Visitor information
Opening hours
How to find us
Parking & prices
Facilities & access
Contact details

Opening hours

Open every day except Christmas Day.  

 

Weekdays

Monday
Main car park 8am - 8pm
Cafe 9am - 4pm
Tuesday
Main car park 8am - 8pm
Cafe 9am - 4pm
Wednesday
Main car park 8am - 8pm
Cafe 9am - 4pm
Thursday
Main car park 8am - 8pm
Cafe 9am - 9pm
Friday
Main car park 8am - 8pm
Cafe 9am - 4pm

Weekends

Saturday
Main car park 8am - 8pm
Cafe 9am - 5pm
Sunday
Main car park 8am - 8pm
Cafe 9am - 5pm

How to find us

How to find us
Hicks Lodge, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Swadlincote
Sat Nav Postcode: LE65 2UP
By Car

From Ashby Road take Willesley Woodside. The carpark for Hicks Lodge will be on the right.

By Public Transport

There is no public transport to this site.

OS Grid Ref
SK 329 155

52.7364716, -1.5141606

Parking and prices

Parking charges apply at Hicks Lodge.

All our Pay & Display machines accept coin and card payments.

Disabled parking available – normal parking charges apply.

You can now use RingGo* at Hicks Lodge which allows you to pay for parking online or via an app. Please download the Ringo App before travelling if you can.

Pay for parking on your phone in 5 easy steps:

1. Open the RingGo app, or download for free if you haven’t already got it, using the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).
2. Log in with your RingGo details, or register as a new user.
3. Select your location by entering the 3–6 digit number shown on the parking signs.
4. Enter your number plate and choose how long you’d like to park for. Remember, you can extend this later.
5. Choose to add any handy parking reminders you need, then just tap to pay.

And you’re good to go! Your details are saved so next time, you can park even faster.

If you’re not a smartphone user, you can still use RingGo to pay for your parking by calling 0203 046 0063. You can also register and book parking with RingGo online. You can also pay by credit or debit cards at the machine. 

*There is a small convenience charge for using this service.  See RingGo online for full terms and conditions and VAT receipts.

We have a small dedicated area for horsebox parking located opposite our main car park. The charge is £6 and on arrival you will need to collect a key from the Café to unlock the barrier. 

Thank you for paying to park. We use the money you spend on parking to look after the nation’s forests. We don’t make a profit and rely on the support of our visitors and members, so every penny you spend is invested by Forestry England back into the management of our woodlands and is needed to make Hicks Lodge a great place for a day out.

Parking Charges

The money you pay for parking helps us to look after the forests. Read how
Up to 1 hour £2.00
Up to 2 hours £4.00
All day £6.00

Additional information

Regular visitors can save money by becoming a Member - Find out more about our membership offer
Number of accessible parking spaces: 5

Facilities and access

  • We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Hicks Lodge without legal restrictions. Please remember to take personal responsibility for your health and hygiene and respect others if they wish to continue with some safety measures, such as wearing a mask or social distancing.
  • Be kind and patient to our staff, volunteers and onsite business partners. They are working hard to help you to get the best out of your visit.
Accessible toilet
Assistant dogs welcome
Baby changing facilities
Bird hide
Cafe
Cycle hire
Dogs allowed
Easy access trail
Picnic area
Play Area
Toilets
Wildlife hide

Contact details

A great place to walk, cycle and much more!

In the heart of the National Forest, Hicks Lodge is a former coal mining site that has been totally transformed by new plantings and exciting trails for you to enjoy.

A great day out for the budding cyclist, from tearaway toddlers to young teens perfecting their skills, we’ve got a range of trails for beginner to intermediate appetites.

Visit our lakeside bird hide where you can soak in the beautiful scenery and spot some unique wildlife, such as the migratory sand martins. There are also walking and horse riding paths to explore the forest, a play area and a café!

With the family friendly, off road Wood Farm trail as well as the longer, more challenging Shell Brook trail, Hicks Lodge has cycle routes for all abilities. 

We welcome horses and riders at Hicks Lodge. We have a permissive route which is open throughout the spring and summer months and takes you through a large part of the outer Forest on maintained grassy tracks. 

Planning a visit? Please take a look at this essential information before arriving. 

Horse riding is permitted at Hicks Lodge.

You will be able to re-fuel at the cafe whilst making use of our purpose built horse corral with mounting block and parking is easy in the dedicated and secure horse-box car park. The specific horse trail is not shared, however please be mindful when riding as you may come across walkers. The trail also crosses cycling and walking trails. The loop around the lake is shared and very busy so consideration should be given to all.

The trail is shown on the map and there is a board in the horse box car park that also has the trail on.

The permissive horse route is open during spring and summer. The loop around the lake is a public bridleway and links to Donisthorpe and Moira public bridleways, these are open access and can be ridden all year round.

The horse loop is situated on the opposite side of the road from the cafe, this is where the car parking for horses is.

Discover the small but mighty creatures in the much-loved story and learn about the everyday heroic feats of minibeasts in the forest.

The new self-led trail features brightly illustrated panels and a trail pack full of fun activities, including your very own mask.

Set off with Superworm and become a forest superhero!

Superworm lasso a trail activity pack!

What superhero antics will you pull off in your forest superhero mask?

Inside the Superworm trail pack you’ll find:

Kraft bag to colour in Forest superhero mask 7 creature facts cards Activity sheet to complete at home Stickers Pencil and crayon Trail leaflet

To keep visitors and our staff safe we are asking that people make contactless payments when buying their trail activity packs and wear a face covering during the purchase.

Follow the trail

The trail should keep the young ones entertained for around an hour leaving plenty of time to find more fun and explore the forest. 

It is important that visitors follow social distancing guidelines along the trail and keep 2m apart from other groups where possible.  

Trail activity packs are available to purchase from the cafe or bike shop during opening times and cost just £3.50.

Share your experiences and photos with #SuperwormTrail

© 2012 & TM Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

This largely flat circular trail takes you through our newly-planted woodland trees and around the lake at the heart of our site. The gravel surfaced trail starts close to the car park, outside of the café and toilets.

There are stops along the way with benches for you to relax with a picnic and enjoy the views.

Nearby forests

Sence Valley lake

Located north-west of Leicester, come and discover Sence Valley’s fascinating history. Once part of a large coal mine that closed in 1996, we planted 98,000 trees in 1998, transforming Sence Valley into a haven for wildlife and visitors.

Sensory garden at Rosliston

From surfaced trails and cycle routes to outdoor play areas, a cafe and a sensory garden, a visit to Rosliston Forestry Centre is a great day out for everyone! 

Pick up a site guide when you arrive or download from our website and create your own adventure...

Meander through the mature woodland at Fox Covert to gain an insight of how the rest of The National Forest may look in the future. 

Membership invitation - click to find out more about membership
Volunteer with us invitation - click to discover volunteer opportunities across England