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Try Something New in The National Forest & Beyond!

Wednesday, 6th January 2010

As well as details of attractions, events, local food and where to stay, the new guide highlights the exciting new places to go in 2010. 

There is also a competition inside to win a short break to explore the waterways that wind through The National Forest & Beyond.  Complete and return the Visitor Guide survey to enter the prize draw, offered in partnership with Aqua Narrowboat Hire, based in Mercia Marina near Willington.

Among the new attractions is a brilliant new visitor centre at Twycross Zoo, which will include a Himalayan themed Snow Leopard enclosure and the ‘New England’ wader bird enclosure.

In July, the National Memorial Arboretum will complete the Basra Wall to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the Iraq conflict. The arboretum is home to more than 100 woodland gardens and sculptures including the award-winning Armed Forces Memorial.

Reviving long-forgotten stories around the birth of Coalville, mining memories and the nature reserve, Snibston’s new audio tour follows the fascinating events and people who shaped history in this area.

A new circular off-road trail has been opened in the heart of the forest for those wanting a gentle cycle ride, a family walk, a wildlife ramble or a daily jog. The four and a half mile Conkers Circuit is ideal for all ages with easy to follow circuit markers and shorter loops within it. The circuit joins the Sustrans National Cycle Network, passing Conkers, Moira Furnace and YHA National Forest.

And hiring a bike is even easier with cycle hire now offered at Moira Furnace. There are regular events at the furnace as well as the museum tours, craft village and canal boat trips. Cycle hire is also available at Rosliston Forestry Centre which has just opened The Glade events arena. Look out for events and performances throughout the year.

Follow the smell of freshly-baked bread to the Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts which now has a wonderful bakery, stocking a range of home-made breads, cakes and local foods. The Gardener’s Bothy, a new garden store and rural craft workshop at the Ferrers Centre, will be hosting demonstrations and hands-on taster sessions for visitors to try woodland crafts. And for budding Ray Mears, Woodland Ways is launching a new bushcraft course especially for teenagers.

The National Brewery Centre (formerly Coors Visitor Centre and The Bass Museum) will open its doors to the public in spring 2010.  Using animated interactive exhibits, this exciting attraction will give visitors a fun view of this important industry and a taste of Burton upon Trent’s particular contribution.

And of course, The National Forest itself is an ever-changing landscape.  Over the years and throughout the seasons, there is always something new to see.  Nearly 90% of the trees that are planted are native broadleaf, and the Visitor Guide details where you can go to see particularly fine examples of the different tree species, plus local myths and legends linked with the trees and locations. 

The Visitor Guides are produced by the National Forest Company in partnership with East Staffordshire Borough Council, North West Leicestershire District Council and South Derbyshire District Council to promote the tourism economy in the Forest and surrounding area.

There really is something for everyone in The National Forest & Beyond. Download the new Visitor Guide at  or pick up a copy at attractions and Tourist Information Centres in and around the Forest or click here to download a copy.