Birches Valley Family Day Out Review Cannock Chase
In search of The Gruffalo
A few weekends ago we had a visit to the Birches Valley Forest Centre on Cannock Chase. We had been before on a number of occasions, but since our last visit Harry had started to enjoy The Gruffalo story and so we thought that we would go back and check out the Gruffalo Orienteering trail. Before I tell you about our day and why we were a little late to the party, here are the basics:
What is it?
- 4 walking trails
- 4 cycling trails
- Go Ape!
- Forest Segway
- Dog activity trail
- Adventure Play areas
- Picnic areas
- Bike hire
- Dogs welcome
The Gruffalo Trail
We arrived late morning and there were ample car parking spaces. It is easy to find with a sat nav and is also well signposted (see section on how to get there). We headed towards where we remebered the Gruffalo trail to be located (giving the Adventure Playground a wide berth so that Harry didn’t see this until the end of the day). We found our first character – the snake – so I opened up the Gruffalo Spotter smartphone app that I had previously downloaded to my phone to get the augmented reality going – only to find it wasn’t working. A short internet search later and we found that the augmented reality app and trails have now finished. It could be that you can still pick up a paper map and orienteering sheet but we didn’t manage to find anything during our visit.
The Huge Outdoor Drum Kit
The Adventure Playground
The site is free to walk around but there are charges for parking. However if you consider the fee paying for a full day / half day worth of entertainment then it puts it in perspective – plus the car park fee helps to fund the upkeep of the centre.
1.A great outdoor activity centre.
2. Lots to do for a full day or easily accessible for a short visit.
3. Great cafe and picnic areas.
Be Mindful Of
1. The footpaths / different activities were not always well signposted.
2. Take care on the footpath trails and around the centre itself as there are many bikes and some users cycle far too quickly / close to pedestrians and children.
3. Cafe can get really busy – ok on dry days as there is plenty of seating outside.
Harry’s Ice Cream Rating
Given that we’ve moved into autumn I’ll put Harry’s Ice Cream rating on hold, but will be bringing in some alternatives in the next blog!