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tried & tested

Zog Activity Trail - You've earned a Golden Star from us!

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Due to the popularity of our tried and tested blog on "The Stickman Trail", as soon as we knew The Forestry Commisson had launched a "Zog Activity Trail" I just knew I needed to rally the troops and go and check it out and report back to you all.

As a family we love the story of Zog and the message that you can break free of expectations and norms and be whatever you want to be, is an important one to share with our children we feel.

With an inset day ahead of us, I packed the car with two children, a husband, a picnic and dog and headed to Thames Chase, which is around 40 minutes drive from Hertford.

 

The entrance to Thames chase can be quite easy to miss , although it is signposted so just keep an eye out. 

The first thing that impressed me was, unlike the Gruffalo and The Stickman Trails, you did not need to pay for a fixed amount of parking, the fee was £1 for all day (this goes up to £2 in the summer but is still amazing value!) so instead of having to second guess how long you might be and clock watch you could set off on your adventure without worrying about parking limits.



 

Next to the carpark is a visitor centre (pictured above) and play area (do not make the mistake we did and walk past the play area-as the trail starts on the other side.)

The visitor centre has a nice café serving a variety of refreshments, lots of educational information and a small gift shop with prices starting from 50p.

The trail starts next to the visitor entrance near the toilets, Ann's terrace and the education centre and there is a wooden owl to indicate you are heading the right way.

 

The trail is free, although you can purchase an activity pack from the visitor centre for £3 which contains a Zog branded paperbag, a high quality mask, a pencil, a secret animal viewer (more on this later) 5 golden star stickers to award yourself as you go around completing the activities and an activity pack.

 


 As is to be expected with any form of forest there is mud, so wellies are a good idea, but there are buggy friendly paths around the trail. There are numerous picnic benches and seats outside the visitor centre (including some under cover) and some also on the trail.

 

The trail follows the outline of the book, giving you activities to complete at various points throughout the trail linked to the lessons Zog and his friends learnt in each year of school. For example the first task (year one) is learning to fly, and you are encourage to flap your arms and look for winged creatures in the woods.

 

At various points throughout the wood there are pictures of different dragons as well, which you are encouraged to spot, as well as signs that you need to use your secret animal viewer to reveal what animal is hiding there (picture below).

As is to be expected there is a real emphasis on nature and wildlife and the activities are often linked to that, we had a lot of fun looking for animal homes , for example, such as bird nests and bat boxes.






We loved the "learning to blow fire activity" where we all blew leaves off our hands as instructed by the signage and we all joined in on the "Dragon roar task", as each activity is completed you award yourself with a golden star.

There are also a few pieces of play equipment dotted through the woods which are fun to play on, including a huge tower.

 

 

In total , including having our picnic, several toilet stops and completing the trail at a leisurely pace we were at the Zog Activity Trail for around 3 hours. However could have stayed much longer soaking up the beautiful sites and playing if we didn't have other plans that afternoon. So my top tip would be to bring a football or a kite with you as well so you can extend your adventure to a full day out.

The total cost of this day out was £5 - £1 for the parking £3 for the activity pack and we also purchased our 5 year old a lucky dip for £1 from the gift shop. I'm sure you can agree that this is real bargain!

 

I am certain that The Zog activity Trail is going to become a new firm favourite thing to do in our household.

I'm sure you will love it too, so grab those wellies and imaginations and go make some memories. Al the details of the "Zog Activity Trail" can be found here.

 

Have you visited the Zog Activity Trail? Be sure to let us know how you got on #mumsguidetohertford.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Kayleigh and the Boys xxx

 

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