York Mum, Rebecca, went to explore Askham Bog recently with her girls – you can see what she thought of it here…
I arrived at 12pm on Wednesday 3rd June armed with water bottles and sandwiches, and with the pushchair in the boot as it was unusually hot, and having read how accessible the walkway was, I thought it best to be prepared in case either of my girls needed a rest. In fact, they would have made it as the board walk itself is short enough for little legs, but you may like to explore as we did, the forest in the interior or the boards and the fields surrounding it. We spent almost two hours there, but you could happily spend less or more time- no limit or charge on parking.
As I approached the area and car park from the ring road, I had a hunch I was in the right place but as there was no visible sign I blindly followed the sat nav instructions which took me (unnecessarily) through Copmanthorpe and around the loop to enter the car park from the other side, which was signposted, so if you can avoid this- great, but it might be the sort of mistake you don’t notice like me, until you do the loop and do notice it! It only added 5 mins to the journey however so no major problem.
The car park was less than half full which I took to be a good sign. It was clear to see where the journey began and ended and fortunately for us there were no crowds or groups of people to dodge. A sign telling us which species to look out for was a helpful welcome.
My girls loved the board walk and found it safe and easy to follow. The metal netting around it made it non slippy in wet weather and extra safe for wheelchairs. Before long we came to a crossroads which we later discovered led to a loop around the big area whichever route you chose, so you can’t really go wrong! There were little styles into long grown fields dotted around which provided access to mysterious natural enclosures. These weren’t any good for the pushchair but there was so much to explore that we felt more than happy.
On a warm June afternoon the canopy of trees offered a welcome break from the sun’s rays and it was surprisingly cool and fresh in the forest area. It drew us off the boardwalk and into the privacy of the woods where my girls quickly became inspired to play in role as explorers, fairy finders or bear hunters. They creeped and crunched a path through the natural habitat of wildlife seeing many species of birds, butterfly a some squirrels busily scuttling up the tree barks.
Not far from the very safe boardwalk into one area of woods was the shell of a shelter or ‘branch house’ as my 3 year old described it aptly. We loved exploring this and considering how it was made, likely by some previous visitors.
We all had a fantastic time and would love to go back and share our discoveries with friends and families at any time of year.
The air was exceptionally fresh and the walk we found to be very relaxing; the whole experience earthing and inspiring, a very welcome change to our usual pavement walks and dry meadows.
Highlight of the trip:watching hundreds of electric blue Emperor Dragonflies hover over the bog area. The contrast in colours with the many lushious greens was really amazing and my girls were transfixed! Worth a trip just to see this for the first time in their little lives.