We’ve been hearing great things about Mountsorrel Railway and the Granite Cafe so Mr J and I decided to try it for ourselves this morning.
The early morning sunshine we had for the school run had sadly disappeared by the time we made the short trip to Mountsorrel but it wasn’t too cold for the Littlest to be out and about.
A huge, well laid out, free car park was easy to navigate and we went through the cafe – obviously ignoring the not-at-all-slimming-world-friendly slabs of cake that stared me in the face – to start on the nature trail.
A concrete path gave way to the quarry area and new railway platform for Nunckley Hill. We crossed over the metal and concrete of the train line on to those lovely, springy wood chippings. Naturally, Littlest found them amazing and kept bending down to sweep them all over the place 🙄
A meandering track takes in several areas of woodland that have been sectioned off for different nature purposes – there’s an eco outdoor classroom with benches, Spooky Wood (which will be more spooky when there’s more leaf cover in the trees as we imagined it’d be quite dark with more leaves around), Hedgehog Hotel with loads of piles of branches and twigs for the spiky little guys to cosy up inside, a beautiful wild meadow, stunning willow arches and the foundations of a tiny house that’s been built in the early 1800s.
The entire way round, there’s bird boxes, bug hotels/boxes, information about what animals use the woodland, the birds you may see or hear and lots of benches to take in the beauty of where you are.
There are also some hanging tree branches that you can try to play a tune on! And check out the scarecrow towards the end…
There’s a lovely picnic area, with plenty of tables and benches which would be fantastic with little people in tow.
It took us about half an hour to dawdle our way around the circular route, but if Biggie had come too, we may have been longer as she would’ve read more information about the site and different areas.
Although the terrain is not flat, it’s not hard to walk on as it’s all wood chippings and it’s not super steep. It’s certainly pushchair and wheelchair friendly with the right wheels. There are two gates, either side of the railway track, but otherwise no other obstacles.
After the nature trail, we made our way back to the cafe for lunch. We ordered cheese on toast for littlie, beans and cheese on toast for Mr J and a jacket potato with beans and salad for me.
The cafe is fabulously clean, staff very friendly and food came quickly – by quickly, I always mean less than the time it takes for littlie to get bored and start trashing the place! It took no more than 10 minutes. All of our lunches were delicious and they weren’t crazily priced either. I managed to stay strong and avoid the Chocolate Mint Cake!
Outside the cafe, there’s a little play area with slide and treehouse type equipment. There was also a few sit on spring rides. Adjacent to this gated park area, there’s a large patio with picnic tables. I imagine when the weather warms up, it’ll be busy there especially as I’d spotted some rather gorgeous looking ice creams for sale!
So, would we recommend you visit this place? Absolutely. It’s a friendly, quiet, beautiful site that has a lovely blend of nature and adventure. There’s loads still to be opened on the site too, a new trail and heritage buildings, so 2017 is a key year for this local venue. Will we be returning? Definitely. On a Monday, though, after I’ve been weighed so I can tackle a bit of that cake… 😉
You can find out more about Mountsorrel Railway, it’s history and future plans, by clicking http://www.heritage-centre.co.uk.