Woodland Café and Visitor Information Desk
Our Woodland Café is housed in a beautiful barn along with our visitor information desk and The Holt, our woodland indoor play area for children aged six and under. The barn was built in the style of a 17th Century Hampshire Aisle Barn and constructed using the traditional methods of that period, from timber brought down on the Beaulieu estate during the 1987 storms.
The Woodland Café regularly exhibits the work of local artists, with the opportunity to purchase originals, prints and gifts. Works are displayed across the café's interior, so have a browse and admire their talents during your visit.
Local artists who are interested in displaying their work are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are hosting a series of craft workshops to help you get back to nature by learning a traditional craft using materials and drawing inspiration from the English countryside. Whatever workshop you choose, an experienced trainer will be there to guide you through the craft.
We have two permanent BBQs available for hire throughout the year. Each BBQ pitch is suitable for parties of up to 60 people. Yo can hire the Kingfisher Room for weatherproofing.
We are home to the adrenaline fuelled, award-winning tree top adventure Go Ape!
Tucked away in our beautiful woodland with the River Itchen running through its heart, the Itchen Valley Go Ape! boasts some of the highest platforms and quickest zip wires in the south. Take to the trees, speed down zip slides, tackle rope bridges, Tarzan swings and crossings; all set high above the forest floor.
You can book you experience on the Go Ape! website.
Play areas for children and families
We have two outdoor fun play areas for children, one perfect for under nine year olds situated near our Woodland Cafe and an adventure style play area for ages 14 years and under located on High Hill Field. The Forest Trail connects the two play areas and adjoins the Play Trail, which is a short circuit with a series of play pieces, including a giant squirrel, climbing frame and a snail slide. Both these trails are pushchair-friendly.
Our indoor woodland play area The Holt is perfect for children aged six and under - in The Holt children will find many of the animals who make Itchen Valley Country Park their home!
Trails and self-led activities
We set themed family trails with prizes throughout the year (see our Information desk at the Woodland Café for details) or use our trail guide to find your own adventure by exploring the waymarked routes.
Explore the Virtual Country Park to use when on site or even from home - full of nature hunts, outdoor learning and quizzes.
These are the trails that are available all-year-round:
Fitness with Felix trail
Be guided by Felix the Fox signs as you take part in fun physical activity challenges around the forest trail at the country park.
Ollie Owl trail
Search for symbols in the woods, on the forest trail route, and decode a message to discover where Ollie Owl is sleeping – for ages 5+. Pick up the trail pack from the Information Desk
Cyclists are welcome to bring their bikes and use our off-road cycle route which is approximately 1.5 miles long and runs through both woodland and open fields.
Visitors who enjoy a more active way of exploring the park may like to have a go at orienteering. It involves map reading to locate control points throughout the park. There are three courses to suit different levels from beginners to advanced users. The courses range from 2km to 4.5 km.
It can be used as a group activity with a timed course to bring the element of competition! There is also a course at Lakeside Country Park. See the British Orienteering website to download the maps.
For further information about permanent courses and local events see the Southampton Orienteering Club website.
As an alternative to the traditional orienteering course - you only need a smartphone/tablet. Download the free MapRun app and complete a course at your leisure. Not all courses at the country park will have physical checkpoints - the app will send you a notification when you are in the correct location.
Horse riding on our multi-use trail
Horse riders may purchase a licence, from the Woodland Cafe, to use our 1.35km multi-use trail. A licence costs £26 until 31 March 2021. The trail is shared with walkers but there is a short canter strip just for horses.
Weekly free 5km timed run on Saturdays at 9am.
Please note that Parkrun is currently suspended. Visit the parkrun website for updates.