Savernake Forest, located south of Marlborough, is a 2,223 acre woodland, the perfect place to explore with your dog, wander amongst the ancient trees and discover new routes each time. It is a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as a registered important historic park, making it the perfect forest for an exciting and educational day out. Some trees in the forest date back 1000 years, including one of the country’s oldest trees, the Big Bellied Oak!
To get to Savernake Forest, follow the signs for Postern Hill Campsite on the A346, where the car park is located. There is plenty of parking, but it does get busy. To walk into the heart of the forest, follow the car park as far as it will go and stay on the gravel path. There are plenty of paths in the forest, suitable for little bikes and pushchairs, as well as plenty of woodland paths where you can explore the dense thicket of trees. There are plenty of picnic areas too. Whilst you’re visiting, try to find all the ancient trees!
Dogs are allowed off lead, but we kept Bella on her lead as there are lots of squirrels! There is an enclosure within the forest which has cows in, but they are fenced in and you will come across signs and gates before entering. You could very easily avoid the enclosure.
‘No-one can say how old Savernake Forest is. It cannot be less than 1,000 years old, as it is referred to in a Saxon Charter from King Athelstan in 934AD, being called “Safernoc”.
It is certainly older than the other great Forest of southern England, which was only planted over a century later by the Normans, and whose name reminds us that it is younger than ancient Savernake – the New Forest.
Since it was put into the care of one of the victorious knights who fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Savernake Forest has passed down from father to son (or daughter, on 4 occasions) in an unbroken line for 31 generations, never once being bought or sold in a thousand years, and today it is the only Forest in Britain still in private hands.’
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