On Good Friday we got up with the birds at 6.30am to set off down to Gloucester and miss the bank holiday traffic. We had arranged to meet the lovely Karen from Stopping at Two and her family at Puzzlewood, a magical woodland in the Forest of Dean. I have been lusting after a visit to Puzzlewood since I first read Karen’s blog post back in September 2014.
We drove down the M6 from the Wirral in driving rain and a number of times wondered if we were doing the right thing. But miraculously at 10.30 when we arrived the rain stopped and it started to brighten up. We donned the rain coats, wellies and umbrellas and headed into Puzzlewood to meet Stopping at Two!
Whilst we were waiting (only ten minutes) we found the playground and willow maze which is just after the entrance. Everything was very wet but good fun all the same.
Karen and her family arrived and we set off en masse into the woods with our Easter Egg hunt word searches! We needed to find some large eggs hanging in the forest and find the shapes in the word search. For those with younger children this is definitely a sling rather than a pram sort of walk. There are loads of steps, stepping stones and slippy banks. It was tricker than it would have been on a dry day but we had the right clothes on so it didn’t matter too much if the kids fell over a bit, which I think they all did at one time or another. A good tip is to have a pack of wet wipes, to wipe those hands – thankfully Karen had some!
It is actually difficult to describe how magical the wood is, so I will leave the pictures to explain (the pictures should scroll through at the top of the post but if they don’t just click on the arrow to the right) but we walked round in awe. It really was beautiful. The kids loved all the different stepping stones and paths and we just marvelled at how the woodland had grown in such a magical way.
In addition to the wood itself, there is a little indoor track with cars for the Under 5’s to play on, and an indoor maze. There are also some animals to see including some very big pigs, chickens, donkeys, shetland pony and ducks.
After we had completed the woodland walk, we were lucky enough to be able to sit outside and eat our picnic as the weather was bright enough. There is a cafe inside and plenty of tables but you can’t eat your own food inside, so this might have been tricky if the rain hadn’t stopped! There is a little playground for the tiny ones where you eat your picnic, and a sandpit which the 5 children we had with us under 5 all enjoyed.
We left with 5 exhausted but happy children and resolved to meet up with the lovely Stopping at Two family again very soon.
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