Exploring The Broxbourne Woods Sculpture Trail
If you’re looking for a short but fun walk for kids within easy access of London, then we highly recommend the Broxbourne Woods Sculpture Trail in Hertfordshire.
The sculpture trail is part of the Broxbourne Woods National Nature Reserve. It is a short 1 km loop with nine sculptures along the way and is mostly flat and easily accessible for pushchairs.
**Make sure to check this post if you’re looking for more family friendly walks in the UK**
Broxbourne Woods are part of Hertfordshire’s only Natural Nature Reserve with many ancient oak and hornbeam trees and where you’ll find Bronze Age relics. In the 1960’s it was replanted with conifers for commercial purposes which grew quickly and created too much shade for many of the original species to grow.
Work is being undertaken at the moment to thin out the conifers and restore the woodland to its former glory and to create some wider, open spaces to encourage more flaura and fauna.
Where is the Broxbourne Woods Scultpure Trail?
The sculpture trail is located in Broxbourne Woods in Hertforshire. The woods are about 30 miles (48 km) directly north of central London and about 3 miles (5 km) outside of the M25.
If you are taking the train from London, you can reach the woods by taking a Great Northern Rail train from Moorgate (48 minutes) or Finsbury Park (33 minutes) to Bayford Station. From here it is about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) so you would need to take a taxi from the station.
Parking at Broxbourne Woods
If you are driving to Broxbourne Woods, there are a few car parks you can use but if you want to visit the Broxbourne Woods sculpture trail, you need to park in the East Car Park (where Pembridge Lane meets Brickenden Green).
It is not a huge car park. There was space for around thirty cars. There is a 2m height barrier in place and our VW T6 Camper JUST fit under. We like to know in advance whether we will have an issue parking so hopefully this is helper for any van owners.
The entrance to the Broxbourne Woods sculpture trail is just off the car park.
Broxbourne Woods Sculpture Trail map
Here is a map of the sculpture trail to give you an idea of the route. The sculpture trail (marked in orange) is about 1 km long and you will find several sculptures along the way that have been carved out of oak. They are inspired by local history and nature in the woods.
The Broxbourne Woods sculptures
The sculptures were created by a local craftsman, Daniel Cordell, who likes to carve his sculptures using a chainsaw. The sculptures were inspired by local history and by the woods themselves.
There are nine sculptures to spot; 8 of them are wooden sculptures and the 9th is metal. Note that most of the wooden sculptures are now quite weathered, having been introduced in 2005. To us, this helps them really blend in with the surrounding woodland.
Look out for the stag. He’s quite well hidden and you may even mistake him for a real stag from a distance! Up close, you’ll find that he’s cleverly constructed for a few separate pieces to create an illusion of a real animal. This was our favourite one.
Best time to visit the Broxbourne Woods
The woods are open all year round, but the best time to visit in our opinion is during the spring when the bluebells are out because they are so beautiful. Our latest visit was during the autumn though and the autumn colours were also lovely.
We enjoy woodland walks all year round. They’re a great thing to do if the weather isn’t great but you still want to get outdoors because the tree canopy provides a good deal of protection from the rain.
Exploring Broxbourne Woods
If you are looking for a longer day out, Broxbourne Woods have many more walking, cycling and horse riding tracks. After completing the Broxbourne Woods sculpture trail, we set off on the longer 2 km (purple) trail.
This trail had a few more inclines and some very muddy patches at the start (going in an an clockwise direction from the car park) and then we reached an easy track. All of the streams have footbridges and most of the undulations have boardwalks, but if you are visiting in wet weather, it is best to wear wellies.
Looking for more sculpture trails? Have you heard of the Gruffalo Trails? They’re located in various forests and woodlands around the UK and are bound to be a hit with any Gruffalo lovers. We visited the Wendover Woods Gruffalo Trail in Buckinghamshire and it was a huge hit with our boys.
If your little ones like dinosaurs, make sure to check out nearby Paradise Wildlife Park, one of the best dinosaur parks in the UK. It’s located less than a mile from Broxbourne Woods. Also not too far for if you’re looking for great walks in Hertfordshire are Panshanger Park and Ashridge Estate.