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The Look Out Discovery Centre statement about coronavirus

Updated 13 April 2021

Our indoor facilities are closed.

Our coffee shop takeaway service and car park remain open. The outdoor playground is open for advanced online bookings.

Toilets are open daily between 9:30am and 4:30pm.

Swinley Forest can be accessed for exercise. Please follow government guidelines by staying local and avoiding unnecessary travel.

You can meet outside with up to 6 people from different households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6), or any number of people from 2 households. The stay local guidance has been replaced with minimise travel, avoid making unnecessary trips, and combine trips where possible.

Visiting the indoor science exhibition

All indoor facilities closed on 19 December 2020 until further notice.

This includes the indoor science exhibition, gift shop, coffee shop and indoor seating area.

Visiting the playground

You can make a booking to use our playground.

Protecting our customers

The safety of our staff and customers is our top priority.

You can see what measures we’re taking on our playground and coffee shop page, under terms and conditions.

Coffee shop open for takeaway

The coffee shop is open for takeaway purchases. We have a selection of hot and cold drinks, hot food, snacks and ice creams available for takeaway.


Toilets and baby changing facilities are open daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

Car park

The Look Out car park is open.

Additional measures have been put in place to direct the flow of people and cyclists on the site. All visitors are asked to respect the signage.

When the car park reaches capacity, the entrance will be closed, so it is essential that visitors are prepared to return home or travel onward to an alternative destination if the car park is full on arrival. There is no opportunity for vehicles to queue on site or on the access roads. Traffic wardens will be in attendance to address illegal parking.

The car park remains chargeable as normal. Parking machines will accept coins, card, contactless card payments and Pay by Phone.

The car park is open daily between 7am and 8pm.

Visiting Swinley Forest

Swinley Forest is a rare and valuable wildlife habitat, which is very sensitive to disturbance, particularly the wildlife that lives there. The use of barbecues or campfires on site is strictly forbidden to prevent destructive forest fires.

Please take all your litter home with you, particularly if the bins are full, as leaving litter can be unsightly and cause harm to wildlife. Broken glass bottles pose a threat to visitors and their dogs; they trap wildlife and magnify the sun, which can cause forest fires.

Cyclists should always ride within their limits and recognise that the area will be busier than normal with walking activities and family visits. Any accidents will put pressure on the NHS and the emergency services, taking resources away from the COVID-19 response.

We continue to prioritise the ongoing safety of our staff, visitors and the wider community and reflect on the latest government and public health advice.

If you do decide to visit us at this time, we ask all visitors to abide by the latest advice from the NHS.

Other services in Swinley Forest

Please contact these directly for information on their services:

Contact information

The Look Out Discovery Centre

Telephone Number 01344 354400

Nine Mile Ride
RG12 7QW
Make an enquiry