During the summer we visited High Lodge, Thetford Forest. Whilst we enjoyed one of the woodland walks take a look all the different sculptures that have been placed around the forest. We never got the opportunity to complete the Stick Man Trail, so I promised the children that we would go back and complete it. Time has got away from me and it was only at the weekend that we managed to make it back to the forest to take a look at different activities and enjoy the Stick Man Trail.
Thankfully, there was no frost when we awoke on Saturday morning and whilst there was a chill in the air it was not as cold as it had been during the week. With my new Berghaus jacket, hats and gloves gathered up as well as the kid’s winter coats we jumped in the car for the short trip to Thetford Forest.
Arriving we walked towards the information point to find the start of the trail. Gathered in front was a huge collection of dogs and their owners, ready for a morning walk in the forest. However, all the dogs were identical, seriously, at first I thought I was seeing things but no. We decided that they were all brothers and sisters and that they were meeting up for a family reunion before Christmas. Not sure if this is true but we thought it a good reason.
Stick Man Trail
After our encounter with all the dogs, we headed down the start of the Stick Man Trail. Coming across a sleeping Gruffalo’s Child snuggled up with their Stick Man. The children loved this and the attention to detail on the sculpture was fantastic.
As we walked along the trail there were helpful signs with arrows directing us along the correct path (always helpful when the children are navigating). As well as the directional signs there was a selection of pictures posted around the trail following the Julia Donaldson story.
If my memory serves me well, there are 10 activities to complete along the trail. From building dens to creating your very own Stick Man. Alongside this, there are a number of play areas and interactive features for the children to enjoy. There was a small adventure park in the heart of the trail which felt like a scene from Peter Pan. I could just imagine the lost boys running along the ropes into the wooden huts.
With the uneven forest floor, scattered with roots and fallen leaves I was pleased that I’d brought the iCandy Peach All Terrain pushchair with us. Whilst I was anticipating still having to push and shove my way across the uneven ground, I was surprised that it took it all in its stride and glided across as though I was pushing Piglet down the street.
Along the trail, we decided to have some family fun, from setting each other challenges to finding items. To hiding behind trees to seeing who could find the next character sign first. So much fun and lovely to be able to laugh and giggle with the children. We did get some funny looks from the dog walkers and cyclists along the trail but hey, who cares!
Whilst I was happily snapping photos of the children throughout our visit, Roo asked whether she could take one of me. Now for those who know me, will understand when I say ‘I take the photos, I’m not in them‘ (which when my children look back and don’t see any of me will be quite sad). Seizing the day I said yes to her and actually, she did OK – I might need to sign her up to a photography course and she can be my official blog photographer.
With the forest a little chilly I was pleased I’d worn my new women’s jackets from Millets, the 3-in-1 design gives me the flexibility to wear the fleece inner, the waterproof outer or them both together. Whilst it wasn’t freezing, I am ready to bring on the cold in the weeks ahead… I just need to find a new pair of gloves, or maybe the ones that attach to the handles of the pushchair.
Oh Help! Oh No! It’s a Gruffalo!
In previous years High Lodge offered a Gruffalo’s Trail which the finishing point was finding the beautifully carved Gruffalo sculpture in the forest. Thankfully the Gruffalo still remains and is part of the Stick Man trail.
Whilst I was snapping photos of the Gruffalo, I managed to capture this photo of Piglet blowing kisses to him. Too cute…
Time for Stick Man
*Spoiler Alert* At the end of the Stick Man trail, there is no Stick Man. The children were very disappointed. Although you can make your very own stick man as part of one of the activities along the trail, we did expect to see a sculpture of the Stick Man similar to the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s Child.
With a quick play on the adventure park, we decided to head off and make our way home for some food. Once we got home, we snuggled up on the sofa and watched the Stick Man DVD