Evenley Wood Garden is HEAVENLY! Move aside Harcourt Arboretum or Wytham Woods, both of which we love, BUT Evenley wood garden has moved up the list. It is located near the border of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, so perfect for all the three “shires” to enjoy.
Whether you want to connect with nature, enjoy fresh air, want your tots outdoors or just take some amazing family photographs, this stunning idyllic garden/ woodland has it all. You will have something to gawk at, no matter what the season. Whether you like the autumn colours of oaks and maple trees, or the blues of bluebells or the white of snowdrops or the scent of roses and magnolias, you are sure to love this place whichever time of the calendar you visit.
Maps are available at the gate. I would recommend taking one on your first visit but if you forget to take one, the link to the map is HERE. Follow a network of paths through the beautiful woodlands, which are all clearly sign marked, so you won’t get lost, even if you are as bad at maps as me. Also, it is not as huge, as say Wytham Woods (where we always get lost no matter how many times we visit), so you are ok no matter where you are. Another advantage is that the terrain is all mostly flat, so little legs can run at their own pace.
Until recently, there was no playground as such, you just let the kids run around, climb the trees, build dens, splash in the stream, watch the birds, find some mini beasts, run after the butterflies or spot other wildlife , in short, just let the imagination run wild. It has got EVEN better now. They DO have a play area now but it does not take anything away from the rustic beauty of this place, in fact, IT ADDS TO IT and makes Evenley wood even more magical.
If you have followed our posts, you must know about the woodland tribe by now (see our post HERE and instagram reel HERE). They give kids real tools and let them have a go at creating amazing structures. Mostly, they bring down the structures after an event is over but Evenley woods decided to keep it. The play area has been built by kids with the woodland tribe (over two phases). I am sure other people went over it after the event to make it safer to keep. You can see the rawness and children imagination in the play area with lots of kids scribbling on the wood, and even when you do wonder how it got past health and safety (that most parks keep moaning about), it is brilliant and so much fun. In fact. if I ever have a big house with a huge garden, this is what I will do in my house. I hear phase 3 of Woodland tribe will come soon, so keep an eye out for this amazing one of a kind event.
At the moment, they also have a halloween trail on (5£ per child) running 22nd – 30th October. Collect your map and find the spooky creations scattered throughout the woods to collect your bag of treats at the end. You can still see all the props around the woods without the sheet, so you don’t have to pay 5£ for the sheet and just enjoy your walk. Little ones can take part in the pumpkin carving workshop and carve out their own creepy creations (separate charge applied on the day). On Saturday & Sunday 29th & 30th October 2022, they will be extending opening hours to 7:00pm. You will have a chance to see the wood in a whole new light (with your own torch light), following the pumpkins to see what might be hiding in the undergrowth!
VERDICT: MUST MUST DO!!!
Address: Brackley NN13 5JB, United Kingdom
Entrance fee applies: £7.50 per adult, 1£ child 4-16 year. Please look for updated prices HERE
They run family events throughout the year. Details in the “what’s on” section of website
FREE parking- The road leading upto the car park is bumpy with a few potholes and the parking is on a huge field with some rubber matting underneath. It was not raining when we went, so I am not sure how muddy it can get
Toilets situated near the entrance and open during visiting hours.
Uncle Geordie’s shed open on some days offering a range of homemade fresh, local food in our atmospheric outdoor pavilion; not to mention filter coffee and a variety of loose teas. The setting is idyllic and the smell within the cafe out of this world!
Dogs on leads allowed but not in the play area
Buggy accessible is most parts but terrain is uneven and mostly grass, so will be bumpy and muddy (in rain). Better take your baby slings
No cycling or riding is permitted
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