All was quiet in the deep dark wood..
Oh, what a beautiful weekend we had. Mr J was off (he works 3 out of 4) and we really packed in everything we could to make the most of the delicious sunshine, firstly by visiting Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucester for some treetop walking and gruffalo hunting, and the kids absolutely loved it (ok, the adults kind of did too).
We were busy for most of Saturday morning preparing for a BBQ for the following day and as rain was forecast we weren't planning on going too far, but once we managed to haul everything into the car and it was 2pm and gorgeous, we figured we'd risk it, and I'm so glad we did. We've visited the arboretum before, but only at night for the christmas lights each year, so I wasn't really sure what to expect in the day, but it really is a great place to take the kids on a Summer's day. First, we ventured over the treetop walkway which takes you through the trees 13 metres in the air and was
terrifyingly absolutely breathtaking.
After coming off of the bridge, we started the gruffalo trail and quick tip for anyone planning on visiting, download the app before you leave. It's been known that I'm not the most organised of people, and I didn't realise you needed to be on wifi as the app is so large. Thankfully, I managed to get onto the park's wifi near the entrance, but apparently it's very hit & miss, so to avoid disappointment, download before you go!
You come across clues as you walk through the trail for the different animals featured in The Gruffalo and after a few clues, you'll find a sign of a footprint; you just hold your phone over the sign and an animation begins as if the animals are right in front of you. You can get the kids to run in front and have their picture taken with them and it was much more fun than we'd even imagined it'd be. The app drained my battery pretty quick though so I'd suggest only getting it out once you find the footprint (unlike A, who insisted on holding it over every acorn and log he came across, on the off-chance something may happen).
Once we'd made it to the end of the gruffalo trail, the weather was still beautiful and lots of people were having picnics or playing on the grass, so we decided to enjoy the weather and trudge back to the cafe (note to self: take food & drink next time). The arboretum is so well looked after and we barely managed to make our way around half of it, but we'll definitely be visiting again when the weather's nice & warm. It did cost us £10 each (per adult) to get in (under 5's are free), so you'll definitely want to spend most of the day there if you're planning on visiting.