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Visit Conkers News

Find all the latest Visit Conkers news here..

Closing times

Fri 04 Oct 2013

A quick update reference closing times.  Please note that we close at 5pm during the Winter (except for events). On Saturday 2nd November – Fireworks Night – we close at 3pm to get ready for the fireworks event.  Doors open at 5pm for fireworks... Read More »

Survey Help

Tue 13 Aug 2013

 Enter a prize draw to have a chance of winning 1 of 5 families ticket to CONKERS by completing this short online survey about our website! Please click on this link: Thank you for your time and help... Read More »

Forest Fun by Bus

Fri 26 Jul 2013

FOREST FUN BY BUS  with the National Forest Hopper   Why not leave the car at home and visit CONKERS on the re-launched National Forest Hopper.     For the summer months the 9a bus has been branded The National Forest Hopper, transporting passengers to many of the Forest&rsq.. Read More »

Adventure Days in the Midlands

Thu 14 Feb 2013

 Come and experience one of our adventure day packages CONKERS.


Tue 29 Jan 2013

 Please note that the Waterside Centre is closed until Friday 1st February and from Saturday 2nd it is fully open.   The rest of CONKERS is open as usual!  See you soon.

February Half Term

Thu 03 Jan 2013

 Watch this space our rangers are getting ready for February half term!

Children in Need

Mon 05 Nov 2012

BBC East Midlands Today is hosting an evening of fun family activities at Conkers for BBC Children in Need on Friday, November 16th.   The event takes place in the Discovery Centre and entrance is free.  There’ll  be lots to do including face-painting, crafts and music and chi.. Read More »

Bavarian Night

Fri 19 Oct 2012

 Come and experience Bavarian Night at CONKERS on Saturday 20th October - we still have a few tickets left.  Book online.

National Forest 10k

Wed 08 Aug 2012

The National Forest 10k    Runners in The National Forest 10K on Sunday 16 September will be running that bit faster this year following the announcement of the fantastic prizes they could win!   As well prizes for first, second and third place, there is also a team prize, course .. Read More »

Conkers and the Legend of Hawkwind

Thu 26 Jul 2012

Space Rock legends Hawkwind have never been strangers to courting myth and legend, but the team here at CONKERS never thought they’d find themselves wrapped up in rumours surrounding the band.  Imagine our surprise then when this week we start receiving emails and calls asking why we&.. Read More »

CONKERS Membership

Fri 20 Jul 2012

CONKERS Membership is now available to purchase online.  If you are looking for a gift for a family member or a treat for yourself it's a good option!

Trevor Hill Animal Roadshow in the Derbyshire National Forest

Tue 10 Jul 2012

Enter the amazing world of Exotic animals, reptiles and insects at CONKERS with Trevor Hill and his Animal Encounters Roadshow. Running throughout the 2012 Summer Holidays, Animal Encounters gives the family a chance to get up close and personal with meerkats, skunks, spiders and lizards to name .. Read More »

Nick Spellman in the National Forest, Derbyshire

Fri 06 Jul 2012

Nick Spellman, also known as the 'AnimalMan', will be visiting CONKERS in the National Forest this summer. Nick Spellman has is spent his entire life working with animals after falling in love with nature at a young age. Nick was only 15 years old when he gave his first animal lecture, recieving .. Read More »

Bush Craft in the Derbyshire National Forest

Fri 29 Jun 2012

You don’t have to be Bear Grylls or Ray Mears to take part in a fun packed, exhilarating and amazing bush craft activities. Just come and visit CONKERS to experience bush craft survival skills in the National Forest. We’ll be running Bush Craft Courses and demonstrations every Tuesday.. Read More »

GFI Activity Fun Club at CONKERS

Mon 25 Jun 2012

New at CONKERS – GFI Activity Fun Club  With no day the same and thanks to the great atmosphere, children keep coming back to GFI, so why not join in the fun over the next school holiday!       The GFI Activity Fun Club is based within the beautiful, nature filled setti.. Read More »

The National Forest Folk Festival at CONKERS

Wed 20 Jun 2012

The National Forest Folk Festival at CONKERS Friday 6th July to Sunday 8th July   The Folk Festival that always punches above its weight, as the Daily Telegraph put it, returns for its annual celebration of all that is vibrant and exciting about music in Britain today. This is not a festiv.. Read More »

Viking Weekend

Mon 11 Jun 2012

The Vikings are invading CONKERS on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June.   Walking through a Viking Village and watch Viking battles.

Bushcrafts in the National Forest

Fri 08 Jun 2012

 Come and join in the fun and learn about bushcraft survival skills - email

Vikings invade CONKERS

Wed 06 Jun 2012

 A weekend of fantastic historic fun when the Vikings invade CONKERS on Saturday 23rd and Saturday 24th June.

Whitsun Week Half Term

Fri 18 May 2012

Whitsun Half Term Week at CONKERS - from Saturday 2nd June through to Sunday 10th June.  Lots of family fun and activities at CONKERS.   Animal Man Nick Spellman with his exotic animal shows Pirate Pat, a favourite with our guests Trevor Hills Animal Roadshow Lo.. Read More »

Weddings and Social Functions at CONKERS

Wed 11 Apr 2012

 Are you looking for a unique venue for your wedding reception or to host a social function?  If you are please give Joy a call - she's our hospitality manager and can be reached on 01283 216633 (or you can email!

Easter Fun

Mon 26 Mar 2012

From Saturday 31st March through to Sunday 15th of April two weeks of Easter fun for all the family.   We have a whole programme of activities planned including Animal Man Nick Spellman, Ranger activities, Dray Rides and lots more!.. Read More »

British Summer Time Weekend

Mon 19 Mar 2012

British Summer Time Weekend Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th March   The perfect opportunity to shake off the winter blues with a weekend dedicated to celebrating the start of the British Summer. Come and join us for a weekend celebrating the many delights at Conkers... Read More »

February Half Term

Fri 13 Jan 2012

SATURDAY 11TH TO SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY Go Wild this February Half Term at CONKERS. 120 acres of adventure and discovery at CONKERS in the National Forest, with a full programme of activities over the February Half Term. There’s something to do every day of the week and it’s .. Read More »

Christmas Pantos

Fri 16 Dec 2011

Every day over the Christmas period from the 27th December to the 3rd January we will be showing two Pantos at CONKERS.  Both Cinderella and A Christmas Carol will be performed daily!  This is all included in your general addmission price!  Book online.

Stay Play Explore

Mon 28 Nov 2011

Stay Play Explore If you are intending to visit on Saturday 26th or Sunday 27th of November or Saturday 3rd, Sunday 4th, Saturday 10th, Sunday 11th, Saturday 17th to Saturday 24th of December the Waterside Centre will not be available as this part of CONKERS is being used to host our Winter Wo.. Read More »

Halloween Party

Tue 18 Oct 2011

Monday 31st October Conkers Annual Halloween party with the ugly bugs disco, craft activities, fancy dress competition and the Ghoulish ghost train. Enter if you dare!!! Join in the fun with fiendish walks through the dense, dastardly forest, or why not get your face painted like a mysterious monst.. Read More »

Sunday Telegraph Reader Offer

Mon 17 Oct 2011

Sunday Telegraph Reader Offer: The offer is 2 for 1 adult ticket (lowest price ticket goes free). Offer valid from 22nd October to 30th November 2011. Offer excludes special events and the Winter Wonderland Experience.

Charcoal Making at CONKERS

Mon 17 Oct 2011

 Come and experience charcoal making at CONKERS!  

