We’ve had a couple of wet weekends recently, but decided we weren’t going to let a little rain dampen our spirits.
I’d read about the Forestry Commission’s new Gruffalo Trail, which cleverly uses augmented reality to bring the infamous book characters to life, so we decided to brave the elements and venture to Wendover Woods, in Buckinghamshire.
Luckily, the girls had just been sent Berghaus waterproof anoraks from outdoor clothing experts, BLACKS, so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out too. They have quite different personal styles and can be quite particular about what they wear – in that contrary way kids can be – so I was pleasantly surprised when they both announced they loved them.
These classic parkas are lightweight, yet fully waterproof. They also include an insulated layer, so you’re cosy and dry and ready for everything the English winter throws at you.
I loved the perfect mid-thigh length too – long enough to keep the girls nice and snug, but short enough that they could run and climb freely (a must for Big Sis, who pretty much never keeps still). Lil is usually a pink girl through and through, so I wondered how she’d feel about the dark colour, but she adored it – especially the faux fur-trimmed hood.
We arrived at the woods to find Storm Doris had stripped the trees of every last stubborn bit of foliage, creating a knee-deep leafy heaven for the girls to play in.
And play, they did! They had leaf fights, and piled them up to leap through, and took turns burying each other.
By the time we managed to tear them away they were covered in leaves – they were down the back of their necks, and crumbled into their hair, and wedged into their boots. ‘Look at me,’ Lil Sis shouted, as she attempted to brush them all off, ‘I’m turning into a tree.’
We continued around the trail – unperturbed when it began to drizzle. ‘Are your coats keeping the rain out?’ I asked them both. ‘I can’t feel anything,’ Big Sis replied excitedly. ‘It’s like I’m wearing an umbrella!’
With regular leafy pit stops, and a game of ‘Gruffalo’ (which consisted of OH growling and chasing the girls, while they ran screaming through the woods) it took us just over an hour to track down all the interactive characters on the trail, and loop back to the cafe we’d started from.
By which point the girls were worn out, coated in mud and claiming to be ‘staaaaaaarving’; I’d call that a successful day out, wouldn’t you?
• thank you to Blacks.co.uk for providing the girls’ parka-style waterproof coats