The Crocky Trail

crocky trail man

The best family days out, as far as my kids are concerned, are ones where you get covered in mud.
Scuffed knees, wet socks and fingernails so dirty, 20 minutes sat in the bath still fails to remove everything from under the nails. These are also Good Days.

Many places we visit these days – where you pay an astronomical fee to get in and even more to eat mediocre food – are so controlled and ‘health and safety conscious’ that it strips the actual fun right out of it.
Which is probably why forests and fields and canals have such a huge appeal to my kids because they can explore and make mistakes and learn from their mistakes and get back up and get back into the tree or whatever object they’re navigating a way over/up/through.

Then we stumbled on the Crocky Trail in Chester. The absolutely brilliant Crocky Trail.
This giant iron man is the first thing that greets  you as you drive up to the site. It looks like you’re parking in a field. There is literally no frills.
The outdoor adventure trail is the brainchild of a local inventor who wanted to create something for local kids and so for years it was free to enter.
Over the years it’s grown and grown and it’s now open to the public (it’s about £50 for a family of four).
It’s basic, rustic and we absolutely loved it.
It’s essentially a circuit around a giant field with bridges over the stream made from chains, fallen trees, logs you scooch along on your bottom, clever cantilevered swings, mini mazes in metal shacks – lots and lots of little tests and science lessons built into nature.

The only MAJOR downfall of the place is that it’s about 2 hours away from where we live or we would be there all the time.
We discovered it while on an Easter holiday with friends near the Delamere Forest in Chester and were recommend we try it out as it was ‘right up our street’.
Oh it was. It was, it was, it was. It managed to entertain a 9-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy – both ends of the spectrum in our 8-strong party!

crocky trail bridgecrocky trail tree bridgecrocky trail tunnelcrocky trail swingcrocky trail mudcrocky trail mazecrocky trail logcrocky trail chain bridgeAnd as if that wasn’t fun enough, there’s more.
As the trail’s popularity grew and grew so more ‘rides’ were added.
So as you arrive there is a ‘theme park’ area. Rides like Titanic where you get to rush to the back of what looks like a giant flat-bed truck, sit with your back to the wall and when the ‘titanic’ rises you have to try to stay sitting.
My kids were on this for ages cackling and discovering new ways to stay at the top (you need to site on your hands).

titanic at crocky trail crocky trail titanic

There are giant slides, obstacle courses like something from the Krypton Factor and it’s all about laughing and falling and getting back up and diving back in again.
This giant rolling slide is the Wave Rider. And that’s my daughter’s wellied feet disappearing over the top.

crocky trail wave rider

This below is the Spider’s Web; the only way up that slippery slope is to grab onto the rope half way up and haul you and your mates up. Cackles galore.

crocky trail spiders webcrocky trail drumcrocky trail funIt’s proper good old-fashioned fun.
And look at my kids’ faces. That just can’t be beaten.

So my advice to you if visiting: Don’t dress up, take spare clothes, you can take the dog but they must be on a lead and be prepared to stay the whole day.
We went on a damp, drizzly day and it was buzzing but fairly quiet so we got to go on as many rides as many times as we liked. I actually think the mud and drizzle added to the fun.
However, I expect sunnier days attract far far more people and so you should expect to queue.
Picnics are welcome (there are no cafe facilities to speak of) and there are loads of places to set up camp and eat.

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8 Responses to The Crocky Trail

  1. Oh wow, I can’t believe you got to go to this! We heard about this in the car the on the way to school just before we broke up. The guy was being interviewed by Chris Evans, he sounded like he was a farmer but not sure as we came in mid way through. He did say he used to be a muck spreader though!! He said all the things you’ve said about why he set this up. We don’t like amusement parks for the same reasons as you. We all thought, wow, we’ve got to go there (he described this roundabout thing that you have to cling onto and the last one standing wins!!!). We live MILES from Chester. Lets hope some other farmer down south cottons on and does the same thing – but NOT start making loads of money out of it and adding on all the frills!
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    • Tara Cain says:

      That’s what we liked about it Siobhan, it wasn’t commercial at all. It was all based around having fun and getting back to basics. All kids were just laughing and laughing and throwing themselves into it with gay abandon. It was so great to see
      Tara Cain recently posted…The Photo Gallery 225: SpringMy Profile

  2. Joanne Mallon says:

    LOVE this place. Only been once, years ago, and we still talk about it. As we arrived there was a stream of children covered in mud (and blood in some cases) leaving, looking totally happy. The lack of regard for health & safety is quite breathtaking – it’s about as far from a sanitized Disney-type place as you can get. I think I need to make a return visit.
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  3. Mrs TeePot says:

    Oh wow, it’s changed since the several birthdays and Brownie days out I had there! I feel old now! The huge hamster wheel is still going though, good to see 🙂
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  4. JohnC says:

    Looks fantastic! But it’s 3 hours away, and not 3 hours of nice, friendly, motorway. Still, if we’re in the area we’ll definitely go.

    If you’re ever in Yorkshire, I can recommend “The Forbidden Corner” – like this place, it’s grown over time. Less of the mud-and-rides, more of the “what weird stuff has this guy collected and put in this maze over the last 30 years!” My kids love it.
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  5. Brian F says:

    This place is totally unsafe- I won’t go into details but I saw a horrific accident here and it has totally put me off. I am surprised that the media hasn’t reported about this or that the place hasn’t been closed down after what I witnessed. Awful

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