CBBC Deadly Day Out

Wed 14 Sep 2011

 CBBC Deadly Day Out On the 16th October the CBBC  Deadly Day Out will be visiting CONKERS.     On the 16th of October CONKERS will be closed to the general public and members. However, the event is completely free to attend, but visitors must have a ticket to gain access. &.. Read More »


Fri 02 Sep 2011

One of our guests emailed in this photo of a Hornet spotted at

Conkerchoo Two

Tue 02 Aug 2011

 Our new train has arrived at CONKERS, to the delight of our young guests.   Over the last 10 years Conkachoo train has delighted close to two million visitors on its journey between the Discovery and Waterside centres.  It has clocked up more than 100,000 miles on its daily journey.. Read More »

Ranger Bush Craft Weekend

Wed 20 Jul 2011

 We held our first Ranger Bush Craft Weekend which was a great success!  Come and join in the fun this weekend at CONKERS.

Summer Fun at CONKERS

Thu 14 Jul 2011

The summer begins this weekend Saturday the 16th of July.  Come and visit CONKERS for a fantastic family day out.

Bee Orchid

Fri 10 Jun 2011

The Bee Orchid is a unique flower with 3 pink/mauve wings and a  central hairy bee body. The flower of the orchid also produces a scent  like a female bee so it has evolved over the years to attract male  bees which will pollinate the plant whilst trying to mate with it,  pretty .. Read More »

Learning Outside the Classroom

Mon 09 May 2011

CONKERS has just been awarded its Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge!


Thu 14 Apr 2011

 The swans at CONKERS are nesting!

Great feedback from one of our visitors!

Mon 21 Mar 2011

 "I just wanted to make you aware that we are always very impressed with the courtesy and professionalism showed by your staff. We have been members now for almost a year and often visit with our two young children as we live just down on Moira Road.   The staff on reception are alw.. Read More »

Yorkshire Post

Wed 16 Mar 2011

CONKERS and the National Brewery Centre both get a good review in the Yorkshire Post.  Go and read the article.

Enchanted Forest

Mon 17 Jan 2011

 We have updated the Enchanted Forest!  The Enchanted Forest just became more enchanting with new animatronics and audio visuals to make it even more exciting and scary.  Come and visit us soon!! .. Read More »

New Education Programme

Mon 17 Jan 2011

 Don't forget our new education programme - see Construction Derby.



Tawny owl

Fri 14 Jan 2011

Recently we have heard regular hooting calls from a male Tawny owl proclaiming his territory 'hooo-hoo-hooo' This familiar call is also used during courtship, so the male owl will be looking to attract a female and if successful they should begin nesting together in late February or March. Even thou.. Read More »

Welcome to Conkers! Adventures in the Forest....

Fri 14 Jan 2011

Good news! The Discovery Centre and grounds are re-opening on 7th February 2011.   Here are some of the extra things we hope you will enjoy:   Enchanted Forest just became more enchanting with new animatronics and audio visuals to make it even more exciting and scary We&rsquo.. Read More »

Wildlife at Conkers

Thu 16 Dec 2010

Recently we have had a couple of exciting sightings of Goldcrests at our Forest Garden/Christmas grotto area. Goldcrests are Britain's smallest songbird, a tiny species with small rounded wings, large eyes and a distinctive orange or yellow stripe on their crown. They have a high pitched 'Tsee' call.. Read More »

Conkers 2011 Events

Mon 29 Nov 2010

We are planning a whole range of events for 2011.  Here's a small selection of who's coming to Conkers during 2011 from the Magic of Motown through to The Magic of TAKE THAT .  Detailed information to follow shortly. .. Read More »

Wildlife at Conkers

Thu 25 Nov 2010

At the moment at Conkers we're getting lots of sightings of Jays, normally a shy elusive bird and hard to spot but easier to see at this time of year as they are more active, collecting and caching acorns for the harsh winter months ahead. Jays are members of the crow family and are intelligent, pre.. Read More »

Waterside Winter Wonderland

Wed 24 Nov 2010

Just a quick reminder that spaces on our Waterside Winter Wonderland are filling up.  Don't forget to call us to book your space!  01283 216633

Important News

Mon 08 Nov 2010

From the 8th of November through to February Half Term 2011 the Discovery Centre and the Discovery Centre grounds will be closed to allow the landscape to regenerate and for new forest trails to be introduced.   Conkers Waterside is open as usual with the train running, the adventure playgroun.. Read More »

