It's been a while since we took a stroll through the deep, dark wood, so the new Gruffalo Spotters Trail was an ideal excuse to get the girls out in the open air at Cannock Chase Forest.

The original Gruffalo Trail has been at Cannock Chase Forest since February 2017, and it's a big favourite of ours as it's short - no longer than a mile - and flat, making it accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

We wore boots and wellies, but they weren't necessary as the trail is level surfaced.

While my girls no longer need the pushchair - they are two and four now - they are still huge fans of The Gruffalo, so they were very excited to see what was in the activity pack, which we picked up from the Visitor Welcome Point at Birches Valley.

They especially loved the Gruffalo mask and paws, and when we got home the stickers and Gruffalo poster went down a treat. There's also a nature spotters game which is aimed at slightly older kids. Plenty to keep them busy, and good value at £3.50.

With scary disguise in place, we ventured off onto the trail, having already downloaded the new Gruffalo Spotter 2 app before we left the house.

That was a good idea, as the 4G signal at the forest is not the strongest, so it might take a while to download on site.

The patchiness didn't slow down the app at all though, so didn't detract from the experience, which is great fun.

As you walk along, look out for the footprints on the ground, which tell you the new markers are nearby.

Each has its own information board, featuring colourful characters, animal facts, and wheels and doors to meddle with. 

Next, open the app on your phone, point it at the marker and wait for the amazing AR technology to bring the character - mouse, fox, owl, snake or Gruffalo - to life, appearing on your phone screen and pausing long enough for a pic or video.

Imagine the excitement and dismay when our little ones saw themselves with The Gruffalo sitting right next to them!

We had a fun and educational morning, and would highly recommend it as a way to get the kids out of the house for a few hours.

There are other activities too for older ones, like the rubbings dotted along the way, and Gruffalo Orienteering as an introduction to map reading (£1.50 for map and certificate).

Find out more about the trail at or visit our Ideas and Inspiration page for more things to do in Cannock Chase.