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England Countryside And Animals

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Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre
Essex
Eastern Counties
Church Rd, Layer de la Haye
Tel. 01206 738172
Open: year round, daily except Mon, 9am-5pm; closed Christmas and Boxing Day
Nature reserve located by reservoir; designated Site of Special Scientific Interest; bird watching with five hides; shop; parking

Abbotsbury Swannery
Dorset
South-west Counties
New Barn Road, Abbotsbury
Nr Weymouth DT3 4JG
Tel. 0 1305 871 858
Natural wildlife habitat of colonies of nesting mute swans with paths through the coastal area; first established by monks in 1040s; swans fed at noon and 4pm daily; mid May-late June cygnets hatch; tea-room; shop; parking
Web: Abbotsbury Swannery

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm
Shropshire
West Midlands
Wenlock Lodge, Acton Scott
Church Stretton
Signed from A49 near Church Stretton
Tel. 0 1694 781 307
Open: mid April-first week Nov; 10am-5pm Wed-Sun, from 1-5pm on Tue; closed Mon
Demonstrates life on a Shropshire upland farm at the turn of the 20th century; shire horses, farmyard and field animals; milking and butter churning; demonstrations; weekly displays by blacksmith and other craftsmen; yearly special events such as sheep-shearing, lambing, cider making and steam powered threshing; picnic area; self-serve cafe; shop; holiday self-catering houses; bed and breakfast; camping; parking
For photos and full details see our article Acton Scott Historic Working Farm
Web: Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

Aira Force Waterfall
Cumbria
North-west Counties
A592/A5091, off western shore of Ullswater
7 miles south of Penrith
Car Parks: Aira Force and Glencoyne Bay
National Trust property; information boards; tearoom nearby at Watermillock; walks up the hill beside the river lead to small waterfall; set in 12,782 acres of fell, woodland and farmland

Aldenham Country Park
Hertfordshire
Eastern Counties
Elstree
Tel. 020 8953 9602
Open: Nov-end March, 9am-4pm; April and Oct, 9am-5pm; May-end Sep, 9am-6pm
Rare breeds farm; woodland trails; lakeside walks; playground; parking fee charged; picnic area; refreshments

Anderton Boat Lift
Cheshire
North-west Counties
Lift Lane
Anderton
Northwich, Cheshire CW9 6FW
Tel. 0 1606 786 777; for fast track ticket phone 0 1606 872 868
Open: 10am-5pm, some days 11am-4pm, closed various days (mostly Dec and Jan), days open vary greatly so best to check the website
Known as the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’ the boat lift was built in 1875; boat trips to Northwich town swing bridge and return (30-40 minutes); river trips; interactive exhibition, café, shop, picnic areas
Web: Anderton Boat Lift

Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre
Rutland
East Midlands
Egleton Nature Reserve; Egleton
Tel : 0 1572 770651
Open: daily except Christmas and Boxing Day
Internationally famous nature reserve; environmental display; viewing gallery; 22 bird hides (fee charged for use) and nature trails with experts to help with identification; home of Anglian Water Osprey project; famous for its tree sparrows; parking
Web: Rutland County Council

Ashridge Estate
Hertfordshire
Eastern Counties
Ringshall, Berkhamsted
Between Northchurch and Ringshall, just off B4506; between the A5 south of Dunstable and the A41
Tel. 01442 851227
Open: daily, all year; visitor centre open from end March-end Oct, 1-5pm, weekdays; also open weekends during summer
Estate owned by National Trust; woodland, common, and downland walks; Ivinghoe Beacon gives views over countryside; shop, tearoom; car park at Steps Hill

Askham Bog Nature Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Two miles south-west of York city centre
From eastbound A64, take A1036, follow the road to traffic lights; turn left into the car park just before the next set of lights
Tel. NA
Open: daily, year round
Ancient relict fen and bog flora and fauna; dam with beavers; woodlands with roe deer; wetland plants include great fen sedge, bog myrtle, water violet and gingerbread sedge; in winter large flocks of redpoll and siskin; summer breeding woodcock and lesser spotted woodpeckers; car park

Attenborough Nature Reserve and Centre
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
Barton Lane, Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, NG9 6DY
off the A6005 between Beeston and Long Eaton
Tel. 0115 9721777
Open: Centre on Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun from 9am-6pm; reserve open daily 7am-dusk; café until 4.30 weekdays and 5.30 weekends
Site of Special Scientific Interest; reserve consists of 145 hectares of flooded gravel pits and islands; habitat for wide range of plants, birds and other wildlife; important site for winter wildfowl: shoveler and diving ducks, mallard, teal, and wigeon; education, visitor, and conference facilities; café, shop, displays
Web: Attenborough Nature Centre

Ayres Visitor Centre
Isle of Man
Ayres Nature Reserve; signposted on Ballaghennie Rd west of Bride
Tel. 01624 801 985
Open: May-Sep, daily except Mon
Displays of local flora and fauna, books, gifts; nature trail through coastal sand dunes; carpark; operated by Manx Wildlife Trust

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Bardsea Country Park
Cumbria
North-west Counties
On the A5087 at Bardsea, Ulverston
Tel. NA
Open: open countryside
Coast and woods area extending from Wadhead Hill to Sea Wood; views across Morecambe Bay to Lancashire coast; seabirds; picnic areas; walks in woodland of oak, ash, and wild cherry; boulders dating from the Ice Age

Basildon Park
Berkshire
South-east Counties
Lower Basildon, Reading
Tel. 0118 984 3040
Open: house, mid March-end Oct, Wed-Sun, noon-5pm; a few days in Dec (check NT website), Wed-Sun, noon-4pm; grounds and restaurant, Wed-Sun, 11am-5pm; shop same days, times vary
National Trust property; 18th century Palladian mansion with plasterwork and staircase, furniture and paintings; 19th century pleasure grounds, parkland with woodland walks; picnic area; restaurant; parking

Bempton Cliffs RSPB Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Near Bridlington on Yorkshire’s east coast
On cliff road from Bempton (B1229); in the village turn north at White Horse pub for one mile (brown tourist signs)
Tel. 0 1262 851 179
Open: reserve open at all times; Visitor Centre open daily, March-Oct, 10am-5pm; Nov-Feb, 9.30am-4 pm; closed Christmas week.
England’s largest seabird colony with 200,000 seabirds that include puffins, gannets, guillemots, and kittiwakes; cliff top trail with five viewpoints looking over the sea and chalk cliffs; guided walks available; spring and summer best visiting times; parking--fee charged, picnic area

Bishop’s Waltham Moors Nature Reserve
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Bishop’s Waltham
Tel. 0 1703 456 484
Open: not given
Flower rich wet meadows and fen with springs and mill pond

Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Located by the Humber Estuary
Off minor road through Reedness, Whitgift and Ousefleet towards Adlingfleet; marked with brown tourist signs.
Tel. 01484 861 148
Open: daily, 9am-9m or dusk if earlier
RSPB reserve with six hides overlooking lagoon; over 270 species of birds; tidal reedbed is breeding ground for bearded tits, marsh harriers, avocets, and bitterns; wintering ducks; tree sparrows, whitethroats; hundreds of species of rare and specialist insects; six guided walks through the reserve; parking; picnic area

Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Short distance from Bolderwood car park in the New Forest
Tel. NA
Open: open site
Viewing platform for fallow deer on a meadow; walks; picnic area

Bolton Abbey Estate
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Off A59 between Skipton and Harrogate, Wharfedale
Tel. 0 1756 718 009 (estate office—Mon-Fri)
Open: estate open year round, attractions varying times
Over 80 miles of footpaths in moorland, woodland, and riverside walks; riverside picnic sites; nature trails and wildlife. Strid car park: access to nature trails, children’s trails, shop, exhibition, Christmas trees, oak woodland. Sandholme riverside car park: Strid Wood nature trails entrance, nearby restaurant, café shop, 20 minute walk to the Strid with viewpoint of river Wharfe at narrow gorge. The Priory: ruins of 12th century priory and in use parish church; Barden Tower: ruined fortified dwelling with tea-room in adjacent 15th century priest’s house. Bolton Abbey village: shop, post office, tea-room. Fishing available
Web: Bolton Abbey Estate

Borrans Park
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Ambleside, LA22 0EN, off the A591
Tel. NA
Open: open site
Park with views over the lake and fells; picnic area; site of Roman road and fort called Galava; interpretation information on the fort

Botley Wood Nature Reserve
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Between Wickham and Titchfield
Tel. 0 1329 662 145
Open: phone for further information
Extensive footpaths; local greenway; rich in insect life

Box Hill
Surrey
South-east Counties
The Old Fort, Box Hill Rd, Tadworth
One mile north-east of Dorking; 1.5 miles south of Leatherhead
Tel. 0 1306 885 502
Open: countryside open site; shop and information centre open daily, April-end Oct, 11am-5pm, Oct-end Dec and Jan-end March, until 4pm; snacks daily year round, varying times
National Trust property; part of the North Downs; chalk grassland with over a dozen species of orchid; butterflies; rare box trees; walking paths; views; shop; information centre; snacks; mountain bike hire; guided walks; car park

Bradgate Country Park and Visitor Centre
Leicestershire
East Midlands
Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford
Tel. 0 116 236 2713
Open: park daily until dusk; Visitor Centre open in summer Tue-Sun, noon-5pm; in winter weekends only, 1-4pm
Leicestershire’s largest country park (former hunting park) with grass, bracken, tracks, trees, 146 acres of ancient woodland, herds of red and fallow deer; river Lin valley; folly “Old John Tower”. Extensive ruins of red brick Tudor Bradgate House, birthplace of Lady Jane Grey; displays on the park at the visitor centre (book and gift shop, café). Pay car park; shop at Newton Linford car park; picnic area; refreshments; guided walks and tours throughout season.

Brimham Rocks
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Off B6265 near Summerbridge
Tel. 01423 780688
Open: site all year, daily, 8am-dusk; exhibition, 11am-5pm June-end Sep, weekends in Oct; Sun in Nov and Dec
National Trust property; ice age and time have eroded gritstone to create hundreds of boulders in interesting shapes; views over Nidderdale

Broadway Tower and Country Park
Worcestershire
West Midlands
1.5 miles east of Broadway
Tel. 01386 852390
Open: April-Oct, daily, 10.30am-5pm; Nov-March, Sat and Sun, 11am-3pm
1790s tower building with exhibition; 35 acres of parkland, picnic area and adventure playground for children

Brockhampton Estate and Lower Brockhampton
Herefordshire
West Midlands
Greenfields, Bringsty
Two miles east of Bromyard, off the A44
Tel. 01885 488 099 (info line); 01885 482077
Open: estate open daily year round during daylight hours; house open March-mid March weekends, noon-4pm; mid March-end March, Wed-Sun, noon-4pm; April-end Sep, Wed-Sun, noon-5pm; Oct, noon-4pm, Wed-Sun; BH Mon, noon-5pm
National Trust property; 1000 acres of farmland and 700 acres of woodland with walks, ruined chapel, wildlife, woodland sculptures; black and white gatehouse; 14th century moated manor house with medieval great hall, minstrel’s gallery; picnic area; tea-room

Brockhole: Lake District National Park Visitor Centre
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Brockhole, halfway between Ambleside and Windermere on the A591
Tel: 0 1539 446 601
Open: daily year round except 25 Dec; visitor centre and shop, in winter until 4pm, 10am-5pm; gardens and playground, 10am-dusk, in winter 8.30am-7pm
grounds, daily, year round, dawn-6pm; house and shop, June-Oct, 10am-4.30pm; Oct-May,
Exhibitions on the park; AV show; café; shop; picnic area; landscaped grounds; adventure playground; parking--fee charged
Web: Brockhole, Lake District National Park Visitor Centre

Brockholes Nature Reserve
Lancashire
North-west Counties
Near Samlesbury, at junction 31 of M6
Tel. 0 1772 872 000
Open: April-end Oct, 10am-5pm; Nov-March, 10am-4pm; closed 25 Dec
Lancashire Wildlife Trust wetland; ancient woodland; hay meadow; wetland areas; exhibition area; walking trails; home to lapwings, sand martins, little ringed plover; kingfishers, whimbrels, skylarks and many more; floating visitor centre; shop; play area; restaurant; picnic tables; local food store; special events; parking charge
Web: Brockholes

Brocks Hill Country Park and Visitor Centre
Leicestershire
East Midlands
Washbrook Lane, Oadby
Tel. 0116 257 2888
Open: year round, Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm, on Sat and Sun until 4pm; open BH
67 acres of woodland, ponds, and wildflower meadows; café; environmentally friendly building design.

