Dalby Forest

Dalby Forest, North York Moors National Park: Hours, Address, Dalby Forest Reviews: 4/5

8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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1,104 reviews
Very good

Bury, UK40 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
Came here for a day trip while on holiday nearby. It is a lovely forest!! Lots to explore and do. Thers is plenty of room to have a picnic! The parks are all well maintained and fun for the children, more than just a standard park. There is lots of wooden statues about to find and explore. We got lots of lovely family photos with these.
We did the Gruffalo’s trail which my young daughter really enjoyed. The fun of seaching and finding kept everyone entertained for ages. The large Gruffalo at the end was super!! The children could even find his spikes and put them in his back.
The only negative points for me was the cafe didn’t have much choice was VERY expensive 3 sandwich’s and a drink £25 😱 and there are no prices on anything so you have no choice in budgets.
The only other downside is the vast size of the place, so you have to get in your car to get to explore each area. For some this may not be a negative but the parking in some areas is not massive so could get a bit stressful.
Overall a fantastic day out, will definitely return when back in the area.
Written September 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Edinburgh516 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We knew in advance about the £9 charge but it still felt a bit steep. However as some of our group hired electric bikes at the centre ( excellent service book in advance) they made good use of the bike trails. I went on the well marked 5km run - nice to have shorter options for those starting out.

It’s a great facility but the cafe is disappointing. Excellent flat white but the lunch options are all pre-made and expensive for what they are. Plus queue is generally long and free wifi for half an hour only ( no mobile signal in area).
Written July 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Neil D
Scarborough, UK427 contributions
Jul 2020
Over the last 3.5 years that we've lived in Scarborough friends have been telling us that Dalby Forest is a great day out, and we've always shrugged our shoulders and thought "how can a forest be a great day out?" Turns out it can be.

When our son brought his family to visit, our grandson (age 3) was very excited to discover there was a Gruffalo trail at Dalby Forest so we piled into our cars and headed up there.

The first thing that surprised us was how well organised the place is. There is beautiful tarmac road, multiple car parks, a visitor centre, and lots of trails and activities. Parking is very reasonable, there are entry / exit barriers and all you have to do is pay at some point during your day prior to departure. A day costs £9 but for a day onsite for a car load of people in beautiful well kept surroundings that is a bit of a bargain.

Once we arrived we made our way to the visitor centre to get a copy of the Gruffalo trail. The centre was well laid out for Covid security, and the staff were super friendly and helpful, offered great advice about the trail and simple directions as to how to find it.

Setting off from the centre we drove up to the trail itself, and that was the second surprise, we had never realised quite how big Dalby Forest is. There are loads of different areas very spread out over many miles of Forest.

When we got to the trail we had fabulous fun walking round the simple orienteering course that is excellently designed for children, with lovely sculptures of their favourite characters. The trails are well signposted and kept in immaculate condition, and we had superb fun. We had brought picnic with us and sat in the picnic area after and enjoyed a lazy lunch.

Absolutely excellent day out, I just wish we'd found it sooner.
Written August 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Richard S
1 contribution
Apr 2022 • Couples
Unfortunately a nice day was spoiled by the fact that this entire location is set up to remove as much money from visitors as possible. Starting with the ten pounds minimum parking fee after half an hour.
The waking routes are not clearly marked and the visitor centre then tries to charge you for a map after pointing you to the start of the walks.
All the walks seem to start by the Go Ape area to spike children’s interest and empty the pockets of the parents.
Once you have managed found the walks they direct you next to a bike rental/sales shop and another cafe before you even start.
Having finally found the walk after being made considerably lighter in the pocket you get part of the walk in a forest the rest of which is next to the forest which you have already seen on the drive in and while walking you have to spend half of your time avoiding the people on bikes. All in all I won’t be going again and would avoid it if I was you unless you have money to waste.
Written April 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rob S
Harrogate, UK70 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
Not only is the parking overpriced at £9 (which is not helped when you’ve just spent £160 on go ape Segway tour) but the staff on the outdoor cafe were absolutely useless. A very long queue due to two teenage staff not able to serve different people at the same time, one would serve and the other one stand there watching them or just text on their phone. Very poor experience given the exorbitant charges.
Written September 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

3 contributions
Oct 2021 • Friends
Visited yesterday to ride the mtb trails. I’ve visited the majority of the trail centres in the north of England & wales and this is probably the most dull riding spot I’ve been to so far.

