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“Re-visted the lodge after refurbishment”

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre
Ranked #4 of 12 things to do in Aberfoyle
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 7 June 2014

We have come here often in the past and thoroughly enjoyed both the lodge itself and the surrounding walks and scenery. The lodge is now refurbished, and frankly it's not nearly as nice as it used to be. Nothing in the building engaged us - rather empty feeling inside and not enough exhibits that attract you to look at them. Although the 'old' version of the lodge was a bit dated and in need of a clean-up, it had a very cosy and welcoming feel to it that, I'm sorry to say, the newly refurbished version doesn't have. And yes, the cost of the car park is steep if you want to spend more than an hour's visit. We visit the place a lot, but £3 is too much to pay each time, so we'll probably not be back very often.

The lovely old cafe - which had access to a great veranda with fantastic views - and which sold very tasty, home cooked food, is no longer. It's been replaced by an up-dated, larger (good) but rather austere room. Our chocolate cake was unfortunately stale and shouldn't have been on sale - they could have saved a lot of money if they had clad the building in the chocolate cake instead of the slate, and it would have weathered better :). And the bread for the sandwiches had clearly been sitting out of it's wrapper as it too was very dry. Not very good!! A more interesting choice for vegetarians would be nice too? Service was friendly and courteous. If only they would give a little more attention to the details, please!

The environment outside is dominated by the Go Ape zip which is noisy - not really to our taste, but clearly very popular. The walks are still great and really enjoyable, and the new tree hammocks by the waterfall are a nice addition.

Overall, a good place in which to spend time, but somehow it's lost some of it's attraction in the recent make-over. If your new to the lodge and surrounding environment you may find it acceptable.

5  Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"red squirrels"
in 32 reviews
"stunning views"
in 15 reviews
"waterfall walk"
in 6 reviews
"go ape"
in 36 reviews
"wildlife hide"
in 5 reviews
"marked walks"
in 5 reviews
"lovely waterfall"
in 5 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 8 reviews
"osprey nest"
in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
in 7 reviews
"parking fee"
in 4 reviews
in 8 reviews
"watch the birds"
in 2 reviews
"baked potatoes"
in 2 reviews
"modest charge"
in 2 reviews
"extensive walks"
in 2 reviews

148 - 152 of 203 reviews

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

4  Thank JW30265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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

5  Thank pf79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

1  Thank rafia s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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.

Thank Neegi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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