodges, or even get married here!
The Hub Café is close to the car park, and has a big log burner which makes it really cosy on a cold day. They do a range of drinks, cakes and snacks, toasties, jacket potatoes and sandwiches. There is plenty of outside seating, and the whole place is very popular with cyclists and families at the weekend.
Café Latte price: £1.80Favourite cake: Fabulous chocolate and orange sponge cake £2.40
Child friendly highlights: High chairs, basic baby change, children’s menu for about £4 and children’s lunch box for £3.20 (4 items). Soft play also next to café £1.75 for 30 minutes.Buggy friendly: The paths generally are, but the playground is on a grassy slope, so a bit tricky to negotiate.
Car parking: Yes, £2 a day or a season pass for £20
Definitely one for good (or at least dry) weather days, but lots of space for lively children and a cosy café for the end of your visit.