The New Zog Trail & Gruffalo Sculptures at Kielder

Thanks to our writer Gaia for this post which is based on a visit in October 2022 when the trail had a Superworm Trail. This has now ended and will change to a Zog trail at the end of January 2023.

I have added a little update at the start of this post which shares information about the Zog Trail but please do read the rest of the post too as it will give you an idea of what to expect + other recommendations for places to visit in the area. The trails are basically always the same but with different characters and activities. 

The wooden sculptures are always there and a permanent features. 

Please always check with venues direct for the most up to date info before heading out. 


The Superworm Trail & Gruffalo Sculptures at Kielder


The New Zog Trail at Kielder -  all you need to know 


  • FEBRUARY HALF TERM UPDATE - 
UPDATE - the Zog trail is now opening at Kielder in April 2023. The Hamsterley & Guisborough trails are now open.

  • A FREE Zog trail launches on 30 January 2023 (activity pack is £4 but you don’t have to buy it). Edit to add - Forestry commission have been in touch to say that the launch has been slightly delayed and will not be available on 30 January. Please check with their websites for updates before heading out. 

  • Well signposted with themed arrows pointing the way

  • Lots to see with themed activity boards along the way

  • Gruffalo trail sculptures are still there too, and there are things like bird hides to check out

  • Accessibility - The first half is assisted wheelchair and buggy friendly (and it ends up at the car park)

  • This trail is aimed at families with children aged 3-9, but can be enjoyed by all

  • Dogs are allowed off lead in the forest as long as you can call them back when required. They ask that you keep dogs on lead in busier areas and near livestock. 

The photo credits in this section are to Forestry Commission. 

Launching on 30 January 2023, this brand new Zog trail will be available to enjoy at Kielder (there will also be a Zog trail at Hamsterley Forest and several other Forestry Commission sites too). 

You can expect a family activity trail which runs alongside a free interactive app (deleloped by arcade - make sure you download the app before heading to Kielder as the signal isn't great) which will encourage little dragons how to care for the forest and trees around them. More info on the app below. 

The family trail and interactive app will inspire play in England's forests and there will be the chance to interactive with Zog and some of his fellow students as you progress through the trail. 

New Zog Trail at Kielder Forest

A Zog activity pack is available for £4 from Kielder Visitor Centre. You can complete the trail without purchasing a bag but it is a nice addition. Inside you will find: 

  • Craft bag to colour in 
  • Dragon wings to decorate and wear 
  • Zog glasses 
  • Stickers 
  • Trail leaflet 
  • Pencil and crayon 

New Zog Trail at Kielder Forest


The activity bag allows children to channel their inner Zog by donning their own dragon wings and completing challenges along the trail to collect stars. They can wear their magic glasses to hunt for hidden letters to solve the word puzzle and complete a crayon rubbing to get their certificate and a photo with Zog. 




To compliment the trail and take your training to the next level, the brand new augmented reality app 'Zog : A Forest Adventure' features lots of bonus activities including roar-ometer, a dance challenge and the chance to become Zog. 

New Zog Trail at Kielder Forest






Here is the full list of participating sites: 

  1. Haldon Forest Park, Devon
  2. Cardinham Woods, Cornwall
  3. Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset
  4. Alice Holt Forest, Surrey
  5. Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
  6. Grizedale Forest, Lake District
  7. Whinlatter Forest, Cumbia
  8. Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
  9. Wyre Forest, Worcestershire
  10. Haughmond Hill, Shropshire
  11. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
  12. Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire
  13. Guisborough Forest, North Yorkshire
  14. Delamere Forest, Cheshire
  15. Fineshade Woods, Northamptonshire
  16. Hicks Lodge, Leicestershire
  17. Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire
  18. Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
  19. Salcey Forest, Northampton
  20. Jeskyns Community Woodland, Kent
  21. Hamsterley Forest, Durham
  22. Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire
  23. Thames Chase Community Forest, London
  24. Gisburn Forest, Lancashire
  25. High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Suffolk
  26. Kielder Forest, Northumberland

New Zog Trail at Kielder Forest




Back to Gaia and their review of the Superworm Trail from 2022 which will give you an idea of what to expect from the Zog trail + practical info including where to park / eat and what else to do with kids at Kielder..........






Kielder Castle Diner

Pin Me 

New Free Zog Trail at Kielder Forest




Address / Parking Postcode: Superworm Trail, Kielder Castle Visitor Centre | Kielder | Northumberland | NE48 1ER. 

Parking is charged at £2 per hour or £5 all day, and can be used in all Kielder car parks. Find out more about parking at Kielder here.  Use Kielder Castle Car Park for the trail (postcode above). 


Superworm Trail


The Superworm Trail at Kielder has been on our list of places to visit for a while, as my kids are big fans of the Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler book.

We headed up to Kielder on a sunny autumnal day to check it out. It's about a 1.15 hr drive from Newcastle and our petrol light came on halfway up and there - I panicked a little as there aren't many petrol stations en route so I headed through Bellingham to fill up.

There's also a self service petrol station opposite Kielder Castle which I now know for next time! 

UPDATE TO ADD, KIELDER CASTLE CATERING CLOSED FOR THE SEASON ON 31 OCT 2022. 


