“ Rawdon Road (B586), Moira, Nr Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Derbyshire DE12 6GA, United Kingdom. Tel: 01283 216633. Fax: 01283 210321. „
Conkers so where is it?
Rawdon Road (B586)
5 minutes from Junction 11 M42.
How much does it cost?
Adult £7.95 including gift aid £7.23 without
Child (3 - 15) £5.95 including gift aid £5.41 without
Child (0 - 2) £0.00 £0.00
Family £24.95 (2 adults 2 children)
Concessions £6.95 including gift aid £6.32 without
And most importantly what is it?
Conkers is a attraction for children's and adults alike in The Heart of the National Forest it has an amazing mix of indoor and outdoor attractions for all ages.
So here are some of the amazing things you can do at Conkers....
As soon as you enter Conkers you are whisked into the world of seasons on the floor you will see an interactive floor display where leaves are scattered for Autumn and as you run through the leaves move around your feet.
To your left behind the pictures of seasons is where the indoor fun begins. There are over 100 interactive things to do. Including games on recylcling, learning about trees, birds, insects for young and old alike and then there is the Enchanted Forest which is like an adventure playground with a difference not only can kids and adults climb crawl and slide around. They can also interact with the displays on ant hills and flowers its magically entertaining and lets just say I was not the biggest kid enjoying the indoor playground with a twist, there were plenty of grandparents sliding down the tunnels and crawling through the sky high nets, it was wonderful to see old and young all enjoying themselves. We spent around an hour in the indoor section learning about lots of different things.
You then move onto the...
The outdoors is split into sections which are divided by a train ride. One thing I did find a little strange here was you were not able to walk from one section to another without exiting and then queing to re enter at the entrance, so basically you have to wait for the train which runs every 15 minutes. I will refer to Part 1 outdoors as the part where you first go when you come out the doors from inside.
Part 1 outdoors....
Right here you can walk around the woodlands following the paths and seeing what you can discover.
You can take part in the adult and teenager assult course which I found to be great. It involves climbing over log walls. Climbing high up into wooden structures and scrambling back down through nets. Balancing across net bridges, flying down zip lines. It kept us busy and took about 25 minutes for us to finish more for the fact I was a little scared of some of the climbing things and had visions of falling lol. I had my boyfriend saying 'you can do were not moving on til you have done it' lol so I persevered and did it all, well except one which I physically could not pull myself up. My arms hurt the next day put it that way, I have very little upper body strength!
Next up we had a little walk to the viewing tower where actually there was not much more to see than we could see from the top of the hill it was anyway but never mind.
Barefoot walk up next. Now my boyfriend initially was not up for this one but I was going to do it regardless so he caved and followed. This was a unique experience of walking through and over a variety of things barefoot. These included cold water which was muddy so you couldn't see what was in it, some water basins felt quite hard others were smooth. We walked through mud, clay, straw, coals, slate. It was brilliant and we were very dirty at the end. There is a large floor sink to wash your feet in at the end which everyone stands in so as you can imagine it does get dirty it then has a 'foot dryer' for you to use. My tip here is take a towel with you it's so much easier to dry your feet with a towel than with a less than powerful hand dryer.
Next up the train to part 2 of outdoors.
You get off the train at a big adventure playground for children. There is a smaller and older section here I would definately watch you children on this when we went it was a giant free for all and some of the equipment was very very high. With big gaps on the stairs I took the kids from nursery before and it gave me the horrors though they are smaller all under 5 for older kids this would be better.
On this side there is also another indoor playground for children with lots of climbing, sliding and fun to be had. There is also a cafe to sit and relax.
In part 2 you can also take a woodland walk and visit the amphitheatre where different events are held such as an animal man. I read on a poster they also host concerts here on a night time.
So what else...
Eating there are a couple of cafes I ate in the one in the indoor section I can not unfortunately say I was over impressed I had a bacon and brie bagette with crisps and when I say crisps I mean someone but 6 crisps on my plate lol. You can take a picnic in though and there is plenty of space to sit an denjoy especially around the large lake and also hidden in the woods so personally I would recommend you do this. The bagette experience also cost me £4.99 and £1.50 for a drink so it is over priced as well. This did not ruin my day though.
The toilet facilities I found to be clean and the staff were all friendly.
On your way out there is of course the gift shop selling some conkers based products as well as candles and other little nic nacks.
Overall Conkers is a great day out. On the day I went without children I spent 5 hours there and with nursery I spent 4 hours there due to time restrictions. So with your own children and familys you could definately spend a whole day there. Plenty to entertain the whole family.
Conkers is open all year except Christmas day and longer days February and March 10am-5pm and April - September 10am -6pm they advise you call 01283 216633 to check opening times in other months.
Just off the M42 near Swadlincote, Derbyshire, this attraction is very well signposted with the brown leisure signs, from all major roads.
A family ticket would usually cost around £25.00 at the moment, however we entered Conkers using our Tesco Clubcard Deals Vouchers, so it did not cost us anything in real hard cash.
The first thing you come to is a Visitor Centre. This contains various hands-on exhibits which are ideal for children of all ages.
One item that was a big success with our children was, in the entrance to the visitor centre, there is a large artificial tree with fibre optic twinkling lights. This looked really pretty.
After that, it is mainly open woodland areas, where you walk or play as you choose - in this sense, it could be anywhere, such as your local park or forest, which are free to enter.
There are various walks and trails, with rustic outdoor exhibits, and several ponds, and of course, the forest.
To be honest, although this was a pleasant day out, it was only really like any local park, and not worth £25.00 in my opinion.
I stumbled across this great day out, when searching the 'Derbyshire, great day out with the kids' website and thought we would give it a go. Conkers has its own website which is worth checking out before visiting as it has a list of special events that you may want to plan your trip around.
Also before visiting it is worth typing 'Conkers' into Google, we found some 20% discount tickets, that off of the already reasonable price of £24.95 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) makes it a very affordable day out.
Conkers itself is located in the National forest, which means the surrounding scenery is very pleasant. If you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day there are many picnic benches dotted around in the outside area. There is also a train you can take to another play area, or if you prefer you can walk, although this means leaving through the main entrance and walking part of the way through the car park.
Inside there is a discovery area which the kids loved, although for effect the lighting is set low, making it a little dark which I didn't really like. The best part of the day for us was the adult and teenager outside assault course, this created a lot of laughs. Although the children are not allowed to join in as the apparatus is too big, some people do allow their children on which creates a bit of a jam.
I would recommend this day out to other families, a very enjoyable day
We first went to Conkers in 2005 and it was fantastic, great value, clean, fun - an all round excellent day out. but we returned this year to find that very little maintainence had been carried out and many of the, once excellent, attractions are now very tired and the majority are broken or faulty. I understand that a lot of the work is carried out by volunteers and it is all in a good cause, building forests for the future and teaching about environmental issues, but it cost us £25 to get in and it offered little more than a local park, woodland or playarea, there is another forestry centre nearby that is free of charge - I'll be going there next time!! It makes me quite sad because we had such a fab time the first time that we went - Come on Conkers - pull your socks up!!
What do you do when you are faced with three moaning kids, who are only two days into the school holidays and are already sitting po faced on the sofa complaining that they are bored? Well the answer to that is simple. Take them to Conkers. If I say the word conker to you, some of you will think about those lethal weapons on pieces of string that regularly threaten to take someones eye out. The rest of you will probably think of trees. Thinking of trees in this case would be a good start. Deep in the heart of the National forest, is a great family day out, that costs little and will have the children burning energy until by the end of the day they go willingly to their little beds, shattered but satisfied. Conkers has been open for two years now. It was originally built to commemorate the millennium and I have to say that at a time when pollution is at an all time high and traffic congestion is hitting boiling point, this does seem a much more fitting commemoration to the millennium than the London Eye or the Doomed Dome. Conkers is 1000 acres of fun and adventure incorporating a massive assault-course,some great play-parks, a train ride and much more. Conkers is not all about climbing trees and big slides though, the idea is that through play and the hands on experiences, like water fun, pond dipping, mud monsters and den building, they can get children taking a closer look,and gaining a better understanding and appreciation of the world around them. The great thing about this adventure is that it takes place both indoors and out. The indoor section is split into four areas, discovery zones. In these area's children of all ages can learn about the creatures and plants that inhabit the forest. The most impressive exhibit in my opinion is a huge oak tree in the middle of the museum. Where the tree would meet the soil in the forest, in the exhibit the soil is not there and the floor is made of glass. The root struct
ure of the tree stretches out below your feet, highlighting the beauty and strength of the tree and it's roots. You can stand under the tree and look down at the roots.It's an amazing experience. Now my children are getting a bit older now, but believe you me they are just as inquisitive.The number of times I have walked around an exhibit with my heart in my mouth, worried that they will touch something they shouldn't and something will break. At Conkers, learning is through experience, so you might be glad to know that around every corner is a sign saying...Please touch the exhibits...Phew!! There is plenty to see and do in the discovery zones. My youngest was particularly taken by a display that gave you the chance to view something 'through the eyes of a spider.' There was also a huge living leaf for the children to crawl gleefully through. Another exhibit brings you face to face with a giant ant. For a minute there I thought I was Joan Collins in Valley of the Ants. There are craft areas where you can watch clever people make pottery and paint. There is a gift shop and a lovely coffee shop that overlooks a picturesque pond. I found the coffee shop clean and reasonable. When we go somewhere like this we usually take a picnic but if you forget or want something fancy, there are two lovely looking restaurants in the grounds. To keep with the natural feel of the place, the restaurants are made with natural wood and so don't stick out, or becomes eye sores in this beautiful park. If your little darlings still have too much energy to burn you might like to pop to the indoor soft play area. This is a new facility and looked loads of fun. The toilets were immaculate. They were tastefully decorated, clean and airy. Most importantly, they had loads of toilet paper. The disabled toilets were great too, plenty wide and very clean. As you walk around the woods and parkland's of Conkers, you cann
ot fa il appreciate the way that all the man-made scenery blends so well with the natural elements in the park. There are sculptures dotted all around the paths. The use of different textures and accessories make each one different. I have to admit to being a touchy feely person. I love the cold, smooth feel of marble and the lumpy bumpy feel of some of the rocks that have fused together over the years. I like to encourage my children to touch too, especially Mark who has autism. Touching is something he finds difficult and it was lovely to be able to explore lots of different textures together. The foot paths are well marked and along the way there are little plaques on the trees encouraging the visitor to look out for the homes of certain animals or the leaves of different trees. There are some sculptures that encourage water play, and areas where den building takes place. The paths are well kept and the park boasts full disabled access, which is quite rare for a park of this description. Apparently you can hire a scooter, but its best to ring ahead and book it, especially in the school holidays. If you are thinking that your teenagers would be bored to tears here you couldn't be further from the truth. Conkers plays host to the most impressive obstacle course I have ever seen. Made from all natural products, the course is huge and quite taxing. My kids love to get their dad climbing the ropes and scaling the walls with them. Poor man, its quite sad to see him puffing and blowing over the obstacles. There are height restrictions on the course, but they do allow parental discretion. While the older kids are testing their strength and agility, there is a really fun play-park for the little ones. Swings, slides, roundabouts. Everything you need for an hours peace and quiet. Conkers has its own rangers who run all sorts of activities during the day. My children made models of ants on one occasion and on another they were given big
lumps of mud and they made mud monsters. I can tell you they were a right mess by the time they had finished, but they had so much fun. There was a small cost for the extra events, I think I paid a pound for each child, but seeing as we got our model ants after and big smiley children, it was definitely worth the money. By the time we had done the course, played on the park, hid from dad, laughed as mum stepped in duck poo and eaten everything that wasn't tied down, we were shattered and caught the free train back to the park entrance. I would recommend Conkers to everyone. There is something to see and do for the young or the old. Disabled facilities are excellent and the rangers were really friendly and definitely knew their stuff. There was enough to see and do to fill two days and I am sure there is a lot more I haven't told you about. You will have to wait until we have been back and discovered even more of Conkers. I love a good roller-coaster like most people, but its nice sometimes to pull on some old clothes, get down and dirty and have a real family day out in a place where the children can experience the life and energy of the world about them, through play. What better way is there to learn! Don't take my word for it .Check out the web site, where you can take a virtual walk around the park and have a look at those obstacles. http://www.visitconkers.com/index.html Conkers is located five miles from junction 11 on the M42. Opening Times & Admission Costs Daily opening 10am - 5pm. From Good Friday we will close at 6pm £5.50 Adult £3.50 Children (3-15 years) Under 3's go free £15.95 Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £4.50 Concessions Annual Membership Passes and Special Group and Educational Rates available There is an additional charge for the new indoor adventure play. In my humble opinion, Conkers
