Hagg Wood is an ancient wood just outside Dunnington, and is somewhere we’d wholeheartedly recommend for a trip with kids. We visited again today and were reminded of how beautiful it is. Here are five reasons why Hagg Wood is worth a family visit.
1. It’s absolutely stunning
York isn’t short of beautiful places to visit, but Hagg Wood is pretty remarkable. The height and variety of the trees had our kids open-mouthed. They loved looking for bluebells and seeing all the wild flowers, too. They clambered over tree trunks, jumped over roots and collected as many sticks and feathers as I could fit in my pocket (note to self: remove before putting in the washing machine).
2. There’s lots of lovely wildlife
Ever seen that episode of Peppa Pig where they’re in a forest and she starts complaining about ‘trees, trees and more boring trees’?. Well we reckon even the famous pig herself would be happy to visit Hagg Wood. There’s loads of wildlife to look for, including foxes, badgers and lots of birds. Our two eldest are currently studying butterflies and birds at school, so they were in their element. Pick up a leaflet by the entrance for details of what you can spot.
3. There are craters and ponds (and history) too
In 1944, craters were created at Hagg Wood when a flight that had taken off from Elvington Airfield had to return after 20 minutes because of a technical problem. As a result, part of the bomb load was dropped in Hagg Wood before the aircraft landed back in Elvington, creating craters. A few years ago the craters were made more accessible, with planting to encourage more amphibians. New trees and shrubs were planted near the bluebell area too. It’s a great place to see what wildlife you can spot. Hagg Wood was also mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086). Now that’s history!
4. The kids will get some exercise without even noticing
Our kids were so busy running about, making up stories, den-building and seeing how far they could jump that they didn’t realise they were doing a reasonable walk, too. The youngest (2) had to be carried a bit but still stretched her legs more than normal. Our buggy would have struggled with the path – off-road ones and carriers would be a better bet.
5. It’s free!
We spent a good couple of hours at Hagg Wood without spending a penny. Admission is free, and so is parking – just follow Intake Lane to its natural end and park by the verge. It’s then a short walk to the Wood: just follow the signs if you can spot them (they’re currently being overtaken by spring, with lots of them covered in leaves and plants). For a beautiful walk in the countryside within spitting distance of York – which pleases everyone and costs nothing – Hagg Wood fits the bill.
Address: Hagg Wood, Intake Lane, Dunnington, York