Mumbler Reviews: Northwood Trail, The Fairy Sanctuary
I took my two children, age 7 and 10, for a school holiday day out to the Northwood Trail and we had a fantastic time!
Northwood is located near Stamford Bridge, this side of York, and was around a 50 minute drive from West Hull. It is very rural and a bit tricky to find but we used the directions on their website (not our sat nav which was way off!) and we found it no problem.
It’s described as a Fairy Sanctuary so I was unsure how much my 10 year old son would enjoy it, but he loves a woodland walk so I thought I’d bring him along with my 7 year old daughter. He actually ended up enjoying it just as much as she did, if not more!
As soon as you walk out of the car park into the woods it feels magical. There are little details everywhere to look for such as fairy doors and it’s very atmospheric. We collected a trail map from the entry point and off we went to explore and find some magical creatures!
There are lots of incredibly well-made, beautiful fairy doors, along with houses and villages to look for and other places that mythical creatures might live in. As well as looking for fairies we were looking for other creatures such as trolls, giants, hobgoblins, even fresh water mermaids in the lake! Each area has an information board about the creatures and what they were like, along with stories about them, which we really enjoyed reading.
There was a maze part way round that my children enjoyed following (it’s a one way system for covid so that calmed my nerves about getting lost in it!), with some den building materials in the centre which were a big hit too.
It took nearly 2 hours to get around but we did stop and read/do everything, younger children may skip around it quicker. We were mesmerised for the whole time! At the end of the trail is a lovely cafe and the fairy museum where we spent ages looking at the artefacts and the model villages.
Overall it was a really good day out, I wasn’t sure what to expect but it definitely exceeded anything we could have imagined. It’s good for a wide range of ages, younger children will like it but it’s good for older children too – it sparked my 10 year old’s imagination and he got really into some of the stories, especially the one about giants and their swords! I really enjoyed it too and its one of my favourite days out that we’ve had, its very interesting for the grown ups too! It is definitely a place I would return to and would recommend a visit to.
We combined it with a visit to The Balloon Tree, farmshop and cafe just a few minutes drive away in Stamford Bridge, to do their pick your own fruit field and we came home with a huge punnet of PYO raspberries. Northwood Trail is also near to Piglets if you wanted to combine it with that attraction too, or you could carry on to the park and ride and pop into York city centre to make a longer day out. Driving home we avoided the busy A1079 and came via Fridaythorpe and Wetwang, the Wetwang Scarecrow is a good one to do too.
Northwood Trail is open daily in school holidays then at weekends and selected dates at other times. They also put on special events such as Christmas, look out for details of those on Mumbler.