Puzzle wood with Captain Ollie the Pirate!

I’d been feeling a little stressed recently due to work, uni work and life in general so Pose in her usual ‘she just gets me’ manner organised a lush day out for us all. The days wombling adventure took us to Puzzle Wood in the Forest of Dean. Given the punishment our son had put us through on Saturday (by just being him amped up to 11), it was a perfect choice as on top of being stunning it also provided ample opportunities to exhaust a marauding three year old. Spoiler, it kind of worked in tiring him out, so small success.

My first impressions of Puzzle Wood is that frankly it’s, and I use this without any twee connotations intended, enchanting. It’s a large mature area of woodland on a multi-period site where the woods are given this surreal aspect by the stone formations that have been mined and shaped since Pre-Roman times. Strange cutaways through moss covered rocks and stones create a webbed pathway in the tranquil forest. You can totally see why it’s been used in so many films and TV shows, it’s stunning. On top of it’s visual aesthetics, it’s also peaceful in the way that only something old and lovingly enhanced can be. The birds and sounds of the woodland give it all a wonderfully peaceful soundscape that just begs you to relax and breathe it all in. That is until Ollie with his foam Pirate sword exploded into it.

Literally, within 30 seconds from walking in the woods entrance he performed the following attrocities: attacked his mum with his sword, attacked me with his sword, attacked a stray Dandelion with his sword, became ‘vocal’ when he had his sword taken away, tried to snatch his sword back, did an offensively loud dinosaur impression whilst trying to get his sword and once he’d rescued his sword, decided that he should prod the sign to the woods in a rather distrusting and overly aggressive manner. Along with being loud, unsuprisingly he was also rather sword orientated at this point of the day. Good luck nursery on Monday as were sending him in with it!

Anyway, after the whirling dervish that was our son had consented to enter the woods to explore, we we’re treated to two hours of magical meandering and exploration. Even though paths go through the whole woodlands and parts are fenced off, it is so easy to forget it all and it honestly feels as though you’re on an adventure. We seemingly climbed every slope, walked along every fallen tree, hopped on every vaguely stepping stone shaped object and generally had the best time. Outside of the various bits of exploration, Ollie took his time to decide how best to approach the rest of the adventure and settled on the strategy of alternating between falling over and charging around.

All in all it was a brilliant day out, and if the woods slightly tranquil nature was lessened for an hour or two, no one seemed to mind overly.


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