is a fabulou s day out, with enough to do to keep you going till either you, or the kids fall over. Entrance is extremely reasonable for what the park has to offer and the staff are well trained, polite and look like they are there by choice and not obligation. We will definately be going to Conkers again during the summer holidays. Thanks for reading...Have a great time
There's a large sign on the M1 in Leicestershire proudly proclaiming "The National Forest", which is odd because there aren't any trees around. What's going on? A hoax? A cockup? Actually it's a sign 10 to 20 years ahead of its time. In 2020 this area will look very different. The key to the mystery lies in the area's industrial heritage. North west Leicestershire was once the coal mining heart of the midlands, with seams stretching all the way to Sheffield. When the industry collapsed in the 1990s, the countryside was left with an ugly legacy of slag heaps, rusting collieries and deep black slurry pits. But in a far-sighted piece of thinking, the county council, government and other agencies drew up a blueprint to regenerate the area. The result was The National Forest, the first major new forest to be planted in England for centuries. In truth they had very little room to manoeuvre because the land is unsuitable for homes. Under the scheme, hundreds of acres of the Leicestershire countryside will be planted with 1m trees. Some 300,000 trees have already been planted, with 700,000 more to go. The project got underway seven years ago and the vast majority of the trees are still in their infancy. Many areas have still not been planted. Hence the mysterious motorway sign. But those areas in the first waves of planting are already transforming the blighted landscape as the trees take root and grow. In the heart of the forest, near the small former mining town of Moira, you'll find a one-year-old theme park which has successfully blended patches of old woodland with thousands of new plantings. It's goes by the rather twee name of Conkers, which is the only annoying thing about the place. Built on the site of a former colliery, Conkers is marketed as "the hands-on experience at the heart of the National Forest". It has been so successful it has easily h
it its first year target of 300,000 visitors. If you've been to a Centreparcs theme park, you'll be familiar with Conkers. Leafy trails dotted with superb play areas for kids and cafes for weary parents. No bicycles unfortunately. On arrival you walk into a large Scandinavian-type building with a reception area, two shops stocked with (very expensive) local handicrafts and a cafe serving a full range of snacks and meals (not too pricey). Here you'll find a range of fun interactive exhibits to keep the kids (and mums and dads!) amused for an hour or two, longer on on a rainy day. You can travel in a woodland time machine, see a leaf breathe and pull all manner of levers. There's also an astonishing tree with its roots visible under a toughened glass floor. Outside is a lake, probably once used a for slurry or open cast mining, and a small water play area (watch out, it does get slippery). A stroll around the lake brings you to the station for the Conkachoo, a free miniature train, which takes you the short hop to an adventure park with big twisty slides, rope swings and obstacle courses, all built on wood chippings to cushion any falls. Kids love it. At weekends the area is packed with crowds, but if you come in the early morning on a weekday you can have the place to yourself. Worth the admission fee on its own. Nearby is a kiosk for refreshments and another mini-visitor centre with (slightly shabby) exhibits, an art gallery and a lakeside cafe. Relaxing on the lake boardwalk in summer sun with a cappuchino is heaven. Push deeper into the park and you'll find sculpture and leafy woodland trails. There are also vantage points over the treetops and even a small trail through the canopy. Follow a circular path (about a mile) and you'll come to a formidable assault course for adventurers aged 9+ . Be warned - it's tough. There are no mature trees here and one of
the joys of repeated visits to Conkers will be watching nature do its work. All in all a great day out for young and old alike. Three hours is probably the minimum to get around the entire site, which opens at 10am. If you've got the energy, there's a path outside the main entrance to nearby Sarah's Wood, which has a play area for disabled and able bodied children. It passes a canal basin which has been newly restored. Details: Where: The site is near the market town of Ashby de la Zouch. Use the A42 and follow the brown signs. Parking: Car parking is free and pentiful at the front of the visitor centre, off Rawdon Road. Price: Adult admission is £5.25 (concessions £4.25), child admission is £3.25 and under threes go free. A family tickets costs £14.95. Bring a picnic if its hot - there are large tables dotted around the lake. Other: All paths are well compacted and suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Tel: 01283 216633. Emai: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.visitconkers.com
