GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Salcey Forest

4 miles (7 km)

Enjoy peaceful cycling and walking trails in this popular forest in Northamptonshire. For cyclists there is a lovely, family cycle trail starting at the car park. It's a gentle circuit of the forest on surfaced paths but with a couple of road crossings to look out for.
Walkers can enjoy three waymarked routes of varying lengths. The easy Elephant walk takes you past Elephant pond. For a longer walk you could try the 10km (6 mile) Woodpecker trail where you can look out for all three British species of woodpecker - the lesser spotted, greater spotted, and green.
The forest has good facilities with parking spaces and a very good cafe. It is located about 7 miles south of Northampton.
Several long distance cycling and walking trails run through or past the forest so it's easy to continue your exercise in the area. You could pick up the Hanslope Circular Ride, The Swan's Way or the Midshires Way to extend your outing.


NN7 2HX - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Salcey Forest OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Salcey Forest Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Grounds Salcey cafe is located right in the forest. They do a good range of meals and have seating indoor and out. You can find it on Wootton Road, at postcode NN7 2HX for your sat navs. A five milefamily cycle route also starts just behind the cafe.

Dog Walking

The expansive forest is an excellent place for a dog walk so you'll probably see plenty of other dogs on your visit. The Grounds Cafe mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The Milton Keynes Boundary Walk skirts the southern edge of the forest. You could pick up the waymarked circular trail and follow it east to visit the market town of Olney. There's some nice trails here along the River Great Ouse and around Emberton Lakes.
A few miles to the north east there's the historic Castle Ashby to visit. Here you'll find a fine manor house surrounded by 35 acres of parkland including Italian Gardens, an Orangery, an Arboretum and a series of pretty ponds.
The Northamptonshire Round long distance circular walk passes through the forest. It takes you on a tour of the countryside and villages of the area.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Northamptonshire Walks page


Ride into Salcey Forest - - 422644

Ride into Salcey Forest. The forest is all access land which is situated between Northampton and Milton Keynes. The countryside of this part of Northamptonshire is an undeveloped green space which gives character to The Rose of the Shires. The horse-rider is encouraged to bring their animals to ride the many tracks like this one by the provision of horse-box friendly car parks.

Salcey Forest - - 88201

"Elephant Pond" part of the elephant trail in the forest.

The Woodpecker Trail, Salcey Forest - - 200855

View of the Woodpecker Trail. The tall mauve flowers to the right of the trail are Rosebay Willow Herb. This trail is approximately 6 miles in length and is the longest on offer in the forest.

Car Park on Swan's Way, Salcey Forest - - 253561

Car Park on Swan's Way. A popular car park for walkers, riders and cyclists. The track leads deep into the forest on the less-busy southern side. The forest warden told me that in the evenings (at the right time of year) nightingales can be heard calling.

Salcey Forest in mid-spring - - 422628

Beeches in the Forest in mid-spring

Salcey Forest Bridge elephant pond by Robert Kilpin

View of the walkway over the Elephant Pond


GPS Files

GPX File

Salcey Forest.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Salcey Forest.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)