We parked in the car park (£5 for all day parking) and headed to the castle to get our activity packs. 'Dukes Diner' the food truck outside the castle sells them as well as burgers, chips, hot dogs and coffees. I grabbed a flat white and 2 activity packs which cost £3.50 each.



Superworm Trail Pack




The pack contains a few goodies including a forest themed superhero mask which kids can decorate with stickers - my 4 year old loved this and wore it the whole time we did the trail.


There's colouring in, animal fact cards and the Superworm Trail activity booklet. My almost 8 year old son wasn't interested in the activity pack at all, so in retrospect one pack between the 2 of them would've been fine! You can also do the trail for free without a pack, if you like. 

Superworm Trail Start


We quickly found the start of the trail which is just to the left of the castle and the trail follows the 'Dukes Way' walking route which is 1.5 miles long and takes around an hour.






Gruffalo Sculpture at Kielder



There's the option to cut it short through the car park about ⅔ of the way round (which we inadvertently ended up doing but more on that later!)


The walk is well marked with superworm themed arrows marking the way. It's mostly flat with a few gentle hills which were doable for little legs, and there are lots of things to see along the way.



My kids loved throwing sticks in the river, spotting Gruffalo statues which are still dotted around the woods and trying to spot birds and squirrels in the bird hide. 

Kielder Bird Hide



There are 6 Superworm stations dotted around the walk to find. Each one has a different animal from the story on it and facts about them.



You can collect a crayon rubbing at each one using the crayon and booklet in the activity pack. There's extra activity to do at each station too.



My 4 year old loved spotting the animals and seeing the picture appear when she rubbed her crayon over the page. My almost 8 year old got involved top although he was more interested in running through the woods and throwing sticks and stones about! 


When we got to Superworm himself there was a section of the walk roped off due to a mountain biking event so we couldn't find the final two animals on the trail which was a pity.

There was nothing to say this was the case until the end of the walk and it appeared this was just for the special event over the weekend of 15-16 October. 

By this point we were back at the car park and the kids had had enough and were ready for the next activity - the maze.


Food & Drink


UPDATE TO ADD, KIELDER CASTLE CATERING CLOSED FOR THE SEASON ON 31 OCT 2022. PLEASE SEE THEIR PAGE FOR 2023 OPENING DATES. 

There are plenty of options when it comes to food and drink – there’s Dukes Diner selling breakfast rolls, burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries, hot drinks etc at the Castle, which you can eat sitting on benches outside (burgers from £6, hot dog £5, fries from £4.50).

There’s also a pizzeria in the courtyard serving pizzas (from £8) and nachos (from £5), again this is outdoor seating.


Kielder Pizzeria



There’s a pub round the corner called The Anglers Arms which is family and dog friendly and a few minutes down the road is Kielder Waterside which has a cafĂ© and restaurant too (and a free softplay and bouncy cushion! More on that later).

You could also head along to Bellingham Tea Rooms and dine inside a converted train carriage.


We took a picnic which we ate in the bird hide as we were the only ones there and it was a windy day. There are picnic benches at the castle and benches dotted around outside to sit at too.


Other things to do at Kielder


After we’d completed the Superworm trail we checked out the Minotaur maze, which is within walking distance, just below the castle.

Minotaur Maze at Kielder





The kids loved running round trying the find the centre, it’s a great add-on activity. We then hopped in the car and headed to Kielder Waterside, which is 5 minutes drive from the Castle.


Kielder Waterside


We headed to the restaurant which has a games room and a mini softplay, free if you’re a guest of the park or buying food/drinks. I had a pot of tea, the kids had juice and we shared a portion of chips to keep us going till tea time.


Kielder Waterside Softplay




They loved the softplay (it says it’s under 6’s as it is quite small but there were a few bigger ones on it).

They also had a go on the bouncy cushion outside. There is lots more to do here – see this post for details: 30 of the Best Things to do at Kielder with Kids


Before we left the kids spent half an hour on the new playpark which is great, with a big castle to climb on and slide off as well as obstacle courses and swings etc.  

Kielder Waterside New Playground



New playground at Kielder Waterside









We had a great day at Kielder, the Superworm trail is fun for the kids and they really loved the maze and Kielder Waterside too.


I’d say the Superworm trail will fill 1.5 hours, and to combine it with another couple of activities like we did for a great day out.


Where can you buy Superworm Trail Activity Packs?


Trail activity packs can be purchased at Dukes Diner outside Kielder Castle (closed from 31 Oct 2022), Anglers Arms in Kielder Village (closed the first week in November), Kielder Waterside and Bellingham Post Office during opening times and cost just £3.50.






Accessibility


Easy then Moderate. The first half is assisted wheelchair and buggy friendly, second half is moderate with sharp decent and staggered steps.


Age


This trail is aimed at families with children aged 3-9, but can be enjoyed by all.


Other posts you may enjoy: 

Share:

No comments

Post a Comment

I'd love you to Tweet your thoughts about this post (@nefamilyfun) or leave a comment over on my Facebook page (fb.com/NeFamilyFun) - Sam x

© North East Family Fun | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig