This morning I took the kids for a morning walk to do the Sensory Trail at Burnham Beeches. I needed to get them away from the screens and slobbing in front of the TV, and this was a great way to do that. A trail map gets them interested in walking. Lily insisted I bring a picnic though!
Burnham Beeches Sensory Trail
These are the details for the Burnham Beeches Sensory Trail.
Address: Burnham Beeches, Lord Mayors Drive, Farnham Common, Slough, Bucks SL2 3PS
Parking: The car park is on Lord Mayors Drive, open until 9pm. Parking is FREE on weekdays. If you visit on weekends or bank holidays it costs £3 per vehicle, cash only at the machine.
Food: The Beeches Cafe is open for takeaway.
This is the Sensory Trail map we used. It’s a 1km walk which is suitable for little legs. It took us under an hour to do. Print out the map and give it to the kids to make it an adventure.
There are also a few other trails you can try which I’ve listed below.
So, what exactly is a Sensory Trail? Well it’s supposed to get you to use your senses – sight, hearing, smell and touch. Obviously not taste in this instance, you don’t want to be licking the sculptures!
This is the path you’ll see as you’re walking from the car park to the woods. The cafe is on your right.
This poster tells you of other things to look out for on your walk – red kites (the birds!), blue damselflies, fungi, bog pimpernel and thistle.
You’ll see this grey metal gate. Go through it and walk along the path to the right after the gate (not the straight path in the middle).
Sculpture 1 – Sound Sticks by Gina Martin
Very soon after the gate you will see the first sculpture. These are new replacement ones that the artist put in last year. Grab a stick from the ground and listen to the sounds you can make with them against the sound sculptures. (Sense – hearing)
Sculpture 2 – Moss by Nick Garnett
This is my favourite sculpture out of all of them because of the intricate patterns. It looks lovely. Now, sit here and look at the landscape. (Sense – sight)
Sculpture 3 – Viewfinder Bench by Dan Cordell
Keep walking up until you come across this bench, which strangely was the most entertaining of the sculptures for my children. If you watched my Instagram stories, you’ll have heard the laughter. All from them playing peekaboo through the holes in the bench. Lily wanted to stay here for ages. Anyway, sit back here and enjoy the scents of the season. (Sense – smell)
Sculpture 4 – Nuts and Seeds by Gina Martin
You’ll have turned here, across Lord Mayors Drive and through a little pathway down into the woods again. Keep going and you’ll see these sculptures. There are different textures carved into the wood. Reach out and touch the wildwood – and put some hand sanitiser on afterwards. (Sense – touch)
There is a lovely lake up ahead, filled with lilypads.
Here you can look out for thistle, bell heather, yellow water-lilies and soft rush.
Sculpture 5 – Ferns by Gina Martin
This is just by the lake with a bench next to it. Again this sculpture has difference textures to touch.
Sculpture 6 – Hollows by Nick Garnett
This is the last sculpture which you’ll see as you keep walking. It’s a popular one and children like to sit here – be prepared to wait and remember social distancing while you wait. Lily did not want to leave this spot. Who knew a seat inside a sculpture could provide so much entertainment?
And that brings us back to the start of the trail. The cafe is here. For info – it is open for takeaway, they are selling face masks and the toilets are open.
As you walk back to the car park, there is a beautiful open space of grass which is perfect for having a picnic. We actually had our picnic first before doing the trail.
We first tried this trail when Tyler was age 3, and we got totally lost. It’s embarrassing how terrible we were at map reading! Have a look at how tiny he was in my blog post from 2015.
I hope we’ve inspired you to try this trail. It’s a very easy trail and a lovely way to get children active.
Here are some other trails to try also: