From the higher points of the beautiful city of Exeter, you might catch a glimpse of a rolling expanse of trees tumbling across the magnificent Haldon Hills. We are lucky to have plenty of wonderful countryside within easy reach of the city, and Haldon Forest Park is the perfect place to start exploring the wider area.

A trip to the countryside might not seem like an obvious part of a winter city break, but there is nothing to match the refreshing experience of time spent outdoors. As long as you have a waterproof jacket and some sensible shoes, you are all set. Choose from Haldon Forest Park’s waymarked walking trails, off road cycling trails, orienteering courses, Nordica walking, or Go Ape treetop ropes. For visitors with limited mobility, we offer off-road mobility scooters for hire to make sure that forest fun is never off limits.

Still not convinced?

We’ve put together our top five reasons why Haldon Forest Park is a perfect addition to your winter break itinerary.

Connect with nature

Armed with your jacket and sturdy shoes, you’re ready to step among the towering trees and varied wildlife of the forest. Slow your steps, listen for the birdsong, and let your senses come alive to woodland sights, sounds, and scents. Haldon Forest Park is home to protected habitats and wildlife. The frosty and misty winter months are ideal for spotting resident woodland birds and wild deer moving through the forest landscape.

Dog friendly

Unlike parts of the coast and countryside, there are no seasonal restrictions here. Haldon Forest Park is Devon’s Top Attractions’ dog-friendly venue of the year, where dogs are welcome to explore the forest off-lead all year round. Dogs on leads are welcome in the Ridge Cafe while you refuel after your adventure and there is free doggy drinking water around the main visitor area. We just ask your four-legged family members to follow our simple dog code to make sure everyone has a great time and leaves with a waggy tail.

Holiday like a local

Take your time to explore the forest at your own pace without the bustle of summer crowds. Pause to appreciate the views, enjoy the quiet, take your pick of the best picnic benches, or snuggle up at the best seats in the Ridge Cafe – in front of the wood burner!

Capture the golden hour

If you’ve brought your camera on holiday – or even your smartphone – you won’t want to miss the sunrise and sunset from the top of the Haldon Hills. Shorter winter days mean later sunrises and earlier sunsets are easy to seize. Incredible golden hour photography is yours for the taking. We recommend the Discovery Trail for unbeatable views across Exeter and towards Dartmoor.

Embrace the weather

Devon may be one of the wettest parts of England, but rain never stops play at Haldon Forest Park! Our all-weather trails are perfect for winter walking and cycling while the trees shelter you from hilltop winds. And a winter excursion is the perfect reason to treat yourself to a hot chocolate – or even a bacon sandwich - after a wet and windy adventure.

Don’t miss Haldon Forest Park on your winter break to Exeter.


Haldon Forest Park - Forestry England
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Strolling through Haldon Forest Park and enjoying the stunning views

Whether you want a gentle stroll or an exhilarating mountain biking experience, there’s something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park. Open 364 days of the year, there is something for every interest to connect you with the great outdoors.

Haldon Forest Cycle Trails
Cycle Route
Cyclist on Haldon Forest Cycle Trail

Discover Haldon Forest Park on two wheels with trails for every ability in our 3,500 acre woodland just 15 minutes from Exeter.



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