We vowed at the start of the year that now I am FINALLY not pregnant, we would make every effort to get out and explore our local area a bit more (rather than me opting to spend time on the sofa with my feet up, and sending all the boys off for adventures like last year). We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the world and so we want to make the most of that as much as we can.
Grizedale Forest is a beautiful area not far from the shores of Lake Windermere. It is vast, and caters for all different ages with loads of different activities to try. I hadn’t been for aaaaaages, and had never visited with small children so I was excited to see what there was on offer. Friends had been telling me for a while about the Gruffalo Trail so when the forecast looked good and we had a free day, off we went.
Firstly, the getting there bit. As Grizedale is on the west side of the lake and we are on the east, we had to decide how to get there. We COULD have driven round the bottom of the lake as its quite easy to find your way, but a way more fun alternative with children (and without them, if I’m honest) is to catch a ferry. The ferry goes from Bowness to Sawrey and from there it’s a short drive up to Grizedale. The kids LOVED the ferry, they hopped out of the car and stood at the front pretending they were driving! Check out the live webcam of the Bowness ferry stop here.
There’s no entry fee, you just pay for your parking. I hadn’t been to Grizedale for so long, and had forgotten just how beautiful the place really is.
When we got there the Gruffalo trail was well signposted, with instructions to go to Reception to collect (buy) our Activity Kit to help us in our search for the Gruffalo. This was £3 and was definitely not essential, but we bought one for the boys to share, and they loved the little magnifying glass and ruler! We had also downloaded the special Gruffalo Spotters app beforehand so we were ready for the hunt!I
The trail is about 1 mile long in total and so it wasn’t long before we found the first animal – Mouse! For each animal there were a few clues in quick succession and then soon after, the animal itself! For each of the clues there was something to explore and/or something to complete in the Activity Kit, which definitely helped to keep both boys involved.
When we found Mouse, we had our app at the ready. We pointed the screen at the bit we were told to and ta-dah! Like magic, Mouse came to life! The boys loved this, and I think it especially appeals to children who are almost a little too old for the trail as it just adds a little something else for them to engage with.
After we had had fun with mouse, the trail continued…..
We found Owl, Fox and Snake, and I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but lets just say we had a VERY successful Gruffalo hunt…..
Brilliant! The trail was just the right distance for my 3 and 5 yr olds, with plenty to see and do along the way. The path is a gentle walk, but with streams and rocks all around my kids obviously got busy exploring too…
Amazingly, the boys still had energy for more playing and after showing our completed Activity Kit (and receiving our stickers) we headed to the playpark, which was brilliant for both boys.
We took a picnic (obviously, you know how attached I am to my flask) but the café looked like a lovely place for a pitstop and a refuel too. All in all, it was a fabulous day out with more than enough to keep everyone busy and happy, what more could you ask for? I definitely won’t leave it so long before my next visit to Grizedale. Highly, HIGHLY recommended.