Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

Type:Forest

Horton Road, Ashley Heath, Dorset, BH24 2ET

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Tel01425 470721

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

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About

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest is jointly owned and managed by Dorset Council and Forestry England, working closely with a number of onsite concessions.

The Park has won Gold for Large Visitor Attraction in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Moors Valley one of the most visited attractions in the south with more than 750,000 visitors annually enjoying its lakeside walks and bike rides, innovative forest play structures, Tree Top Trail, steam railway, Go Ape, Segways and Golf Course.
Prized as much by the local community as visiting tourists the Park also offers stimulating play facilities, nationally recognised green exercise initiatives, locally-sourced restaurant food and an extensive year-round events programme.

Alongside meeting the needs of its visitors, Moors Valley remains a safe haven for wildlife. The Park is one of the best sites in the UK for dragonflies and home to a highly successful water vole reintroduction programme.

More information on the wide range of events and activities taking place at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest can be found at www.moors-valley.co.uk

We are committed to inclusivity and work hard to provide a friendly, accessible environment for all our visitors and the widest possible access to our trails, buildings and events.

We promise to:
- Place access and inclusivity at the heart of our operation
- Do everything we can to remove barriers to participation
- Positively encourage feedback on how we can improve
- Work with individuals and organisations that can help us to be more accessible and inclusive
- Invest in access and inclusivity facilities, equipment and processes
- Regularly monitor our progressMoor Valley has a host of play areas for children to explore. On the mile long Play Trail, with its unique pieces of wooden play equipment, children can explore inside a giant ants nest, wriggle through giant snakes, and attempt the crocodile crossing. To get a bird’s eye view of the Forest they can also follow the Tree Top Trail, a 5 metre high and 200 metre long wooden walk amongst the trees.

Play Areas

There are also two imaginative play areas close to the Visitor Centre.
The Adventure Play Area, designed specially for older children, includes a zip slide, huge space net, climbing boulder and a fortress of towers and crossings with a long tube slide. Younger children will be enthralled in the Castle and Sandworks area with its gentle slides and swings, all set inside a safe sand area so don’t forget to bring your bucket and spade too!

Gruffalo Sculptures

Are you brave enough to come face-to-face with the Gruffalo?
We are lucky enough to be one of only a few places in the country with a lifesize Gruffalo sculpture and a Gruffalo’s Child sculpture plus all of the other characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s popular story book. Head to the forest picnic area to see if you can find them all.

Discover more about some of the creatures that live at Moors Valley with fun activities and hands-on displays, open afternoons at weekends and every day during the school holidays.

Meet the Rangers and learn more about nature and the wildlife that you can find at Moors Valley.
Discover who lives in our ponds and rivers in our huge fish tanks, see which birds are visiting our bird feeding station and read about our special habitats.

You can also get up close to some impressive animals – meet our tiny resident Harvest mice, see our giant millipede, wasp spider and grass snake.
You can even try fossil hunting, take the Ranger Den quiz and from time to time there will be some craft activities available too.

The Ranger Den is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. All ages and abilities are welcome.
Find the Ranger Den at the back of the Visitor Centre, opposite the toilets.

Moors Lake Audio Trail

This short audio tour will take you on a journey around Moors Lake starting from the Visitor Centre. Along the way we will look and listen out for a variety of wildlife at key locations on the journey.

The trail is about 3 quarters of a mile in length with 7 stopping points, each marked with an Audio Trail marker.

If you have dogs with you, in order to protect the wildlife and habitats around the lake and riverside, please keep them on a lead and under close control at all times along the trail and do not allow them to jump in the river.

As the seasons change so will the wildlife you will see here. You can spot the most wildlife during the spring and summer months but it is a nice level route to enjoy at any time of year and there will always be some wildlife to see and hear. There are also downloadable activity sheets for children to accompany the trail.

Enjoy a ride on an authentic steam train at the Moors Valley Railway.

Starting from Kingsmere Station you can travel along the banks of the Moors Lake and follow a double loop around the play area incorporating three tunnels, tight curves, inclines and a bridge, before stopping at Lakeside station. From there you can travel back alongside the lake, through a 4th tunnel and the goods yard before arriving back at Kingsmere Station. A return journey covers one mile and the experience will take about 20 minutes, including time to embark and disembark.

At Kingsmere station you can visit the model railway shop and the railway buffet for drinks and snacks.

To date there are 19 steam and 2 diesel locomotives in use on the railway. The majority of the engines have been built here in the workshop at Moors Valley. All the steam trains are fueled by coal.

Seats on the railway carriages must be straddled. Staff are on hand to assist someone in and out of a railway carriage. Please speak to the railway direct to find out about the suitability of the carriages but unfortunately the railway cannot accommodate a wheelchair. Pushchairs and wheelchairs can be left on the station platform.
Steam locomotives emit smoke, steam and ash and also have loud whistles.

For further information about the railway, engines and carriages, please see the official Moors Valley Railway website.
If you have a specific enquiry concerning the railway or would like to make a group booking then please contact the railway direct 01425 471415.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Car Park chargesfrom £2.70 to £12.00 per ticket
Car Park season ticket annualfrom £21.00 to £79.00 per ticket
Car Park season ticket monthlyfrom £6.00 to £8.00 per ticket
Coach parkingfrom £20.00 to £72.00 per ticket
Minibus parkingfrom £6.50 to £26.00 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Accessible to Wheelchair Users
  • Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors
  • Facilities for Visually Impaired Visitors
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp / Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors
  • Wheelchairs available

Children & Infants

  • Baby changing facilities

Establishment Features

  • Cater for groups
  • Dogs Accepted
  • First Aid

Parking & Transport

  • Coach Drop Off / Pick Up Point
  • Coach Parking

Payment Methods

  • Free Entry

Target Markets

  • Special provisions for cyclists

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Moors Valley is situated ten miles north of Bournemouth; it is signposted from the Ashley Heath roundabout at the junction of the A31 and A338, between Ringwood and St Leonards. Please note: Be aware that due to the rural nature of our location, some satellite navigation systems and route planners may not be accurate when using our postcode. Please cross-reference with the map shown or use carry.vows.riverbed in the what3words application.

Public Transport Directions

The number 38 bus service that covers the Ferndown and Ringwood area stops at Lions Lane, at the Castleman Trailway, near the main entrance to Moors Valley. From here it is just over a mile walk to the Visitor Centre. Please visit the More Bus website for more details. 

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday08:00 - 17:00

* From end of 2019 summer school holidays to Easter holidays 2020 5pm closing time
Easter holiday – 7pm closing time
End of Easter holidays to May half term – 6pm closing time.
May half term to end of Summer holidays 7pm closing time.

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