You may not have heard of Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean. It is a little piece of magic just outside Coleford, just 50 minutes from our home in Cardiff. When you see our pictures I am sure it will look familiar. It has been used as a set for films and TV. Merlin, Star Wars, Dr Who, Atlantis, Jack the Giant Slayer, Hidden Kingdoms are just a few.
What's there for a toddler? Animals, a toddler race track, indoor maze, willow maze, treasure hunt and the wood. It's not suitable for buggy's so be prepared to carry your little ones a bit.
We decided to follow in famous footsteps and make our own documentary. OK it's still pictures and a bit blurry in places but here is.
Puzzlewood In The Forest Of Dean - A Toddler Explores
|Puzzlewood In The Forest Of Dean - A Toddler Explores|
Look Nanny! Lucy the pig, sheep, cows, rabbits and ponies
|This is the sound a rabbit makes|
We then went looking for the race track, it's inside so even if it's raining the race will go ahead. There is a figure of 8 track and lots of different foot powered cars to ride. We were the only ones there. The other visitors were a little bit bigger so Bear had the track to himself, which meant he could try every car...yes, every one.
|Bear can't wait to try the toddler race track|
We could hear children having fun in the maze next door but decided to go to the wood while Bear was still full of energy.
We were a little apprehensive at first, what if it wasn't suitable for him? What if there were big drops and lots of water and other hazards? We needn't have worried. After a little carry Bear was off exploring the delights of Puzzlewood.
|This way! Come on!|
|What is around the corner?|
|A magical place to explore. What will Bear find?|
|Keep looking Bear|
|Step. Step. Step.|
|The path winds its way up and down through the magical rocks and gorgeous woodland|
|Behind you! The cave is behind you.|
Throughout the wood there are Roman coins to "collect". You need to download the free app from the app store first and have an iPhone. We just liked looking at them all. Bear wanted to collect them for real.
|Ahh treasure, I'll have this.|
And then he found a crocodile seat, not just any old seat but a bouncy one. Grandad bounced and Bear loved it.
|Why have you stopped? Keep bouncing Grandad|
|Bear still exploring even when he's taking a minute to rest.|
We found caves and secret doors and got "lost". Without a toddler you can't really get lost but we didn't want to walk too far and have to carry him all the way back. The route is also marked by little piles of stones.We enjoyed it so much we didn't realise we had been walking for an hour.
|Little piles of stones (bottom left) mark the route|
After our walk around the wood we stopped for a picnic. There are lots of picnic tables, some are inside which would be good on a rainy day. There is a cafe and shop too. But how could we resist a picnic when we had this little chap as a guest?
|Bear sharing his milk with a really friendly cat.|
There's also a play area with a sandpit and lots of benches to rest your weary legs.
|The sandpit and playground is right next to one of the picnic areas.|
Bear loved the willow maze, I didn't get a photo of him in it but he just laughed and ran around. It must be great in the summer when it's covered in leaves.
|Entrance to the willow maze next to the playground.|
We had a fantastic time, we spent over an hour walking through the magical wood. We met people who had come from as far as Israel and London to see this lovely place. We could have stayed longer but Bears little legs were tired and because he had missed his morning nap he was struggling to keep his eyes open.
Grandad and I loved that there was lots and lots of seating around the play areas and picnic sites. There was also lots of mud so we were pleased that we had worn sturdy walking shoes, don't come in flimsy sandals! If it is very windy then the site has to close so please check before travelling.
Entrance is £6.50 adults £5.50 children, toddlers 2 and under are free. Check their website for opening times and family deals.
Just across the road is Perrygrove Railway and if you come on a Tuesday or the weekend you could easily visit both on the same day. We visited on a Thursday so will save the train for another time.
The only thing I would change? Just a little sunshine would have made a wonderful day perfect.
There is so much to do in the area. A great resource is the Wye and Dean Tourism website it has lots of suggestions for everything you need for a great stay in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.
Have you been to Puzzlewood? What was your favourite bit?
*we were given free entry for the purpose of a review. All opinions are honest and my own.
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