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“Should have kept the playpark and restaurant”

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre
Ranked #2 of 11 things to do in Aberfoyle
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Should have kept the playpark and restaurant”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

This place used to be fabulous. It had a great playpark which was interactive and children could play with lots of others on it. Apparently it was dangerous ... but it was well built. It could perhaps have had better barriers built on it etc to make it a little safer but my kids used to have a ball on it and it was our one outing every year !
The walk to the waterfall is lovely and I would thoroughly recommend that but the zipwire noise is certainly annoying.
But the views from the visitor centre are stunning - I believe the new restaurant is maybe not so good so maybe take a picnic.... I used to like the old cafe they had - much more informal and suited to this place.

So overall - still good but used to be so much better. Maybe younger children will like the interactive forest things but our boys (very active) and their friends used to love the old playpark....

£3 for parking - need changed to watch out

Also RSPB bird viewing which is good

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank JW30265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“nice but some issues”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Used to come here years ago, first visit for a long time.

It's obviously been refurbished - much more spacious but as others have said a wee bit minimalist and a bit clinical. You can see live feed of nesting birds incl osprey.

Lovely views from the café, and we all enjoyed our food despite what others have said. Staff were friendly. One minor mixed-up order.

Pram/wheelchair access to the centre is a bit confusing - there is a ramp on the left which seems to go right into a fire exit double-door, and it's not well signed at all.

A couple of other things -

yes they are serious about paying for the parking. The meter near me was not working and I was persuaded by others in my group that they would not be checking late on a Sunday afternoon - a £50 fine now says otherwise! Only have myself to blame to be fair - there is a slightly nonfriendly notice by the meters to the effect that "even if this machine is broken you need to find one of the others"

the walk to the waterfall is promoted as OK for wheelchairs. We took a pram down it without big problems. While the surface is easy, it is steep (downhill there, uphill back) and I would not take on pushing an adult up this in a wheelchair unless I was pretty fit and they were not too heavy

they have midgies! oh yes! Bring some DEET

zip slide goes right over the waterfall, which some might disagree with

nice sculptures on the waterfall walk - watch out for the mirror people who are hard to spot in the forest by the walkway

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank pf79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Lovely place and great views”
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We visited the place with our two kids and loved it. The car park costs £3 for the whole day. The Lodge itself offers stunning views all around and ample information. There are lots of different walks in the nearby forest which are clearly marked. We chose the smallest one as we had kids with us. It led to a stream and waterfall which was a lovely place with tall trees. There was a kind of play area for the kids there with hammocks and all, wild but fun. Kids wanted to keep playing there. There were picnic tables near the lodge if one wants to bring their own picnic.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank rafia s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barre, VT
Level Contributor
137 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“We were pleased.”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

I visited here with my husband, cousin, and aunt. We were only there for about an hour. I don't know what the previous site was like, but we were very pleased with this one. We did not eat in the cafe...so I can't speak to that. The loo was a bit of a hike and down stairs which presented a challenge for some in our group. The gift shop...as others mentioned...is NOT in-your-face. We enjoyed the scientific displays and the large topical map. Most importantly...we received excellent advice about hiking in the area which was very helpful. The view was amazing! The only drawback we could find was the charge for parking.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Neegi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey, UK
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Well we liked it a lot!”
Reviewed 11 May 2014 via mobile

We can't make the comparison with the old Lodge, but we thought this a model of how a modern visitor centre should be. Clean looks, clean loos, pleasant cafe (not over-priced by current standards), and someone helpful on reception to show us the map and recommend walks. Even more helpful was RSPB guide Lucy who devoted lots of her time to giving us guidance on where to see some special birds in the area. We found her particularly welcoming and knowledgeable, and overall our visit, and our (green) walk was a great success.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Georgie_Charles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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