Visiting Avon Heath Country Park
Changes due to lockdown
While our parks will remain open during the lockdown, visitors must follow government guidance; minimise the time spent outside your home, not travel too far to exercise and observe any additional requirements in place for the safety of all our visitors and employees.
If you're thinking of visiting, please remember to do so only if you live in the immediate area – we can’t wait to see you again after the lockdown, but for now, please follow government rules and stay as local as possible.
Some of our facilities may not be running at full capacity. However the play areas, car parks and toilets will remain open. There will be limited take away food offers and the services offered by the Ranger Teams will be reduced.
Park opening times
The park gates open 8am to 6.30pm or dusk, whichever is sooner.
Entry to the park is free but there is a charge for parking - funds raised go towards the conservation work on the park and visitor facilities.
The Heathland Discovery Centre
The Heathland Discovery Centre is currently closed for refurbishment. If you would like to speak to a Ranger, there is a "Ranger Window" open between 10am and 4pm every day on the corner of the building.
The park is open year round, but the Visitor Centre is closed on:
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- New Years Day
Avon Heath Café
The café opens Monday to Sunday 9am to 4pm.
BH24 2DH (NB. this postcode covers a wide area, using it in Sat Nav systems may send you to the wrong place.)
Grid reference: SU 121 029
Size: 230 (Ha)
Habitats: lowland and wet heath, acid grassland and some woodland stands.
Site designation: Site of Special Scientific Interest
Located on A31 between Ringwood (2 miles west) and Ferndown. Follow the brown tourist signs at the Woolsbridge roundabout (opposite BP garage, Travelodge and Subway) into Brocks Pine at St Leonards. You will see the large green Country Park sign at the entrance.
There is a large car park by the Heathland Discovery Centre. Parking charges apply.
The 38 (Wilts & Dorset) stops at St Leonard's Hotel, which is 10 minutes walk from the Country Park. Head west from the bus stop to the Woolsbridge roundabout and turn right into Brocks Pine - take care when crossing the road to the pavement.
Passengers from Salisbury / Bournemouth directions need to catch service X3 (Wilts & Dorset) to Ringwood and change to service 38.
Passengers can use the X6 to travel from Poole to Ferndown/Ringwood where they would need to change to service 38.
Plan a bus journey.
The nearest mainline train station is Bournemouth. You will need to take a bus or taxi to the Country Park once you arrive at the Train Station.
Please always check with the bus and train operator before setting off on your journey.
There is a large car park next to the Discovery Centre, café, play area, toilets and main green.
There are also four parking spaces for disabled users. Height of vehicles are restricted to 2 metres by a height barrier. The car park gates open at 8am and close at 6.30pm or dusk, whichever is sooner.
Parking charges are:
- free for first 15 minutes (allowing take-away customers to visit the café)
- £1.50 per hour after that
Thank you to visitors for paying the parking charges as this helps fund conservation work and visitor facilities.
Parking is free to Friends of Avon Heath who are displaying a valid parking permit. Also free to users whose vehicles are tax exempt due to their disability (during Heathland Discovery Centre opening hours 10am to 4pm).
A parking permit is essential to park at Birch Road and Boundary Lane car parks.