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Moores Country Park, walkers paradise
Moors Valley Country Park & Forest (Dorset)
Member Name: topp99
Moors Valley Country Park & Forest (Dorset)
Date: 13/08/02, updated on 13/08/02 (7210 review reads)
Advantages: Great in good weather, Loveley walks, The shop
Disadvantages: When it's wet
I traveled to Moors Valley is in East Dorset. It is a country Park which if you didn’t know where you were; you would be forgiven for thinking that you were in the New Forest.
The park is on the B3081 from Verwood, the A338 from Bournemouth, and the A338 from Wimbourne. Look for the Ashley Heath roundabout and underpass, if you are driving from Ringwood on the A31.
On approaching the forest there is a tall Indian totem pole that has many carvings of insects and butterflies, I didn’t see any natives doing a ceremonial dance round it; it was already raining.
There is a car park that is under trees; through you have to be careful, as there are many cyclists and walkers. There is also a picnic area by the car park, and parking for the disabled. Here there is a restaurant and shop with washrooms for the disabled, the café is in a barn like building which has old oak beams and plaster walls.
You can purchase a hot chocolate here with cream and Flake, for £1.60. There is a display of wildlife photography by the local photographer, which are on sell in the shop. There are wardens and rangers on hand to answer any queries. They can be contacted on 01425-570721.
You can also hire bikes and tandems, including a bike with a wheelchair fixed to the front that you could cycle round all the different areas. Some of the best cycle path’s are marked with a post with a coloured arrow painted on it, the main route is two miles long with three circular routes marked off this circuit which can extend the ride up to 6 miles if you wish. The course is marked on the map with coloured dots, locks essential. There is a £25 deposit that I found a bit steep, something we’ll consider next time.
There is a lake and lots of picnic areas and children’s play area, through it’s a bit off putting when it rains. You can also hear the drag racing course on Sundays, which we thought was Matchams
There is also a miniature steam railway set out like the real McCoy with real steam which is pretty impressive, cost £2.50 for adults to have a ride which last 20 minutes.
The carriages are rather small so you have to sit a stride with feet on either side of the carriage with your knee's up to your ears! the carriage wobbled when anyone got on. We started off and went round the lake towards a miniature station called Kingsmere that is like a small version of London waterloo, with the tall roofs and platforms.
Here everyone has to change then the train shunts up the track to change lines and rolls backwards to pick up passengers from the other side. There is a shop here, and a model railway shop and buffet. Part of the journey includes going through long tunnels, we were on a train that had children who screamed shrilly every time we went through one which was quite deafening! The railway is open everyday from Late May to early September, 1045am to 5pm.
There are a lot of walks and one of them is called the Family Walk that takes about 30 minutes. You can pick up a map to chart your way and it passes through some glorious countryside by the lake where people can go fishing, if you look at the water you can see ripples in the water where fish come up to catch the flies.
On the way we stopped to look at Kingsmere Station, which by then had closed for the day. All the trains were in and two black and white cats were perched lazily upon them, there is also a model train that children can operate for about 50p.
Another walk is the Play Trail which is quarter of a mile long, leading you through the forest which had graveled surfaces. Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, (which we used on the Family Trail). There are woodland play structures like Giant Wood Ants nests, crocodile Crossings and possibly Crocodiles, and the mushrooms. Warning: May cause hallucinations.
Sign Posted off t
his trail is the Tree Top Trail, which is quarter of a mile ring taking you into a 200-meter wooden pathway through the treetops. This path is not appropriate for pushchairs or wheelchairs or fizzy drinks come to think, but there is an adjoining path from the beginning to the end.
You can hire gas barbeques from the Visitor center, an 18th century timber barn, wheelchair access is also on hand. There are no littler bins at the park, as you are required to take your rubbish home with you. There is lots of flora and fauna and educational activities held each year, there is also an activity pack for schools and groups.
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