The best May half-term activities in the nation’s forests

Campervan in forest

The best May half-term activities in the nation’s forests

The memories of the Easter break are still fresh, and we're eagerly anticipating the upcoming summer holidays. However, as half-term approaches once again, our focus shifts to keeping the kids entertained during their week off from school.

Thankfully, Forestry England offers loads of fantastic activities for kids to enjoy. Whether it's a leisurely picnic bathed in sunlight or an adventure along the brilliant Gruffalo party trail, there's something for every member of the family to enjoy.

The best part? Many of these activities are budget-friendly or even free, ensuring accessibility for all families. Join us for a day brimming with laughter and forge unforgettable memories in the breathtaking landscapes of the great outdoors.

Here's a sneak peek at the exciting activities awaiting families during the May half term:

Gruffalo’s 25th birthday trail

Celebrate the beloved Gruffalo's 25th birthday with a grand party trail in the forest! As part of the adventure, families will be encouraged to work together to search for missing party items while enjoying fun and games along the trail. They will also learn about the intricate ways plants and animals look after each other.  

This fantastic celebratory trail is set to captivate Gruffalo fans of all ages, offering a memorable and educational experience this half-term!

To add to your enjoyment, there is also a free Gruffalo activity sheet, jam packed with entertain engaging ideas to your kids. Activities include a gratitude hunt, bird song identification, colouring, wordsearches and drawing.

Cost: £4 per Gruffalo trail pack plus parking charges. Free parking for members.

Go on a family bike ride

Embark on a family cycling adventure across over 2,500km of cycling trails including beginner-friendly routes in the nation's forests. Discover green spaces, dedicated cycling trails, and skill-building areas for an exhilarating ride amidst nature's splendor.

Cost: Free, bike hire charges and parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

Camp under the stars

Gather your friends and family, snuggle up in your sleeping bag and take in the beautiful night sky with a stay at one of our campsites for a low-cost holiday this half-term.

With 14 locations across England, Forestry England Camping sites provide the perfect location for an immersive holiday. Surrounded by the forest, you will have direct access to miles of paths, unique experiences and an endless adventure.

Cost: From £13.60 per night. (based on 2 adults and 2 children). Members receive a 10% discount.

Gruffalo sculptures 

Enjoy a fun family day out as you search for the characters from Julia Donaldson's classic story, The Gruffalo, in the deep dark wood.

Your children will love meeting Mouse, Owl, Fox, Snake and Squirrel as well as the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's child!

Cost: Free, parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

Discover nature's giants

Marvel at the majestic redwood trees, some of the world's tallest and largest, nestled in our forests.

With now over half a million to discover in the nation’s forests, head out using Forestry England’s map to discover magnificent examples of these trees this half-term!

Cost: Free, parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

Picnic in the great outdoors

Bask in the therapeutic benefits of forest immersion by indulging in a picnic with loved ones amidst towering trees. Engage children in the picnic preparations for added fun and bonding.

Cost: Free, parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

Enjoy moments of reflection

Take a serene pause from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and reconnect with nature on Forestry England's wellbeing trails.

In addition to the wellbeing trails, families can also give forest bathing a go. Simply find a quiet spot where your kids feel safe and relaxed and start practicing the art of forest bathing with Forestry England’s downloadable activity sheets.

Cost: Free, parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

Forest Play

Let loose and unleash your inner child as you navigate through adventure play zones and natural equipment, offering endless opportunities for family fun and bonding.

Cost: Free, parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

Look for wildlife

Give a prize to whoever can tick off the most animals on the spotter sheet during your half term visit. Forestry England’s colourful spotter sheet is a great introduction to recording wildlife and from beautiful butterflies to roe deer, there is a lot of wildlife to spot in the nation’s forests.

Cost: Free, parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

Gruffalo Orienteering

Try this fun, navigational challenge in your local forest. Use a simple map to find twelve Gruffalo markers hidden in the deep, dark wood as quickly as possible. Who in your family will find them all first?

Cost: £1.50pp, parking charges may apply. Free parking for members.

With adventurous play areas, safe off-road family cycling, activity trails and beautiful picnic areas, the nation’s forests offer a fantastic family day out. Visit for further information.

Notes to Editor

  1. Images are available here. Please credit Forestry England/Crown copyright.
  2. Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 291 million visits in 2022/23. As England’s largest land manager, we shape landscapes and enhance forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. We are continuing the work we have already started to make the nation’s forests resilient to climate change and by 2026 we will:   
  • create at least 6,000 more hectares where we integrate wilding activities in our productive forests
  • increase the diversity of visitors to the nation’s forests and have one million hours of high-quality volunteer time given to the nation’s forests 
  • plant at least 2,000 hectares of new, high quality, predominantly broadleaf woodlands 

For more information visit Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission. 

Media contact:  

Rebecca Ulewicz, Media Relations Officer: