Are you looking for something to do with your little ones this weekend around Exeter in Devon? How about going Gruffalo Hunting at Haldon Forest?
Found just of the Devon Expressway, Haldon Forest is home to a number of activities (walkers will get use to avoiding the cyclists and Segways), and with the use of the Gruffalo Spotter app, you can now go a hunt the beast for yourself.
By loading up the Gruffalo Spotter app on your phone, and following the Discovery Trail, you can point your phone at special signs on route that will play a quick video clip on your phone, which appears to be taking place right in front of you. (Think something like “Pokemon Go”).
It added something different to our walk around, but our four year olds imagination was already fired up by the idea of looking for the Gruffalo and assorted friends.
To give you a flavour of what to expect, here are some photos from our explore around the imaginative world of Haldon Forest.
Its a little complicated, and not a short story, but we brought a new bike from Halfords for the Little One today.
After the fun of choosing, racing around the store, and walking out Halfords with the new bike, we took it for a test drive down on the Exeter Canal. Double Locks was the obvious place for a cider break rest place.
Working weekends at our place means your weekend is split in two. (Which can sometimes work well). This week, it meant that we got to go on a family shopping trip into Exeter City Centre, during which we stopped for a moment in the Cathedral Green. Where I felt the Exeter Cathedral had a particularly Hogwarts style vibe going on?
Normally if I rave about a eatery in Exeter, it can normally either be found in the city centre, or down near the River Exe. The Snug is found deep within the eastern side of Exeter, around the back of Whipton.
If you have kids, are in this part of Exeter, check this place out, if only for the kids play area. And its probably the kids area that sums up The Snugs selling point so well.
It feels like home.
I don’t have an indoor slide, or indoor soft play at home. But I have space, there are toys (sometimes all over the place), and I have a sofa. The Snug has all these things, with a fantastic sofa overlooking it all. The Sofa supplying a great place to both try and sleep, and show your daughter how a Jack In A Box Works.
Although called The Snug, they have plenty of space for buggies. There is also a “quieter” side of the cafe as well, which is away from the noise of the play area.
Food wise, its great little cafe style menu with daily specials… But I have to admit. I’ve been a few times now, and only ever eaten the breakfast. Make of that what you will, but it is worth noting that they talk about sourcing as much of their menu as locally as they can. Also the menu has gluten free options! Gluten free options are subject to what they have in stock, but I’ve always found the staff friendly and helpful when discussing this with them.
(Edit. The Good Lady Wife has just poked me in the back, and reminded me of their cake.)
Last point. (I feel I am gushing over this place too much). The Decor. Words cant explain it, so I’ll finish off with a few images.
With Christmas now well and truly here, people local to Exeter / Devon will find there are plenty of activities and events happening. As we’ve just had a “pre-Christmas” holiday, here’s a round up of the Christmas Activities we found in the Exeter area.
Devon does farm shops well. Darts Farm near Exeter is an example of a fantastic farm shop. Except it doesn’t just have a vast varity of fruit, veg, and meat. It also has a huge selection of ciders and beers (including gluten free!), all sorts of foodies treats, its own toy shop, and many other gifts.
On the lead up to Christmas it also a place to get your real Christmas tree, and… you may also bump into Father Christmas himself!
Details about when Father Christmas is at Darts Farm (and he’s around alot), can be found at the Darts Farm website.
Because which small kid doesn’t love Christmas lights? If you’re going to look at the Christmas lights in Exeter, make sure you check out, both the lights in the High Street, and Princesshay.
Do you like fresh locally sourced food?
Do you like sampling food and local cider?
Do you like supporting independent businesses? (The answer is yes to this, even if you’ve not answered positively to the above)
Now this is cool. The Exeter Snow Globe is a giant snow globe found around the back of Debenhams in Princesshay. You and friends / family climb into it, and find yourselves transported to the most wintery scene you’ll probably find in Devon. It comes complete with fake snow that you can throw at each other.
Great fun for throwing snow at Daddy!
I cannot write a round up of Christmas activities and events in Exeter, without mentioning the Christmas Markets in the Exeter Cathedral Green. This years markets are in a different layout this year, (due to the Exeter fire at the end of October), but its still ram packed with Christmas presents, good food, Gluhwein, and possibly the best cider in the world. (Ok it possibly isn’t, but the guy manning the Northcotts stall was a bit of a legend, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt).
This is all in the shadow of the beautiful Exeter Cathedral.
Check it out, then have a nose down Gandy Street for other shopping choices. (And more great chocolate!)
Exeter is also filled with many random Christmas markets, Christmas fares, and a fair few hours that are lit up like Blackpool.