I live quite close to Thetford Forest and have walked in it many times. However, I hadn’t been to High Lodge before. I set out with my dog in the car. I turned off at the sign and after some distance there was a barrier where you had to take a ticket. I had never seen one of these at the Forestry Commission before. I took my ticket and parked. I was pretty horrified to discover that the parking was 2.20 an hour or 11.20 for the whole day. I didn’t have enough money with me so I had to telephone my husband to bring some. Otherwise I would not have been able to get out through the barrier. I know this was my own stupid fault for not checking beforehand but I really wasn’t expecting it.
The centre had lots of facilities for families but I didn’t use any of them as I wanted to walk. The walking trails were pretty short so I set out on the Poacher’s trail which was really a cycle route. I enjoyed the walk mostly through fir plantation with some heathland. The trail was well marked but I still managed to get lost and doubled back on myself. It was ten miles I think. I saw rabbits and heard lots of birdsong. The day was sunny so glorious weather for February. The trail was fairly quiet with just a few cyclists. The dog thoroughly enjoyed himself.
When I got back to the car park I had 11.00 to pay in parking fees. This is steep for one person. In future I would just park in some obscure layby in the forest and avoid the cost.