The Complete Guide to Finding Gruffalo Trails in the UK

There was a time when I could recite the Gruffalo from start to finish because we read it EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I didn’t mind though because I loved the Gruffalo story as much as the kids so when I searched for family-friendly walks one day and discovered that there was a Gruffalo Trail near me, we had to check it out.

Getting out and about in the countryside and going on nature walks with kids is a fun, healthy and educational thing to do. And the best part – it’s free (other than paying for parking and a Gruffalo Activity pack if required). If the kids need some convincing to get out on a walk, we can highly recommend trying a Gruffalo Trail.

We’ve given you all the information you need to know regarding the original Forestry England Gruffalo Trails and we’ve included a few lesser known Gruffalo Trails that you might not have heard of.

**Note that there will currently be more limited parking facilities at some of the sites and while cafés are open, most of them are only offering takeaway food**

The Gruffalo sculpture at The Wendover Woods Gruffalo Trail

What are Gruffalo Trails?

If you’re familiar with the Gruffalo books by Julia Donaldson, you’ll know that the Gruffalo story is set in a deep, dark wood and what better place for a Gruffalo trail to be set than in a real forest?

The Forestry Commission England introduced the Gruffalo trail concept to 15 forests and woods across the UK and they’ve been a huge hit. So much so that many similar Gruffalo experiences have sprung up across the country.

There are Gruffalo characters to spot along a trail through a woodland setting. One thing you should note is that not all of the trails have wooden sculptures of all of the Gruffalo characters. We didn’t know this when we first visited a Gruffalo trail and were slightly disappointed. In place of wooden sculptures there are large pictures of the Gruffalo characters.

All of them end with a large, carved wooden Gruffalo sculpture in a slightly different pose. We have indicated which ones have the wooden sculptures so that you’re not disappointed because this is not highlighted on the Forestry England website.

Some locations just have a Gruffalo sculpture trail and others have a Gruffalo orienteering trail. Some of them have both. Here are the details on the Forestry England Gruffalo Sculptures and Gruffalo Orienteering trails.

Map reading on the Wendover Woods Gruffalo Trail

Map reading on the Wendover Woods Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Scultpure Trails

Here are the 15 places you can find Gruffalo sculptures. Note that Thetford Forest is not mentioned on the Forestry England website, but you can still find Gruffalo sculptures there.

Whilst the trails are an easy distance for kids, not all of them are pram-friendly.

Alice Holt Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Alice Holt – has large wooden sculptures of the Gruffalo characters and is about 2.7km long.

Location: Alice Holt Forest, Bucks Horn Oak, Farnham, GU10 4LS (HAMPSHIRE)
Opening times: From 8am daily
Parking: 1 hour – £3.00, 2 hours – £5.00, 3 hours – £7.00, 4 hours – £9.00, All day – £12.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Timberline Play Trail, Café & Toilets

Cannock Chase Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Cannock Chase – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 1.5km long.

Location: Cannock Chase Forest, Birches Valley, Rugeley, WS15 2UQ (STAFFORDSHIRE)
Opening times: From 7.30am daily except Christmas Day
Parking: Up to 1 hour – £2.00, Up to 2 hours – £4.00, All Day – £6.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Bike Shop & Bike Hire, Café & Toilets

Gruffalo Trail Delamere Forest

Gruffalo Trail Delamere Forest – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 3km long.

Location: Delamere Forest, Linmere, Delamere, Northwich, SW8 2HZ (CHESHIRE)
Opening times: From 8am daily
Parking: Up to 1 hour – £2.00, Up to 3 hours – £4.00, All Day – £6.00
Facilities: Go Ape, Bike Shop & Bike Hire, Segway, Café & Toilets

Gruffalo Trail character picture

Dalby Forest Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Dalby Forest – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 3km long.

Location: Dalby forest, Dalby Visitor Centre, Low Dalby, Thornton-Le-Dale (YORKSHIRE)
Opening times: From 8am daily except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Parking: All day – £9.00 (Peak), All day – £5.00 (Off Peak)
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Bike Shop & Bike Hire, Café & Toilets

Fineshade Wood Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Fineshade Wood –  only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 1.5km long.

Location: Fineshade Wood, Top Lodge, Fineshade, Near Corby, NN17 3BB (NORTHAMPTONSHIRE)
Opening times: From 9am daily except Christmas Day
Parking: Up to 1 hour – £2.00, 2 hours – £3.50, 3 hours – £4.50, All day – £5.50
Facilities: Play areas, Bike Shop & Bike Hire, Café & Toilets

Gruffalo trail market points

Whinlatter Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Whinlatter Forest – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 1.5km long.

Location: Whinlatter Forest, Whinlatter Pass, Keswick, CA12 5TW (CUMBRIA)
Opening times: Usually from 8.30am but check website
Parking: Up to 20 minutes (free), Up to 1 hour – £2.20, Each additional 20 minutes 0 £0.45, All day – £8.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Wild Play Trail, Café & Toilets (limited)

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Bedgebury – Bedgebury has 6 large wooden sculptures along a 3.5km trail.

Location: Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Lady Oak Lane, Goudhurst, TN17 2SJ (KENT)
Opening times: Every day from 8am (except Christmas Day)
Parking: £13.00 all day (peak) and £10.00 all day (off peak)
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Bike Shope & Bike Hire, Café & Toilets

Wendover Woods Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Wendover Woods – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 2km long.

Location: Wendover Woods, Wendover, Aylesbury, HP22 5NQ (BUCKINGHAMSHIRE)
Opening times: Every day from 8am (except Christmas Day)
Parking: There is a large car park but spaces have been restricted. £2.50 up to 2 hours, £4.80 up to 4 hours and £9 over 4 hours.
Facilities: Play area, Go Ape, a 1-mile all-ability play trail loop, Café & Toilets

Following the Gruffalo trail through woodland

Wyre Forest Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Wyre Forest – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 2km long.

Location: Wyre Forest, Callow Hill, Bewdley, DY14 9XQ (WORCESTERSHIRE)
Opening times: From 8am daily (Except Christmas Day)
Parking:
Peak Up to 2 hours – £3.00, Up to 4 hours – £4.00, All Day – £5.00
Peak Up to 2 hours – £2.00, Up to 4 hours – £3.00, All Day – £4.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Bike Hire, Café & Toilets

Sherwood Pines Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Sherwood Pines – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 3km long.

Location: Sherwood Pines, Kings Clipstone, Nottingham, NG21 9JL (NOTTINGHAMSHIRE)
Opening times: From 8am daily (except Christmas Day)
Parking: Up to 1 hour – £2.00, Up to 2 hours – £4.00, All Day – £6.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Bike Shope & Bike Hire, Café & Toilets

exploring Forestry England woods

Hamsterley Forest Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Hamsterley Forest – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 2km long.

Location: Hamsterley Forest, Bedburn, Hamsterley, DL13 3NL (COUNTY DURHAM)
Opening times: From 9am daily
Parking: Off Peak: Up to 1 hour – £2.00, All day – £6.00. Peak: – £10.00 All day
Facilities: Play areas, Café and Toilets

Westonbirt Arboretum Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Westonbirt Arboretrum – only has the large wooden Gruffalo sculpture and pictures of the characters and is about 2km long.

Location: Westonbirt, The Arboretum, Tetbury, GL8 8QS (GLOUCESTERSHIRE)
Opening times: From 9am daily (YOU MUST BOOK A TIME SLOT IN ADVANCE)
Parking: There are no parking charges but there are entry fees
Facilities: Play areas, Treetop Walkway, Café and Toilets

Exploring woodland paths in England

Kielder Castle Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Kielder Castle – There are several large wooden carved sculptures and the trail is about 2km long

Location: Kielder Castle, Kielder, NE48 1ER (NORTHUMBERLAND)
Opening times: From 9am daily
Parking: Up to 1 hour – £1.50, All day – £5.00
Facilities: Play areas, Café and Toilets

Moors Valley Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo Trail Moors Valley – There is a wooden carved Gruffalo and Gruffalo’s Child and the trail is about 2km long

Location: Horton Road, Ashley Heath, Nr Ringwood, BH24 2ET (DORSET)
Opening times: From 8am daily (except Christmas Day)
Parking: Up to 1 hour – £4.00, 2 hours – £8.00, 4 hours – £11.00, All day – £15.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Segway, Steam Train, Café & Toilets

Gruffalo Orienteering

In addition to the Gruffalo sculpture trails, there are 12 locations across the UK offering Gruffalo orienteering. To be able to do this Gruffalo activity, you will need to buy a map for £1.50 from the visitor centre. The kids will use this map to locate Gruffalo markers along the trail and there will be questions to answer along the way too.

We love this activity because it helps kids to get a start in map reading. It suggests that the trail is suitable for children up to 8 years old, and I would agree with that, give or take a year. Our eldest is nearly 8 and still loves these trails.

