For the past few months I had been planning a trip to complete the Gruffalo Trail at High Lodge, Thetford our local Forestry Commission site. After missing an event elsewhere (which turned out not to be great) I was determined to take Roo and Tigger to see the Gruffalo.
Then last month I began to see posts from Me and My Shadow, Mari’s World, and Cookie Jar Life which showed that the Forestry Commission were making 15 Gruffalo sculptures to be placed throughout the UK at some of the Gruffalo Trail sites. You can just imagine my joy at finding out that they were going to be placing on of them at High Lodge, so Saturday 7th June has been highlighted on my calendar ever since.
Fast forward to that magical Saturday, I packed a picnic, loaded Roo and Tigger into the car to drive over to see the unveiling celebrations. We’d going been in the car for about 10 mins when the heaven’s opened, thunder and lightning too… there was no way we were going to miss the Gruffalo so we continued on.
Arriving at High Lodge. Thetford was easy thanks to my trusty Sat Nav and great road signs, having never been there before I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleased to see that it was a one way in and one way out. The trail and the forest itself is free to use, however you just have to pay for car parking which is either £2.10 per hour or £11.00 for the day which considering you have no entrance fees to pay you are getting a great deal.
It’s EPIC! – Roo, age 7
With the rain still falling we made our way over to see where the unveiling was happening, the Mayor of Thetford was here to do the unveiling and I was pleased to see we weren’t the only ones who had misjudged the weather.
With the speeches over it was time for the countdown and the important grand unveiling…
The Gruffalo sculpture will be at the end of the trail until the end of September, then in October he will be joined by the Gruffalo’s Child until February 2015. Needless to say I’m hoping to pop back to see the Gruffalo’s Child unveiled too!
High Lodge, Thetford – Trail dates
11 April – 30 September. No booking required. Suitable for ages two to six(ty). A giant Gruffalo sculpture was delivered to High Lodge on the 7th June.
Trail starting point
High Lodge Information Point.
Gruffalo activity leaflet
Buy your activity leaflet from the High Lodge Information Point (9am-6pm). Cost £2.
Length of trail
Approx 1 mile.
Despite being a little wet we headed off on the Gruffalo trail which starts opposite the information desk. We did purchase on of the activity leaflets but as it was so wet we didn’t bother to complete it (to be honest I don’t feel we missed out by not completing it).
A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood…
Along the Gruffalo trail there are plenty of signs to make sure you are heading in the right direction, as well as information points which as questions about the story and the forest.
Whilst walking around we suddenly came across the Owl, which if you know the story is incorrect as it should be the Fox that we met first. We started to retrace our steps to see whether we had missed the Fox however after speaking with others on the trail they hadn’t seen the Fox either. So we continued on…
Along the trail there are play areas with music and puzzles for the children to take part in, which breaks up the walking (although the trail is only 1 mile) and gives the little ones to make as much noise as possible.
After seeing a few dens and log piles we came across the Snake with his very own log pile in front of him which Roo and Tigger added their own log to…
(Excuse Tigger’s pose, he needed the toilet and refused to wee next to a tree)
Just as we thought we were never going to find the Fox we managed to find him use before a large play area with some impressive slides.
With a brief play on the park (we were getting rather wet by this point) we continued down the last leg of the trail with the Gruffalo sculpture visual through the trees, it really does command some attention (especially at 7ft tall!)…
We headed back to the car to eat our picnic and dry off, unfortunately we were so wet that we opted to go home rather than head back out to see what else High Lodge had on offer but we’ve planned to visit again with Mr Boo.
If you thought meeting the Gruffalo was exciting you need to pop over to All you need is love & cake as they spent the afternoon with Julia Donaldson (in the deep dark wood).
To find a Gruffalo Trail near you or for more information please check out the website: www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo
Disclosure: We received our parking at High Lodge, Thetford FOC for attending the unveiling.