Brownsea Island
Dorset
South-west Counties
Tel. 01202 707744
Open: 3rd week March-third week July and Sep, 10am-5pm, daily; until 6pm from 3rd week July-end Aug; Oct, 10am–4pm
Island in Poole Harbour; National Trust property; woodland and heath; pinewoods, shoreline, lagoon; red squirrels, deer, and wading birds. Dorset Wildlife Trust manages nature reserve (entrance fee) on the island; bird hides, nature trail; visitor centre; shop; cafe. Scout and Guide heritage trail and centre; ferry and landing charges.

Burton Mere Wetlands
Cheshire
North-west Counties
off A540 outside Burton village; nearest town is Neston
Tel. 0 151 353 8478
Open: daily; reserve, 9am-9pm or dusk; reception, 9.30am-5pm
RSPB property; remote location; fully accessible 900m path by mere; nature trails; hides; black tailed godwit, buzzard, linnet, kingfisher, little egret; car park; drinks; picnic area; special events

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Calf of Man
Isle of Man
The Sound
Tel. 01624 832 339
Open: April-Sep, cruises from 10am, weather permitting other times.
Daily boat trips to this island, no facilities on the island.

Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve
Durham
North-east Counties
South of Peterlee, between the A19 (signposted) and A1086 roads
also signposted from Peterlee town centre
Tel. NA
Open: not given
Site of special scientific interest and national nature reserve along heritage coast; largest area of semi natural woodland in North-east England; yew, oak, and ash trees; rocky outcrops and steep cliffs; birds include woodcocks, sparrowhawks, thrushes, redwing, and nuthatches; 450 species of plants including primrose, wild garlic, wood anemones, mosses, ferns, and bluebells; roe deer, fox and other mammals; car park

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre
Dorset
South-west Counties
Lower Sea Lane, Charmouth
Dorset DT6 6LL (three miles from Lyme Regis)
Tel. 01297 560772
Open: 10.30am-4pm; in winter open Wed-Sun only; call to confirm as school groups sometimes take over
Interactive computer and hands-on displays, fossil information and identification, film on fossils; events during the year include fossil hunting weekends, tidal pool explorations, and other marine activities
Web: Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

Cheddar Gorge
Somerset
South-west Counties
Northwest of town of Cheddar
Tel. NA
Open: open countryside
Largest gorge in UK, reaching 500 ft in parts; wildlife include peregrine, buzzard, tawny owl, kestrel, green woodpecker, raven, dormouse, clouded yellow butterflies, greater horseshoe bat, great crested newt; road at base and footpaths along top of the gorge

Chesil Beach Centre
Dorset
South-west Counties
Portland Beach Road
Tel. 0 1305 760 579
Eighteen mile long shingle beach with nature reserve information centre; lagoon a site of Special Scientific Interest; 300 different species of migrating birds
See our photos and more information at Portland and Chesil Beach

Chew Valley Nature Reserve
Somerset
South-west Counties
Chew Lake, B3114 south from Chew Stoke; left for West Harptree; head north-east on A368
Open: not given on Avon Wildlife Trust website
Reed beds, wintering wildfowl; reed warblers, sedge warblers, shoveler, gadwall, teal and tufted duck; great crested grebe, cormorant, winter gull and many more; dragonflies in summer; visitor centre; café; car parking at Herriot’s Bridge

Chislehurst Caves
Kent
South-east Counties
Old Hill, Chislehurst
Near Chislehurst station and Bickley Arms pub
Tel. 020 8467 3264
Open: daily except 25 Dec and 1 Jan, Wed-Sun, by 45 min guided tour only, leave on the hour from 10am-4pm
Lamp lit tour includes tunnels used as WWII shelters; attractions include Caves Church, Druid Altar, Haunted Pool and much more; shop; restaurant; parking; private tours available
Web: Chislehurst Caves

Chorlton Water Park
Greater Manchester
North-west Counties
Maitland Ave, Chorlton, Manchester
Tel. 0161 881 5639
Lake with canoeing, windsurfing, fishing; picnic and woodland areas

Churchtown Farm Community Nature Reserve
Cornwall
South-west Counties
On border of Saltash
Open: countryside, open site
Cornwall Wildlife Trust Reserve member; in Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; guided walks; wildlife habitats; views up the Lynher Estuary

Clare Castle Country Park
Suffolk
Eastern Counties
Malting Lane, Clare
Tel. 0 1787 277 491
Open: park is open site
History trail of the park that has remains of 13th century stone castle keep on 70 ft high motte, inner and outer baileys; visitor centre; former railway station and goods yard with displays; views of Clare town from castle; nature trail; parking

Clare Castle Country Park
Suffolk
Eastern Counties
Malting Lane, Clare
Tel. 0 1787 277 491
Open: park is open site
History trail of the park that has remains of 13th century stone castle keep on 70 ft high motte, inner and outer baileys; visitor centre; former railway station and goods yard with displays; views of Clare town from castle; nature trail; parking

Close Sartfield Nature Reserve
Isle of Man
Reached from A3 turn onto B9 between Ballaugh village and Sulby Glen, take 3rd tun on right and follow rd for one mile, entrance and car park on track on the right.
Part of Ballaugh Curragh wetland; bird hide, reached by paths and boardwalks near entrance; landscape of meadows and willow carr; breeding species of birds
Read more in our article Manx Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves

Clumber Park
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
Clumber Park, near Worksop
Tel. 01909 476592 or 01909 544917 (info line)
Open: park, all year, daily, dawn to dusk; kitchen garden, shop, restaurant, various times and days depending on month of year, check National Trust website for full details; closed 25 Dec and concert day in August
National Trust property; 3800 acres of parkland, woods; picnic areas; cycle rental; walled kitchen garden, greenhouses growing old varieties of vegetables; Gothic revival church; lake; largest lime tree avenue in Europe; grassland; Discovery Centre with interactive exhibitions; special events; restaurant; shop; parking

Cogges Manor Farm
Oxfordshire
South-east Counties
Cogges Manor, Church Lane, Witney
Tel. 0 1993 772 602
Open: see website for full details as not given for the entire year
Historic farmyard; working farm; 13th century manor house; cooking demonstrations on weekends and BH; Victorian rural life portrayed; play area; farm machinery; farm animals; walled garden;
café; shop; parking
Web: Cogges Manor Farm

Cooildarry Nature Reserve
Isle of Man
Two entrances: one opposite road to Glen Wyllin campsite on Peel to Kirk Michael road, second on TT course, one mile south-east of Kirk Michael.
Wooded valley, part of Glen Wyllin with waterfalls, birds, and wildflowers.

Corfe Common
Dorset
South-west Counties
Corfe
Tel. 0 1929 480 609 (National Trust Education Office)
Open: year round, daily
Dorset’s largest working common with varied habitats; leaflet Exploring Corfe Common available from National Trust shop in the village

Cotswold Farm Park
Gloucestershire
South-west Counties
Guiting Power, near Stow-on-the-Wold
Tel. 01451 850307
Open: mid March-first week Sep, 10.30am-5pm, daily; in Oct, on weekends
Rare breeds on display--cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, goats; shop; walks; caravan and camping site; play barn for children
Website: Cotswold Farm Park

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
Oxfordshire
South-east Counties
Two miles south of Burford, on the A361
Tel. 0 1993 823 006
Open: year round, daily; Oct-Feb,10am-5pm; during British Summer time, open till 6pm
Set in 160 acres of parkland and gardens around a listed Victorian Manor House; four sections include birds, primates and small mammals, large mammals and farmyard, and reptile and insect house; adopt an animal scheme; restaurant; shop; parking
Web: Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Creswell Crags
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
On the B6042 between the A60 Worksop-Mansfield road and the A616
Tel. 0 1909 720 378—phone ahead to find out times of cave tours and to book a place
Open: Museum and Education Centre Feb-Oct, 10.30am-4.30pm, other months Sun only
Prehistoric caves in a limestone gorge
Web: Cresswell Crags

Cronk y Bing Nature Reserve
Isle of Man
Near the southern tip of the Ayres, on A10; take the track to the beach south of Lhen Bridge, car parking at seaward end of track. Wide dune area and shoreline; birds

Crowlink and Birling Gap
East and West Sussex
South-east Counties
Five miles west of Eastbourne, south of Friston via East Dean to Beachy Head road linking A259 and B2103, E Sussex
Tel. 0 1323 871 318
Open: open countryside
National Trust property; in South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; white cliffs of Seven Sisters; walks across downland with coast views; birds, butterflies; remains of Iron Age rampart and Bronze Age barrows; information boards; car park off A259 south of Friston Church and also at Birling Gap via B2013, NT members free, small charge for others

Croxteth Hall Country Park
Merseyside/Liverpool
North-west Counties
Five miles north-east of Liverpool city centre; follow signs for the A580 to St Helens
Tel. 0151 228 5311
Open: 10am-5pm, shorter hours in winter
500 acre country park; farm and garden
Website: Croxteth Hall Country Park

Cudmore Grove Country Park
Essex
Eastern Counties
East Mersea
Tel. 01206 383868
Open: year round, daily, 8am-dusk
Long sandy beach adjoining large area of clifftop, grassland, and marshes; designated nature reserve. Information room with refreshments on Sundays in the summer; ranger guided walks.

