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.
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