Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #2
So, after last time our faux attempt at finding the ‘Deep Dark Wood’ which according to Judah was any cluster of trees, and knowing that they would be finishing in February we decided to go on a real Gruffalo’s Trail. The Forestry Commission are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Gruffalo so until February 28th you can go and do a Gruffalo Activity Trail at various points all over the UK. Click here to find out more and where your nearest one is. I did my research and saw that Grizedale was near to where we live, and it’s a Forest I’ve been to before and really loved. However, this morning, I looked on a map to see the distance, and checked the weather…. hmm… it would take us 1 hour 30 mins to get to Grizedale Forest and it was forecast rain. If I thought there was a chance of snow in the lovely Lake District, we would’ve definitely been Northward bound. Instead, I discovered Delamere Forest that I’ve never been to, was South of us and only an hour each way. It wasn’t to forecast near Delamere until about 1pm. So, with that in mind we changed our plans and headed South.
As soon as I’d finished the school run I collected my sister from the train station and off we went on our little adventure. I couldn’t find Judah’s gloves, as usual, (I need to attach them to some string so they can live inside his coat), so he borrowed Auntie Jenny’s. He looked so cute with the giant hands. He was very excited to begin the trail. I don’t know how children learn information that you haven’t taught them but he told me at the starting sign, that it was the map and it told us where to go. We had purchased our Activity Pack for just £2 at the shop but it was a bit above Judah’s level so it waited on the pram until we got to the cafe at the end.
It was so beautiful pottering around, I really felt as though we were part of the story, some of the scenery looked as though it could’ve been taken straight out of the pages of the book.
It was great having Auntie Jenny with us, my hips were playing up again, and sometimes I would need to walk ahead as I was fighting with mud uphill and the wheels of our Bugaboo Cameleon. I would just try and get up the hills whilst I could, so I would manage to capture quite a lot of pictures of Judah and Auntie Jenny catching me up (usually when we were walking uphill anyway).
There were multiple points throughout the trail with posts that informed us what we should be doing, this mainly went with the activity pack. Judah liked interpreting his own versions though. Here he was just telling me about the mouse making scary shadows from the moon. It took us just under an hour and a half to walk around as we pottered around slowly. It was only a mile and a half trail. Judah likes to take his time, and we were soaking in all that we saw. There was a little robin that was following us at one point. I wished my camera could zoom in further as I could only sneak so close to it before it would fly away.
When we actually found our friend the Gruffalo, Judah was not very impressed. I wouldn’t say terrified as there were no tears, or screaming, shaking or even hiding. He just kind of stood there, not sure whether it was going to break out of it’s statuesque pose at any moment. He didn’t really want to stand next to it for a photo, he needed to keep his eye on it. I stood him the other side of Eden’s buggy and then he was a little bit easier to photograph. Once we walked on ahead though, he told me, ‘Fireman Sam gonna get that Gruffalo.’ This is what we say now about purple minions so that he doesn’t have bad dreams. He was definitely intimidated by the Gruffalo statue, but he knew that Fireman Sam would protect him. I also reminded him the mouse was going to make Gruffalo crumble, so not to worry too much.
He started to get tired when we near to the end. He kept asking to be picked up, I was struggling with my hips so I informed him we were nearly there and there wasn’t long left to walk. Auntie Jenny took pity and decided to carry him. It was really funny as he then pretended to be asleep so she wouldn’t put him back down to walk again. She almost fell for it too until I pointed out he was squeezing his eyes shut. Clever little monkey.
We finished our adventure with a warm drink in the cafe. They had the hot chocolate that my sister can have (she’s gluten intolerant) and also gluten free, chocolate covered flapjack. We treated Auntie Jenny for looking after Judah so well. Great for the coeliacs out there to know that they will be catered for.
It was so refreshing to have had such a long time out in the crisp fresh air. It was not too cold at all. It started to rain as we were sat in the cafe, we could not have timed it better. Yay for weather apps and prestine planning. We drove back to the city and dropped Auntie Jenny back at the train station with about 30 minutes to spare before going to collect the girls from school. A really enjoyable day. When I had awoke that morning I had not been in the mood to go for our adventure, but I’m so glad that we did.
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