Visitor information

Located only 7 miles from the centre of Northampton, Salcey Forest is an oasis of nature and history

This magnificent woodland has many miles of ancient wood banks, building remains and ancient trees. The 'druids', or veteran oaks, are rare and amazing wildlife habitats, and some of the old oaks are over 600 years old. See what you can spot on your visit to the medieval royal hunting forest.

We’ve got endless walking trails, a family cycling trail, adventure play area and even an onsite café selling tasty homemade meals and cakes in a warm, friendly environment.

What's on

Forest event
8, 9, 16 December 2023
8th - 10am / 9th & 16th - 1.30pm
Grounds Cafe - Salcey Forest

Join Gill from &MoreFlowers for an enjoyable workshop designing and creating your very own Christmas wreath! 

All equipment, greenery and decorations will be provided, but please bring your own secateurs if you have them. A choice of hot drink and a slice of cake from Grounds Cafe is included in your ticket price! 

Forest event
Saturday 9 December
From 9.30am
Assemble at the Running Routes start

Nice Work are returning for their famous Christmas race at Salcey Forest! 

With a brand new route and beautiful scenery, this is one not to be missed! We've even added a junior route too! 

This is one of our favourite trail races of the year to bring in the festive cheer! The Winter course will bring lots of variation under foot (including mud!) and is surprisingly flat - perfect for those first timers and PB grabbers (you can check out the course/s on the Nice Work website). 

Junior route - 1.2km (9.30am start) 

5k and 10k - (10am start)

Fancy dress is optional but very much encouraged! 🎅🏼

Forest event
Friday 22 December 2023
1.30pm to 4pm
Grounds Cafe - Salcey Forest

Join Gill from &MoreFlowers for a relaxed workshop creating your very own Christmas table decoration! 

Using locally sourced greenery with flowers in festive colours, you will create a decoration to be proud of and leave you with the skills to repeat your success for years to come.

Flowers, greenery and decoration is all provided, plus you'll get a choice of hot drink and a slice of delicious cake from Grounds during the workshop. 

Forest event
Sunday 24 March
6.30am to 6.30pm
Salcey Forest Visitor Centre

Our friends at Big Bear Events are back!

From experienced ultra-runners and those new to trail running looking for their first 10k, Salcey TrailFest is for you! However ... this is not one of the usual 6 hour timed events with Big Bear, you have to choose one of 5 distances!

10k / Half Marathon / Marathon / 50k / 50 miles 

It's almost guaranteed you'll come across some mud at some point along these routes, with sections of well maintained stoned paths, forest road and well trodden forest floor. 

Click the link above to visit the Big Bear website and find out more info. 

Food and drink

tea and coffee enjoyed at a forest cafe

Take a break at the cafe

Finish your cycle ride in the forest with a homemade cake and a coffee.

Salcey Forest is a delight to discover on bike. This trail provides a fantastic opportunity for family cycling and spend some quality time in the great outdoors!

The route is relatively flat, wide and smooth and a safe and relaxing way to pick up confidence and develop cycling skills. There are two road crossings on this trail, please take care. 

Bike hire, sales, repairs and maintenance are all available at Grounds Cycle Centre - online booking available! 

Have you seen our brand-new Forest Rider pack? Perfect for children aged 7-12 to hone their cycle skills and help them take to the trails this summer - find out more


Riders are welcome to enjoy the sights of Salcey Forest by horseback. The trail for horse riders makes a circuit of the forest on open ridings. Riders may enter the forest on any of the public bridleways, or use the horse-boxing point at the south-eastern end of the forest (off the Forest Road).

No permit is needed to ride at Salcey Forest. 

When riding in the woodland, we request that horse riders keep to the bridleways and permissive horse trail and refrain from using other routes and walking trails in the forest.

Take care at the four public road crossings on this route, which are well signed. There are barriers at 2 of the road crossing locations but there is plenty of room for horses to pass. (what.three.words for road crossings = friday.usages.introduce / sudden.noisy.billiard / reported.earphones.task / seashell.starfish.variation)

For more information on our facilities, opening times and contact details, please see our visitor information.

Choose Salcey Forest if you want to get away from it all and enjoy the ancient woodlands surrounding you and some spectacular wildlife.

Pick up your Zog Christmas clue leaflet for just £1.50, or free if buying a Zog Trail pack and go in search of festive clues along the Zog Trail. Once you've cracked Zog’s Christmas code, return your clue leaflet to pick up your prize, a special Zog Christmas decoration.

Get ready to join Zog on his latest forest adventure with a brand-new family activity trail and free app!

How does it work?

1. Download the new ‘Zog: A Forest Adventure’ app before you visit

Point the brand new app at special markers along the trail and access all sorts of exciting challenges as you go.

Thanks to amazing augmented reality technology, you’ll be able to collect golden stars, just like Zog and have the chance to take a photo with everyone’s favourite dragon at the end of the trail!

Capture the fun by saving videos and photos as you complete the bonus activities!

Get it on Google Play     Get it on the App Store

2. Get your claws on a Zog trail activity pack 

Grab the Zog trail activity pack for £4 from the visitor information point or cafe during opening times.

Inside you’ll find: 

kraft bag to colour in. 

dragon wings to decorate and wear. 

Zog glasses. 


trail leaflet. 

pencil and crayon. 

3. Follow the trail

Collect golden stars as your little dragons learn how they can help care for the forest, and how the forests can care for them.  

Share your Zog fun using the #ZogTrail hashtag.

Zog © 2010 & TM Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

Nearby forests

Bluebells Hazelborough

Hazelborough Wood is an ancient oak woodland with a network of grassy rides for walking.

It showcases beautiful bluebells in spring time and wildlife spotting all year round.

Family on bike ride on forest path

Play, walk, run or ride your way round Fermyn Woods, a stunning ancient woodland set just south of Corby.

With walking trails, orienteering routes, several play areas and a cafe, you will not be short of things to do. If you keep an eye out you'll spot hidden treasures all over, from red kites to deer.

The Visitor Centre is open most days and is managed by Northamptonshire County Council.

Children playing at Fineshade wood

Located north of Corby in the Midlands, Fineshade Wood provides a picturesque setting for your next adventure.

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