And so began our adventure. What a brilliant day.
Yesterday we visited Delamere Forest in Cheshire to take part in the Gruffalo trail. As Lil G’s favourite story of all time, the trail did not disappoint. As we drove in to the site, there were signs dotted about just adding to the excitement. With coffees for the adults and a ‘Follow the Gruffalo trail’ map for Lil G we set off on our adventure.
As we started off on the trail there were signs pointing you in the right direction, it really did look like the deep dark wood from the story. Lil G and his friend Freddy were off. There was no stopping them which added to our fun as parents. I just love being able to relive my childhood through Lil G. Sharing his adventures and watching his little face as we passed yet another sign. All the time looking for clues and possibly some of our favourite characters along the way.
What we didn’t realise before setting off on our adventure was that there would be check points on our adventure, encouraging the boys to use their senses. Feeling for prickly items, smelling leaves, hunting for pine cones and food. Matching the colours of the characters to items in the forest. Seeking out places in the woods where the characters may be hiding. Helping them to get closer to nature whilst having fun at the same time. The boys really enjoyed the stop points, spurring them on, a little activity to set them off again on their hunt for the characters. At one point Lil G turned to me and said ‘Mummy this is fun’. Success. Pats on back! Well, the credit should go to Mr H for this one, this was all his idea.
The walk around Delamere Forest was estimated at 1.5 miles, the terrain was easy as it was mainly a path. Suitable for prams. Nothing tricky. I walked it in my sandals! However I would recommend wellies if it had been raining. Given the fact that we were in the woods the boys were suitably dressed, there are lots of trees to jump over and places to explore so a pack of baby wipes is essential! There are picnic points and benches throughout the walk so do take your own little picnic to have on the way.
What was lovely was that all along the journey there were little areas of adventure for the boys to enjoy. Den building, tree swings to name but a few. It wasn’t long before we started to see the characters appearing in the trees, yes don’t forget to look up. We missed the first one but thankfully the trail back joins up to the first 1/3 of the track. Disappointingly we didn’t find the mouse. Maybe we missed it. Typically the Mouse is Lil G’s favourite character so we had to be a little creative and say that he was hiding in the deep dark wood. Has anyone else found the Mouse?
We chose to visit Delamere as it is one of the 15 sites to have a wooden sculpture of the Gruffalo. Be sure to check the list before you venture out. The Gruffalo sculpture was spectacular. Just like the story he had a poisonous wart at the end of his nose, his eyes were orange, and he had purple prickles all over his back. The boys were delighted when they found him, so much so that we couldn’t get them to stand still for a picture!
I am an advocate of not having to spend a fortune on a day out as a family. Our adventure to Follow the Gruffalo Trail was no expense at all. On Sunday we enjoyed a day out for less than £10 for a family of 3. £2 for the map for Lil G, coffees for the adults and parking. There was no cost to enter the site, fantastic! We took a picnic (the cost of this is not factored in as it was part of our weekly shopping budget). Excellent. A whizz bang day for the whole family.
For more information on a Gruffalo trail near you follow this link http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo
NB We were provided with a free car parking pass for future visits as a thank you for this review