After reading a great post about the Gruffalo Trail at Thordon Country Park in Essex, written by Ruth from RocknRollerBaby, I thought we’d jump in the car and get up to a Gruffalo related adventure and what a day we had! After about 1hr 20mins in the car, we got to Thordon just before noon and so it seemed like the best thing to do was have our picnic lunch before we set off on the Gruffalo trail.
Map in hand, we were off. Unfortunately, I am absolutely terrible reading maps, so after a bit of wandering and then having to ask someone (!!), we finally saw the little mouse in the forest and then we were able to navigate our way around the trail from that point (mainly by just following other people!).
Allegra was beside herself with excitement, “I want to see the Gruffalo, where’s the Gruffalo mummy?!” she was saying over and over as she ran through the deep dark wood, with her little plastic Peppa Pig binoculars in hand.
I’ve never seen anyone trip over so many tree roots in one day, she was up and down on the ground like a yoyo and as a result ended up looking more than a little bit grubby, but she absolutely loved the freedom of running around the woods, climbing on logs and tree stumps, seeking out the different animals from the Gruffalo story. She also insisted on a photo with each animal and was very disappointed that we couldn’t take her picture with the Owl, because he was just too high up on the top of a tree! She was quite keen to photo-bomb others’ photos too, so I spent a fair bit of time dragging her away from other people’s Kodak moments!
I’m not going to lie, the day didn’t go completely without battles. The main one being the “don’t run off without mummy” ongoing battle: aaaaaaahhhhh she is a real runner! It’s fine her running about in the woods with me, where I can see her, but when she darts off in the other direction across a large picnic area or car-park or (on other occasions) a shop/high-street/park etc. etc. DRIVES ME NUTS! If anyone as any tips as to how to get her to stop running off by herself, I’d love to hear them!
Other “battles included the “stay where mummy can see you battle”; the “what are you doing climbing that fence out of the picnic area” battle; the “no you’re not having any sweets before lunch” battle; the “please don’t sit on the footrest of the buggy where you’re feet are dangling/getting caught under the buggy, which is going to hurt you and make it very difficult to push the buggy” battle; the “no darling, mummy can’t carry you and push the double-buggy through a heavily wooded area” battle; the “don’t rip the page of your Gruffalo book” battle; the “I don’t care if you don’t need to go to the toilet, please just sit on the loo and try to do a wee before we get in the car” battle; the “be gentle with your sister” battle; the “come on darling, can you hurry up and stay with mummy” battle…. sigh….!!
But, all in all, it was a lovely day out, baby Claudia slept for most of the trail – not sure how, given how much the buggy was bumping and bouncing across tree roots all the way around! – but she did wake up to see the Gruffalo’s Child and the Gruffalo himself, who she was pretty fascinated by!
We arrived back home, both girls a little weary and very grubby, so it was tea-time then a good scrub in the tub, before bedtime stories and bed (cue another battle ensuing!). A fun outdoorsy day all in all though and Allegra will no doubt have gone to sleep dreaming of the Gruffalo, I think the whole day really brought the story to life for her.