Unqualified Bias

Running Around Bonkers at Conkers

The school holidays have finally arrived, and children up and down the UK are truly excited to have 6 weeks off school. After about a week, boredom can start to set in and it can be a problem trying to find things for them to do. My children are now teenagers and do tend to entertain themselves by going out with friends, so it has become a little easier for me in this regard.


One of the tried and trusted places of interest still, for me and my boys is the discovery centre called ‘Conkers’ in Moira near Ashby de la Zouch, in Derbyshire. It is situated in the heart of the new forest and includes many activities for children and adults. There is an indoor play zone, aimed at younger children, where they can walk through ‘The enchanted forest’ and participate at the indoor hands-on activities with slides and chutes. Outside are lovely walkways around lakes and parkland. There’s a fun pathway trail where you can kick off your shoes and walk through mud, bark, and pebbles etc. I think this a is lovely idea for children and adults. Who doesn’t want to walk through squelchy sticky mud to your heart’s content?

You can then go on the activity trail which includes 18 sections across 7 acres. Climbing, swinging, jumping and zip-wiring. It really is fun, and some of the climbing walls can be quite difficult which will challenge your stamina. If you don’t fancy getting involved in these strenuous pursuits, you can walk alongside.

You can then catch the little train if you choose, and this will take you to another section of the park where there is a play area for children. I do enjoy this side because there is a lovely pathway along some gorgeous nature trails and an excellent café opposite a lake. Buy your coffee, tea, or a slice of cake ☕️ ????????, (God, I just love emojis, they’re soooo cute!), and walk out onto the lovely decking area that juts out into the lake. It really is beautiful and peaceful.

Back on the choo choo, for a five-minute ride to the main section again, where you can buy a burger, donuts, or an ice cream ????????????(Here we go again! ????), at the outside kiosk or enter the café and buy yourself some lunch. I was really impressed with the service and the food here. The staff are courteous, friendly and very quick. All the lunches we ordered were very large for the price and tasted excellent.  We didn’t have a pudding because we were so full, which is certainly a good recommendation.

Towards the end of our last visit, my children made one last dash to the outdoor pursuits section and I headed to the little museum within the shop area. This, I must say is quite interesting, because the area of Conkers was built over the remnants of the old mining colliery called ‘Rawdon Pit’. There’s a very efficient knowledgeable gentleman who works within the museum as a volunteer, and he has a wealth of interesting facts. He gave me a little tour of the pieces on show and talked to me about the history of the area. This was particularly compelling for me because my great grandfather was a miner there about a hundred years ago. It was quite a poignant visit.

There are many other attractions that ‘Conkers’ offer, but you have to pay slightly more for the extras. I have included this link to their website so you can take a look for yourself. http://www.visitconkers.com

I must say that it really is a good day out if you have children, and it’s also pretty good for adults too.

X Pip

PS: Just a note! Please don’t let the rainy English weather put you off. If it’s a sunny day you’ll have a wonderful time, but if it’s muddy and wet you’ll have so much fun falling over and getting absolutely filthy. Children will love it!

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