i’ve popped back and forth to essex a couple of times over the last few weeks. it’s strange seeing the place you grew up, once you’ve grown up is it. everything looks the same but smaller.
on my way home on one of these occasions i cut through the back roads through the woods, for old times sake, when i noticed a sign. it said the gruffalo trail. yes i remember being told about this by a friend and also a blogger, but had swiftly forgotten until that very moment. i came home i googled and prayed for sunshine or at the very least no rain at the weekend so that we could explore the woods of thorndon country park.
sunday came, the sky was clear, the sun was shining, we pulled out our boots and jumped in the car. we were on our way to the gruffalo trail.
the trail covers the six key characters from julia donaldsons book the gruffalo. each sculpture is carved perfectly to replicate the characters illustrated by axel scheffler. the trail takes around about an hour to walk, so not to taxing on little ones feet. there are acres of woods to explore if you want to extend you visit, or you could take a picnic perhaps or gather some branches and build a den like so many others had before us.
but first you must swing by the visitors centre and pick up a map for the mere price of fifty pence. then you can start planning the route.
we spied mother squirrel high in the trees, observing all what was happening around.“a mouse took a stroll in the deep dark woods”” a fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good”“where are you going to, little brown mouse? come and have tea in my treetop house”“scrambled snake! it’s time i hid! goodbye, little mouse” and away snake slidthe gruffalo’s child was also on the trail. he must have been looking for the big bad mouse
“the big bad mouse is terribly strong and his scaly tail is terribly long. his eyes are like pools of terrible fire and terrible whiskers are tougher than wire”but who is this, creature with terrible claws and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws? he has knobbly knees and turned out toes and, a poisonous wart at the end of his nose. his eyes are orange, his tongue is black: he has purple prickles all over his back.