Nature Trails for Kids

It’s always great to have somewhere fun to go when trying to get the kids outdoors. It gives the kids the willingness to participate in actually getting dressed and out of the door at least!

Not only do you get to stroll around in these beautiful parks, you also get to keep the mum guilt at bay (for a few minutes at least) knowing that the kids are getting exercise, fresh air and having fun!

Here in Havering, we are fortunate to be surrounded by great nature trails, so here’s a roundup of them…

The Gruffalo Trail – Thorndon Park

Situated in Thorndon Park the Gruffalo trail is very popular and it’s easy to see why. You can purchase a map to guide you around and the kids will love finding the mouse, fox, owl, snake, Gruffalo and Gruffalo’s child! If you are feeling adventurous Thorndon has so much more to offer, many paths to take and lots to explore too!!

  • It is suitable for all ages
  • Path is fine for a buggy
  • Takes approx an hour – we did it in an hour and a half with my 2yr old walking the whole way!
  • Car park charges – Up to 1 hour £2, Up to 3 hours £4, Over 3 hours £550p for a trail guide – optional
  • Lovely cafe for coffee and cake after, also a nice picnic area.

More Info here.

Stickman Trail – Weald Country Park

The Stickman trail is another really popular one, we do enjoy exploring Weald park. The trail is much more spread out than some of the others, designed to be stumbled upon. There are so many places to discover on the trail, we have done it over two days before, often getting distracted building shelters in the woods! The structures are really lovely though, the kids loved all of them, although my heart skipped a beat when they wanted to climb the large structure with the slide! It’s a bit on the big side and I’m scared of heights! But daddy didn’t mind as you can see!

  • Mixed age range
  • Some parts are just grass, so might make taking a buggy harder.It is approx 2km in length.
  • Car Park charges – Up to 1 hour £2, Up to 3 hours £4, Over 3 hours £5
  • Lovely little cafe for coffee and cake after

More info here.

The Wind in the Willows Trail – Hanningfield Reservoir

We love this trail, it’s so beautiful next to the water, there are also bird watching hides you can go in (as long ass you’re quiet!) At the end of the trail when you find toad there is a great little pond, home to a few ducks, where you can sit and have lunch before walking back, or you could visit their cafe for some lovely cake! for just £1 you can get your trail sheet and a crayon to borrow so the kids can do the brass rubbings, which they will love!

  • Perfect for Buggies
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Takes approx 40 minutes (with a 2yr old)No car park chargesGreat cafe
  • Trail guide for £1 – optional

More info here.

The Peter Rabbit Trail – Langdon Nature Reserve

This is a really nice trail, fun to walk around and explore. It has a really nice play area at the end, the kids love it! There’s also a picnic area, or of course a cafe if you fancy a slice of cake or coffee (I know I mention this a lot but I think we all know coffee and cake are needed after a trail) The Trail is path all the way around, so easy access for buggies and you even get to walk around the lake!

  • Great for buggies
  • Suitable for all ages
  • No car park charges
  • Takes approx 45 minutes
  • 50p for the activity sheet

More info here.

The Highway Rat Trail – Thames Chase

This trail offers more in the way of play structures with some really fun climbing opportunities. The Highway Rat trail is fairly new, but already a favourite here. So much to discover and explore on the way around, they even have teepees in the woods! I would say it’s one of the longer trails, but the path is perfect for small feet and buggies. My two had so much fun exploring the play structures although sometimes the 2yr old needed help getting up/down and one structure, in particular, goes quite high, so be prepared to get in there with them!

  • Great for buggies
  • Suitable for all ages (but younger ones may need help on bigger structures)
  • Car Park charges – £1 all day
  • Takes approx 60 minutes
  • Activity pack – £3
  • Great cafe and play area (swings etc)

More info here.

Wow! All of these great trails…which one will you visit first?

Article and images originally from the website Free Rein Family. Used with permission