The Highway Rat Trail at Moors Valley

One of our highlights of Christmas day was watching the Highway Rat on BBC.

The beautifully animated film, produced by Magic Pictures, is a swashbuckling adventure of bandits and biscuits, written by the UK’s best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Since the film aired we have watched it several times and the book is also a firm favourite, especially with Sebastian.

For more Highway Rat fun, the Forestry Commission have teamed with Magic Light pictures to launch The Highway Rat’ Activity Trails around the country, with our closest one being at Moors Valley Country Park.

Visitors to the trail can explore and enjoy the world of their local woodland wildlife as they follow in the footsteps of a mischievous rodent intent on swiping the sweet treats of every creature he encounters (keep a close eye on your picnics!).

Highway Rat

We picked up an exclusive highway saddle bag for just £3.00, which includes a Highway Rat mask, a trail leaflet with activities to complete, a crayon for the rubbings, a pencil for the activities, some string and stickers. If you don’t have a trail near you, can download some fun activity sheets from the Forestry Commission website to use on your own winter walks.

Highway Rat

The trail is aimed at younger children, but Isaac and Eliza enjoyed  looking out for the characters and joining in the activities as much as Sebastian did.

Highway Rat Trail

The trail follows forest paths and is 2km long (just over one mile). The paths are well-marked out, but the weather has been very wet recently, so they were very slippery and muddy underfoot, so wellies are highly recommended if you are visiting over half term.

Highway Rat Trail

There are several activity boards along the route, along with smaller boards depicting characters from the story, including a squirrel, crow, horse, beaver, duck and the Highway Rat all making an appearance along the way.

Highway Rat Trail

With some of the activity boards, there were some fun rubbings to do, depicting items that the High Rat likes to steal including a slice of cake, a nut, a sweet and a tomato.

The Highway Rat Trail

Others had us hopping, jumping and building things, or just looking and listening out for local wildlife.

Highway Rat

Towards the end of the trail there is a brilliant ‘Wanted’ poster with a cut-out so you can pop your head into the frame.

The Highway Rat

Once you have finished the trail, the great thing about Moors Valley is there is so much more to do, with a play trail featuring some brand new equipment, two play parks, a miniature railway and a large picnic area.

The Highway Rat

The playtrail begins where the Highway trail ends, so the kids shot off in search of their favourite activities.

Moors Valley

We discovered that the snakes had enjoyed a recent makeover and that there were added climbing posts to that area which Isaac couldn’t wait to scale.

Moors Valley

They were suitably impressed by the new, enormous Hawk House!

Hawk House

Of course, they loved their old favourites too!!

Moors Valley

And enjoyed splashing through the muddy puddles, of which there were plenty!

Moors Valley

I highly recommend the Highway Rat Trail at Moors Valley and keep your eyes peeled from some Gruffalo characters at the start of the trail.

Moors Valley

If you loved the Highway Rat film, I have a fabulous giveaway for a merchandise pack which includes the DVD, a cuddly toys, jigsaw and book over on my Chelseamamma Competitions Page.

Country Kids

22 thoughts on “The Highway Rat Trail at Moors Valley

  1. They look like they had a lovely day. We had something like this near us when we were little and use to love doing it. It’s making me want to go on a walk now!

    Ami xxx

  2. How much fun does this trail sound like! I watched the Highway Rat at Christmas and thought it was a lovely little story. I can imagine kids have an amazing time following this trail.

  3. Julia Donaldson is onto a winner, The Highway Rat seems to be everywhere now as well as The Gruffalo!! Wish I could write as well as her. What a great way to keep kids entertained whatever the weather, looks like a really fun day out. #CountryKids

  4. We have seen this last Christmas at BBC! The Forestry Commission is amazing in a way that they always try to make walking/hiking interesting for kids by putting trails like this with characters that they know and love! #countrykids

  5. Well done the Forestry Commission on bringing another great film to life in the woods. I can see this being a huge success just as the Gruffalo trail has been. A very good idea to finish the trail at the play area, the perfect treat for completing the trail. the activity packs sound great value for money, or downloading website sheets is a handy tip too.

    thank you for sharing your visit on #CountryKids

  6. Ooo I’ve yet to get to the highway rat! It looks like an extremely great day out. We’re going on a stick man event with the wildlife trust on Friday and we’re hoping the weather will be okay!! #countrykids

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