Richard Perry

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Our First Family Day Out

  |     |   George, Puzzlewood, Harry Potter, LOTR

Over the weekend we decided it was about time we had our first family day out so, after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing about where to go, we decided against the beach and headed up to the Forest of Dean to visit Puzzlewood. The place was described as a “Magical Day Out in the Forest of Dean”, but what grabbed us most about it was the belief that this part of the Forest of Dean was the inspiration for the Forests of Middle Earth (the mythical land imagined by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings, for those Philistines who don’t know what/where Middle Earth is!).

On arrival, it didn’t look like much. The car park was a field, there was a disused café on the way to the entrance and it seemed very quiet. However, it really was amazing. Once we were inside the ticket office, we were greeted with an array of cakes, chocolate, assorted souvenirs and some very welcoming staff. We bought our tickets and got back out into the sunshine. On the path into the woods there was a straw bale maze which was seriously cool, although George was rather nonplussed by it.

The Puzzlewood itself was definitely a beautiful place to visit. We entered the wood and it does immediately remind you (or at least it reminded us) of some mythical forest from Middle Earth. Strange rock formations coated in moss litter the entire area, there are barriers made out of the trees protecting visitors from various sink holes and chasms all over the place. We slowly meandered our way around Puzzlewood, taking in all the different sites, but George slept like a baby (obviously) until we were about half way round. Was he thinking it was about time to have a look himself? No. He wanted food, and he wanted it right now! It was nice an quiet where we were so we sloped off down one of the many pathways and settled down on a bench for George to eat.

For a change, George went straight back to sleep once he was fed so Rosie and I carried on regardless and enjoyed the rest of our morning. Whilst having lunch in the garden outside the new café we planned out the rest of our day. Next stop Gloucester Cathedral, a filming location for some corridors in the Harry Potter films including the one where the “The chamber of secrets has been opened, enemies of the heir … beware” message was written on the wall.

When we arrived we were greeted by an art exhibition and a full concert rehearsal :smiley:. It was brilliant. Whilst we wandered around the halls, we got a preview of the concert due to be held on Saturday evening. It really gave the cathedral a lively atmosphere. Typically, just as we were leaving, the choir and orchestra were coming to a crescendo and George was sleeping happily in his pram. However, we needn’t have worried as George was completely unphased by the whole thing and continued to enjoy his afternoon nap!

We finished up our first family day out with scones and cream at Gloucester Quays. It was a great day out, but hopefully George will stay awake for more of the next one :smiley:

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