We are closing at 3pm on the 6th November

Mon 01 Nov 2010

On Saturday 6th November we will be closing at 3pm due to the Ashby Rotary Fireworks Display.  But we will be re-opening at 5.00pm to welcome all of our guests to the firework event! .. Read More »

Opening Times Update

Tue 05 Oct 2010

There are a couple of changes to our usual opening hours. During the 12 dates for Winter Wonderland  we will be closing at 7pm. On Christmas Eve we will close at 4pm. On Boxing Day we will close at 4pm. On New Years Eve and New Years Day we will close at 4pm. .. Read More »

Fireworks at Conkers

Tue 05 Oct 2010

Our fantastic firework night is fast approaching on Saturday 6th November.   Ashby Rotary will yet again be holding their annual fireworks display here at CONKERS. Fantastic fireworks, lively laser shows, BBQ’s, Face painting, divas disco and crazy children&rsqu.. Read More »

Leicestershire tourism boost from increased visitors

Mon 27 Sep 2010

The BBC reports on Leicestershire tourism boost from increased visitors and Chris Sturdy our general manager is quoted!  "Leicester Shire Promotions has reported a large rise in the number of visitors to the city and county's biggest attractions over the summer months. Between Ju.. Read More »

Regeneration Champion of the Year ProCon Leicester Mercury People’s Choice Award The Heart of the National Forest Foundation has made it to the sho

Fri 17 Sep 2010

Regeneration Champion of the Year ProCon Leicester Mercury People’s Choice Award   The Heart of the National Forest Foundation has made it to the shortlist in this year’s ProCon People’s Choice Award.  Leicester Mercury readers are being asked to vote for the ‘R.. Read More »

Half Term Fun

Mon 13 Sep 2010

Lots of fun for all the family this October half term.  From Animal Man Nick Spellman through to Circus Workshops and the Dream Ponies.  

Summer Fun at Conkers

Thu 12 Aug 2010

Come and visit us over the summer for a whole lot of fun.

Open Air Cinema Mamma Mia

Fri 30 Jul 2010

Are you visiting us on the 7th August?  If you are you can get  1/2 price admission to the Open Air Cinema Mamma Mia event (on production of your day admission ticket).  Not valid for online ticket purchases - please ask at reception for details.

Summer holiday fun

Mon 19 Jul 2010

At Conkers we have something on everyday of the school summer holidays.  From Nick Spellman through to the Green Man, the Dream Ponies, Circus Workshops and Rangers activities.  Check out our summer activities... Read More »

Vikings are coming to Conkers

Thu 17 Jun 2010

The Vikings are coming to Conkers this weekend.  Findout more here.

New Interactive Exhibit

Tue 01 Jun 2010

New interactive exhibit in the Discovery Centre We have just opened our new fully interactive exhibit in the Discovery Centre.   Re-kindle those memories of walking through forests when you were a child.  With our new interactive exhibit as you walk in the forest you will be able .. Read More »

O.W.L Group

Mon 17 May 2010

O.W.L Group As a ranger at Conkers we feel that Environmental Education is of the utmost importance, we believe that everybody should have the opportunity to get hands on with nature and be enthused by it. We would like to extend an invitation to anybody with an interest in the natural world to j.. Read More »

Barefoot Walk in the National Forest

Thu 18 Mar 2010

Staff at the award-winning Conkers attraction in the heart of the National Forest are gearing up for a bumper weekend of fun and activities on the 27th and 28th of March 2010. The event sees the grand opening of a brand new barefoot walk that takes visitors on a tour spanning 200-years of the ric.. Read More »

British Summertime Weekend

Mon 08 Mar 2010

Come and join us for a great British Summer Time weekend on March 27th and 28th.

Half Term at Conkers

Wed 17 Feb 2010

There's lots to do for all the family this half term.  Come and visit us!

Opening Times

Fri 29 Jan 2010

The Discovery Centre is closed from Monday 25th to Friday 29th January and Monday 1st to Friday 5th February due to the installation of a bio-mass boiler. However, the rest of Conkers is still open!

