The family vacation that brings Gruffalo to life in Hampshire
The forest worked its gentle magic on Evie. Harry is still too young for the Gruffalo and had fun removing his socks as we pushed him into the buggy. Thankfully, aside from a slight obsession with the CBeebies Bing show, Evie has yet to be sucked into the vortex of screens, and we would like that to remain the same, filling her early years with outdoor games, on the screens. beaches, in gardens and in woods. She is at an age where it is quite easy, as she is ready to go a good distance and she is fascinated by picking up and holding onto the bounty of nature – sticks, seashells and stones. Screens will come, we know we can’t keep them at bay forever, but we can throw a lot of distractions in our way.
As well as being a paradise for young stick collectors, Alice Holt offers two different 1km trails for gruffalo enthusiasts. The Willows Green Trail has wood carvings evenly distributed along the path. A few characters (the mouse and the owl) are suffering from the first signs of wear and have unfortunately been fenced off, but the snake, fox and gruffalo are still not caged and little hands can touch them.
It was an easy trail, taking around 40 minutes to walk at the pace of a three year old with photo stops at the sculptures. We took our time, inhaling the pure, earthy scent of the forest, watching the endless shades of green woven into the leafy canopy and tuning in to the chirping of the birds singing around us.