because raising a large family isn’t for the faint-hearted

Greenwood Family Forest Park, Caernarfon Review

We paid for the tickets to enter Greenwood Forest Park ourselves. Whilst we do sometimes receive tickets or products for free in order to review, this was not the case with Greenwood. Whether we paid for tickets or received them for free, our verdict and opinion would be the same. We pride ourselves on our Honest Reviews. For more information check out my Disclosure Policy.

Greenwood Family Forest Park

little girl and elderly man on a small dingy coming down a water slide
Reese and Granddad on SolarSplash. This is the £2 paid photo

On May Bank Holiday Monday, as Greenwood Family Forest Park was offering half price tickets for families who live in Gwynedd and Anglesey, we decided to take advantage and visit. It was nice to see a local company rewarding locals, especially as we are the ones that support businesses during the quieter winter months outside of the season. North Wales is a tourism area with tourism being the main employer and most business and companies involved in tourism in one way or another. This means that the summer season is very busy and the out of season months a lot quieter.

For the trip to Greenwood, we had two seniors (nanny and granddad), one adult (myself) and 5 children; Becky aged 13 and her best friend, Ruby aged 11, Rhian aged 8 and Reese aged 4. As nanny is currently waiting for a knee operation and is struggling to walk, this meant that we had to use a wheelchair and allowed us to view the park from a disabled point of view as well.

What is Greenwood Forest Park?

girl with supergirl t-shirt tries to ride a two-seater kart with an elderly man in the passenger seat
Slave Labour! Granddad making Reese take him for a ride. Well, she is Supergirl!

Greenwood is a fun-filled adventure playground for families near Caernarfon in North Wales. It prides itself on being an eco-park with many of the rides reusing energy or harvesting rainwater. There are plenty of fun things for children to do and lots of play areas to burn off some energy. Picnic areas are aplenty around the park allowing you to bring your own food, although there are places you can buy food or snacks as well. During peak times there are entertainers in the main theatre as well as other entertainment such as face-painting. Well behaved dogs on leads are also allowed.

What rides are there at Greenwood Forest Park?

little girl and elderly man on a rollar coaster car
Reese & Granddad on the Dragon Rollercoaster. This is the £2 picture

The Green Dragon Rollercoaster is very popular and uses what it calls funicular technology. This is similar to what was used in the mines and quarries which are dotted around Wales. When a heavy full-load of slate or granite went down the tracks, it would pull an empty car back up, like weighing scales. In Greenwood’s case, people get into a lift and as it descends it generates the power to pull the coaster back up to its start point. It can be a bit annoying when you get out of the lift and realise you still have to climb up the hill to actually get on the coaster, but Greenwood calls this people-power powering the rollercoaster as you are burning the energy needed to power the ride. It also means you get two rides rolled into one as you get the ride in the lift, watching the coaster being pulled back up the hill, as well as the ride on the actual rollercoaster itself. The ride holds a maximum of 20 people in a 5 car train and travels along a 250-metre track which includes a 360-degree horizontal loop around the hill and through the woods. However, it does seem to be over rather quickly and you may find you have another long wait depending on how busy the park is. At the end of the ride, there is the option to buy a picture to remember your ride on the Green Dragon, it costs £2 and exact change is needed and the photo is then emailed to you the following day!

small dingy with a girl and a man coming down a yellow water slide
Reese and Granddad on SolarSplash

SolarSplash is a unique, solar-powered water slide where you ride an inflatable boat down one of three slides. Thankfully a conveyer belt takes the boats back up to the top, so you don’t have to. The slide starts at the top of a 12-metre high tower which rewards you with some amazing views of Mount Snowdon whilst you wait your turn.  Again there is the option to buy your photo for £2 which is emailed to you.

There are plenty of play areas such as The WildWeb climbing frame made out of rope and in a pyramid shape standing 6 metres tall.  The Tunnel Warren especially for under 7s where they get to run, climb and slide through a collection of tunnels, slides, rope bridges and towers with an animal theme.  The Tree Top Towers for older children which is an amazing array of netted walkways and tube slides between four tall timber towers and with only one entrance it gives parents the chance to rest and relax and enjoy the scenery at the picnic tables which are between the Tree Top Towers and the Tunnel Warren.

The Crocodile Maze was one of the few attractions suitable for those in wheelchairs. It is a boardwalk maze with willow cuttings dotted throughout the maze to make it more difficult to find your way to the middle and out the other side. The girls especially loved the wooden crocodiles and other wooden statues dotted around the maze.

little girl in red supergirl t-shirt jumping on a plastic inflatable pillow
Reese on the Giant Jumper. Trying to fly like Supergirl

The Giant Jumper was a big hit with the girls. A huge bouncing pillow gave lots of enjoyment as they bounced as high as they could.

The Barefoot Trail is a fun little path where you walk barefoot through different terrains such as sand, bark, straw, timber and water. Thankfully there were facilities to wash your feet afterwards before putting your socks and shoes back on!

little girl getting of a blue sledge
Reese on the Great Green Run

Little Green Run and Great Green Run is a fun sledge run. The Little Green Run is the smaller version of the Great Green Run for younger children. Children collect sledges and carry them to the top where they slide down the 70-metre sledge run, the longest in North Wales.

teenager peddling a four wheel kart with no steering wheel
Becky on her own MoonKart

MoonKarts were another popular ride and everyone enjoyed having a go. Reese even tried giving Grandad a ride, well she is Supergirl! With a choice of one or two-seater karts, children get to pedal their way around a one-way course.

Jungle Boats was granddad’s favourite and he couldn’t wait to get onboard. But then again, I’m sure water runs through his veins! Inside metal boats, you need to manoeuvre your way around the course using just one paddle and pulling on the ropes which are dotted along the course. This was the only ride that nanny in her wheelchair was able to join us on.

metal boat with couple sitting in it and ropes overhead
Ruby took this picture of Nanny, Granddad, Reese and Rhian in the Jungle Boat in front of us. From the rope overhead swings ropes to pull the boat

The Enchanted Woodbarn is full of indoor play, open year round and ideal for rainy days and with a separate area for under 3s.

Is Greenwood Forest Park suitable for those in Wheelchairs?

Greenwood does have an Accessibility Policy and whilst many of the areas are fully accessible to either assisted or powered wheelchairs, we did find it difficult to push nanny around in the wheelchair. You needed plenty of strength to push her uphills and to stop her speeding downhills. In fact, I had visions of slipping on my way down the hills and accidentally letting go of the wheelchair. On some of the more steeper slopes, it took both my dad and myself to successfully get Nanny and her wheelchair up the hill and meant that nanny spent most of her time waiting to watch the children on the ride whilst they queued.

Because Greenwood is an adventure park, most of the rides or activities were unsuitable for those in wheelchairs, even those with limited mobility as the ride had steps to get there. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend taking a child who needs a wheelchair.

For other children who are disabled but don’t require a wheelchair bit do need additional assistance, they offer Ride Assist. This means that children who may have difficulties in queuing for long periods of time, then the Ride Assist service can help them on the supervised rides. By providing some basic information and proof of entitlement at the Acorn gift shop you will be provided with wristbands. For more information contact Greenwood.

There are two wheelchairs that Greenwood advertises for visitor use, however as we left my dad left feedback that possibly powered wheelchairs would be better because of the difficulties of getting around the park.

How much does Greenwood Forest Park cost?

Prices are grouped into three times. Low, Mid and Peak. During Low and Mid-Season, not all rides may be running or may operate on a rota basis. During the winter months of November – March, excluding half term and Easter, only the Enchanted Woodbarn is open for soft play. Low Season is February half term and just before Easter, excluding weekends in May and October half term. Peak season is the Easter and summer holidays, including May half term and weekends in May and June. The Woodbarn is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

Prices for adults (16+) vary from £9.25, £13.35 or £15.95 depending on the season. Children aged 3-15, students and senior prices vary from £8.95, £12.95 or £15.40 depending on the season. Children under 3 are free. For those who are disabled and their carers, there is a 50% discount. They do not do family tickets but they do Seasonal passes for those who live locally.

Our Verdict

little girl speaking to her granddad who is peddling a two-person side by side trike
Faster Granddad Faster

Whilst Greenwood is an amazing day out for children and all rides are included in the price (although there are a few attractions that do cost, such as the diggers, face painting etc) I wouldn’t recommend it for children with limited mobility or wheelchair users and only for adult wheelchair users if you have someone strong in the party and the adult is content to sit and watch the others.

Would we go again? If they had another half-price day then definitely as the girls certainly enjoyed themselves. It wasn’t too busy and the two older girls, both aged 13, were able to go off on their own.

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Rachel (My Crazy Brood)

Parenting Blogger & Mum of 5

Hi, I’m Rachel, the poor mum of this crazy lot! We are; Dad (Bob), Ryan (17), Becky (15) Ruby  (14), Rhian (11) and Reese (7). We also have Gwen the staffy dog, 5 guinea pigs and 2 hamsters. Join us as we navigate the craziness that raising a large family with additional needs can bring.


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