Take a stroll through the deep dark wood and look out for the mouse, snake, fox and owl, but there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo….. or is there!! Get your little Rascals out in the fresh air and they’ll be entertained hunting for the Gruffalo on a trail through the woods. The Forestry Commission has 26 Gruffalo trails across the country. Download the Gruffalo App before you leave home, when you get there follow the clues and footprints through the woods on a search for the characters and the Gruffalo.
We went to Wendover Woods, just a quick hop up the A41 for us, and the trail is free to do so even better! The usual stress leaving the house resulted in a stop at the Coop on the way to pick up a couple of meal deals. Total cheat but definitely the way forward. The woods were easy enough to find following the sat nav but look out for the signs too as we would have missed the entrance as it was taking us further up the hill.
We began at the lovely little ‘Cafe in the Woods’ to pick up the activity pack for £3 and a pit stop in the nice clean toilets with toilet roll (always a bonus) before we started. The activity pack comes in a little brown bag that you can use as an evidence bag on the way round. If you’re like us and always bring home half the woods with you anyway! You know the leaves, stones, twigs etc, it made a change for them not to end up in the washing machine!! You don’t have to buy the activity pack to do the trail but we liked:
- The activity cards and fact cards for each of the characters, they have interesting facts about the animals you’re tracking – whatdoes a fox like to eat? where do mice live?
- A magnifying glass to spot animal clues.
- Stickers of the characters for the activity book once you’ve found them.
The trail at Wendover is about 2km long, it’s a steep walk down and very bumpy for prams. The poor baby definitely had a bone rattling ride, he wasn’t asleep for long and had to go straight in the sling. After the first 10 minutes though its pretty flat and for the 3 year old easy-going for the rest of the walk. Just when you think all’s well in the deep dark wood, the baby does the poo of all poos. Full on through all of his clothes and into the baby carrier! Good work, thanks for that. Half way round there’s a little clearing with a bench and a log you can sit/climb on. It’s a great place to stop for your pre-packed sarny’s and emergency nappy and outfit change!
The trail leads you back up to the car park through a BBQ area, this looks like it will be loads of fun in the summer. The BBQ’s are free to use on a first come first come basis. The area was a hive of activity of groups of people setting up for the day, kids running around and families playing frisbee. There was a nice atmosphere and another great place to stop for snacks.
When we got back we headed to the play area for a climb up the ropes and had the obligatory ice cream before we headed home, thoroughly worn out.
We had a great morning at the woods and our little rascal loved following the footprints, making the characters come alive and having photos with them.
- You can take multiple pictures with each of the characters EXCEPT the Gruffalo where you only get one chance, so be prepared!!
- If you want to do the Gruffalo trail be quick as the trails are closing down soon! Check out your local trail for the closing date here.
- We paid for 2 hours parking for £1.70 but felt we had to rush back to the car in the end, so I’d suggest the 2-4 hour parking for £3.30.
- If you have a new baby a pram isn’t great for the first part of the trail and will probably be a harder going in bad weather.