In between Thetford and Brandon in East Anglia lies Thetford Forest, the largest lowland pine forest in Britain with a large variety of animals and plant life. Thetford Forest is one of my favourite places to spend an afternoon in England, biking on one of the trails, enjoying an icecream in the sun or having a picnic in the forest.
In the middle of the forest lies High Lodge Visitors Centre, which has a restaurant, a gift shop, bicycle hire and maps of hiking and cycling trails available at the shop.
The forest is a very popular destination for mountain biking and has four marked trails available for anyone from families with small children to experienced riders; The Shepherd Trail with wide forest roads for beginners and families; the Poacher Trail with open trails for experienced riders; the Lime Burner Trail with challenging and narrow trails, which requires good biking skills and good fitness; and The Beater Train with challenging singletrack trails and close contact to trees. There is also a pump track available for anyone willing to join in on the fun!
Mountain biking is definitely my favourite thing to do in Thetford Forest and for the last three summers I’ve spent in England, my brother Brandon and I have joined our mum’s cousin Jason and his friends on the many cycling trails in the forest. This year, unfortunately, we only went there once, and opted for the 10-mile Lime Burner Trail. To begin with, I had a really heavy bike, so I was super slow, but then I traded with my brother and then cycling the trail was a blast! It’s definitely challenging, but doable for anyone with good health and some cycling experience. My poor brother though 😉
If cycling is not your thing, High Lodge can also offer various hiking trails, an adventure play area, outdoor concerts, paintball and a Go Ape adventure course for children. It’s also a great area to simply enjoy a picnic and watch the people around you having fun.
Most of the family that I have in England live in Thetford, so it’s easy for me to get there and join in on the fun in High Lodge. But even if you live far away or are travelling to London, a day out at Thetford Forest is always a fun idea for an alternative experience with fresh air and close contact with beautiful nature.
I really wish that we had a place like Thetford Forest in Denmark. A place, where you can just drop in after school or work, bike a few trails, hang out with friends and soak up the charming atmosphere in the middle of a large pine forest. If we had a place like that in Denmark, I would never be home! I love spending time at Thetford Forest and I’m really excited to go back next year and hopefully do much more cycling!