National Forest Art Gallery

Fri 22 Jan 2010

Don't forget to visit our current exhibition findout more details under our Gallery page (under Things to Do). 




Questioning Evolution? Evolving Answers!

Mon 18 Jan 2010

To celebrate the work of Charles Darwin, Conkers is proud to host Questioning Evolution? Evolving Answers! an exhibition illustrating the importance of evolution to plants. The exhibition explains how: Evolution makes the most of simple systems to produce the huge diversity of plants in na.. Read More »

Come to Conkers

Tue 12 Jan 2010

It may be cold outside but come and visit us at Conkers and let your children explore the interactive exhibits and the Enchanted Forest Advenure Play area! 

Winter Wonderland

Tue 05 Jan 2010

We have recently finished our last Winter Wonderland event for 2009.  Don't forget to visit us in 2010.  Our new events will be added shortly.

Changing Faces: The Morph Group

Thu 03 Dec 2009

Remember to visit Conkers to view the new artists exhibiting in the National Forest Art Gallery.  Find out more under Things to Do - the National Forest Art Gallery

Conker Counting with Pudsey Bear

Tue 17 Nov 2009

It’s that time of year again, when we see our favourite giant yellow bear popping up nationwide at all the fundraising events for the ‘Children in Need’ charity. Event organisers in the attractive village of Kirkby Bellars, were pleased to welcome Pudsey to their village hall fo.. Read More »

Winter Wonderland at CONKERS

Mon 16 Nov 2009

Billy Bonkers visits Rudolph As the nights are rapidly drawing in, Billy Bonkers decided to pay a visit to Rudolph and his friends recently, to deliver a personal gift of some freshly dug carrots – which as we all know are essential for good night time vision! Rudolph and the other reind.. Read More »

National Forest Art Gallery.

Mon 09 Nov 2009

The National Forest Art Gallery is hosting a new exhibition in November!  

National Forest Art Gallery Celebrates First Birthday in Style!

Fri 02 Oct 2009

To celebrate the first anniversary since the gallery was opened to visitors we are very privileged to be welcoming internationally renowned artist, Pollyanna Pickering who is based in Derbyshire. Her exhibition will reflect her love of British Wildlife – a most appropriate theme for Conkers &n.. Read More »

Fireworks at Conkers

Fri 25 Sep 2009

Remember, remember the 7th November! This is the date for fantastic fireworks at Conkers! On Saturday 7th November, Ashby Rotary Club will be presenting its fabulous annual fireworks show at Conkers for the 8th year running, and all proceeds from it will go to local charities. The Club has been o.. Read More »

Coopers Square Butterfly Garden Unveiled At CONKERS

Tue 01 Sep 2009

A brand new Butterfly Garden funded by Coopers Square shopping centre was recently unveiled at the Conkers Visitors Centre to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, which set up the creation of National Parks back in 1949.   Butterfly numbers.. Read More »

Ruldolph at CONKERS

Tue 01 Sep 2009

Despite the changeable weather over the Bank Holiday Weekend, Rudolph the Reindeer proved himself to be the star attraction for visitors at Conkers Discovery Centre. Having brought Father Christmas to Conkers for his summer holiday, Rudolph was challenging young visitors to complete his quiz whic.. Read More »

Rudolph relaxes at CONKERS!

Mon 17 Aug 2009

Visitors to Conkers are going to have something very unusual to see and do on the August Bank Holiday Sunday this year……….. Rudolph the reindeer will be enjoying a little ‘quality time’ having brought Father Christmas to Conkers for his summer holiday – but .. Read More »

Welcome from the General Manager

Mon 03 Aug 2009

Well at last we can say ‘Summers Here!’ Conkers is in full bloom and the maturing woodlands and walks have never looked better. The summer period at Conkers always brings great entertainment in our covered ampitheatre and this year is no exception – with a brand new show from Nick .. Read More »

New website!

Mon 03 Aug 2009

The new CONKERS website has just been re-launched today.  Don’t forget you can also follow us on Twitter.