Oh help! Oh No! It’s a Gruffalo…

Kelly Weaver

For those of you with tots, this phrase is likely to be a bedroom favourite, it certainly is in our house! So when I stumbled upon the Gruffalo Spotter trail at Cardinham Woods it was quickly added to the top of our families must visit list, and to say we were impressed was an understatement. I’d even go so far as to say this day out was one of my favourite yet.

Granted, Bodmin is a bit of a drive from our luxury self catering in St Ives but it is most definitely worth the effort and with plenty of places to stop for dinner on the way home, you really can make a day of it. Of course, you could always build it into your trip to/from St Ives; it’s certainly a fun way to kill the time before your apartment is ready at 4pm. And for the dog owners out there, you’ll be pleased to know that the trail is dog friendly, perfect if your planning a dog friendly holiday in St Ives.

Arriving shortly before lunchtime we headed to the picnic area. A large grassed area with plenty of rug space, a crop of picnic benches and even barbecue stands should you wish to rustle up a few burgers for lunch (coals and utensils are not provided). There’s also a beautiful river that runs along the bottom of the picnic area so if it’s a hot day you can cool off with a paddle.

After filling our bellies we headed to the Woods Café to grab our Gruffalo Spotter pack (£3), which included character stickers, a trail guide, a pencil and a ruler and the hunt began!

It’s imperative that you download the Gruffalo Spotters App before you set-off to start your drive to Bodmin, it is essential to discover the magic that awaits.

The Gruffalo trail itself is located on the Lady Vale Trail, a 1.5 mile circular walk, and perfect for little legs, although a carrier/buggy may be a good option if you have really little ones. Our 2 year old did spend a bit of time on Daddy’s shoulders in between meeting fox, owl and snake!

The route itself is wonderfully pretty, snaking along the edge of the river but the true magic unfolds as you follow the clues to meet the famous creatures that feature in the Gruffalo story.

As you stumble upon each character you are met with a signpost and with your phone in hand and the app open, the animated creature appears before your very eyes. Once the short animation is complete you may then stand within the animation and take pictures of your little ones with the Gruffalo characters on your phone. Needless to say, my camera roll was rather full by the end of the trail.

After we’d found fox, owl and snake the last part of our search commenced and it wasn’t long before we came across the orange eyed, black tongued, prickly backed Gruffalo and our hunt was complete.

After all the excitement of the search we headed towards the Woods Café for a much needed coffee and ice cream. As we didn’t eat, I can’t comment on the food but the menu looked rather delicious and the cafe itself was very nice with plenty of outdoor seating. What impressed even further was the dairy free chocolate ice cream. Having a diary intolerant toddler, little considerations like these go a long way.

Before heading back to the car to start our journey home we spent a fun fifteen minutes in the play area with our little one, ensuring she was well and truly worn out for the journey home.

All in all, this day was absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend it. So if you were looking for a memorable day out from your luxury accommodation in St Ives, this would be one of my top picks.

Kelly x