Summer days are the perfect time to visit Wenchford picnic site in the Forest of Dean. Its a huge open space in the forest with paths to explore and a brook to paddle in. It does get busy on the hot days, but having visited when it was 32 degrees C, we, and everyone else, had absolutely no problem social distancing. There’s so much space it’s easy. Yes, the car park was very busy, but there is loads of space to picnic, and paddle if you head along the trails.
Picnics at Wenchford
Picnics are the name of the game at Wenchford, and people go prepared! Some people had BBQ’s, some gazebos and sunshades, chairs, tables…. the works. Many groups seemed to be meeting family and friends and Wenchford is the perfect location for the as it just has so much space, plus parking.
We took our every faithful, very well used – now in need of the bin – picnic blanket, cool bag with our lunch and snacks in, plus spare clothes and towels ready for paddling and found a shady spot under a tree for lumch.
I’d also recommend taking flip-flops or water/aqua shoes and kids swimming costumes as they will get wet!
In 32C heat, it was hot, but it was lovely walking in the shade and the picnic area is so shaded it was much better than our garden, and the girls happily ran and played. I’d definitely recommend it.
We explored the forest paths, discovering tree swings, tunnels, bridges, stepping stones…
Paddling at Wenchford
The girls loved the stepping stones across the brook, wondering what was through the tunnel, exploring the woods, paddling in the brook, running, the tree swings, trying to find tree swings, finding sticks, new sticks, re-finding old sticks we left in places B remembered, and just being outside and playing. In the heat, they absolutely loved paddling in the water.
The brook was a bit chilly, but it was very welcome in the heat. The girls had a brilliant time playing in the water, and actually, next time we’d take buckets for them to play with too. The water seemed clean, and clear, and was shallow at the points we saw people paddling.
☀️ Top tips for Wenchford..
- Take spare clothes and towels
- Kids swim wear
- Flip flops/water shoes for the stones/pebbles on the brook
- Take a picnic
Wenchford picnic site and paddling in the Forest of Dean
☀️ Parking – yes, there is a car park at Wenchford and on hot days it’s busy but there is a lot of spaces. Parking costs £2 for 2 hours, £4 for 4 hours or £5 all day.*
☀️ Where: around 40 minutes from Cheltenham
☀️ Time there: as long as you like! All day? Take picnics, chairs, BBQs, toys… there are paths to walk, tree swings to swing on, space to play.
☀️ Pushchair friends: loads of pushchairs.
☀️ Toilets: yes! They are open with a socially distanced queue.*
☀️ Cafe: not a cafe, but there is a hut selling tea, coffee, ice cream, crisps… again, plenty of signs about distancing and as it’s a hut, they are serving from the outside, so there are currently no requirements for masks etc.*
* According to Forestry England, the cafe hut and toilets are only open April – the end of October, and parking charges only apply during this time. I didn’t see this on the parking meter though… so don’t quote me on it! – Forestry England – Wenchford