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“Trying hard - but walkers beware”

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Goudhurst
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest in the High Weald of Kent is the perfect place for healthy outdoor activity. Open all year, Bedgebury Forest covers around 20,000 square metres of forest and features trails for family cycling, mountain-biking, Go Ape, horse riding, walking and adventure play for all ages and abilities. The National Pinetum contains the world's leading collection of conifers and is a beautiful setting for walks and picnics in all seasons, surrounded by lakes, streams, rolling hills and wide avenues. A network of paths throughout enables easy access for all levels of ability.The Visitor Centre features a visitor Information office, cafe, toilets, bike hire, showers for bikes and riders, and an education/community room.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Baby buggy parking, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
East Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Trying hard - but walkers beware”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

This was my first visit as I fancied a walk with cooling trees. Perhaps a hot Sunday at the start of the school holidays was not the best choice. In order to get income / visitors , a range of audiences are attracted including children and mountain bikers. There are relatively few routes designated for walkers - and many tracks for mountain bikers where, understandably, walkers are forbidden as unsafe. The trees in the pinetum are interesting but it is difficult to follow the poor map (£2). The bit near the cafe with junk food was crowded but you could get away from people quite quickly. However, due to lack of funds the staff try, but don't always succeed, in ensuring that bikers stay out of the pinetum. I would go back - but probably in winter and when children are at school. The flat rate entrance - nearly £10 to park - may be understandable as the Forestry Commission needs income but this is a tad steep if you go on your own.

I suppose I was disappointed and expected something more user friendly for walkers - we seemed to be in the minority.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank emilyphipps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark C, Manager at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, responded to this review, 31 July 2014
Thank you for your feedback and I am sorry that you did not enjoy your visit as you had expected.
All monies from the admission fee are re-invested back into the site. This money helps to maintain/develop the host of facilities, provide educational programmes and protect/enhance the important conservation and research work carried out by the National Pinetum.
The admission fee is per vehicle and allows a number of people entry to this beautiful, fun and important site.
The cafe provides a wide selection of food including salads, healthy sandwiches and homemade cakes. We will be redeveloping the catering this coming winter to further improve the offer and visitor experience.
Bedgebury has many miles of paths and forest rides where visitors can walk and indeed the National Pinetum is a no cycling area.
However, I do agree that we could provide more waymarked walking trails both in the Pinetum and the Forest. I appreciate your views on this and will be adding to our plans for 2015/6.
Bedgebury is open all year and is beautiful in the autumn and winter. We hope you see you again.
Thank you. Mark Clixby. Recreation Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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472 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“So beautiful”
Reviewed 5 July 2014 via mobile

This is a great place to: wear out kids; have a picnic; take a walk; knacker yourself out on a bike or just sit and think. Never the same twice as the trees change seasonally - displaying some of their wonderful colours making it one of my favourite places to go.

Helpful?
Thank Jo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark C, Manager at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Thank you for your feedback and I am delighted you enjoy all that Bedgebury has to offer. Bedgebury does indeed offer something for everyone from adventurous play, challenging mountain biking and safe family cycling to the peace and beauty of the National Pinetum - a gem at all times of the year.
Hope to see you again soon.
Thank you. Mark Clixby. Recreation Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
283 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Need to train for those Mountain Bike trails”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

Went down to Bedgebury to have a go at that Mountain bike trails. Didn't last very long on them, before having to revert to the family trail. Need to get training on how to do mountain bike trails. Thoroughly recommended though.
Would have liked to have seen the black trails, after seeing the the difficulty of the red trails.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mumble_Swerve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark C, Manager at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Thank you for your feedback and I am glad you enjoyed your visit. The mountain bike trails are designed to be fun and challenging and indeed many visitors ride them on a regular basis. We are currently working on our Development Plan and working hard to finish the upgrade and development of the sections over the coming months - making them even more sustainable, fun and challenging. They will also be usable all year round, making Bedgebury a great site for all the seasons.
Hope to see you on the trails soon.
Thank you. Mark Clixby. Recreation Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
113 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Great day on the mountain bike tracks”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Brilliant and tiring fun on their single track. A couple of signposts missing resulting in a climb that didn't need climbing (!!) and a couple of closed rides made it a 'very good' rather than an 'excellent'. Be aware of a hefty car park fee- but then they need to maintain it. The little cafe was good but a wee bit grubby. They were very busy in fairness. Didn't stop me eating the cake either.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Lothlorienlass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark C, Manager at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you for your feedback and I am pleased you enjoyed your cycle ride. We currently have a small number of sections closed as they are being developed as part of a £100,000 development project that we started in 2012. Our contractor is currently on site and we hope that the works to upgrade the trails will be completed in 2014.
The parking charge is also your admission fee to Bedgebury and is all re-invested back into the site. This money helps to maintain/develop the host of facilities, provide educational programmes and protect/enhance the important conservation and research work carried out by the National Pinetum.
The admission fee is per vehicle and allows a number of people entry to this beautiful, fun and important site.
We are currently working on plans to develop the catering offer at Bedgebury and hope to have this project completed in the spring of 2015.
Thank you.
Mark Clixby, Recreation Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
177 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Fantastic walks”
Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

Finally visited bedgebury after years of saying I would. What a fantastic place to visit. Absolutely bwautiful. Only complaint was the price of parking.

Also got to listen to paul weller sound checking

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Rikt87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark C, Manager at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thanks you for your feedback. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Bedgebury. The parking charge is also your admission fee to Bedgebury and is all re-invested back into the site. This money helps to maintain/develop the host of facilities, provide educational programmes and protect/enhance the important conservation and research work carried out by the National Pinetum.
The admission fee is per vehicle and allows a number of people entry to this beautiful, fun and important site.
Thank you.
Mark Clixby, Recreation Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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