Favourite foods: roasted fox served with scrambled snake. Distinguishing features: a poisonous wart at the end of his nose.
All we had to do was find him.
We were in Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Nottingham, trying out the brand new Gruffalo Spotters Trail.
A thrilling mix of technology, trees, words and wildlife, it’s the Forestry Commission’s latest brainwave to encourage families to get out and enjoy our naturally beautiful countryside.
Available at 26 forest locations across the UK, you simply download the Gruffalo Spotter app to your phone or iPad, then follow the clues set out on the marked routes.
By pointing your device at the different shaped footprints along the way, the animals from Julia Donaldson’s much-loved children’s book literally spring to life on screen before your very eyes.
Then, for a saveable souvenir of your day out in the woods, the augmented reality app allows you to stand next to the characters and pose for photos.
The Gruffalo Trail is the ideal way to coax screen-happy kids into the fresh air without the prospect of a techremoval-induced tantrum – and it proved to be one of the highlights of our long weekend at the Forest Holidays Sherwood Pines resort right next door.
A collection of 82 topof-the-range lodges, this handsome hideaway is perfect for those who love the tranquillity of the countryside while indulging in modern luxuries.
Our Silver Birch twobedroom cabin with underfloor heating had two bathrooms, a dishwasher, a large flatscreen TV with a choice of more than 100 movies, and a very inviting hot tub out on a sunken private decking area.
Kicking back in the steaming bubbles, the swaying pine trees and passing pheasants became our entertainment, the gentle drumming of woodpeckers and occasional hoot of an owl the soundtrack.
Cooking ceased to be a chore on the gas barbecue out on the terrace. Or, if you’re feeling really lazy, you can ring the Forest Retreat, which has a shop, bar and restaurant, and staff will deliver a curry or pizza banquet with beers or prosecco directly to your accommodation. You can also dial for an in-lodge spa treatment as well as a chef who’ll rustle up something yummy in your own kitchen.
Forest Holidays offers plenty of activities for nature-lovers including a range of expeditions in the woods. There are bug hunts for kids, night hikes for teens and full-on survival training for Bear Grylls wannabes, all with qualified rangers.
You can also have a go at being a real-life Robin Hood with a spot of archery.
Verdon Gorge road France
As keen cyclists, we hired bikes from Sherwood Pines Cycles and set off around the forest’s green route – an easy 5km circular ride designed for families.
There are more varied routes around Sherwood Pines too, such as the challenging 13km Kitchener Trail, as well as paths for walkers and Segways, which are available to hire on-site.
Another popular activity at Sherwood Pines is the Go Ape high ropes course, complete with Tarzan swings and zip-wires.
Plus, for little adventurers, there’s the delightful Mushroom Village play area with Robin Hood’s retreat for older kids.
Vicky with and Charlotte Sherwood Pines is a superbly organised outdoor space, with clear signage, plenty of parking and helpful staff, so you’ll have fun whatever you do.
It even stages gigs in the summer months with Olly Murs, Tom Jones and Elbow playing on June 23, 24 and 25, respectively.
For those keen to find out more about Robin Hood and his merry men, Sherwood Forest is a fiveminute drive away, in the village of Edwinstone.
There are interactive displays in the visitors’ centre detailing all of Robin’s plights, as well as the world famous Major Oak, a 900-year-old tree with an 11metre girth, where Robin is thought to have romanced Maid Marian and hatched his plans to re-distribute the local wealth.
National Trust-managed Clumber Park, with its 3,800 acres of parkland, heath and woods, shop and café, is a short drive away.
And Creswell Crags, a honeycomb of limestone caves, is just 10 miles from the cabins.
FORESTRY Commission England and Magic Light Pictures bring The Gruffalo characters to life in 26 forests across the UK through new augmented reality app, The Gruffalo Spotter.
It is free from the App Store, Google Play and Amazon and needs downloading before your visit. To find your nearest Gruffalo Spotter Trail at one of the Forestry
Commission sites visit forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo Forest Holidays offer short breaks and holidays in luxury cabins and treehouses, in nine forest locations across the UK, operating entirely and exclusively within the Public Forest Estate.
A midweek break at Sherwood Pines for four nights from June 12 in a Copper Beech two-bedroom cabin costs from £495 or Silver Birch two-bedroom from £595 (cheapest hot tub cabin). Call 03330 110 495 or visit forestholidays.co.uk
FOREST Holidays is offering 10% off breaks at all of its nine forest locations. To claim your discount use code STAR17 at time of booking. Code expires on July 31 and can be used on all breaks taken before December 31, 2017.