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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]

We took a stroll through the deep dark woods...


We visited the new Gruffalo Trail at Thames Chase in half term... Unlike the Zog Trail that it replaced, it isn't interactive with an app and there's no map needed either. 

To follow the trail, you just need to follow the markers which will point you in the right direction. You can buy an activity bag from the discovery centre for £4 with an activity sheet, stickers, crayon for rubbing and a 'party hat'


Follow the trail to help find the missing party items. At each location, there will be signs dotted around with pictures of apples/acorns or balloons. The children need to locate these and once find, they can put a sticker on the activity sheet. Find out facts about animals living in the forest with the interactive boards such as what the animals like to eat. Each location has a stand with a stencil for 'rubbing' onto their activity sheet. 

Thames Chase has visitor centre with toilets, shop and cafe selling hot and cold food. The cafe is spacious and has indoor and outdoor seating. Inside, there are some toys for children with a drawing/colouring table too. 

There is a playground just behind the visitors centre with two swings, a larger netted swing, some wooden climbing obstacles and a climbing frame with a slide which is positioned directly at the end of the trail. 

The trail was about half a mile long and took us around 40 minutes with some splashing in puddles on the way too! 

You can find out everything about Thames Chase here... including how to find it, opening times and parking information.

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