After the success of our visit to the Highway Rat Trail at Hamsterley Forest last year we were excited to hear a new trail was opening. Over the Christmas holidays many of us will have sat down and enjoyed watching Zog, the lovable dragon. The tv adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s magical Children’s book is the theme for the new trail for children to enjoy! The trails have opened up at lots of the forestry commission sites you can find a list of all sites here.
We decided to go explore somewhere new this year and decided on a trip out to Guisborough Forest and Walkway. It’s a mixture of woodland, wetland and grassland with two play parks to explore.
It is located at–
Parking is £1 for 2 hours or £2 for all day.
There are toilets and a cafe within the visitor centre.
We arrived at around 9.40am and after paying for parking, checking out the carved tree in the car park and admiring the passing horses who had been enjoying the forest with their riders we headed to the visitor centre. Sadly the shop with the trail packs was closed when we arrived and with no visible time for opening we decided we would head into the woods and enjoy exploring the Zog trail regardless.
We soon came across the start of the trial and found our way easily, with lots of different themed carved sculptures for the kids to enjoy getting photos with along the walk, we also spotted a large play park area which we saved until last. We could see so many great areas we didn’t know which way was best to go, we came across a brilliant area for nature play with den building and tunnels, sadly it was quite muddy so the girls couldn’t fully enjoy it but we’ve already made plans to return. If your child is anything like my youngest and loves to climb, explore, balance and have fun exploring then they will love it here.
We found an exploration area for bugs different habitats that the children could get stuck in, rummaging through the bark looking for the mini-beasts. There are large ponds with ornate carvings and bird hides to enjoy, we passed lots of benches to sit and enjoy the views too. We had a lovely little robin follow us at one point happily jumping between the branches near us.
The trail has lots of boards with things for the kids to think about and do as-well as telling us the storyline as we go along, my youngest loved recalling it all to me. I had actually missed sitting down to watch it over Christmas, unlike Willow who laughed and smiled as she told me all about Zogs adventure and mishaps. Some of the boards had a hidden picture which you needed the magic lens from the pack for so we can’t wait to go back armed with our pack.
It was a lovely trail with lots to see along the way. It is quite muddy this time of year and does go up a muddy slope for part of the trail so be mindful and maybe pack wellies and waterproofs.
Once we got back to the visitor centre it’s shop was open so we purchased a pack at £3, as well as a yo-yo and a pen which where great prices at 50p each. We will keep the pack for next time we visit or if we visit another of the forestry commission sites with the Zog Trail.
Below are photos of what is in the pack, we can’t wait to get back out and use the trail pack but still really enjoyed the trail without it too.
If you go over to the Forestry England website you can also download activity sheets before you go.
They had a lovely little area in the visitor centre too with lots of information on wildlife with and interactive floor.
Have you visited? Which part was your favourite? Let me know in the comments. Also if you like my blog please click the follow button to get updates on new posts. I’m also on social media you can find all links on here to follow me.
Whilst in the area you may want to visit Saltburn with its magnificent pier you can read all about it here.