Moors Valley

A Grave of Swans and Mars Bars

Luke Hall

I’ve always thought that parks and forests lacked a giant wooden bird that you can climb in, and a big pine snake to swallow you whole. At Moors Valley, that’s a dream that comes true. There are swings, snails, and giant dragonflies laced within the bushes that line the A31.  Jurassic park, but instead of genetically modified man-eating dinosaurs, you’re treated to wood-varnished toadstools and a handmade robin redbreast.


All this pine scented intrigue is available to you right now for just a parking fee. On a bright summers day, you can pull up in the middle of the forest, make your way to the wood cabin info centre, with its cosy café and tree seats, for tea and a mars bar. You can then head off to scale a giant totem and declare yourself the Erl-King of the Valley, with a lighter photo hanging in your eco friendly kingdom.

There is no shortage of swing sets, ducks to feed, and gravel trails to traverse whenever you feel like stepping off your wooden throne. If you want to be particularly edgy and ‘bad-arse’ you can wear short trousers and crash through the valley on a mountain bike saying noises like ‘lol’ and ‘wtf’. Moors Valley is a place to let loose and discover what giant wooden structures have been built and nestled away.

Then comes one of the spiciest gems the Valley’s keeps stuffed down its big prickly trousers, the treetop trail! Consisting of a fenced walkway that starts on the ground and works its way up to the tops of the trees. Whilst up there, you can find various wooden figurines and other curiosities that have been tucked away in the branches from bat box to ant mounds, birdhouse, and feeders.

But there are further treats to be found on the fringes. Some are the usual nice walks and pond trails, but there’s a little gem that measures high on the quirky-o-meter. And this little gem is a steam train, around the size of a tricycle. It’s fully functioning and a man actually rides it! For a small fee, he’ll tow you along in a miniature train cart behind! The only real shame is that they do not provide a gun and fedora for you to use in train-by shootings on angry swans that hide in the pond reeds some way down the track, just the revenge needed for the aggressive killer swan whose sword I crossed a few weeks earlier.

Moors Valley if nothing else is a day out.

Editor: Joel Emmons




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