Outdoor activities

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Adventure play area

Our fantastic adventure play area features the infant play trail which is suitable for younger children aged between 3 and 6 years old. The play area for older children aged 7 to 11 years old has a magnificent fort as its centrepiece. Our all-ability play area is suitable for all ages and is wheelchair accessible. The tables and seating, which surround the area, are perfect for picnicking in fine weather.

Walks, trails and cycling

Situated in more than 1,000 hectares of Crown Estate woodland, The Look Out Discovery Centre is the perfect starting point for a wide variety of walks, trails and bike rides suitable for adults and children of all ages and abilities. 

Walks

The signposted walks are:

  • the Forest Walk (1.2m/2km), which includes pinetum
  • the Heritage Trail (4.1m/6.6km), which includes Caesar's Camp, an iron age hill fort, redoubts and Wickham Bushes (site of Roman town)
  • the Nature Trail (5.2m/8.4km), which includes a variety of habitats from mature pines and young plantations to heathlands, bogs and lakes

A map of the walks is available to purchase from reception at The Look Out (open 10am to 5pm).

Cycle network

There is a 24.2 kilometre cycle network suitable for all abilities from families cycling for fun to highly-skilled riders. The start of the cycle route is signposted from The Look Out.

There is a map at the start of each ride for cyclists to follow a numbered route. Further information about the Swinley Forest trails is also provided by The Crown Estate in the section about Swinley Forest on the Windsor Great Park website.

If you have ridden in with your bikes and would like to explore the forest on foot, bike racks are available by the entrance of The Look Out.

Explorer journals

The journals involve following a map with lots of fun activities to do in the woodland and some things to do at home afterwards. There are 8 of them:

  • Crafty for 4 to 7 year olds and 8 to 12 year olds
  • Animals for 4 to 7 year olds and 8 to 12 year olds
  • Trees and plants for 4 to 7 year olds and 8 to 12 year olds
  • Navigation for 4 to 7 year olds and 8 to 12 year olds

They are priced at £1.95 each and available from reception at The Look Out. Please bring a pencil or pen. The navigation journals require you to bring a compass although we do sell them here at The Look Out. Why not do all four of each age range. For visitors who complete the extra activity mentioned in the journal there is a chance to be given a free badge - there are four to collect in total. Have fun!

Dogs are permitted in the forest under the supervision of their owners.

Dog walking

Swinley Forest is a great place to bring a dog. Please keep dogs on a lead whilst walking through the picnic area to access the forest. Dogs are not allowed into the play area. Only guide dogs are allowed into the centre.

Orienteering

We have an orienteering course available for only £1 per course. The course starts and finishes at The Look Out with three suggested courses of 2.5km, 4.3km - or 6.9km for the most adventurous. Please ask at reception for the orienteering map and course information.

Mountain bike hire

Mountain bike hire is available at The Look Out courtesy of Swinley Bike Hub. Bikes are available for children aged 6 and over. It is usually open daily from 9am however please check the Swinley Bike Hub website or phone 01344 360229 for up-to-date information.

Go Ape

The UK’s No.1 Forest Adventure.

The classic and original tree top adventure. Take to the trees and speed down zip slides, part of an exciting course of rope bridges, Tarzan swings and crossings - all set high above the forest floor.

You can also enjoy forest segway, from two legs to two wheels - for the ultimate forest experience on a rugged all-terrain Segway. It's a totally unique way to tackle the trails in the forest.

Go Ape is open from February to November, please check the Go Ape website for prices and to book.

Horse riding

Horse riding tracks in Swinley Forest should be accessed via Swinley Park, Swinley Road, Ascot SL5 8AD.

Please note that there is no horse box parking available at The Look Out Discovery Centre. Valid annual riding permits are required for those wishing to ride these tracks.

For further information, please contact the Crown Estate or visit the Windsor Great Park website.

Car parking

The charge for car parking is:

  • £2 per visit for up to four hours 
  • £4 for the whole day which is 7am till 8.30pm during April to September or 7am till 6pm during October to March

Visitors who pay on the day (adult and saver tickets only) to use the science exhibition at The Look Out Discovery Centre will receive a £2 discount from their entry price if they bring their parking ticket stub to reception at the time of purchasing their tickets. You can also buy an annual permit, which costs £60 for Bracknell Forest residents and £100 for non-residents. 

There are pay and display machines in the car park.

Application form for annual car park permit

Annual car park permits can be purchased at The Look Out in person between 10am and 5pm. Please note the documentary evidence required for Bracknell Forest residents. Application forms are also available at The Look Out.

Other outdoor activities in Bracknell Forest

For other activities around Bracknell Forest please visit Parks and countryside - outdoor activities page.

Virtual tour of outdoors at The Look Out


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