Cumberland Bird of Prey Centre
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Thurstonfield, about 6 miles west of Carlisle
Tel. 0 1228 576 158
Open: for activity days and courses only; phone first or visit website
Provides falconry and hawking courses, activities, corporate events, shows, and displays
Web: Cumberland Bird of Prey Centre

Curraghs Wildlife Park
Isle of Man
Ballaugh
Tel. 01624 897 323
Open: mid April-end Oct, 10am-6pm, weekends during winter, 10am-4pm
100 species of animals and birds from around the world in natural wetland habitats; walk-through aviary; children's farm; nature trails; lakeside cafe; ark; play area; parking

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Dalby Forest Centre
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Low Dalby village
Near Thornton-le-Dale
Tel. 01751 460295
Open: daily, year round, 9.30am-4pm
Forestry Commission centre; displays and exhibitions about the moors; Astronomical Centre and Observatory; shop; restaurant

Daneshill Lakes Local Nature Reserve
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
Daneshill Rd, Lound near Retford
Tel. 0 1777 248 274
Open: open site
87 acre lake and woodland reserve with fishing and sailing

Devil’s Dyke Estate
East and West Sussex
South-east Counties
Five miles north-west of Brighton, West Sussex
Tel. 0 1243 814 554
Open: open countryside
National Trust property; largest chalkland combe in Britain; seven miles long-from Wolstonbury Hill to Newtimber Hill to Saddlescombe farm and Fulking Escarpment; in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; views north and south; downland butterflies and plants; many archaeological features from bronze age burial mounds to 1800s lime kilns; walks in woodland and open grassland; self guided trails with leaflets available in car park; parking free to NT members, otherwise small charge

Donkey Sanctuary
Devon
South-west Counties
Slade House Farm, Sidmouth
Tel. 0 1395 578 222
Open: daily, 9am-dusk; closed first two weeks Jan; nature centre open April-Sep
Registered charity with aim of protecting donkeys and promoting their welfare; over 500 donkeys on site; visitors meet the donkeys; field walks; visitor centre; shop; restaurant; parking; free
Web: Donkey Sanctuary

Dunstable Downs Countryside Centre and Whipsnade Estate
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Whipsnade Rd, Kensworth, Dunstable
Between the B4540 and the B4541
South-west of the A5 at Dunstable/Luton
Tel. 01582 608489
Open: all year; countryside centre open end March-end Oct, Tue-Sun, 10am-5pm; Sun, 10am-6pm
National Trust property; 510 acres of grass, farm land, walks, prehistoric burial mounds and earthworks

Dunwich Heath Coastal Centre and Beach
Suffolk
Eastern Counties
Dunwich, several miles north of Saxmundham
On minor roads off B1125
One mile south of Dunwich, signposted from the A12
Tel. 0 1728 648 505
Open: daily dawn to dusk
National Trust property; one of Suffolk’s most important nature conservation areas; walks; bird reserve of Minsmere; observation room in converted coastguard cottages; tea-room; shop

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Earystane Nature Reserve
Isle of Man
Follow A7 from Ballabeg or Ballagawne; turn at Colby onto A27 leading north uphill towards Ronague and the Round Table; pass Colby Glen on your left; at sharp right-hand bend beyond the last houses, a road sign points to Earystane on the left; wooden entrance gate to eserve is on right hand side of this minor road;
do not park where the road is narrow, on the Earystane road, or in field gateways; park in the wide section of the A27 two hundred metres east of the site, near the waterworks.
Boardwalk and bird hides; plants

Easton Farm Park
Suffolk
Eastern Counties
Easton
Tel. 0 1728 746 475
Open: Feb and Oct and half terms, daily, 10:30am-6pm; April-end Sep, Tue-Sun, 10.30am-6pm; open on Mon except during July and Aug
35 acre Victorian 'Model Farm' including a dairy; free pony rides, pet and feed animals; walks along River Deben; vintage working machinery; oldest working portable steam engine in the country; tea room; shop; holiday cottages; parking
Web: Easton Farm Park

Elvaston Castle Country Park
Derbyshire
East Midlands
Borrowash Rd (B5010)
Elvaston
Tel. 01332 571342
Open: year round, grounds 9am to dusk; old English garden open in the summer 10am-4pm, winter until 3.30pm—call first to check; car park open 9am-8pm summer and until 5pm in winter; shop open 11am-4.30pm daily from Easter-Oct and weekends from Nov-March.
Former home of earls of Harrington--building open once in a while; 250 acre country park and local nature reserve with ponds and reedbed, wet woodland and brook; waymarked walks; bridleway; picnic area; visitor centre with shop; bird hides; events; parking fee

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Fairburn Ings RSPB Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Fairburn village (A1246); turn right at Wagon and Horses pub; at T-junction turn right; reserve is 1.5 miles on the left. Close to Castleford, West Yorkshire in Aire Valley; five miles from Leeds
Tel. 0 1977 628 191
Open: daily, 9am-5pm (main car park); other car park always open; Visitor Centre open 9.30am-5pm weekends and BH, other days 9.30am-4.30pm; closed 25/26 Dec
RSPB reserve especially designed for families with pond dipping, child friendly events, hides, and walks; three trails with variety of habitat spotlight wildlife and birds including kingfisher, green sandpiper, chiffchaff, little ringed plover, reed warbler; winter birds include smews, goldeneyes, and goosanders; summer breeding wading birds include redshanks, snipe, and lapwings; boardwalk projects over the lake; picnic area; shop; drinks available

Fairlands Valley Park
Hertfordshire
Eastern Counties
Six Hills Way, Stevenage
Tel. 0 1438 353 241
Open: open parkland, attractions open various times
120 acres of parkland with watersports, dinghies, windsurfing, powerboat courses; walking; play area; café; parking; picnic area; wildlife and wildfowl; special events

Falconry Centre UK
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
In grounds of Sion Hill Hall
Kirby Wiske, near Thirsk
Tel. 0 1845 587 522
Open: daily, March-end Oct, 10.30am-5pm, flying displays at 11:30am, 1:30 and 3.30pm
Bird of Prey and Conservation Centre; birds on view include eagles, owls, vultures, falcons, and hawks; falconry courses offered; parking; tea-room
Falconry Centre

Far Ings National Nature Reserve
Lincolnshire
East Midlands
South bank of Humber estuary
One mile west of Barton-upon-Humber
Tel. 0 1652 637 055
Open: Visitor Centre, Easter-end Oct, Sat, Sun, Wed and BH, 10am-4pm; Thu-Fri, 1-4pm; Nov-Easter, Sat, Sun, Wed, 1-4pm
200 acre reserve with freshwater reedbeds and wildlife that includes bittern, marsh harrier, bearded tit, and water vole; Far Ings Visitor and Education Centre has views of the nearby pit and River Humber; teaching areas; bird hide; free parking; purpose built picnic areas; shop

Fell Foot Park
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Halfway between Ambleside and Windermere
On the A591 beside Windermere lake
Tel. 015395 31273
Open: park, year round, daily, 9am-5pm or dusk if earlier; café, April-end Oct, daily, 10am-5pm; rowboats for hire April-end Oct, daily, 11am-4pm
National Trust park; Victorian lawns and garden; Victorian boathouses have tea-room and shop; rowboats for hire April-end Oct, daily, 11am-5pm; summer activity programme; picnic area; adventure playground; free admission

Ferry Farm Country Park
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
Boat Lane, Hoveringham
Off the A612, Nottingham to Southwell road between Lowdham and Thurgarton
Tel. 0115 966 4512
Email: Ferry Farm Country Park
Open: mid March-end Sep, Tue-Sun; also open holiday Mon, 10am-5.30pm; Oct-mid March, Thu-Sun
Indoor barn, farmyard, adventure playground; restaurant; shop
Web: Ferry Farm Country Park

Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve
Essex
Eastern Counties
South Green Road, Fingringhoe, Colchester
Sign posted off B1025 Colchester to Mersea Island Road
Tel. 01206 729678
Open 9am-5pm Tue-Sun
Bird watching; grassland, heathland, and water habitats; events; shop

Folly Farm Wildlife Discovery Centre
Somerset
South-west Counties
A368 towards Bishop Sutton, then past turning to Chew Magna, take next small turning on left just before reaching Stowey
Open: not given on Avon Wildlife Trust website
Housed in 17th century farm buildings; bats; butterflies include small tortoiseshell, gatekeeper, marbled white, and rare marsh fritillary; ancient coppiced woodland with primrose, bluebell, and early purple orchid; wildflowers include betony, ox-eye daisy, and heath spotted orchid; among the birds are nuthatch, buzzard, tawny owl, and great spotted woodpecker; day and residental courses include gardening, herbal medicine, and wildlife film-making; guided nature walks; car park

Formby Beach
Merseyside/Liverpool
North-west Counties
Victoria Rd, one mile from Freshfield, Formby
Tel. 0 1704 878 591
Open: year round, daily, dawn-dusk; car park, winter and autumn, 9am-4pm, April-end Oct, until 5.30pm
National Trust property; sand dunes; beach (must go over dunes to reach); information boards; woodland; guided walks; picnic areas; special events; red squirrel walk; asparagus walk; car park—long queues in peak season

Fowlmead Country Park
Kent
South-east Counties
Sholden, on A258 two miles from Deal
Tel. 01634 899910
Open: information not posted on website
Cycling, birdwatching, nature walks; Fossil Wall is a unique site for geologists and fossil hunters, revealing a glimpse of life on earth 310 million years ago
Web: Fowlmead

Fradley Junction
Staffordshire
West Midlands
Airewas, Burton upon Trent
Tel. 01827 252 000
Open: daily all year; café daily 10am-4pm in winter, summer from 10am-5pm.
Meeting point of Trent and Mersey and Coventry canals; nature reserve, walks, café; boat day hire; tourist information centre; pub; guided towpath walks; bird watching

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Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve
Lincolnshire
East Midlands
between Skegness and the estuary of the River Steeping
Access points at Seacroft Esplanade at the southern end of Skegness and at two car parks on Gibraltar Road.
Tel. 01754 898057 for Wash Study Centre; 01507 526667 for Lincolnshire Trust
Open: April-end Oct, daily from 10am-5pm; Nov-end March, daily from 11am-4pm.
Coastline renowned for wildlife; first declared a reserve in 1949; sand dunes, freshwater mere, and salt marsh; diverse fauna, 35 species of birds include plover and redshank; Visitor Centre has exhibitions with interactive features and state-of-art technology and map; hides. Residential facilities for visiting groups and educational facilities in the adjacent Wash Study Centre. Café, shop
Web: Lincolnshire Trust

Gincase, The
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Mawbray Hayrigg, Silloth on Solway, CA7 4LL
Tel. 0 1697 332 020
Open: Feb-mid Dec, Tue-Sun, 10.30am–4.30pm; closed mid Dec-end Jan
Craft barn; tea-room; gallery; farm park with rare poultry, lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other traditional farm animals; playground
Web: The Gincase

Go Ape Forest Adventure
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Dalby Forest and 15 other locations in the UK
Tel. 0845 643 1726
Open: mid March-end Oct plus Feb half term and weekends in Nov and Dec; booking essential—through website or by phone
Award-winning high wire forest adventure course of rope bridges, tarzan swings and zip slides set high up in Dalby forest tree tops; visit website for all locations
Web: Go Ape

Great Notley Country Park and Discovery Centre
Essex
Eastern Counties
Great Notely, Braintree
Open: country park, dawn-dusk daily; Discovery Centre times not given
Adventure play trails for children; country park; bistro; cycle hire; charge car-parking

Greenwich Park
London
Greater London
Reached from London by Jubilee underground North Greenwich, then 188 bus;
by DLR to Cutty Sark station or Greenwich station;
buses and riverboats also available
Open: park--6am to pedestrians, 7am to traffic, year round; teahouse--9am-8pm in summer, until 4pm in winter; St Mary’s Gate Café--9am-8pm in summer, in winter weekends only
London’s oldest enclosed royal park with 180 acres; part of the World Heritage site and a Grade I listed landscape; chestnut avenues; location of the Prime Meridian and the Royal Observatory and museum; flower garden; boating lake; wilderness with deer; pavilion tea garden; children’s playground

