Rushmere Country Park is a large park and woodland near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. There is so much to do here; the visitor centre, playground areas, pond, woodlands, sculpture trail and fairy doors. This review of Rushmere Country Park focuses on the area starting around the visitor centre. There is also a car park near Stockgrove Lake that you can use as a starting point. It has been quite a few years since I’ve been down that way though. Have a look at the map on their website for lots of walks.
There are a couple of playground areas near the visitor centre, one for older kids and one for younger children. The one for older children has a massive slide my big kids love! It is very popular and very fast though so you will want to keep an eye on younger kids.
Being a woodland there is lots of wildlife – we got to spot some lizards and the resident (nesting) Herons. During the spring they have Heron watch set up with cameras to watch all the nests. There’s also someone on hand with binoculars and telescopes to help you spot the birds before they fly off. It’s pretty cool!
Getting around Rushmere Country Park
Access around the woodland is really good – there’s not much bracken around so it’s pretty clear between trees. Even if you go off path, it’s easy to get a pushchair around. Alongside the main accessible path is a network of Rhododendron bushes. Not only are the beautiful when in flower, they make an awesome secret path for kids to scramble through, whilst you wander along from the safety of a proper path! If you look carefully you might even find some hidden secrets in here!
Maps are available from the visitor centre as well as the website. There are so many trails for varying abilities and some fantastic trees for climbing. The main accessible path is a relatively short, circular route. It’s on this route that you’ll find the main sculpture trail. The large meadow is perfect for picnics and next to some particularly good trees for climbing!!
Whilst Rushmere Country Park is popular, it’s significantly quieter than places such as Wendover Woods (read the review here). There are certain bits of Rushmere that are VERY popular, and can even feel overcrowded at times. This is particularly around the accessible path. It doesn’t take too long to get away from the crowds though. Previously we’ve parked in the overflow car park and explored Lords Hill. We barely saw anyone else.
What’s on for families at Rushmere Country Park
There are lots of sculptures and carved seating areas dotted around the site including a giant’s chair which is a great photo opportunity. The accessible path is full of hidden fairy doors, fairies and even a giant spider!!
They regularly have trails and events going on throughout the year. One of my favourite is the woodland animal yarn-bombing that happens each year. There are loads of knitted animals dotted all over the place and some of them are amazing.
In addition to the regular sculptures there’s often guest appearances as part of the seasonal trails at Rushmere Country Park. During the Christmas 2019 trail these guys popped up;
The secret sculpture trail at Oak Wood
OK, so it’s not actually secret, but the sculpture trail at Oak Wood is significantly less well known that it’s original counterpart. It’s also not marked on the main leaflet which is surprising. You can find the route here. Walk along the accessible path past the giant chair and up to the path for the Wild Things gate. Instead of turning left to go up to the gate keep walking into the clearing ahead of you. This is Oak Wood. Turn left and down the hill and you’ll be walking along the sculpture trail. Then just follow the green bug posts.
Although this is a lovely little sculpture trail there are a few things you need to know. It can get VERY muddy in places in this area, and there might be horse poop as well. It’s a circular route but no-matter which direction you go there’s an uphill and a downhill walk involved. It can be quite uneven under foot. As well as the sculptures there’s lots of dens and beautifully carved benches around. The little negatives mean it’s a LOT quieter than other parts of the woods, which is no bad thing!
Cycling at Rushmere Country Park – Ridge Riders
There are a few cycling tracks at Rushmere Country Park and there’s also the Ridge Riders Downhill Zone. There’s only a few paths that you’re allowed to cycle on without purchasing a cycling pass, including the pump track. If you want to do the really cool stuff though, you’ll need a pass. Find out more here.
Free. There’s usually a small charge for trails and events.
Parking / How to get there
Pay on exit £3. Cash or card.
Address – Rushmere Country Park, Linslade Road, Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire LU7 0EB
Within the visitor centre, including baby change. There’s also toilets at the other entrance.
Cafe and kiosk on site. Picnics welcome.
Our Rushmere Country Park Review
It’s a lovely woodland walk, even Hubby says it’s his favourite. The little sculptures along the way add interest too. There’s a lot more to explore in the wider park as well. It’s quite easy to get around, even with a pushchair for the most part.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook