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Mel the Monkey to Launch National Forest Fun by Bus

Wednesday, 23rd May 2012

Mel the Monkey will be aping around Coalville on Tuesday 12 June giving out children’s activity packs, crayons and story books to officially launch The National Forest Hopper.

Between June and September the 9a bus will be branded The National Forest Hopper. On this hourly service from Leicester*, via Coalville, Ashby de la Zouch and Swadlincote, to Burton upon Trent, passengers can visit many of the Forest’s top attractions. Snibston, Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Moira Furnace, Conkers, Swadlincote Ski Centre, Sharpe’s Pottery and the National Brewery Centre are just some of the places en-route.

Bus operator Arriva Midlands has teamed up with Leicestershire County Council, National Forest Company and North West Leicestershire Promotions and will be joining Mel to launch the reduced fares, vouchers for attractions and activity packs for children.

Penny Wilkinson from the National Forest Company said: “Many people do not realise they can reach these fantastic attractions by bus. Every hour – Monday to Saturday. It is so easy! And kids love travelling by bus – it is all part of the adventure.

“As an extra bonus, some of the attractions have agreed special discount vouchers to be used with the bus tickets. This gives people a real incentive to travel by bus.”

Keith Myatt from Arriva Midlands said: "Arriva Bus service 9a is ideal for visiting attractions in The National Forest with easy connections with services from Leicester."

As well as the major attractions, the 9a passes lovely walking and picnic spots including Groby Pool, the Conkers Circuit, Swadlincote Woodlands and Albert Village Lake, Odeon and Cineworld cinemas, Hick’s Lodge Cycle Centre and the leisure centres in Swadlincote, Burton upon Trent and Ashby de la Zouch, which boasts the wonderful open air pool during the summer holidays.

A leaflet containing details of attractions, family fares, timetable, vouchers and distance from bus stops will be given out at the launch.

For more information on all the things to see and do in The National Forest, go to the Visit section of our website.

*The bus is labelled 29a from Leicester to Coalville.