We spent a long weekend in Bristol last weekend to celebrate Daddy P hitting 50 on Monday. Having been stuck on the M4 on the way down, we really wanted to avoid a repeat on his birthday. Going in search of The Gruffalo’s Child at Westonbirt Arboretum and trying out the STIHL Treetop walk seemed like the perfect solution. We’d have some fun outdoors and could drive home across country.
We’ve been wanted to revisit Westonbirt Arboretum since we first visited last Autumn. That time around we’d visited with family and although we’d walked around a lot of the grounds, somehow we’d missed The Gruffalo’s Child. Monkey was desperate to find him and we all wanted to check out the Treetop Walk which opened in April this year.
We’d spent the morning in Bath, so arrived after lunchtime, avoiding any queues for parking. Picking up a map, we realised that we needed to concentrate our afternoon in Silk Wood as we were going in search of The Gruffalo’s Child. The STIHL Treetop Walk can be seen from the entrance and we decided to start there and then walk on through the woods.
The Treetop Walk is accessible to all as it rises gently from the ground. There are steps up to a Crows Nest, but otherwise, it’s easily to walk along with a buggy. The walkway is really sturdy and great for kids like Monkey who don’t especially like heights. It rises to 13 metres, but to be honest, felt a lot lower than the 15 metre high walkway at Salcey Forest.
There are information points along the walk for children to enjoy, and in fact we all liked looking at the different woods and their finish.
Monkey wasn’t feeling quite brave enough to tackle the Crow’s Nest so we sent Daddy P on ahead, it was his birthday after all.
We’d heard a rumour that The Gruffalo’s Child was playing hide and seek in Silk Wood, so Monkey was off like a rocket. Dad in one hand, stick in the other.
I knew that the really spectacular leaf colour changes were likely to be in the Old Arboretum, but we weren’t going to have the time to explore the whole site on this visit. But Silk Wood still had plenty of autumnal shades for us all to admire.
It was lovely to be out in the fresh air, admiring the leaves on the trees.
There are clearly marked walks through the woods, but plenty of room to run between the trees and have a few adventures too. Going in search of The Gruffalo’s Child was a great afternoon activity.
There was a moment of great excitement, Mummy look!! There’s a face in the trees. Can you spot it?
I just love this boy’s imagination. He really does rock. There are so many instances these days where he seems so grown up, in stature, looks and in the things he says and does. But then there are moments, when he runs up to The Gruffalo’s Child and gives him the biggest hug. Then I stop and realise that my son is still just 6, not quite 7, not really that grown up at all. That makes me smile. He’s still my little boy for a bit longer.
Going in search of The Gruffalo’s Child had been a great little adventure. If we’d had longer we’d have revisited the rest of the Arboretum, but time was getting on, and we wanted to pick up Brewster from the Cattery before going home. But we’d still had a lovely afternoon, we’d swept away the cobwebs and Monkey can now say he’s met both The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child. He’s a happy boy.
Have you been enjoying the autumn colours?
disclosure: we received free entry for one adult, but would have written about our trip regardless.