Inspiration

Northwood Fairy Trail

Nestled in a 100-acre wood close to York, this woodland fairy trail is the first of its kind in England. The eco-aware sanctuary is off grid and designed to appeal to adults as much as children.

This new venture is about fostering a connection to nature, at its most beautiful and magical. The woodland trail winds through 1.5km of old fairy paths, peppered with fairy tree houses, stump houses, a willow walled maze and Elven thrones.

Visitors can discover the fairy hamlet along Spider Tree Snicket, tree houses connected by bridges and walkways. The mushroom fairy ring has been completely repaired and recreated from sketches found of the original, built in 1852 on the same spot.

In 2008, research work and artefacts originally belonging to Professor Harvey John Howland were discovered on the site. The eminent Victorian fairy collector and Fellow of the New Society of Arcane Natural History was once based at Northwood.

Adjacent to the Northwood Kitchen is the newly opened Fairy Museum, the original site of the headquarters for the New Society of Arcane Natural History – established in the 19th century to research and protect fairies and other nature spirits.

The magical realism Museum displays what is thought to be the world’s largest collection of found and recreated artefacts related to fairies, including painstakingly preserved and replica fairy and elven costumes.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos, the stylish Northwood Kitchen serves organic teas and coffees as well as healthy and delicious local food.

FACTFILE

  • Address: Northwood, Buttercrambe Moor Road, YO41 1AP
  • Admission: Adults £8.90, children £6.90; tickets available online only
  • Opening times: Wednesday – Sunday 10am-6pm (Easter to end of October half term), 10am-4pm (November to end of March); closed Tuesdays, and Mondays except Bank Holidays.
  • Website: northwoodtrail.co.uk