This post was written on February 27th 2017. The Gruffalo Trail has now been removed from Wendover Woods.
A Highway Rat Trail was installed in January 2018. Click here for information on the Highway Rat Trail.
The new Gruffalo Trail at Wendover Woods is now open! We needed to get out for some fresh air this weekend, so this was the perfect opportunity to try the new trail. Before we left I downloaded the free Gruffalo Spotters App and made sure that I charged up my phone.
Watch The Gruffalo Trail at Wendover Woods
Wendover Woods is managed by the Forestry Commission and we have visited before to do the Stickman Trail. The new Gruffalo Trail at Wendover Woods is much longer (and hillier) than trails we have done at Wendover before. It follows a new route which starts behind the children’s adventure play area. You follow the trail to find Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake and the Gruffalo. When you discover a new character you can use the Gruffalo Spotters App. Point your phone at a sign an animation brings the character to life on your phone and you can take a photo. You can even stand in the picture and have your photo taken with your favourite animals and the Gruffalo! Your photo goes straight to your phone’s gallery for you to share with family and friends.
The trail is about 2k long and it took us about an hour with lots of stopping and starting to use the Gruffalo Spotters App, tree clambering, tired little legs and a snack. The new trail takes you quite a distance from the Cafe so be prepared, take everything you might need as you can’t just pop back to the car.
Of course you can do the trail without the new app but it does add extra magic and it really motivated the children to keep going on quite a long walk. Cub is only just 2 years old and we really needed the buggy as it was too far for him to walk and I didn’t fancy carrying him all that way!
The app worked really well on all the points in the trail except the Snake, which we managed to get working after a few attempts. In the end we had to get quite close to the sign to make the animation work. It was starting to get busy as we wandered along the trail and people were really good at allowing children to have their turn to get their picture. Small queues were starting to form at each of the points on the trail, so be prepared for a little wait on busy weekends.
The animations are excellent and the photos we have are fantastic. The Gruffalo Spotters App is a really clever and novel idea and the first time I have ever seen technology used in this way. It’s a great way to motivate children to get outdoors and bring the Gruffalo to life in a new and interactive experience in the Gruffalo’s woodland home.
When we finished the Gruffalo Trail it was time for a well-earned lunch. There are lots of picnic tables at the end of the trail but we headed to the Cafe in the Woods to get some hot drinks to go with our picnic.
We all had a really enjoyable morning on the trail and it was interesting to explore a new part of Wendover Woods that we hadn’t discovered before. Both The Wild One and Cub said they would like to go again and we would be happy to take them.
Top Tips for a visit to the Gruffalo Trail at Wendover Woods
- Download the FREE Gruffalo Spotters App before you go.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can get your photos of Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake and the Gruffalo.
- Take change for the car park. When we visited the current charges were £1.70 for two hours, £3.30 for 4 hours, £6.10 for all day. Visit the Forestry Commission website for the latest information.
- If you have younger children take an off-road buggy as it is a fairly long walk and it was quite muddy in places.
- Take newspaper or a bin liner to line the boot of your car. The trail is quite muddy and our buggy and boots were filthy by the time we went home.
All information is correct on the date of publication.
Disclosure: We received a car park pass and a Gruffalo Spotters Activity pack for the purposes of this review. Images, words and opinions are all my own.