Bonkers for Conkers! Our review of Conkers, The National Forest

Does your family enjoy the outdoors? Do you love days out where you can enjoy nature, learn about our planet, and have fun every single time you visit? Visit Conkers!

Welcome to Conkers in the National Forest

Every time we’ve been to Conkers, and whatever season, we’ve had the best day – and there’s still plenty that we haven’t covered, meaning we’ll just have to head back again soon!

The sensory trail through the woods is great fun


Even if you don’t want to head outdoors, there’s still so much to learn and do indoors, without even having to step foot outside!

Having fun in the Discovery Centre

When you come in through the main entrance of the Discovery Centre, there are plenty of options for kids of all ages to enjoy indoors.

You can visit the 4D cinema experience (Lily wasn’t a fan the first year we went when she was age 2, but loved it the last time!), the interactive floor, or play in the Enchanted Forest (designed for kids 4 and above).

The Enchanted Forest play area
The Enchanted Forest play area

This is such a unique play area where you can learn as you go around the treetops, and all themed like a fantastic forest, where you can see earth worms and more as you navigate your way around.

In the Discovery Centre there is also plenty of interactive features for children of all ages to enjoy, to help them learn about the planet, recycling, the environment, our eco system and more. Lily has been learning about recycling at school, so she was so excited to show me what she had learnt, and asked questions about what she saw too.

So much to explore, whatever the weather

She also painted a butterfly in the gift shop area for a Christmas present, where you get to choose what you want to paint and the colours, then the lovely team varnish it for you while you head off to explore a little longer.

Painting a pot in the Discovery Centre

Down at the Waterside Centre you can find the Billy Bonkers indoor play area – a great place for the younger kids to blow off some steam too, particularly as the Enchanted Forest play area is more suitable for the older kids.


There’s so much to do outdoors, whatever the weather. Wrap up warm and head off to some of the greatest outdoor adventures in the National Forest at Conkers.

The Conkachoo train ride was definitely a hit – we even had the school Star Bear in tow for the weekend!

From the Barefoot Walk through to the Treetop walk, you always have something fun and special to do to enjoy nature. For kids age 5 and above there’s even a fantastic activity obstacle trail through the woods to enjoy, or you can head underground to the Warrens tunnels for even more exploring.

The water play area

Lily absolutely loved the sensory walk through the woods in the summer (it was a bit cold in the winter, but I know you can still enjoy it!) and the water play area, as well as heading up to the viewing tower.

Catch the Conkerchoo or take a wander to the huge adventure play area

There’s the free Conkachoo trail that can take you to the Waterside Centre area – this was a definite hit with Lily and great whatever the weather. It also takes you to the giant Playdale Adventure play area with all kinds of obstacles for kids to play and explore on, for all ages.

Another hit with Lily was the fairy labyrinth, but she also loved just exploring the woodlands at Conkers too.

Exploring the labyrinth

Food and Drink

There are plenty of places across Conkers to get something to eat and drink, whether you’re after a hot meal or a quick coffee. There are ice cream stalls, fresh pizza at the Waterside Centre, or the Olive Tree Restaurant in the Discovery Centre that also sells a whole variety of kids meals, both hot and cold.

Enjoying the barefoot walk

For those wishing to take a picnic, you have a whole host of picnic areas across Conkers to enjoy, whether you’re looking to bring a packed lunch for the family to enjoy the outdoors, or just want to have a quick drink during your fun day out.

This little rainbow definitely loved the barefoot walk in the summer


We love it at Conkers, and there are always events throughout the year to get involved with too. It is a fantastic place for all the family to enjoy the National Forest, and every time we’ve been we’ve been able to enjoy ourselves, no matter what the season or weather. The beauty of Conkers is that it is educational, fun, and really has something for everyone – and we still have so much left to explore too.

A great way to explore the woods!

For more information about Conkers and everything they have to offer, click here to visit their website.

We twinned our visit with a walk around Forestry England’s Hick’s Lodge. Find out more here…

She even got her face painted near the Conkachoo train stop to top off a great day out

Tips for visiting with families

  • Conkers is open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
  • The Conkachoo train is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs, as are the majority of the trails around Conkers
  • Dedicated disabled toilets as well as baby changing facilities are available in both the Waterside Centre and the Discovery Centre, plus there is lift access in both to be able to enjoy all the
  • Check out the Stay, Play, Explore deal where a family of 4 can enjoy access to 3 of a list of 10 attractions in Leicestershire as well as overnight accommodation in a 4-star hotel. For more information, click here… – other sites on the list include Twycross Zoo and Twin Lakes Park.