GreenWood Forest Park is the UK’s only eco-adventure theme park, located in Y Felinheli, near Caernarfon in North Wales. It’s really simple to find and is well signposted from the A55.
We arrived just before 11 o’clock, on the last Sunday of the Welsh Easter holidays, so it was relatively quiet. The entrance fees vary depending on the time of the year. As it is peak season, it would have been £15.95 for the adults and £15.40 for the children.
We had already looked online at all of the activities and attractions, so we had a good idea of where to go, but we were very helpfully provided with a map at the ticket desk. It’s stretched over 17 acres of woodland, which sounds like a huge area, but everything is laid out perfectly, so you’re not spending half of your day walking between things. I do recommend wearing comfortable, flat shoes though – it’s quite hilly!
The first thing we headed to was the Enchanted Woodland indoor soft play and cafe. The kids had a good play on the enormous soft play equipment whilst we enjoyed a latte. We didn’t buy any food there, but the prices looked really reasonable and there was a good selection.
Once we were suitably caffeinated, we headed out into the park towards the Jungle Boats. The kids had been really excited about these since they had seen them online, and they didn’t disappoint. We climbed into the boats – Graham and the big two in the front, Benjamin and me in the back. The boat follows a little river through the woods, powered by you either using the jungle ropes hanging down or using the paddle. The kids thought it was hilarious when we kept bumping into the sides!
With a taste for water rides, we then headed to the Solar Splash ride, the UK’s first solar-powered ride. It features two wave water slides, each approximately 60m long and a 91m long tube chute slide. It was enormous! I didn’t think the boys would want to go on it as they’ve never been on a ‘big’ ride before, but all three were eager to go on with Graham. Me? I volunteered to be the bag holder and photo taker. Nothing to do with the sheer height or speed that you come down them, of course….
It does warn you that you might get splashed a little bit, but they managed to avoid it somehow. I really didn’t think they would like them, but they LOVED it. You can purchase ride photos – it’s £2 charge (a lot cheaper than most attractions) and it is emailed to you, so I do recommend taking some change for the machines if you want one.
After the ride, we had a walk around to the Barefoot Trail. I’ve always wanted to try one of these – I’m quite often found wandering around with no shoes on, so I thought it would be something I enjoyed. I found it a little bit uncomfortable and sharp in parts, but the kids had no problems. They loved splashing through the (icy cold!) water, trampling through the sand and hay and walking over the stones. There’s an area with taps, soap and paper towels to clean up afterwards. I do admit that my feet felt nice and tingly afterwards though!
We then went to the Moon Karts. These are pedal karts which older children can pedal themselves, or an adult and a younger child can go on together. The track is uphill in parts which is blummin’ hard work!
We stopped at this point for some lunch. We had taken our own picnic as we always do on days out, but after seeing how reasonable the prices we were, we bought a couple of trays of chips to share between us as well. There are plenty of picnic benches and places to eat, including a covered area if the weather is a bit iffy. When we had finished, the kids had a quick go on the diggers (£1 a go) and playing with the giant blocks and connect four puzzle.
Once lunch had gone down, it was time to check out the Green Dragon Rollercoaster, the world’s first people-powered roller coaster. This is where I realised that the boys had inherited their dad’s love of big rides. There’s not a chance on earth you’re getting me on any rollercoaster, yet even Benjamin was wetting himself (literally!!) with excitement to go on. It’s a 250m track through the forest, with a 360-degree horizontal loop. Graham said whilst it’s not the most terrifying of rides he’s been on, it goes pretty damn fast. The kids loved it!
After all that excitement, we needed something a bit more sedate, so headed to the archery. The bloke was really helpful, showing Graham and the kids how to stand and how to hold the bow and arrow. They all said it is a lot harder than it looks!
The absolute highlight for the kids (well, for Harrison and Alex anyway; Ben was beginning to get a bit tired and grumpy!) was the Great Green Run – a 70m sledge run. It was nice because Graham and I could grab a coffee from one of the shacks and have a sit-down whilst they carried their sledges up and raced back down. They went on countless times. Just next to it is a smaller one, perfect for the little people. Benjamin had a go on that one but managed to get stuck half -way.
The kids wanted an ice cream at this point, so we found a little kiosk right next to the Treetop Towers – a huge climbing frame with netted walkways, slides, towers to climb – perfect for adventurous kids. I loved that there was only one entrance, so we could let them roam it freely. For the smaller ones, there is the Tunnel Warren – a smaller version of it.
By now, the park was quite busy, and Ben was knackered, s we decided to take a slow wander back towards the car. We stopped off in the quieter area of the park. I especially loved the Poet’s Corner – 16 huge slabs of slate engraved with beautiful Welsh poetry. It’s a beautiful, peaceful little spot which was filled with daffodils and had stunning views of the Snowdonia mountains.
We also had a look at the solar panels that produce the majority of the energy for Greenwood Forest Park, and the magic chair, which completely bamboozled the kids! I won’t spoil how it’s done, but it’s so simple and clever!
We did miss a couple of things out, which, when we go again (because we definitely will be going back!) , we will make sure we visit – the giant bouncy pillow, the crocodile maze and the den building. These all look great fun!
There are also various activities and things going on around the park, depending on the time of year (check the website for details). There was face painting and crafts (all small extra charge) and an Easter Egg hunt (free) whilst we were there, as well as magic shows in the covered and seated Forest Theatre.
What I also really liked about the park is that dogs, as long as they are well behaved and kept on a short lead, are very much welcome in the park. We’re not dog owners, but my parents are and visit regularly, so it’s nice to know there are places we can go to that the dogs can come along as well.
We had an excellent day at Greenwood Forest Park, and it’s somewhere I think we will be going year after year now. If you’re planning on visiting, make sure you check out the website for the prices and to see what is happening at the park that day.
*We were given free tickets to the park for the purpose of this review. All words and thoughts are our own and have not been influenced in any way.