‘A Gruffalo! Why, didn’t you know?’
My family and I love to be Out and About! We love a trail, well we love anything that keeps the little legs interested and moving! I’ve put together this list of some MAGICAL Julia Donaldson inspired places in the North to visit with the kids that will make your children fall in love with walking too.
CLIFTON COUNTRY PARK
I first wrote about Clifton Country Park when we discovered their fairy-tale trail a few summers ago. As well as open woodland, a large free car park, a cafe and toilets and a great playground, there’s a fab fairy-tale trail that your kids will love. The trail is approximately a mile long which is perfect for little legs, prams and scooters. There’s 10 wooden sculptures along the way as you walk (it’s a circular trail), you can even spot The Gruffalo! For more information, see here.
Clifton Country Park, Clifton House Road, Clifton, Salford, Manchester, M27 6NG
During the last half term break, me and the kids visited Hopwood Woods in Rochdale/Middleton for the first time. It’s not a huge woodland but there was plenty to see and do and we will certainly be back soon. We parked for free near Hopwood College and just followed the path into the woods. We soon started to spot several woodland sculptures including a rabbit and a kingfisher! We even found the Gruffalo, great for any Gruffalo fans. The kids loved walking through the stream and we found a couple of rope swings which is always a bonus with my three. Apart from that there isn’t much else there, but kids love to be in the woods! I packed snacks and even a flask of hot chocolate so we were pretty happy for hours.
Rochdale Road, Hopwood, Middleton, Greater Manchester, M24 6XH
ANGLERS COUNTRY PARK
It’s been a few years since we have taken part in the Room On the Broom Adventure Trail, it was certainly a good one. The Room on the Broom Adventure Trail at Anglers Country Park provide a fun outdoor experience for all the family! From the visitors centre you’ll follow the trail, find sculptures, look for animal footprints, trace rubbings and have fun doing activities along the way. The trail is a circular route around the lake and is accessible by foot, cycle, buggy or wheelchair. Activity packs can be purchased from the Visitor Centre for £2. We had a great time and really enjoyed it, I can’t wait to visit again soon. The Visitor Centre is open Monday – Sunday 10am – 4pm and the Woodland Café is open 7 days a week from 9am – 4pm. Car Parking is free for the first 2 hours. £2 for up to 4 hours and £3 for over 4 hours. A valid parking ticket must be displayed in your vehicle upon arrival.
Waterton Countryside Discovery Centre, Anglers Country Park, Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, Wakefield, WF4 2EB
Over the years we have had some lovely walks around Delamere Forest in Cheshire where we always look for the Gruffalo hiding in the forest. At the moment the Gruffalo isn’t in the forest but will be returning soon. In the meantime, some of his friends have been added in the forest to keep you company when visiting, just head to the walking trails from the visitor centre and have fun hunting for them all. From this February the forest will be taken over by another much-loved Julia Donaldson character- the one and only Superworm! You and your family will be able to take part in the trail around the forest, collect activity packs for the visitor centre. More information about the Superworm trail can be found here.
Delamere Forest, Linmere, Delamere, Northwich, CW8 2HZ
Just like with Delamere, my family and I have visited several times over the years. We usually visit Grizedale when on holiday to the Lakes (one of our favourite places in the UK). There’s usually a trail on for the kids, we’ve done a Highway Rat trail last time. This year it’s the Superworm trail which will be great fun for the whole family. Find out more here. There is also Gruffalo Orienteering at Grizedale, a fun family map reading challenge! I love the sounds of this! Families can try the fun, navigational challenge at Grizedale Forest using a simple map to find 12 Gruffalo markers hidden in the deep, dark wood. If you’re feeling competitive, choose to run, walk (or skip!) the course against the clock. Before you begin the course, pick up a Gruffalo orienteering leaflet with a certificate and map for just £1.50. Brilliant! There’s a play area and a café. Parking is around £8 all day and you can pay online up to 48 hours after leaving.
Grizedale, Forestry Commission Visitor Centre, Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead, LA22 0QJ