Grizedale Park Visitor Centre
Cumbria
North-west Counties
On minor road in the Grizedale forest, reached from the B5285 near Hawkshead
Tel. visitor centre: 0 1229 860 010
Open: forest open site; visitor centre, Nov, Jan-end March, 10am-4.30pm; March-end first week July and second week Sep-end Oct, 10am-5pm; second week July-end Sep first weekend, 10am-5.30pm; Dec till 24th, 10am-4pm; check website for full details for some special days
Visitor centre, tearoom, shop; playground; exhibition; waymarked trails; sculptures
Web: Grizedale Park

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Hall Hill Farm
Durham
North-east Counties
On B6296, Near Lanchester
Tel. 0 1388 731 333
Open: daily June-mid Sep, 10.30am-5pm; selected times rest of year, view calendar on website
Working farm; family attraction; indoor playbarn; outdoor play area; tractor and donkey rides; small animal petting; cafe; parking; shop; birthday parties
Web. Hall Hill Farm

Ham Hill Country Park
Somerset
South-west Counties
Stoke sub Hamdon
Tel. 0 1935 823 617 (ranger’s office)
Open: open countryside
Walking and mountain biking; Iron Age hill fort; ancient Roman site; wildflower meadows; woodlands; site of geological interest; important fossils; views of south Somerset moors, Exmoor, and the Mendip hills; be aware of ticks, steep drops from old quarries and in summer a poison plant with upside down yellow blossoms causing severe skin problems; high car crime area

Ham Wall Wetland
Somerset
South-west Counties
From village of Meare down Ashcott Road to Ashcott Corner where entrance is located
Three miles west of Glastonbury in the Somerset levels and moors
Tel.01458 860494
Open: countryside, open site
RSPB wetland with over 200 hectares of reedbeds, wet scrub, and open water with woods and grassland on the edge; nature trails, viewing points, displays; events throughout the year; birds seen include bearded tit, Cetti’s warbler, gadwall, hobby, and starling; wading birds, owls, and roe deer at different times of year

Harrold-Odell Country Park
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Harrold-Odell Country Park
Carlton Rd, Harrold
Tel. 0 1234 720 016
Open: year round, open site
144 acres of countryside; Nature Reserve; two lakes; woodland; water meadows; Great Ouse river; walking; bird watching-160 species, ducks, geese; bats; wildlife; wild flowers; café; parking; picnic area
Web: Harrold-Odell Country Park

Hatfield Forest
Essex
Eastern Counties
Takeley, near Bishop's Stortford
Signposted off the A120
Tel. 01279 870678 or 01279 874040 (info line)
Open: forest, daily, all year, dawn to dusk;
National Trust property; ancient royal hunting forest; ancient coppiced and pollarded trees; rare and specialized wildlife; Discovery Room has displays on countryside, wildlife, art and history of the area; miles of walks and nature trails; fishing on lake; woodland products for sale; cafe near lake (closed Feb-3rd week March); pay car park

Hawkstone Park and Historic Follies
Shropshire
West Midlands
Weston-under-Redcastle, near Shrewsbury
Tel. 01948 841 700 or 01948 841 777
Open: days, times vary greatly; go to website below and click on Admission Hours for full details
100 acres of 18th century countryside creation with ravines, arches, bridges, cliffs, woodlands, and caves; allow minimum half day to visit; tea-room; shop; visitor centre; if possible bring your own torch for tunnels and caves as limited number for hire
Web: Hawkstone Park and Follies

Hay Bridge Nature Reserve
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Low Hay Bridge, Bouth, Ulverston, LA12 8JG
Rusland Valley, between Windermere and Coniston
Tel. 0 1229 861 727
Open: by membership and also pre-arrangement with warden
E-mail address for membership matters: Hay Bridge Membership
E-mail address for reserve matters/study centre bookings: Study centre
Habitats include woodland, pasture, open tarn, fen, raised bog, riverbank, and fell; wildlife includes red deer, roe deer, fox, otter, badger, brown hare, stoat, weasel, adder, grass snake, slow worm and common lizard; species of birds include tawny owl, green woodpecker, nuthatch, mistle thrush, hawfinch, stonechat, curlew, swallows, house martins, marsh warblers, and chiffchaffs;
butterflies include pearl-bordered fritillary, green hairstreak, meadow brown, small white, red admiral, peacock and holly blue; bats; wildflowers; mosses; Study Centre with information, field guides, exhibits and species list
Website: Hay Bridge Nature Reserve

High Head Sculpture Valley
Cumbria
North-west Counties
High Head Farm, Ivegill, Carlisle
Halfway between Penrith and Carlisle
Tel/Fax: 0 1697 473 552
Open: 10.30am-5.00pm, daily except Wednesdays; closed 24 Dec-mid Jan
Working dairy farm; tea-room; art gallery; life size sculptures in woodland valley; country walks; milking parlour; parking; charge for sculpture valley
Web: High Head Sculpture Valley

High Woods Country Park
Essex
Eastern Counties
Off Turner Rd, Colchester
Tel. 01206 853588
Open: year round, 7am-10pm in summer; until 7pm in winter
300 acres of grassland, woodland, and wetland; visitor centre, shop, walks, trails, events; drinks when visitor centre is open.

Highland Cattle Centre
Northumberland
North-east Counties
Dere St Farm
near Stocksfield, Northumberland
Access via B6309
Tel: 0 7968 865 591
Open: 10am-5pm, Tue-Sun, Easter-end Sep; Oct and Feb half term; other times by appointment
Dedicated Highland Cattle centre on 59 acre working farm offers visitors opportunity to learn more about the cattle and other animals including pigs, goats, and rabbits; hands on experience: cows can be combed, lambs fed, and eggs collected from chickens; rare breed sheep, alpacas, llamas, and goat; guided meadow walks and special events; car park; picnic area; café; shop; children’s play area
Website: Highland Cattle Centre

Hill Hole Quarry Nature Reserve
Leicestershire
East Midlands
Hill Lane, Markfield
Tel. 01455 238 141
Open: daily, dawn-dusk
Hay meadow, woodland, heath grassland, water-filled quarry

Holme Open Farm
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Sedbergh, on the A863
Tel 0 1539 620 654
Open: March-end Sep, Wed-Mon, daily, 11am-4pm
Traditional sheep farm; 12 breeds of dales cattle; goats; poultry; baby animals for children to hold; farm work demonstrations; nature trail; evening badger watches; fishing; cafe; shop; camping; parking
Web: Holme Open Farm

Honeysuckle Farm
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Bewholme Lane (off the B1244)
Hornsea, E Yorkshire
Tel. 0 1964 533 873
Open: 3rd week March-first weekend Sep, daily, 10am-5pm
Shire horses, fish, chickens, play barn, baby animals, ice cream made on the farm; milking demonstratin at 1.30pm; farm shop selling ice cream; tea room serving light refreshments; parking
Web: Honeysuckle Farm

Hop Farm Country Park
Kent
South-east Counties
Paddock Wood, Kent. TN12 6PY
Near Paddock Wood Kent, on the A228
Brown tourist signs from junction 4 of M20 or junction 5 of M25 onto A21 south; by train from London Charing Cross to Paddock Wood
Tel. 0 1622 872 068
Open: daily, 10am-5pm
Hop Story Museum; military museum; exhibitions; shire horse and animal farm; indoor and outdoor play areas; special events and holiday attractions; hands-on magic attraction; pottery and craft centre; garden shows; carousel and other fun fair rides; holiday weekends; restaurant; café; snack bar; shop; parking
Web: Hop Farm Family Park

How Stean Gorge
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Lofthouse
Pateley Bridge
North Yorkshire
HG3 5SF
Tel: 01423 755666
In the heart of Nidderdale; trails through the gorge and Tom Taylor cave; restaurant and tearoom; bike hire.

Hundred Acre Wood
East and West Sussex
South-east Counties
Ashdown Forest, near the village of Hartfield, East Sussex
Follow the path through the woods to the site of Pooh Bridge made famous by the Winnie-the-Pooh books; in the village are shops selling Pooh memorabilia

Hylands House and Park
Essex
Eastern Counties
Two miles from Chelmsford, A414
Tel. 0 1245 605 500 (house team office hours are Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
Open: Sun, Mon, and BHs, 11am-6pm
Grade II listed villa in 500 acre parkland and gardens; library, drawing room, banqueting room, Georgian cellar, exhibition on the house

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Ilam Park
Derbyshire
East Midlands
Ilam near Ashbourne
On the banks of the river Manifold
Tel. 01335 350245
Open: park all year, daily; tearoom and shop from 11am-4pm, until 5pm on summer weekends
Countryside walks; Youth Hostel in grounds; tearoom; shop; Learning and Discover Centre

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Kielder Water Forest Park
Northumberland
North-east Counties
B6320 from Otterburn to Bellingham, follow brown signs to Kielder Water & Forest Park; map on website
Tel. 0 1434 220 616 (Bellingham Tourist Information); Leaplish Waterside Park, 0 1434 251 000
Tower Knowe Visitor Centre 0 1434 240 436
Open: road through park open; attractions within park at various dates and times; check our article (link below) for specifics
Reservoir with 27 miles of lakeshore; visitor centre; waterside park; boat trips; woodland walks; birds of prey; observatory; parking parking is £ per day;; self-catering; family venue for a week’s stay; special events; several eating venues; great for families
For photos and more information see our articles Kielder Water Forest Park and Kielder Birds of Prey Centre for photos and more information
Web: Visit Kielder

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Lake District Coast Aquarium
Cumbria
North-west Counties
The Quay, Maryport
Tel. 0 1900 817 760
Open: year round, daily, 10am-5pm, closed Dec. 25 and 26
Natural history of the Solway; Cumbrian and other sea creatures include manta rays, tub gurnards, sharks, eels, and 2000 other specimens (150 species) in 35 tanks; shop; café; car park
Web: Lake District Coast Aquarium

Lake District Wildlife Park
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick, CA12 4 RD
Brown tourist signs on A591 and A66 from end of Bassenthwaite Lake
Tel. 0 17687 76239
Open: daily 10am- 5.30pm except closing at 4.30pm in winter; closed Dec 25 and Jan 1; last admission one hour before closing
Large variety of animals including wild boar, zebra, boa constrictor, gibbons, otters; shop, tea-room; play areas; parking
Web: Lake District Wildlife Park

Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Lowther by Penrith
Tel./Fax: 0 1931 712 746
Open: April-Oct, daily
British and foreign birds of prey include buzzards, kestrels, eagles, peregrines, and owls; flying displays; tea-room; craft shop; parking

Lakeland Maze Farm Park
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Sedgwick, Kendal, LA8 0JH
Tel. 0 15395 61760
Open: daily during school holidays, also weekends from April through September, 10am-5pm; maize open daily, 10am-6pm July-September; maize also open every Saturday night, 6pm-10pm in September
Web: Lakeland Maize Farm Park

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Hale, Milnthorpe, LA7 7FE, on the A6
Tel. 0 1539 563 027
Open daily, year round, 10am-5pm; closed 25-26 Dec
Working models; interactive displays; live animals includes starfish, snakes, chameleons, monkeys, flying foxes, and poison arrow frogs; projection microscopes to see marine life; butterfly hall; tropical hall with reptiles and birds; snakes; collections of bromeliads and other air plants; parking; café, snacks; shop; picnic area
Web: Lakeland Wildlife Oasis

