Playing with the Fairies

Our writer Rachel McAlley visited Northwood Trail, England’s Fairy Sanctuary, located on the outskirts of York recently, and it was one of the most magical places she has experienced.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Northwood Trail is for children only, far from it, as there are gorgeous walks, romantic avenues, and a rather fabulous café and restaurant called Northwood Kitchen to enjoy. Families, couples, friends, and everyone is welcome.


I did visit with my daughter, and she enjoyed every single second of trying to find the fairies, while I watched the couples holding hands and meandering through the tree lined pretty woodland, Northwood is a rather unique experience in the outdoors for everyone to enjoy.

We parked in the car park and strolled through the woodland to the main entrance of Northwood Trail, where we passed a secret door that lead into one of the fairy houses, then over a bridge (complete with trolls underneath), and inside to the outdoor-style café and restaurant, filled with trees, pictures of fairies, and magical fireplaces.

Once inside we were told of the new Fairy Museum, so of course this was where we visited next. Up the handmade wooden bench-style step and into the Fairy Museum, which we soon found out was the New Society of Arcane Natural History, established in the 19th century to research and protect fairies and other nature spirits!


The Fairy Museum was an eye opener for fairy memorabilia, from tiny beds and beautiful fairy dresses made from beetle wings, leaves, and pheasant feathers to tree houses complete with turrets and pretty front doors. The museum was a great addition to this experience.

It was time to start the trail, and we opted for one of the longer routes, which took in the Chamber of Truth & Justice, Spider Tree Snicket, and the tangled Rootery – all paths lead to and from the Northwood Kitchen.


We ventured through the maze and got lost, we headed for the swamp and got lost, and we stumbled through The Lovers Trees and Lover’s Walk until we reached the Kissing Bridge. It was such fun looking for all the fairy houses up high in the trees or down low in the tree trunks; we enjoyed getting lost, finding fairy villages, and generally keeping an eye out for anything magical.

For a fun day out Northwood Trail is definitely up there, especially for those who enjoy the great outdoors and who like walking, and don’t forget you just might see a fairy!


For more info about Northwood Trail visit, prices vary £8.90 adult, £6.90 child, under 3s free, £27.50 family 2 adults and 2 children.

Rachel McAlley

Rachel is currently a UK travel writer and beauty writer for House of Coco, she spends most of the week locked away in her country garden studio watching the world whizz by, and most of the weekend whizzing around the UK!

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