Deep in the heart of the woods near York in North Yorkshire, you will find a fairy sanctuary. Northwood Trail Fairy Sanctuary is home to fairies, goblins, a dragon and lots of other characters from folklore. It is an experience for young and old, male and female. I was a little apprehensive about taking my nearly 7-year-old son but he absolutely loved it and he was really taken with the magic of the place.
Northwood Trail Fairy Sanctuary, Near York | Review Guide
For a while, they weren’t even on google and finding the place wasn’t too easy as they don’t have lots of signposts. They are, however, now on google and google directions will get you there. They are located next to Jollydays glamping which looks like a lovely place to stay.
When we arrived I checked us in and asked if it was OK if we had our picnic in the car for half an hour. They didn’t mind about this. We hadn’t realised until we were nearly there that they don’t allow picnics in the woodland. They do, however, have a super woodland cafe with seating inside and outside. Do check out their menu as they have lots of tasty-sounding food, hot and cold.
The trail is on a big loop through the woods. Next to a lot of the mystical wonders, you will find signs full of historical information connected to the folklore of the place. Make sure you look carefully and walk slowly so you don’t miss anything. We found fairy doors, a large dragon’s nest complete with eggs, hobgoblin homes, toadstools and so much more.
My absolute favourite was their new dragon’s nest. I’m pretty sure we had the little one convinced it was real. This place has only been open for about a year and new folklore has arrived in that time.
The fairy houses are all made from natural resources and well I don’t feel right writing that they are so well made if you know what I mean! Another favourite was the wooden thrones that you can sit in. We also loved the tree shadows and the trees with ‘eyes’.
Hopefully, my photos will give you a good idea of what the trail is like. It really is magical. There is also a maze that is more of a labyrinth. At the end of the trail, there is a small natural play area suitable for younger children.
The paths are just about suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. You aren’t allowed in the maze/labyrinth but if you are prepared for the possibility of mud and a bumpy path you can get around the trail.
When you finish the trail make sure you visit the museum. It’s small but there’s a hidden surprise behind a secret door.
The walk took us around 2 hours, we did not rush.
Important Information about Northwood Fairy Trail
Address: Unnamed Road, York YO41
Car parking at Northwood Trail – It is free to park. The car park isn’t massive and can get quite dirty.
Northwood Trail Prices – An adult ticket costs £8.90 and £6.90 for a child aged 3-15. Under 3’s are free. Family tickets are also available.
Can you purchase an annual pass? – Yes, the Northwood trail have annual passes. You can purchase half year or full year. A full year adult pass costs £55 and £42 for a child or £155 for 2 adults and 2 children.
Facilities at Northwood Trail: There is a walk around the woods to see all sorts of folklore characters and their homes. Plus a small natural play area at the end. There is a cafe selling hot and cold food and drinks. They have toilets.
Opening Times: They are open 10 am until 6 pm. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Accessibility – The main path is accessible for wheelchairs or pushchairs. Do expect bumps though and to get your wheels dirty.
Is Northwood Trail Dog Friendly: Dogs are not allowed
Are there places to picnic at Northwood Trail: No, you are not allowed to picnic unless you eat in your car.
Category: Trail / walk, suitable for all ages. Although older children may find it boring.
Some more photos from our visit