Jeskyns Community Woodland is one of the best places for us to visit with requirements for a toddler, a 10 month old in a buggy, a very energetic Labrador and two active adults. As you can imagine it can be a little bit hectic with all this going on, but Jeskyns really does deliver.
There is a vast amount of parking available with overflow too and I don’t think we have ever not been able to park when we have visited. It is paid for parking with a number of duration options. We tend to stick to the two-hour slot, however if you have older children and want to make the most of it I would recommend longer.
There are two entrances into Jeskyns; one by the cafe and another leading to the dog areas. We have learnt now with a dog who likes swimming not to use the entrance by the cafe as it leads directly to the dog pond and we like to save this until the end.
The pathways are so well maintained the buggy glides smoothly with no trouble at all (we have a silver cross) the only thing to consider is your footwear as with loose stones they can become stuck even in your trainers so sandals and flip flops might not be a good idea.
The area is vast and green and although it is located right beside the M2 and the high speed railway you really do have a great sense of being in the countryside. The benefits of being outdoors are amazing for me and when the weather is nice, it really does make me happy!
All the way around you will find areas for dogs on and off lead. I think this is a really nice touch as it allows dogs to exercise, however I also appreciate not everyone wants to be surrounded by excitable dogs so it’s a fair balance.
If you would like to train your dog or socialise them, there are two convenient large dog pens. Whenever we go on a Sunday morning there seems to be a large Husky dog meet which is lovely to see.
Today we decided to visit the fairy village, you can’t bring dogs into this area so Ian stayed outside with Louis (our Labrador) and Liam whilst Holly and I went exploring! As we walked through the play area, which has a large climbing structure and big sandpit, we found the entrance to the fairy village in the far left hand corner of the park.
Holly couldn’t contain her excitement! She loves fairies so to enter their village was a privilege. This area seems to have been created with so much care and attention. The quality of the models, seating areas and pathways are outstanding.
As we wandered around we came across so many precious little fairy doors with Holly becoming even more mesmerised as we moved deeper into the woodland area. They have even thought about wildlife in here with a hedgehog house!
As we could have stayed in here for a long time, I decided we had better join the rest of the family again and move on to discover the Gruffalo play area. Holly again was captured by her imagination when we entered this area and I think that was aided by the fact we had been to Chessington a couple of weeks ago which has the Gruffalo show!
The only negative thing I can comment on about the play areas is, for me, it does feel like the space is a little wasted. It would get 10/10 from me if they had some swings and slides and some tunnels to crawl through. But maybe that’s just not what they’re about.
As we had heavily focused on Holly to this point, we decided it was Louis turn and he was taken to his favourite area…the dog pond!!
If you have a dog who loves to socialise and enjoys a good swim this is the place for them! Whenever we have been we have always had a good experience. All the dog owners throw in balls and the dogs all compete to reach them first. Some people decide to sit in what we call the ‘splash zone’ where the dogs can’t help but shake off. Having learnt this a long time ago we sit much further back and enjoy the whole scene.
Walking back to the car we found even more little tracks for Holly to explore and also part of the trail you can take part in which only costs £3. We feel Holly is a little bit young at the moment (2 years old) to keep her concentration for this, however after speaking to another family with a six and eight-year-old, they loved it.
As mentioned at the beginning there is also a cafe at one of the entrances so a perfect place to stop at the end for a drink or snack.
It’s a great place to visit, if you love it here let us know or if you’re planning a visit, tell us how you got on. But from us…we will be back!