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tried & tested

With so many local attractions both in and around Southend, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do! 

Our Tried and Tested reviews are a way for us to share some of the places on offer and give you more information on the individual attractions or venues, helping you make your decision that little easier!

If you would like to arrange a Tried & Tested blog at your attraction by Mum's guide to Southend,  please contact us at [email protected]

Visiting the Zog Trail at Thames Chase


The Zog Trail is inspired by the popular children's book "Zog" written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. This enchanting trail allows families and children to immerse themselves in the world of Zog, a friendly dragon attending Dragon School. The story unfolds along a scenic trail through the forest, making it an excellent blend of nature exploration and storytelling. The trail is fully interactive and once you've downloaded the app, you can point your phone at special markers around the trail to access lots of activities and challenges.

Trail Highlights:

Zog's Quest: As you embark on the Zog Trail, you'll encounter interactive panels that bring the story to life. Follow Zog and his friends on their adventures, solving puzzles and learning valuable lessons about teamwork and courage. Our (my) favourite, was dancing with one of the dragons and also learning to roar with the 'roarmeter'

Play Areas: The trail features interactive activities and there is also a fair sized play area along the route. 


Educational Opportunities: The Zog Trail is not just fun; it's also educational. Along the way, you'll find informative signs about local flora and fauna, providing insights into the forest ecosystem. The Zog markers also encourage the children to be aware of their surroundings and explore their senses within the forest.

Picnic Spots: There are several picnic spots along the trail, where families can enjoy a packed lunch with the option of using the on-site cafe. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating and also a children's toy table.

Accessibility: The trail is a mile long and is designed to be accessible to all, including those with mobility challenges. Paved pathways and accessible play areas ensure that everyone can enjoy the magic of Zog.

Visiting the Zog Trail - You can view more details for Thames Chase here 

The Zog Trail at Thames Chase is open year-round, and it's an ideal destination for a family day out or a weekend adventure. Here are some essential tips for planning your visit:

Opening Hours: The trail typically opens during daylight hours, so be sure to check the Thames Chase website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information.

Admission: Entry to the Zog Trail is free and you can download the app for free via App Store or Google Play. If you would like to purchase an activity pack including a colouring set, stickers, a set of Zog wings and 4D glasses, you can do so in the visitor centre for £4.

Parking: There is ample parking available at Thames Chase, but it can get busy on weekends and holidays, so arrive early to secure a spot.

The Zog Trail at Thames Chase offers a mixture of nature, play, and education, making it a perfect destination for families looking to reconnect with the outdoors. Whether you're a fan of the Zog books or simply looking for a low cost activity to do with the family, this trail promises a magical experience that celebrates the beauty of nature and the joy of learning. So, pop on your wellies, pack a picnic, and head to Thames Chase for a morning filled with adventure, imagination, and the wonders of the Zog Trail.

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