Lakes Aquarium
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Lakeside, on the southern shore of Lake Windermere, off A590
Tel. 0 1539 530 153
Open: year round, daily, 9am-5pm, last admission 4pm; closed 25 Dec
Multi-level freshwater with 30 displays using the latest technology; set up to follow a river from felltop to Morecambe Bay; each area-mountain stream, river, lake, seashore, and bay-is decorated with Lake District murals and uses sound effects; AV show; interactive displays; shop; café
Web: Lakes Aquarium

Langley Park
Buckinghamshire
South-east Counties
Opposite Black Park
Off the A412 Slough-Uxbridge road
Tel: 01753 511060
Open: 8.15am (year round)-4.30pm in Jan, Feb, Oct, Nov, Dec; March, April, May, Sep until 7.30pm; June, July, Aug until 8.30pm
Estate made up of 130 acre historic Langley Park with ancient trees, arboretum and Temple Gardens with rhododendrons; horse-riding, cycling, walking; lake; picnic area; deer, fox and other wildlife; parking; for guided walks and map of trees visit the website
Web: Langley Park

Leith Hill
Surrey
South-east Counties
Leith Hill Lane, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey
One mile west of Coldharbour village
Tel. 0 1306 711 777
Open: open countryside; tower open Oct-end March, weekends, 10am-3.30pm; April-end Oct, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun, 10am-5pm
National Trust property; highest point in south-east England; 18th century gothic tower; rhododendrons and bluebells in May and June; woodland, heath and farmland walks; parking; light refreshments at tower during its opening; parking

Liberty’s Owl Raptor & Reptile Centre
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Crow Lane, Ringwood
Tel. 0 1425 476487
Open: March-Oct, daily, 10am-5pm; last admission 4pm; Nov-Feb, weekends only 10am-4pm; Feb half term, open daily, 10am-4pm
Birds of prey; daily flying displays; reptile house; cafe; shop; parking
Web: Liberty Owl, Raptor, and Reptile Centre

Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate
Gloucestershire
South-west Counties
Aldsworth near Cheltenham
Approach via A40, three miles east of Northleach
Tel. 01451 844130
Open: April-end Oct, Mon, Fri, and Sun, 11am-4pm, on Sat until 3pm; estate open all year daily
National Trust property; 4000 acres of countryside with walks; historic grandstand building; shop; parking

Longshaw Estate
Derbyshire
East Midlands
7.5 miles from Sheffield
Next to A625 Sheffield-Hathersage road
Also a carpark off the B6055 nearby
Open: estate open all year, daily; visitor centre open daily April, July and Aug, 10.30am-5pm; Sep and Oct, Wed-Sun, 10.30am-5pm; Nov-March, weekends, 10.30am-4pm
National Trust property; 1500 acres of open moorland and woodland with walks; wide variety of birds; program of events; tearoom, shop; visitor centre; visitor guide; Moorland Discovery Centre for education groups; Christmas tree sales; family activities

Lowther Parklands
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Hackthorpe, five miles south of Penrith
Tel. 01931 712577
Open: Easter and weekends until end of May; May-mid Sep, daily, 10am-6pm
150 acres, once an ancient deer park, of English Heritage Grade II listed parkland; play activities for children include rides, boating, adventure playgrounds, miniature railway, petting zoo, and putting green; peacocks; shop; refreshments; parking

Lulworth Park
Dorset
South-west Counties
Parkland at Lulworth Cove
near heritage coast and Durdle Door
Tel. 0 1929 400 587
Open: Feb-Christmas, 10am-4pm daily
Walks; coastline; beach; castle; castle house; chapel; pay parking
Web: Lulworth Park

Lymington–Keyhaven RSPB Nature Reserve
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Between the mouth of Lymington River and village of Keyhaven, New Forest National Park
Tel. NA
Open: daily year round
500 acres of lagoons; diverse and highly specialised fauna and flora, including rare species; little tern birds; circular walks
To download leaflet of reserve go to Nature Reserve leaflet

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Malham Estate and National Nature Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
From Malham village 19 miles north-west of Skipton, north past Malham Tarn
Tel. 0 1729 830 416
Open: year, round, daily
National Trust property; cliff and gorge scenery; Malham Cove; gorge at Gordale Scar; limestone pavement; hay meadows with flowers; bird hide; waterfall

Manor Farm Country Park
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Access from M27, signed from jct 8
Tel. 0 1489 787 055
Open: park all year; farm Nov-Easter
Farmland and ancient woodland beside Hamble river; traditional historic farm buildings; riverside and woodland walk; picnic meadows; children’s play areas; shop; fee charged for car entry.

Marston Vale Country Park and Forest Centre
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Between Stewartby Lake and the 'Wetlands' area by footpaths and cycle ways from Stewart
Also by road from Station Road, Marston Moretaine (A421)
Tel. 0 1234 767 037
Open: 10am-6pm in summer, until 4pm in winter
Conservation centre, 60 square miles of country park; wetlands area; bird watching; lake; walking; bike trails; horse trails; adventure playground; café; interactive exhibition; shop; special events; parking Web: Marston Vale Country Park

Matlock Farm Park
Derbyshire
East Midlands
Jaggers lane, near Two Dales, Matlock, DE4 5LH
Follow brown signs from A623 (Chesterfield/Matlock) or A6 (Bakewell/Matlock)
Tel. 01246 590 200
Open: daily, 10am-4:30pm; closed 25-26 Dec and 1 Jan
Family friendly open farm; large range of animals to view and pet; adventure playgrounds; gift shop; go-cart track; cafe; horse riding lessons and pony trekking--booking essential
Web: Matlock Farm Park

Mead Open Farm
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Stanbridge Rd, Billington
Near Leighton Buzzard
Follow brown signs from A505 or A4146
Tel. 0 1525 852 954
Open: daily, 10am-6.30pm, last entry 5.30pm; closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan
Traditional and rare farm animals; outdoor play area includes crazy golf and go-karts; picnic area; rabbits and guinea pigs; cow milking; pony grooming; feeding new lambs; sheep racing; sheep dog demonstrations; indoor play barn; daily activities; special events; tractor and trailer rides; café; shop; parking
Web: Mead Open Farm

Minsmere Nature Reserve
Suffolk
Eastern Counties
Minor road dead ends from Westleton to Dunwich road east of Westleton, Saxmundham.
On Heritage Coast between Southwold and Aldeburgh
Tel. 01728 648281
Open: Reserve and visitor centre open all year, every day except Tue, Christmas and Boxing Day; visitor centre open 9am-5pm, Feb–Oct; 9am-4pm, Nov-end Jan
RSPB site; nature trails through variety of habitats with wildlife and birdwatching hides; year round programme of events and guided walks; visitor centre; shop; tea-room
Website: RSPB

Monkey Forest
Staffordshire
West Midlands
Trentham Estate
Stone Road, Trentham, ST4 8AY
Tel. 0 1782 659 845
Open: 3rd week Oct and 3rd week Feb, 10am-4pm; 3rd week March-3rd week July, 10am-5pm; 3rd week July-first weekend Sep, 10am-6pm; first weekend Sep-3rd week Oct, 10am-5pm; see website for exact details; feeding times 15 min past each hour
140 Barbary macaques (an endangered species) living as if in the wild within a 60 acre woodland; visitors can walk among them on a pathway; information boards; guides; cafe; shop; picnic area; car park; accessible site
Web: Monkey Forest

Moors National Park Centre
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
¾ of a mile outside Danby in the Esk Valley
Tel. 0 1439 772 737
Open: April-Oct, daily 10am-5pm; March, Nov and Dec daily, 11am-4pm; Jan and Feb, weekends only, 11am-4pm
The centre for the North Yorkshire Moors National Park
For photos and more information on the park see our article North Yorkshire Moors National Park

Morden Bog National Nature Reserve
Dorset
South-west Counties
Wareham Forest
1.5 miles from Wareham
Open: year round, dawn-dusk
Heathland and forest, one of the largest valley mire habitats in England; waymarked walk; seven mile family cycle trail; free map available from most visitors centres; car park

Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park
Cornwall
South-west Counties
Cremyll, Torpoint
On Rame Peninsula, south-east Cornwall
Tel. 0 1752 822 236
Open: House and garden, April-end Sep, Sun-Thu and BH Mon, 11am-4.30pm (group bookings in March and Oct); country park all year, daily 8am-dusk
18th century former home of earls of Mount Edgcumbe; paintings and tapestries; Grade I Cornish Gardens; 865 acres country park with pool; bronze age burial ground; 1545 blockhouse; 1788 church; folly; 1755 temple; orangery; stables; national collection of camellias in the garden; cruises on river Tamar available; pay and free car parks various places; tea-room and restaurant April-Oct; exhibitions; events; shop
Web: Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park

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National Forest Maize Maze
Staffordshire
West Midlands
Postern House Farm, Tatenhill
Burton on Trent, DE13 9SJ
Tel. 0 1812 333 315
Open: July 15-4 Sep; 10.30am-6pm, last admission one hour before closing
Three miles of pathways, towers, and bridges in cornfield maze; farm attractions include tractor rides
Web: National Forest Maize Maze

New Forest Reptile Centre
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Two miles south-west of Lyndhurst off the A35, New Forest
Tel. 023 8028 3141 (Southern Forestry)
Open: Easter-end Sep, daily, 10am-4.30pm
Reptiles and amphibians; cams of birds of prey; self-guided forest trail; woodland picnic area

New Forest Wildlife Park
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Deerleap Lane
Near Ashurst, Hampshire
Tel. 023 8029 2408
Open: spring and summer, daily, 10am-5.30pm; autumn and winter, daily, 10am-dusk; last entry one hour before closing
Focus on preservation of Eurasian otter; other species include pine martens, polecats, minks, stoats, badgers, red foxes, northern lynx, Scottish wildcats, hedgehogs, wallabies, wild boar and deer
shop; tea-room; parking; special events; tours
Web: New Forest Wildlife Park

Newtown National Nature Reserve
Isle of Wight
South-east Counties
Newtown
Tel. 0 1983 741 020
Open: year round
National Trust property; 1.5 mile walk from the visitor centre gives views of the estuary from bird hide; birds include black-headed gulls and redshanks; path crosses hay meadow (flowers include yellow rattle, ox-eye daisies), butterflies, and birds including meadow pipits: path continues over footbridge across marsh; hut with ponds by it that were ‘salt-pans used till 1939

Normanby Hall Country Park, House, and Museum
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Normanby Hall Country Park, four miles from Scunthorpe
Tel. 01724 720 588
Open: hall and museum, April-end Sep, daily, 1-5pm; walled garden, April-end Sep, daily, 10.30am-5pm, Oct-March, 10.30am-4pm; park and playground, year round, daily, 9am-dusk
300 acres of parkland; glasshouses; 1825 Regency mansion; furniture by Gillows; costume galleries; farming museum; Victorian walled kitchen garden; glasshouses; woodland walks; deer park; miniature railway; tea-room; shop; caravan site; visitor centre; special events; adventure playground; duck ponds; peacocks; shop; cafe; picnic area; parking charge
For photos and more details see our article at Normanby Hall Country Park
Web: Normanby Hall Country Park