The “Red” trail is almost featureless, with hardly any jumps, drops or any sort of technical features to speak of. The most worrying thing is that the few features that are here, just sort of come up out of nowhere. There’s a few sections labelled red which should probably be black. And the majority of the “red” is really just a blue at most… this would lead many inexperienced riders into a false sense of security and potentially land them in trouble when they reach something that actually takes a bit of skill and experience.

The only bits which are worth visiting again for, are the off-piste sections which annoyingly, aren’t even built or maintained by forestry England …so I kind of begrudge paying £9 parking to line their pockets for something that the locals have built for free.
While we’re on the topic… £9 to park a car and £25 for park a van… wtf is that about?? I don’t expect to park and use trails for free but that is ridiculous, especially considering the best stuff here wasn’t even made by the official body.

All in all it just shows how out of touch organisations like Forestry England really are…
Build the trails that people actually want to ride and then maybe the locals won’t have to do it for you!!
Sack off some of your ‘trail builders’ and hire some of the guys who’ve built your off-piste stuff because they clearly know better.
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

York, UK84 contributions
Dec 2019 • Family
Visited during the Christmas holidays on a lovely sunny day. We have passes so visit fairly often as we love the forest. During the summer we take a picnic as the cafe is very basic and extremly expensive for very mediocre food but this time we wanted something hot to eat so we decided to get something from the cafe and joined the very long queue. It took us 25 minutes to get to the front of the queue only to find that there was no milk for coffees and no bread or bacon for sandwiches etc. The staff were rude and not apologetic whatsoever. One member of staff reacted to our disappointment by muttering to her co-worker that it wasn't their fault, they aren't management! Maybe your not management and maybe management should be better prepared but you are the ones representing management so a little more professionalism wouldn't go amiss! I also found at this point that they had positioned a man at the cafe entrance to inform people of the food shortage. He was also very rude in his manner. Dalby has become a very popular place and the cafe is nothing short of rubbish in both what it offers and the customer service on offer. It can not cope with demand at all and the menu is very restricted, especially for small children. Management should be ashamed of this major malfunction. This was only around 1pm. I noticed after that they had brought the shutter down on the cafe doors. No way to run a business! We were very disappointed. I wouldn't recommend the cafe at all.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kelly H
1 contribution
Oct 2021 • Family
£9 for the car park is ridiculous. The price of the food in the cafe is also really expensive - £5 for a sausage roll! The place itself is massive and the signage is very bad. Don't bother buying the £1.50 map from the gift shop because it makes no sense and I'm sure it's incorrect. It is a lovely place but it's let down by the bad organisation of all the signs and it gets very confusing
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

2 contributions
Dec 2019 • Family
We visit Dalby forest regularly as we have a pass. The Forest and all it has to offer is amazing. Except for the cafe that is. On many occasions that we have visited we have found the food very expensive but the service is slow and the staff are rude and abrupt. On a busy day it can take up to half an hour to get to the front of the queue and then be told there is no milk for hot drinks or food suitable for children. If the staff came across as friendly or even sorry for our inconvenience then this would make it more understandable but this has happened to us now on three separate occasions. Therefore we will never use the cafe again and in future we will purchase food and drinks from one of the lovely cafes in Thornton le dale on our way in or we will pack something from home. I don’t like leaving bad reviews for somewhere but felt I should let people know that are travelling with young children that they’re not guaranteed food or drink when they arrive there and there is nothing else close by.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

37 contributions
Dec 2020 • Family
The mountain bike hire centre is good but the rest of the facilities were disappointing.

The visitor centre food prices are 'REDICULOUS' and the quality is very poor.

The parking prices are far too high. I realise it is supposed to go towards maintaining the forest trails, etc, but the parking charges are still high, especially during the busy seasons.

They need to spend some of the parking fee funds on the trail signage, it is an absolute shambles, so confusing. The signs are ridiculous and you can get lost so easily. The poorest signage I have ever experienced.

If the cafe prices were reasonable and the signage was improved then maybe it would be a better experience. Also, if the price of parking was £5 year round and you received a discount off your parking if you used the Go Ape or Mountain biking hire, it would be much better.
The Dalby Forest would gain more visitors, better reviews and many more return visitors.
Written December 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Dalby Forest is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

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