So, we were pretty desperate for a day out somewhere that wasn’t going to cost us a fortune and a few people had told me about the new trail that had been set up in the Forest of Dean. The trail was aimed for families with smaller kids and it was to find the Gruffalo. Acacia loves the Gruffalo so thought it would be a great idea!
We packed up a rucksack with some lunch and drink and downloaded the free Gruffalo Spotters app. It’s probably a 30 minute drive from our house but pretty easy to find even if it is in the middle of the Forest of Dean. Still probably wise to pop it in the Sat Nav.
When we got there, we paid £3.50 to park all day and we bought Acacia the spotters activity kit which was £3 and it contained an evidence collection bag, 5 animal activity and fact cards, the spotter guide booklet, stickers of the Gruffalo characters, a special magnifying glass which doubled up a ruler and a pencil.
We set off on the trail which may I add was only 2km long, so perfect for little legs and there is a lot of stopping and starting as you get to each clue so nothing strenuous. Also, I would say fairly easy to take a push chair if needed, as long as you don’t mind going up a few hills. As for wheel chair access on the actual trail, yes, I would say definitely it’s possible but you do have to get up and down a few hills but the path is more than wide enough. Also, wellies or boots are a must, it’s pretty muddy in a some places, so leave your best shoes at home.
There are 3 different clues you find before you find the animal you were looking for. To start with you get to a board that has a picture of a magnifying glass and a close up of the animal, you then write in the booklet what you saw on the first board.
The second clue was a wheel that you spun around and behind the whole was three close up pictures of parts of the animal. You then write those in the booklet. This was perfect for Acacia as she is learning how to write, so she spelt out the different things she saw and wrote them down in her booklet.
The third and last clue was a sign which has binoculars cut out and you had to look through them and further in the wood was a board with another bit of the animal printed on. In the booklet you had to draw or list what you saw!
The next bit was the best bit and this is where the app came into it! You came up to a big board that had the animal you just found on it so the kids can get the sticker from the set and put it on the right page. Now, next to that was a circle board with different paw prints on each time. This is where you get the app out and you put the camera onto the circle and the characters come to life! Each character does a little scene to start with and then they sit down, you can then take a picture ad it saves straight to your phone. Honestly, this was amazing. Acacia was amazed that she got to have a photo next to each of the characters!
The trail takes about 2 hours to complete but we had a bit of fun in between and went off into the woods to explore. As Acacia said ‘we were having an adventure’.
I cannot recommend this place enough! For £6.50 it was an amazing day out. We took our own food so there was no need to go to the cafe but of course you could always pop there afterwards or before! And then there is a huge play area which the kids can play on too.
There are 26 forests around the UK that has the trail! You can find these at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo
I’d love to hear if you have ever been there or if this blog made you head there yourselves.