North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Near village of North Cave
From M62 at junction 38 onto the northbound B1230. Follow this for just under two miles to the village of North Cave. Once in the village take a left at the crossroads, then left at the next set of crossroads. Turn left into Dryam Lane and parking is on the left hand side.
Tel. NA
Open: daily, year round
Reserve of several large lakes, wetlands and mixed terrestrial habitats; over 170 birds, 200 plants species, 24 butterfly species; ringed plover, oystercatcher, redshank and avocet; waders, dabbling ducks, and diving ducks such as goldeneye, pochard and smew; sand cliffs provide nesting habitat for sand martins and kingfishers; ground nesting birds include skylark, meadow pipit and redshank; hedgerows of hawthorn, blackthorn, and elm; alder woodland; wintering goldfinch, redpoll and siskin; hobby, merlin and peregrine falcon year round; common blue, small skipper, and wall brown butterflies; car park on Dryham Lane; refreshments

North Yorkshire Moors National Park
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
See our feature article North Yorkshire Moors National Park

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Old Moor RSPB Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
From A635 towards Barnsley follow the brown RSPB Old Moor signs.
From A6195 (Doncaster) pass Morrison's superstore and then follow brown RSPB signs
Tel. 0 1226 751 593
Open: Nov-end Jan, visitor centre 9.30am-4pm; Feb-end Oct, visitor centre 9.30am-5pm; closed 25/26 Dec
Habitats of open water, marsh, reedbeds, and grassland support over 8000 golden plovers and other waterfowl; kingfisher, lapwing, and tree sparrow; summer visitors include swallows and martins, and dragonflies; two trails, one is short trail and especially for families, children’s play area; pond dipping, dragonfly and butterfly walks; picnic area; guided walks available; tea-room; large shop

Onchan Wetlands Reserve
Isle of Man
Curragh Kiondroghad
Two minutes walk from shopping centre in Onchan or Church road near Onchan from A2, park on left as road dips; entrance across piece of land
Boardwalk, flowers, birds

One Tree Hill
Kent
South-east Counties
.25 miles south-east of Seven Oaks between Underriver and Bitchet Common
Tel. 0 1959 561 585
Open: open countryside
National Trust property; woodland walking with many paths and long distance footpath; viewpoints; picnic area; car park on western boundary

Orford Ness
Suffolk
Eastern Counties
Orford Quay
Tel. 01394 450900
Open: April-June and part of Oct, Sat only; July-end Sep, Tue-Sat; access is only by ferry from Orford Quay with boats crossing between 10am and 2pm
National Trust property; largest vegetated shingle spit in Europe with variety of habitats including shingle, salt marsh, mudflat, lagoons and marsh; important bird location; five-mile route

Ouse Washes
Cambridgeshire
Eastern Counties
Signposted on minor road east of A141
take B1093 from A141 to Manea village or B1098 from Chatteris
Tel. 0 1354 680 212
Open: remote open site; visitor centre, daily 9am-5pm except closed 25, 26 Dec
RSPB property; 10 bird hides; accessible walks; ducks, swans, snipe, lapwings, black-tailed godwit, garganey, wigeon, tree sparrow, redshank; dragonflies; car park

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Paradise Wildlife Park
Hertfordshire
Eastern Counties
White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne
Tel. 0 1992 470 490
Open: daily, 9.30am-6pm in spring and summer; until 5pm in fall and winter
Interactive zoo with touching and feeding of animals; over 400 animals; tigers, lions, monkeys, zebras, camels, penguins, parrots, camels, wolves, and many more; rides; swimming; rainforest exhibit; parking; miniature railway; adventure playground; picnic area; coffee shop; café; gardens and woodland; special events
Web: Paradise Wildlife Park

Pen-twyn and Pontsticill Reservoirs
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Just north of the A465 and Merthyr Tydfil
Open: year round
Two reservoirs in wooded valley in Brecon Beacons National Park; sailing; canoeing; paths and trails; bridleway; picnic areas; viewpoints; common wildfowl and woodland bird species; tufted duck, mallard, and teal at Pen-twyn; remains of old buildings visible when water level low at Pontsticill; parking; Brecon Mountain Railway terminus at far end of reservoir

Petts Wood and Hawkwood Estate
Kent
South-east Counties
A208 Orpington Rd; Gosshill Rd, Chislehurst; Birchwood Rd, Petts Wood
Tel. 0 1959 561 585
Open: open countryside
National Trust property; wood is 150 acre ancient semi-natural woodland with oak, beech, birch, and Scot’s pine; estate is grazed pasture with scrub and woodland; wildlife; birds; fungi, wildflowers; network of footpaths; bridle path; parking

Poole’s Cavern
Derbyshire
East Midlands
Green Lane, .5 mile from Buxton town centre
Buxton Country Park
Tel. 0 1298 26978
Open: daily, 9.30am-5pm
Set in Buxton Country park with walks, wildlife, flowers, and birds; Solomon’s Temple is folly in the park grounds and provides views over countryside; the cavern is a series of limestone chambers, shown by guided tour every 20 min, tours last 50 min; café; parking
Web: Poole’s Cavern

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Two miles south-east of Doncaster, close to Junction 3 of the M18; from Doncaster, take the A6182 (White Rose Way) and turn left at the roundabout near B&Q; from the M18 Junction 3, take the A6182 and turn right at the first roundabout
Tel. NA
Open: daily from 9am; last entry 5pm
500 acres of habitats range from open water to marsh to woodland to wetland and reed fen; 200 species of birds include kingfisher, long-eared owl, reed and sedge warblers, woodpeckers and woodcock; marsh plants include great spearwort, lesser water-plantain, lesser reedmace, greater tussock sedge, purple small reed, great water dock, yellow-wort and traveller's joy; 28 species of butterfly include comma, gatekeeper, whiter-letter hairstreak, purple hairstreak and brown argus; 19 species of dragonfly include black-tailed skimmer, banded demoiselle, hairy dragonfly, broad-bodied chaser and ruddy darter; car park; field centre

Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park
Surrey
South-east Counties
Jumps Rd, Churt, Farnham, near the A287
Tel. 01428 605 453
Open: daily, 10am-5pm
Sculptures by many artists set along 1.5 miles of all-weather pathways; three lakes, two streams, lawns, bogs, woodland
Web: Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park

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Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Hampshire
South-east Counties
Gravel Hill, Horndean
PO8 0QE
Tel. 023 9259 5040
Open: daily; visitor centre, shop and café from 10am-5.30, March-end Oct; Nov-3rd week Dec and Jan and Feb until 4.30
1400 acres of open access woodland and downland; East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; 20 miles of trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders; Butser Hill National Nature Reserve (over 30 species of butterfly) and the highest point on the south downs; four water features, visitor centre; play trail for young children; café, shop; charge for car parking

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Radipole Lake Nature Reserve
Dorset
South-west Counties
RSPB Visitor Centre
Swannery Car Park, Weymouth
Tel. 0 1305 778313
Migrating bird site in spring and late summer and autumn. Made up of open water, reedbeds (largest in south-west England), flower meadows (southern marsh orchid blooms in summer), and scrubby bushes; interpretative displays, bird hide, nature trails; audio guide; bird news; shop; hot drinks and snacks; birds include little and great crested grebe, cormorant and grey heron; ducks at the reserve are pochard, shoveler, and teal; gulls include iceland, glaucous, ring-billed, and Mediterranean; resident birds are the cetti's warbler and bearded tit.

Rainham Marshes
Essex
Eastern Counties
New Tank Hill Rd (A1090)
Purfleet, EC3M 4AJ
Tel. 0 1708 899 840
Open: April-Oct, daily, 9.30am-5pm; Nov-March, 9.30am-4.30pm; closed 25, 26 Dec
RSPB property; medieval marshes by River Thames; wading birds; wild ducks; birds include avocet, lapwing, little egret, peregrine and ringed plover; bird hides; visitor centre; shop; cafe; wildlife garden; children’s play area; special events; all accessible nature trails

Ranmore Common and Denbies Hillside
Surrey
South-east Counties
Landbarn Farm, Hole Hill, Westcott, one mile west of Dorking
Tel. 0 1306 887 485
Open: year round, daily, dawn-dusk
National Trust property; mature woodland; grass downland; beech walks; wooded commons; beech, oak and ash trees on heath and downland; wildflowers; rare varieties of butterflies; five miles on the North Downs; parking at Denbies Hillside and south of Ranmore Common

Ranworth Broad Nature Reserve
Norfolk
Eastern Counties
Signposted from the village of Ranworth
Tel. 0 1603 270 479
Open: reserve, dawn-dusk, daily, year round; visitor centre, April-Oct, 10am-5pm
Floating nature centre; interpretive panels on boardwalk to the centre; nature trails; wildlife; wildfowl; drinks and snacks; boat trips; parking

Rare Breeds Centre and Country Farm Park
Kent
South-east Counties
Woodchurch
M20, jct 10 on the B2067
Tel. 0 1233 861 493
Open: year round, April-end Oct, daily, 10.30am-5.30pm; Nov-March, Tue-Sun, 10.30am-4.30pm; closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan
Two play barns; animals to pet; discovery garden; wildlife garden; woodland adventure course; trails; summer butterfly tunnel and gardens; aerial runways and play fort; trailer rides; countryside interpretation lodge; walk through aviary; creepy crawlies; pig racing and other special events; birds of prey; parking
Web: Rare Breeds Centre and Country Farm Park

Red Rocks Nature Reserve
Cheshire
North-west Counties
Dee Estuary, on Wirral peninsula
Tel. N/A
Open: open site
Two main habitats: south is 28 acre nature reserve of marsh and sand dunes; 50 species of flowering plants; Natterjack toad; north is Hilbre Point overlooking Bird Rock, East Hoyle sand bank and Liverpool Bay; sea watching; variety of migrant birds; reed beds with breeding sedge and reed warblers; sand dunes with sky larks, stonechat

Reigate and Gatton Park
Surrey
South-east Counties
Between Reigate Hill and Banstead Heath, 1.5 miles north-east of Reigate just north of A242
Tel. 0 1372 220 640
Open: open countryside
National Trust property; rare downland species; panoramic views; woodlands; parkland by ‘Capability’ Brown; Reigate fort (1898); parking at Wray Lane car park off A217 next to M25, jct 8

Rosliston Forestry Centre
Derbyshire
East Midlands
Burton Rd, Rosliston
Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE12 8JX
Tel. 01283 563 483
Open: daily
Meadows, ponds, fishing, play area, guided walks, talks, waterfowl, bats in the summer, owls and kestrels, snowdrops and bluebells, butterflies, conkers; lodges to rent; shop, restaurant; picnic areas, cycle rental; sensory garden
Web: Rosliston Forestry Centre

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds National Headquarters
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
On the B1042 between Sandy and Potton
Tel: 01767 680551. Tourist info: 01767 682728
Open: Reserve 9am-9pm; shop 9am-5pm
Grounds, woodland walks, gardens and shop with bird items
Website: RSPB National Headquarters

Rufford Abbey and Country Park
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
Two miles south of Ollerton, off A614
Tel. 0 1623 822 944
Open: all year, daily, 10am-5pm; closed 25 Dec
English Heritage property; remains of 17th century manor house and 12th century Cistercian abbey set in a country park; parking; picnic area; refreshments; craft centre

Rye Meads RSPB Reserve and Visitor Centre
Hertfordshire
Eastern Counties
Rye Rd, Stanstead Abbotts
Tel. 0 1992 708 383
Open: year round, daily, 10am-5pm or dusk if earlier
RSPB reserve; wide range of wetland habitats; reed beds, open water, meadows; bird watching; special events; picnic area; parking

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Salcey Forest
Northamptonshire
East Midlands
Quinton to Hanslope road
Six miles south-west of Northampton near Hartwell village
Tel. 01780 444920
Ancient woodland with old oaks, walks and wildlife including fallow and muntjac deer, bats, and dormice; birds include warbler, nightingale, woodcock, woodpecker, buzzard, nuthatch, blue, great and long-tailed tits, and greenfinches; ponds are home to various insects and reptiles; café, children’s play area, surface trails, horse and cycle routes; picnic areas; orienteering course; charge for car park.

