Gruffalo Spotting in the Deep Dark Woods

The Alice Holt Forest in Farnham, Surrey is a kids day out gold mine. The whole forest is a maze of different nature walks, with so many hidden treasures along the way.

The reason that we found ourselves at the Alice Holt Forest was because its the last few days of the Gruffalo’s Child Trail. Upon arrival, we headed over to the cafe to pick up a trail kit. This £2 bag contains a fill-in-as-you-go leaflet, some colouring pages, stickers and a pencil. I threw in a bag of white chocolate buttons for good measure, and off we went.

Raffy loved pointing out the signs and looking out for creatures in the trees as we followed the path into the deep dark wood. Along the way we found lots of activity stops which is where the trail kit comes in useful. Or it would have done had we opened it. To be honest, I knew the trail lasted for about an hour and I didn’t have a huge amount of confidence in Raffy making it to the half way point, let alone the end. So we just held the bag and read the story as we went along, doing a toddler version of the trail.

After a while we came across an enormous owl-shaped lookout point which we had great fun climbing up and looking out through the trees.

As the trail continued, we found lots more nature themed climbing equipment, Gruffalo signs and things to look out for.


Quite incredibly, Raffy made it on foot all the way to the end and I have to put this down to the strategically placed ‘keep going’ signs. We took full advantage of the photo opportunity at the finish…..

… and made our way back to the cafe for lunch and a cuppa to warm up. The cafe had really friendly staff and a varied menu of home cooked food, making me slightly regret the standard kids lunch box thing that I chose.

After lunch we headed outside to the amazing play area that they have. All built with solid timber; there’s a full sized pirate ship, little houses on stilts, a tractor and loads of other little bits to climb on. If it wasn’t so bitterly cold, we could have stayed all afternoon.



I have to say that I was really impressed with the Alice Holt forest and will definitely be keeping an eye out for future events. Maybe even just head back for a dog walk thats a bit more interesting than the usual.

If you like the sound of the Gruffalo’s Child trail- you must be quick as it closes on the 28th February. However, with plenty to do there and new activities popping up all the time, why not stick on your wellies and go?

More more information on Alice Holt Forest and their schedule of activities, click here.


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