One of the places I have been meaning to take the children back to in what feels like forever is High Lodge in Thetford Forest. Last time we ventured over there was when the Gruffalo trail welcomed a the Gruffalo sculpture and it was a rather wet day. Two years have passed and whilst Tigger has been back with the school I hadn’t managed to head back.
Last weekend, however, with the weather looking bright we packed up a picnic and headed over to High Lodge. Since our move earlier this year we are much closer to Thetford Forest with it being just a 40 minute drive away – so now I have no excuse not to go more frequently.
As we arrived the car park was quite busy, but being a beautiful day I could understand why everyone wanted to make the most of it. We parked the car and headed over to the main green opposite the information point with our picnic. We’d arranged to meet up with some family to make it a fun-filled family day out.
As we sat and ate our picnic, Roo spotted the signs for GoApe and was a little disheartened when I said that we weren’t going to be going on it today (must look into this for next time). So lovely to sit down on one of the picnic benches and enjoy a family picnic before we headed off into the forest. The large green has a selection of picnic benches as well as some BBQ sites which you are able to hire from High Lodge. It was mouth-watering to smell the BBQ food whilst we sat and tucked into our sandwiches.
After finishing our lunch we grabbed a map from the information point and opted to take a stroll around the Sculpture Trail. We the children leading the way we headed off into the forest. I had Piglet in her Silver Cross Wayfarer, which handled the bumps and tree roots quite well and she seemed quite happy looking at all the different trees and plants etc as we walked by.
On the map the first sculpture was a giant pink spider, which when you find it turns out not to be pink – cue grumpiness from the children that the map is wrong and why isn’t the spider painted pink. First world problems when you are nine and five.
With a climb around the sculpture exploring the different sections the children were eager to head off and explore the rest of the trail. This is where it all goes wrong, children and map reading do not mix and thankfully we were keeping an eye out for signposts so we could at least attempt to stay on track.
After coming across the play park in the middle of the trail we opted to switch on to the sound trail as we could hear the different sounds drifting through the forest. Whilst the children were loving the interactive features of the sound trail. From dashing cymbals, ringing the bells and jumping on the sound pillows. It was Piglet who I think loved it the most, her face lit up as the different sounds were made and you could just see that she was keen to get involved.
Somehow we managed to miss the Gruffalo sculpture along the way, however, we managed to find it on the way back to the green. Next time we head over we’ll have to make sure to complete the Gruffalo trail as Tigger was most disappointed not have seen the mouse, owl, fox and snake.