Salthome Wildlife Reserve and Discovery Park
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
On the A178; nearest town is Milddlesbrough
1.5 miles north of Port Clarence
Tel. 0 1642 546 625
Open: year round, daily except 25 Dec; April-end Sep, 10am-5pm; Oct-end March, 10am-4pm
State of the art visitor centre has panoramic wetland views; bird hides; footpaths; walled wildlife garden; playground; tea-room; shop; picnic area; special events; parking; species to be seen include lapwing, breeding tern, water rail, yellow ragtail, peregrine, sand martin, skylark, shell duck, tufted duck, golden plover, curlew, and great crested grebe

Sandringham Estate
Norfolk
Eastern Counties
On B1440 north-east of King’s Lynn
Tel. 01553 612908
Open: house, museum, and gardens, mid April-mid July and early Aug-end Oct; check website for full details
Holiday home of the Royal family in 60 acres of grounds; dining room, drawing room and two parlours on view; museum of vintage royal cars; large country park across the road from the house has amenities, shop and restaurant
Website: Sandringham Estate

Scarlett Visitor Centre
Isle of Man
Scarlett Point, Castletown
Tel. 0 1624 801 985
Open: May-Sep, daily except Mon, 2-5pm
Displays of flora and fauna, industrial archaeological history of limestone kilns; coastal nature trail; parking; operated by Manx Wildlife Trust

Sea Life Sanctuary
Norfolk
Eastern Counties
Southern Promenade, Hunstanton
Tel. 0 1485 533 576
Open: daily except 25 Dec, spring-summer 10am-4pm; autumn-winter times not given on website
30 displays include aquarium, starfish, otters, penguins, sharks, rays, seahorses and much more; professional treatment for sick, injured or distressed marine animals; feeding demonstrations throughout the day; childrens’ play area; shop; café; park in town car park nearby
Web: Sea Life Sanctuary

Sence Valley Forest Park
Leicestershire
East Midlands
Ravenstone Rd, Ibstock
Tel. 01889 586 593
Open: daily, dawn-dusk
150 acre park of woodland, lakes, meadow, trails, wildlife hides; car park

Sharpenhose Clappers Chalkland
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
On the A6 south of Bedford
Near the village of Barton-le-Clay
Open: open countryside
National Trust property; walks, flowers, and views

Sheringham Park
Norfolk
Eastern Counties
Off the A148 Cromer-Holt Road by car
By local train from Sheringham town station
Tel. 01263 8232778
Open: all year, daily, dawn-dusk
National Trust property; landscaped park, woods, woodland garden, walks, viewing towers; restored train station and steam train from Sheringham through the woods makes a stop in the park

Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve (Country Park) and Visitor Centre
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
On B6034, just north of the village of Edwinstowe
Follow brown tourist signs from roundabout at Ollerton on the A614
Tel. Visitor information: 0 1623 823 202 (daily 10.30am - 4.30pm) or 0 8449 80 80 80 (8am - 8pm Mon-Fri; 8am - 12 noon Sat)
Open: park, daily, dawn to dusk; visitor centre April-Oct, daily, 10.30am-5pm; Nov-March 10.30am-4.30pm
450 acre site with 900 old oak trees including the famous oak tree of Robin Hood legend; walks in the forest; exhibition, video; café; shops; home of arts and crafts centre; parking—fee charged; special events

Shire Horse Centre
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Staitondale, off A171
Whitby to Scarborough road, on a farm
Tel. 01723 870458
Open: 3rd week May-1st week Sep, Tue, Wed, Fri, and BH Sun and Mon, 10.30am-4.30pm
Shows with horses and Shetland ponies; stables; forge; picnic area; café; shop; children’s program in summer
Website: Shire Horse Farm

Southerscales National Nature Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
On north-west slopes of Ingleborough, and part of Ingleborough National Nature Reserve
Off the B6255 Ingleton to Hawes road in North Yorkshire. Park in the car park next to the Old Hill Inn and take the path just beyond the Inn towards Hawes
From Bridlington take the B1255 out of the town centre to Flamborough and follow the signs for North Landing.
Tel. NA
Open: daily, year round
Limestone pavement of national importance; ferns and flowering plants; cliffs are nesting sites for sea birds that include puffins, razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes and fulmars; feeding point for migratory birds; maritime and chalk grassland plants; specialised algae and rare lichens; butterflies in summer are the small tortoiseshell, meadow brown, and painted lady; parking at Old Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale—fee charged; parking also in public pay-and-display car park at North Landing

Spurn National Nature Reserve
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Located east from Hull to Patrington, then take the B1445 to Kilnsea & Spurn
Tel. NA
Open: daily, year round
Curving sandy peninsula with dunes stretching 3.5 miles across the mouth of River Humber; large number of wintering birds and passage waders and wildfowl; insect and plant species; car park--fee charged

Standalone Farm
Hertfordshire
Eastern Counties
Wilbury Rd, Letchworth Garden City
Tel. 0 1462 686 775
Open: March-Oct, daily, 11am-5pm
170 acres with large and small farm animals: sheep, ducks, goats, rabbits, donkeys, owls, pigs, horses, chickens, wildfowl hide; parking; play area; picnic area
Web: Standalone Farm

Staunton Harold Reservoir and Visitor Centre
Derbyshire
East Midlands
Calke Rd, Windmill Hill, Melbourne
Tel. 01332 865 081
Open: April-Oct, 7am-dusk; Nov-March, 8.30am-4pm
210 acre reservoir and visitor centre with wildflower meadow; bird watching; dinghy and sailboarding; walk to Calke Abbey; coarse fishing; events and activities; car parking fee

Stockley Working Farm
Cheshire
North-west Counties
Smithy House, Arley Estate
Arley, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 6LZ
Tel. 0 1565 777 492 for organic produce or 0 1565 777 323 for farm enquiries
700 acre working dairy farm; viewing gallery of milking parlour for visitors; tractor and trailer ride; baby animals such as calves, piglets, goats, lambs; organic produce for delivery by the box; tea-room
Web: Stockley Working Farm

Stonehurst Farm and Motor Museum
Leicestershire
East Midlands
Bond Lane, Mountsorrel
Tel. 01509 413 216
Open: daily, year round, 9.30am-5pm; closed Dec 25-Jan 2
Children’s farmyard animals include cows, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, and donkeys; baby rabbits and guinea pigs; activity play area for kids; tractor and trailer rides; pony rides weekends; pond dipping; Motor Museum has collection of vintage motor cars, motorcycles and memorabilia; 1920s garage and working blacksmith forge; farm shop, gift shop, restaurant and teashop; parking

Studland Beach and Nature Reserve
Dorset
South-west Counties
On south-west coast path
Tel. 0 1929 450 259 (National Trust Purbeck Estate Office)
Open: different times durng the year; check National Trust website for full details
National Nature Reserve of dune, heath, woodland, and wetland; three mile sandy beach, bird hides; NT shop at Knoll beach; boat parks and launching at Shell Bay and Knoll Beach; horse riding on beach by permit; car parks

Summer Leys Local Nature Reserve
Northamptonshire
East Midlands
near Wellingborough
Part of the Nene Valley Reserve, a larger Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is an important refuge for wintering and breeding birds, including golden plover, lapwing, wigeon and shoveler, egret, peregrine falcon, goldeneye, and smew.

Sutton Bank National Park Centre
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
At the top of Sutton Bank on the A170; 6 miles east of Thirsk; 7.5 miles west of Helmsley
Tel. 0 1845 597 426
Open: April-Oct, daily 10am-5pm; March, Nov and Dec daily, 11am-4pm; Jan and Feb, weekends only, 11am-4pm
For photos and more information on the park see our feature article North Yorkshire Moors National Park

Sylvia’s Meadow Nature Reserve
Cornwall
South-west Counties
St Anne’s Chapel
Honnicombe, East Cornwall
Accessed through Tamar Valley Donkey Park
Tel. 0 1872 273 939
Open: daily, 10am-5pm, spring- end Sep
Site of Special Scientific Interest owned and managed by Cornwall Wildlife Trust; species-rich neutral unimproved grassland, rich in orchids, including both common and heath spotted orchids (best display in June); use Donkey Park car park and go to their ticket office for meadow directions

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Tapton Lock Visitor Centre
Derbyshire
East Midlands
Lockford Lane, Chesterfield
On Chesterfield canal
Tel: 01246 551035
Open: April-Oct, 10am-4.30pm, rest of year weekends only until 4pm
Visitor centre has information on canal and countryside sites and attractions; program of activities and events; boat rides on Sun and BH Mon from 1-4pm; towpath along the canal; picnic area; parking; waymarked walks; light refreshments

Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre
Berkshire
South-east Counties
Muddy Lane, Lower Way, Thatcham
Tel. 01635 874381 for details

Thornton Reservoir
Leicestershire
East Midlands
Reservoir Rd
Thornton
Tel. 01332 865 081; for events and activities tel. 0870 1791 111; for fishing tel. 01530 230 808.
Open: April-Oct, 7am-dusk; Nov-March, 9am-4pm
75 acres in rolling farmland and woodland with exhibition and fishing lodge; trails for walkers and cyclists.

