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Category: Reviews

  1. The Highway Rat Trail at Moors Valley Country Park

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    It literally isn't Christmas without a Julia Donaldson, adaptation on the telly. This years offering was The Highway Rat, a beautifully animated film, filled with swashbuckling adventure of bandits and biscuits. As the children have gotten older we've not read some of Julia Donaldson's new material so this was a bit of a treat.highway rat trail

    The Highway Rat tells the tale of a ravenous rat who craves buns, biscuits and all things sweet.  Tearing along the highway, he searches for sugary treats to steal, until his sweet tooth leads him to a sticky end.  This sweetly satisfying animation features the voice talents of an all star, home grown cast; David Tennant (AKA the best Dr Who); Rob Brydon (Gavin and Stacey); Frances De La Tour (Into The Woods); Tom Hollander (Pride & Prejudice); and Nina Sosanya (Love Actually). After the first “Stand and Deliver” Olive was hooked and The Highway Rat a firm favourite.highway rat

    With exceptional timing not only did Olive receive a bag full of The Highway Rat goodies, celebrating the release of the DVD (5th February 2018) but it also marked the opening of The Highway Rat trail at Moors Valley. Olive set to work straight away decorating the canvas bag the goodies came in. I love how creative my girls are. She snuggled down to watch the DVD on repeat for a week and you know learn the script word for word!Highway Rat Moors Valley

    The Highway Rat trail activity pack is £3, which contains activity sheets, stickers, string, pencil and a crayon, oh and of course a Highway Rat mask, Olive quickly hijacked that for herself. Don't be fooled by the lovely sunny photos it was freezing! The food stash rubbing activity was really sweet and the posters give the older ones something to read and learn. Megan particularly enjoyed the bird call poster which detailed bird calls “chiff chaff” had her laughing for ages. At Moors Valley the trail ended between part of the play trail providing even more fun and excitement. We started to attach things to the fishing rod but my fingers were just too cold to tie! But we have kept the start and Olive plans to add more and make a fairy wand.highway rat wanted

    The trail took about an hour the trail is 2km long, we didn't do all the on the spot activities as it was a tad chilly. But now we have the pack we will more than likely venture out again. Once we got home we cuddled up to defrost in front of the DVD which is available from all good retailers however it is currently £7 on Amazon

    The Forestry Commission website details all the venues around the UK with The Highway Rat trail plus there are plenty of activity downloads too. With the DVD out in shops it makes for a lovely Half Term activity.

    We were sent a goody bag of The Highway Rat merchandise including the soft toy and DVD. I paid the £3 for the play trail. 


  2. Forbidden Forest | The Making of Harry Potter

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    As avid *possibly obsessive* Harry Potter fans we love nothing more than a trip to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and I literally didn't think it could get any better. But it has! As of the 31st March you can enter the Forbidden Forest! The Forbidden Forest. This is literally like a dream come true. Seriously I kind of wanted to go on my own and well run around pretending to fire Patronous from my Pine wand, with a core of Dragon Heartstring, of course my Patronous would be a wolf (not that I've ever thought about it) For the preview evening I took Charlie, who was literally days away from turning 10. He used this to his advantage, opening the door to the Great Hall, wearing a badge, getting his own Letter to Hogwarts and pressing every button that needed a volunteer. Jeez talk about milking it ;)

     privet drive

    Loved walking through Privet Drive again and we (because yup I'm "borrowing" it for my Harry Potter wall) now own one of these letters. Big thank you to the guide who gave it to Charlie.

    The first thing you notice after leaving the Great Hall is that Hogwarts Gates have moved they now form the entrance to the Forbidden Forest. The attention to detail is phenomenal, as you pass through the gates the temperature drops and the floor is soft and spongy as you venture deep into the forest, filled with 19 enormous trees, each with a diameter of over 12 feet and walk beneath the giant entwined roots. It's something special.


    Each feather has been attached individually by hand

    Rubeus Hagrid’s original costume is displayed, lantern in hand, welcoming you through the Hogwarts Gates deep into the forest. Don't forget to bow as you pass by Buckbeak and if like Ron you are scared of spiders you might want to run! As Aragog, the huge spider, is hiding along with his family of spiderlings.


    I loved learning all about how the Patronous were created using a dog, vest and lights. It's pretty awesome what these guys come up with.

    dobby house

    Oh and did you know Dobby is a tennis ball on a stick! Mind blown! 

    If you are a bit Harry Potter crazy like us then check out our Harry Potter themed party

    Follow Charlie Moo's's board Harry Potter Party on Pinterest.