Kids bored and still 3 weeks of the summer holidays to go, can’t face going to Alton Towers, live in or close to the Midlands then why not give Conkers a try. Conkers is a new interactive museum/theme park that has just opened near Ashby in Derbyshire. It is set in the new National Forest and its focus is nature and trees in particular. It consists of an exhibition hall and several acres of walks, picnic areas, adventure playgrounds, restaurants, craft shops and many other outside activities. The exhibition hall is large and has loads of interactive exhibits looking at trees, plants and animal life. Practically every exhibit has something to push, pull, turn or crawl through. As well as being educational it is also really good fun and you could easily spend at least an hour in there. Our kids 12 and 9 both really enjoyed themselves. If you can, get to the park early and make the exhibition hall your first stop, it does get crowded later on. Outside are two large areas which you travel between by means of a small train. This can involve a long wait for what is essentially a 3 min journey I would certainly try to avoid the return trip by walking, the path is not obvious but I think you can walk between the two areas. In the smaller of the two areas there is an adventure playground for 4-10 years which has all the normal swings, slides etc on. In addition there are a number of woodland and lakeside walks which are well marked and which contain lots of interesting information. The whole area is constructed on a former slagheap but you wouldn’t realise it unless you were told about it. There is also a natural amphitheatre in which I would expect shows would be put on at different times of the year. In addition there is a small restaurant and a number of Craft shops selling various goods. In the larger of the two areas they have built an assault course suitable for children of 9+ years and adult
s?, it is quite demanding in places but you are able to cheat and miss the difficult sections out. All of the different bits are made out of wood and are quite spectacular to look at. There are also a number of other outside exhibits that you can try as well as nature walks and a maze that you can get lost in. There are also plenty of places to eat a picnic especially on a nice day, although there are two cafe/restaurants serving reasonable food. Most of the trees are newly planted and all are labelled, it will look fantastic in a few years time although its pretty good now. Inside the main exhibition hall there are a number of gift shops which have nature as their theme, so you can always find something suitable to take home as a memento Allow at least 4 hours more if the weather is fine. Suitable for ages 4-14 years. Admission, a family ticket cost £12-95. Excellent value It opens at 10.00 am try to get there early, so you can try all the exhibits before the crowds build up
Let the kids (and adults) go Bonkers at this lovely, newly extended and refurbed visitor attraction. On walking into the new area you are greated by a large area with a tree growing out of the ground on a see through floor, under the floor you can see the roots of the tree in really fine detail, something that you wouldn't usually see of course. Going through into the exhibition area there are hundreds of buttons to press, binoculars to look through and simple quizzes to complete. All with an educational slant to them learning about nature and the life of a woodland area, the life of a tree, what happens at nightime etc.. There is a cafeteria in this area selling full three course meals to light snacks and cakes, the service in the restaurant is a little slow. Outside of this area there is a large assault course/adventure play area. Something for the older kids. Then board the train which will take you through to the old side of the park. In this area there is the most fabulous large play area for children ideally suited to 2 to 13 year olds. The apparatus is very much in keeping with the environmment with a rustic kind of feel and the area is very safety concious with barking on the floor and a fence all around. Adults are encouraged to use the equipment with their children too. Inside in this area is another licensed restaurant, and an amphitheatre where several concerts are held each year ranging from Jazz to Brass bands playing. There is a lovely decking area that goes out over a lake that houses chairs and tables to sit and have a leisurely cuppa! There are several walks to take through the woodland area's and some craft workshops. Conkers have a timetable of events that they offer throughout the year that range from concerts to woodland walks for the kids to collect plants etc. and craft workshops especially for the young members to be involved in. They do most of these in school holidays. <
br> All in all Conkers offers a lovely family afternoon or morning out. They offer annual passes for anyone living in the national forest @ £24 within the local area for a family of four and £40 for the wider area. If you live out of the national forest completely then a family ticket will cost £12.95 for 2 adults and 3 children. Other individual prices are available. There is ample car parking, baby changing facilities and disabled facilities. Lots of places to buy ice cream and some really lovely shops selling quality products. There are lots of brown signs which will enable you to find the place very easily as it is situated in quite a remote part of Leicestershire.