Woodland & Walking Festival

From Woodland School and Yoga in the woods to Orienteering and Foraging Courses around the Druid’s Temple – this is a day out that offers a variety of woodland activities for all ages along with guided walks around the Swinton Estate.

The day starts and finishes at Swinton Bivouac, from where walkers are free to roam on the Estate Trails (with or without a guide), with activities running all day in the woodland and also at the Bivouac café and barns.

Entry: £10/car

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Additional charges apply to guided sessions, advance booking strongly recommended.

Activities include:

Walking and Hiking – There are paths throughout the Druid’s Plantation and around the Druid’s Temple, with beautiful views across to the surrounding Swinton Estate moorland, reservoirs and countryside. You are welcome to explore these at any time during your day.

Recommended longer walks and hikes from Swinton Bivouac are:
The 5 Mile circular walk that takes in the Druid’s Temple and ruins of Lobley Hall with sections following the River Burn and Sole Beck and some steep valley climbs.
Printed maps available, or download the iFootpath app available for Android and iOS
You can also walk to the Swinton Country Club and Spa, through the 200 acres of beautiful and historic Parkland, where you can treat yourself to lunch or Terrace Teatime at The Terrace before heading back through the Parkland to Swinton Bivouac. A 6 mile there and back walk
Parkland access £5/person. Printed maps available, or download the iFootpath app

There is also the 15 mile all day guided hike that takes in the huge expanse of the Swinton Estate moorland and views of the reservoirs, with lunch at the Bothy and a visit to the Leeds Pals memorial along the way.
Guided walk with an Estate Ranger £5/person, please bring your own picnic.
This is a challenging walk and only suitable for adults with the appropriate level of fitness.
Saturday 7th September & Sunday 8th September departing at 10.30am.

Woodland School – With Morning and afternoon sessions each day, children can enjoy an hour of supervised play and exploration in the woodland around the Druid’s Temple, learning some countryside skills along the way | £5/child | Saturday 7th September – 11am & 2.30pm | Sunday 8th September – 11am & 2.30pm

Orienteering – Run by Mountain Leader and Orienteering Instructor, Richard Duckworth, this is a 1.5 hour orienteering session in and around the Druid’s Plantation. The focus is on mastering the art of navigation without a phone – getting back to basics with the use of a compass and map, and understanding the lie of the land. Ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy independent walking away from a screen! | £5/person – any under 18yrs to be accompanied by an adult | Sunday 8th September – 11am, 1pm & 3pm

Woodland Yoga – Spending time in the forest can heighten your senses and invigorate you – so practising yoga in the woodland can deliver both of these. Situated in the peaceful space, our half hour yoga sessions are run by Sarah Sutton and are designed to introduce you to the concept of outdoor yoga and give you some time out from your busy day. Rugs and ground mats supplied, please wear warm clothing and footwear. | £5/person | Saturday 7th September – 1.15pm & 3.15pm | Sunday 8th September – 1.15pm & 3.15pm

Foraging – Chris Bax has been foraging on the Swinton Estate for many years and knows some of the very best spots for edible treasure. Join him for a 45 minute walk in the woodland and see what a wealth of food there is that is growing all around us. | £5/person | Saturday 7th September – 11am & 1.30pm

Forest Bathing – Forest Bathing is not a swimming experience!! A loose translation of the Japanese “Shinrin-yoku”, it means soaking up the atmosphere of the forest. Commonplace in Japan as a cornerstone of preventative health care and healing, this concept has now reached the UK and Faith Douglas is one of the earliest adopters. During the course of an hour’s session in a peaceful glade within the woodland, Faith will take you through a series of exercises and activities to help you be more mindful of the forest surrounding you as you connect with nature. This will help reduce stress, balance your mood and improve your sense of wellness. | £5/person | Saturday 7th September – 12pm & 2pm | Sunday 8th September – 12pm & 2pm

Falconry Displays – The Swinton Birds of Prey team will be attending the Walking and Woodland Festival and there will be flying displays twice a day at the Swinton Bivouac Café Bistro. Watch the gracefulness and precision of these amazing birds as they fly with exhilarating speed. Birds on display will be a selection from hawks, owls, eagles and falcons at the aviary. | Saturday 7th September – 11am & 1.30pm | Sunday 8th September – 11am & 1.30pm

Mountain Biking – For those seeking some thrills and spills, a spin around our 8km mountain bike track will be just the ticket! For the weekend of the Walking Festival the challenging red and black routes will be open, with jumps, bumps, and steep downhill sections. There are also the more moderate blue sections, which are suitable for beginners and families, but please be mindful for the walkers who will also be on these routes. Bike hire available at Swinton Bivouac.

Cafe Bistro – There’s an all-day BBQ and live music at Swinton Bivouac over the festival weekend. Situated just a short walk from the Druid’s Plantation, this is a convenient spot to recharge the batteries, rest your legs and enjoy the view.

Craft Activities – Let the creativity flow with craft activities for children in the Long Barn, located next to the Cafe Bistro. | Saturday 7th September – 12.15pm until 2.15pm | Sunday 8th September – 12.15pm until 2.15pm

Wildwatch Activities – The Nidderdale AONB are supporters of the festival and will be attending over the weekend with displays and activities based on the Wildwatch survey that has been taking place on the Swinton Estate for several years. The project combines the power of citizen science, a dynamic partnership approach and the latest research to gather information on wildlife, reconnect communities to their local natural heritage and pioneer a new way of delivering conservation action.

ArtisOn Crafts – We are joined over the weekend by a team of tutors from Artison who will be demonstrating their skills, selling their wares and running workshops. Try your hand at wire sculpture, pot throwing, wood turning, stone carving and suchlike. Details and timings to follow, advance booking on the workshops recommended.