Gruffalo orienteering

Haldon Forest Park

Haldon Forest Park Gruffalo Orienteering – currently closed

Location: Bullers Hill, Kennford, Exeter, EX6 7XR (DEVON)
Opening times: From 7am daily (except Christmas Day)
Parking: Up to 2 hours – £4.00, Up to 4 hours – £5.00, All day – £7.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Bike Shop & Bike Hire, Segway, Café & Toilets

Mallards Pike Lake

Mallards Pike Lake Gruffalo Orienteering

Location: Mallards Pike Lake, Parkend, GL15 4HD (GLOUCESTERSHIRE)
Opening times: From 8am daily (except Christmas Day)
Parking: Up to 2 hours – £5.00, Up to 4 hours – £5.00, All day – £7.00
Facilities: Play areas, Go Ape, Segway, Café & Toilets

Salcey Forest

Salcey Forest Gruffalo Orienteering

Location: Salcey Forest, Quinton Road, NN7 2HX (NORTHAMPTONSHIRE)
Opening times: From 8am daily (except Christmas Day)
Parking: Up to 1 hour – £2.00, Up to 2 hours – £4.00, All day – £6.00
Facilities: Play areas, Café & Toilets

Map reading on the Gruffalo orienteering trail

See the details above in the Gruffalo Sculptures section for the following locations:

Fineshade Wood
Cannock Chase
Delamere Forest – currently closed
Dalby Forest
Whinlatter Forest
Hamsterley Forest
Wyre Forest  – currently closed
Alice Holt – currently closed
Bedgebury
Wendover Woods
Sherwood Pines

Gruffalo orienteering questions

Gruffalo Spotters Trails

This brought to life was first launched in 2017 in 26 forests across the UK. They have not been up and running recently but will be back soon. You can sign up on the Forestry Commission England website to receive notification as to when it is back.

Our top tip for the Gruffalo Spotters Trail is to download the Gruffalo trail app before you go. The phone signal in some of the forests is quite poor and if you haven’t downloaded the app already, you might struggle to do so which will ruin the experience.

Download Hello Gruffalo in Google Play

Download Hello Gruffalo in the App Store

In the meantime, you can download Gruffalo Spotters Activity Sheets which will keep the kids busy either at home or in the woods.

The Hello Gruffalo App

Lesser known Gruffalo Trails

Horseden Hill

Horseden Hill Gruffalo Trail

Perivale, Middlesex, UB6 7HY (GREATER LONDON) – large wooden sculpture of the Gruffalo and 4 smaller sculptures of the Fox, Owl, Mouse and Snake.

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens Richmond and Kew Gardens Wakehurst

Temporary trails for October half term from 17th October to 1st November 2020. (GREATER LONDON)

Thorndon Country Park

Thorndon Country Park

The Avenue, Warley, Brentwood, CM13 3RZ (ESSEX). Visit several hand crafted wooden sculptures of the Gruffalo characters.

Thetford Forest High Lodge

Thetford Forest Gruffalo Trail – High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Brandon, IP27 0AF (SUFFOLK). While not one of the official trails, you can still see Gruffalo characters from the Gruffalo spotters trail. We have lots of other suggestions for things to do in Suffolk with kids or generally a great guide to Suffolk.

Alice Holt Gruffalo

Colin Glen

Colin Glen Gruffalo & Stickman Guided Walk

163 Stewartstown Road, Dunmurry, Belfast, BT17 0HW (COUNTY ANTRIM). Book your own story teller to take you on a guided walk through the woods, tell the Gruffalo story and spotting the wooden carved characters as you go. £10 per person.

Forest of Dean

Gruffalo Trail Forest of Dean – Dean Heritage Centre, Camp Mill, Soudley, Forest of Dean, GL14 2UB (GLOUCESETRSHIRE). Tickets £3 each.

The Jungle

The Gruffalo Explorer’s Trail – 60 Desertmartin Road, Moneymore, Magherafelt, BT45 7RB (COUNTY LONDONDERRY). Self guided tour of Gruffalo story boards with an explorers handbook. Adults £1, Children £5. Children under 3 – free.

Ardkinglas Woodland Garden

Ardkinglas Gruffalo Trail & Fairy Trail – Ardkinglas Estate Office, The Square, Cairndow, PA26 8BN (ARGYLL & BUTE). Follow the short trail around the gardens and locate the storyboards and steel figures of the Gruffalo and the Mouse. Adults £5, Children (4-16) £2. Children under 3 – free.

Kilmardinny Loch

Kilmardinny Loch Gruffalo walk – Bearsden, G61 3NF (EAST DUMBARTONSHIRE). Enjoy a short walk around Loch Kilmardinny where you’ll spot a few Gruffalo character carvings.

Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly

Mountain View Ranch Gruffalo Walk – Heol Penybryn, Blaengwynlais, Cardiff, CF83 1NG (GLAMORGAN). Wales’ only official Gruffalo Trail. Take a guided walk with a Gruffalo storyteller and meet the characters along the way.

Other places to find the Gruffalo

Chessington Gruffalo River Ride Adventure

Chessington Gruffalo River Ride Adventure

Gruffalo Trail Map

A Complete Guide to UK Gruffalo Trails

A Complete Guide to UK Gruffalo Trails (incl. lesser known ones)

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