Thorp Perrow Arboretum and Falcon Conservation Centre
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
Bedale, on A1, south of Leeming Bar
Tel. 0 1677 425 323 (arboretum) 0 1677 427 755 (birds of prey centre)
Open: arboretum, tearoom, bird of prey and mammal centre, daily, 10am-5pm, mid-Feb-mid-Nov; flying displays at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm; animal guided tour at 12.15pm; mid Nov-mid Feb, arboretum, tearoom, bird of prey and mammal centre, daily, 11am-3pm; flying displays at 1.30pm Mon-Fri, 11.30am and 1.30pm on Sat and Sun
85 acres of woodland walks; large collection of trees and shrubs with four National Collections; walled garden; captive breeding and conservation centre for falcons with three demonstrations daily in summer
Web: Thorp Perrow

Thurleigh Farm Centre
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Cross End, Thurleigh, Bedfordshire
Tel. 0 1234 771 597
Open: daily, 9.30am-5.30pm
Working farm and children’s activity centre; feeding and handling of farm animals; trampolines, pedal carts; pony and tractor trailer rides; indoor play area; miniature train; outdoor play area; archery; pony rides; roller blading; crazy golf; maze; café; special events; parking
Web: Thurleigh Farm Centre

Top Lodge at Fineshade Woods
Northamptonshire
East Midlands
Fineshade Woods, Rockingham Forest
off A43 between Stamford and Corby
Tel. 0 1780 444 920
Open: daily, 10am-5pm; closed 25 Dec
Forest centre with all ability paths, horse and cycle trails; wildlife hide; cameras with views of red kite nesting sites; café, local made ice-cream; RSPB shop, local craft outlet, children’s play area, picnic areas; special activities and events throughout the year
Web: Top Lodge

Totternhoe Wood Knolls Nature Reserve
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
On minor road off the A505 or the B5489, just west of Dunstable
Nature reserve

Toys Hill
Kent
South-east Counties
Five miles south-west of Sevenoaks; 2.5 miles south of Brasted; 1 mile west of Ide Hill
Tel. 0 1959 561 585
Open: all year, daily, dawn-dusk
National Trust property; woodland that is Site of Special Scientific Interest; waymarked trails, circular walks, bridleways; parking; picnic area; viewpoints

Tulleys Farm
East and West Sussex
South-east Counties
Turners Hill, Crawley, West Sussex
Off the B2110 or M23
Tel. 0 1342 718 472 (general farm enquiries); 0 1342 715365 (specific enquiries)
Open: daily year round except 25/26 Dec and 1 Jan; farm shop, tea-room etc various times—check website; themed maize from July-Sep, 10am-6pm
Special seasonal family events; fruit picking; farm shop; animal patch; children’s play area; crazy golf; mini tractors; restaurant; parking
Web: Tulleys Farm

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Walby Farm Park
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Walby, Crosby-on-Eden; follow signs for Brampton A689 from M6 (Junction 44); turn off to Walby; further directions, map on website
Tel. 0 1228 573 056
Open: year round except 24-26 December and 1 January, 10am-6pm (last admission 4pm)
Indoor and outdoor play areas for children include pet corner, nature trail, rare breeds of animals; seasonal maize maze; café; farm shop
Web: Walby Farm Park

Walsall Arboretum
Greater Birmingham
West Midlands
Lichfield St
Walsall near Birmingham
Tel: 0845 111 2909
Open: park
Victorian parkland, lakes, gardens, woodland walks,children's play area, tennis courts, football pitches, golf course; café; lights and laser show takes place every autumn with live entertainment and rides.
Web: Walsall Light Show and Walsall Council

Washington Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre
Tyne and Wear (Tyneside)
North-east Counties
Pattinson, Washington
Four miles from the A1, east of Washington
Tel: 0191 416 5454
Open: Nov-March, daily, 9.30am-4.30pm; April-Oct, 9.30am-5.30pm; closed 25 Dec; last admission 1/2 hour before closing
100 acres provide wintering habitat for migratory waterbirds; lake; woodlands with bluebells and primrose; meadows with wildflowers; wetland adventure play area for kids; waterfall and stream; waterfowl nursery; flamingo colony; bird hide in the woods; cafe; shop
Web: Washington Wetlands and Wildlife Trust

Watersmeet
Devon
South-west Counties
Watersmeet Rd, Lynmouth
Tel. 01598 753 348
Open: countryside, year round; Watersmeet House (19th century fishing lodge) tea-room, tea-garden; shop, daily, mid March-end April and Oct, 10.30am-4.30pm; May-end Sep, 10.30am-5pm
National Trust property; wildlife; waterfalls; walking trails; sea-cliffs; fishing; gorge; pay car park 500 yards (not NT)—steep walk to house

Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve
Somerset
South-west Counties
From B3151 turn right 1km beyond Westhay, continue for 1km to car park
Tel. NA
Open: open countryside
Reed-beds, open water, carr and remnants of acid raised mire, damp heath, fen and wet grassland habitats on Somerset levels; overwintering birds include ducks starlings, geese and swans; other wildlife includes otters, roe deer, badger, grass snake, adder, dragonflies, butterflies; birds include Berwick's swan, golden plover, lapwing, teal, gadwall, garganey, water rail, reed warbler, goldeneye, goosander, little grebe, bearded tit, Cetti's warbler, reed bunting, barn owl, marsh harrier, hen harrier, hobby, nightjar, tree pipit, nightingale

Westonbirt National Arboretum
Gloucestershire
South-west Counties
Three miles south-west of Tetbury
On the A433
Tel. 0 1666 880 220
Open: year round, daily except Christmas Day, 9am-5pm
Grade I landscape; 600 acres of trees; 18,000 specimen trees and shrubs; 17 miles of paths; visitor centre; shop; plant centre; café; restaurant; picnic area; parking; exhibitions; workshops; special events
Web: Westonbirt

Wetlands Animal Park
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
Sutton-cum-Lound, Retford
Tel. 0 1777 818 099
Open: daily, 10.30am-5pm, last admission 4.30pm
32 acres of woods and two lakes (fishing available) with residents from all over the globe; animals at close quarters include monkeys, deer, wallaby, and meerkat; picnic area; bird sanctuary; children’s play area; parking; special events; cafeteria; shop
Web: Wetlands Animal Park

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre
Cumbria
North-west Counties
Whinlatter Pass, Braithwaite, Keswick
Tel. 0 1768 778 469
Open: Visitor Centre, cafe and shop, 10am-4.45pm in summer, until 4pm in winter; garden and playground, daily, 10am-dusk
Eight waymarked trails, two junior trails, two waymarked cycle routes, three high level trails, an all ability trail; orienteering; four picnic sites; carpark (charge), shop; café, parking
Web: Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

Whipsnade Tree Cathedral
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Two miles south of Dunstable
Off the B4540 (car park signposted)
Tel. 01582 872406
Open: open land but car park locked around dusk
National Trust property; 26 acres of trees planted in the plan of a medieval cathedral

Whipsnade Wildlife Conservation Park/Zoo
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Dunstable, off the B5440/B
Tel. 0 1582 872 171
Open: mid March-end first week Oct, daily, 10am-6pm, until 5pm rest of year, summer BH open until 7pm; closed 25 Dec
Wildlife conservation park with over 2500 mammals, reptiles and birds in 600 acres of parkland; woodland bird walk; parking; shop; cafes; coffee bar
Web: Whipsnade Zoo

White Cliffs Gateway
Kent
South-east Counties
Dover
Signposted from roundabout one mile north-east of Dover at jct of A2/A258
Tel. 0 1304 202 756
Open: March-end Oct, daily, 10am-5pm; Nov-end Feb, daily, 11am-4pm; car park open from 8am-6pm and 8am-5pm in winter
National Trust Visitor Centre for White Cliffs at beginning of six miles of chalk cliffs; walk to NT South Foreland Lighthouse; views over water; shop; coffee shop; parking-fee charged

Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve
Cambridgeshire
Eastern Counties
3 miles west of Soham on Lode Lane, Ely
Tel. 01353 72074
Open: daily, dawn to dusk; visitor centre, daily except Mon, 10am-5pm; open BH; Fen Cottage open April-end Sep, Sun and BH Mon, 2-5pm
National Trust property; fen meadows, reeds, sedge beds, 5000 species of birds, plants, and mammals; walkways and boat tours; exhibitions in visitor centre; historic fen cottage; light snacks and drinks
See our article and photos at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve

Wimpole Home Farm
Cambridgeshire
Eastern Counties
Wimpole Hall, Arrington, Royston
Tel. 01223 206 000
Open: Nov-3rd week Dec and Jan-mid March, Sat and Sun, 11am-4pm; mid March-mid July and Sep-end Oct, Sat-Wed, 10.30am-5pm; mid July-end Aug, Sat-Thu, 10.30am-5pm;
National Trust property; 18th century house in wooded parkland; walled garden; lakes; walks; daffodils; model farm, part of working estate, has largest rare breeds centre in East Anglia; historic thatched buildings and modern buildings; spring lambing; daily milking; family events; Shire horse wagon rides; Great Barn has displays on traditional farming; adventure playground; restaurant; farm kitchen; picnic area; parking; also see our entry under Historic Homes for Wimpole Hall details

Winkworth Arboretum
Surrey
South-east Counties
Hascombe Rd, 2 miles south-east of Godalming
Tel. 0 1483 208 477
Open: year round during daylight hours
National Trust property; hillside, woodland, more than 1000 trees and shrubs including magnolias, bluebells, azaleas; lake; tea-room (open various days and times); program of walks and talks

Wirral Country Park Visitor Centre
Merseyside/Liverpool
North-west Counties
Thurstaston, Wirral, Merseyside
Tel. 0151-648 4371
Open: year round
Bird hide, small exhibition area, picnic area, maps of the park; family attraction

Woburn Safari Park
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Woburn
Tel. 0 1525 290 407
Open: March-end Oct, daily, 10am-5pm; Nov-Feb, weekends only, 11am-3pm
Safari and leisure park with animals roaming free, includes elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys, camels and more; foot safari includes penguins, wallabies, monkeys, sheep, and goats; indoor soft play area; outdoor play area; bobcat ride for adults; slides; swan boats on lake; miniature railway ride; Go Ape; animal feeding times; Woburn Abbey historic house on grounds; two restaurants; golf club; inn; special events; shop; parking
Web: Woburn Safari Park

Wollaton Hall and Deer Park
Nottinghamshire
East Midlands
Lime Tree Ave, off Wollaton Rd, Nottingham
3 miles west of city centre; follow brown signs from A52 or A6514; from M1 take junction 25 and follow the signs; also reached by bus from city centre
Tel. 0 115 915 3900
Open: daily, year round; April-Oct, 11am-5pm; Nov-March, 11am-4pm; closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan; park open daily, year round, 8am weekdays, 9am weekends, closes different times in different weeks and months
16th century Grade I listed Robert Smythson house in 500 acres of historic parkland; reconstructed period rooms including Regency dining room and salon and Tudor kitchens; red and fallow deer herds; lake; wildlife habitats; walks; formal gardens; camellia house is oldest cast iron glasshouse in Europe; shop; café; picnic area; parking—fee charged; restaurant; also on site are Nottingham Natural History Museum, Nottingham Industrial Museum (open last Sun of each month for Sunday Steamings) and Yard Gallery (open for special events - enquire for more details)
Web: Wollaton Hall and Deer Park

Woodhorn Experience
Northumberland
North-east Counties
Queen Elizabeth II country park on A189 halfway between Alnwick and Newcastle city centre at Ashington
Tel. 0 1670 52 80 80
Open: Wed-Sun and Bank Holidays but not Christmas Day, April-Oct, 10am-5pm; Nov-March, 10am-4pm
Former colliery with restored listed buildings tells story of north-east England’s mining heritage, AV presentation, special tours; archive study centre; original listed colliery buildings restored; set in counry park with walking, cycling, watersports; underground coal mine trip; colliery experience; exhibitions; cafe; shop
Web: Experience Woodhorn

Woodside Farm and Leisure Park
Bedfordshire
Eastern Counties
Woodside Rd, Slip End, Luton, Bedfordshire
Tel. 0 1582 841 044
Open: Mon-Sat, 8am-5.30pm; Sun, 9am-5.30pm; hours shorter in winter, phone to check
Poultry and waterfowl centre, includes flamingos; owls, otters, rabbits, prairie dogs; animal encounters; play barn; outdoor play areas include funfair; parking; café; deli; farm shop
Web: Woodside Farm

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Yorkshire Dales National Park
Yorkshire
North-east Counties
See our feature article Yorkshire Dales National Park

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