Today we went on an adventure in the deep dark wood…

Having a three year old who knows the story of the Gruffalo off by heart, we just HAD to check out the new Gruffalo Spotters trail at Hamsterly Forest. 

The trail works using an app which you point at certain markers in the forest and the characters then come to life on the screen. I love the idea of using technology to get kids outdoors and it was great to see lots of other families walking round with phones and tablets in search of the Gruffalo! The signal isn’t great in the forest so if you are going it is certainly worth downloading the app at home before you go.

We arrived early and the boys wanted to play on the various adventure playgrounds. If you haven’t been (or haven’t been recently) instead of one big playground there are lots of smaller sections which are spread out. This is really helpful for us as Toby often gets overwhelmed in big playgrounds with lots of children and so he really appreciated having the space to climb and explore without anyone else around.


After a bit of a play and an explore we decided to start the trail. However from where we were in the playground we managed to find the Gruffalo first and so ended up doing the whole trail backwards! But when have we ever done anything the same way as everyone else? Toby and Teddy didn’t notice!

The Gruffalo eying up Toby’s hula-hoops…

Teddy loved pointing the phone at the trail symbols and seeing each character come to life. Each character has a short animation and then there is the opportunity to take a photo. Teddy would watch the animation and then quickly run and pose for a photo which was lovely to watch. Toby didn’t really understand what was going on but he enjoys being out in the forest and so he sat happily in his bugggy.

Oh no it’s Fox!

The trail itself was very muddy and in parts quite tricky with Toby’s buggy so if you are going it’s definitely worth taking wellies. It is quite long too…I think it took us about an hour but we did stop a few times for snacks!

We finished the trail and headed back to the play equipment but by now it was lunchtime and it was much busier. Toby took my by the hand and pulled me back towards the car park. That was his way of saying that he had had enough and wanted to go. He had done amazingly well to last all morning without his iPad or even a pair of headphones so we headed home.

We would certainly recommend it for any little (or big) Gruffalo fans and will certainly be back…or we might check out another trail as it is at other forests across the country – check out the forestry commission website for more details.

A Mouse took a stroll through the deep, dark wood!


Anyway sorry we’ve been quiet again recently…whoever said trying to move house is one of the most stressful things in life was certainly right! We’ve had quite a few viewings and a really low offer but haven’t sold our house yet….we know that it will happen at the right time. My head is certainly in house moving mode and seriously trying to keep our house tidy enough for viewings is a full time job in itself! Will keep you updated 🙂 xx

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