Stickman Trail Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

We visited Beechenhurst Lodge in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire to see explore the Forestry Commission’s Stickman Trail. I had been eagerly awaiting the trail, which started on December 1st, anyway but then I was sent a very lovely pack with a parking pass (parking is only £3 anyway) and two activity packs for the boys to do the Stickman Trail (also £3 each). I was also sent a Gruffalo Advent calendar to help me count down the days until Christmas Day – which is when Julia Donaldson tale The Stick Man film is showing at 4;45pm on BBC1.

Stickman Trail Beechenhurst

The Stickman Film

Starring Martin Freeman, Hugh Bonneville, Russell Tovey, Rob Brydon, Sally Hawkins and Jennifer Saunders. More info at on the much loved children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo. STICK MAN tells the tale of a happy go lucky father’s epic journey to make it home in time for Christmas. From Magic Light Pictures, producers of the hugely successful The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Room on the Broom films.

Stickman Trail Beechenhurst

The Stickman Trail Activity Packs

The Stickman Trail Activity Packs contained everything that the boys needed to really enjoy the trail. There are the activity sheets themselves – clearly labelled so you know when to look as you go around the trail – this included using observation skills to spot the characters, thinking about questions, tracing, counting, finding answers from the boards around The Stickman Trail, and most importantly interacting with The Stickman Trail, before finally being shown how to make a Stickman (with 2 sticks and 2 pipe cleaners provided in the bag). For number 8 of the Stickman Trail there were an additional two sheets for rubbings (using the red crayon provided).Stickman Trail Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

The Stickman Trail at Beechenhurst Lodge, Gloucestershire

We happened to go on a special day as it was Xmas Factor – a schools carol singing competition with seasonal refreshments, a brass band and an art tent helping children turn their sticks into Stickmen and Stickwomen. There was even a visit from The Gruffalo himself!!Stickman Trail Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

I have to admit that we only recently bought The Stickman and I haven’t read it yet. My 6 year old was delighted to explain how the trail related to the book as when we went around. I loved the way it was really interactive, gave plenty of explanations to the importance and uses of sticks, as well as creative ways to use and play with them. It was also true to the winter season. The only thing I would say is it would be nice of there was a Stickman carving like The Gruffalo – but I can only imagine how much extra work/money/energy that is – and the children didn’t seem to mind.Stickman Trail Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

The Stickman Trail itself can be as long or short as you wish. We spent almost four hours at Beechenhurst and we have visited many times before and done lots of trails. Don’t be put off if you have small children, as it isn’t that long or far to walk, just that my boys love the freedom of climbing, being loud, playing in mud, discovering new things and generally being able to run about – so really like to spend a long time on each thing. That time  also includes playing in the park, listening to the singing, stopping for refreshments (tea was only £1 a mug) and buying our first real Christmas tree in that time.

To find your local Stickman Trail visit

Trails open December 2015/January 2016.

The Forestry Commission says about Why buy a Real Christmas Tree:

  • Real trees only use about 10% of the materials and 20% of the energy of artificial trees.
  • Their Christmas trees are independently assured by Grown in Britain.
  • If you can’t make it to the forest then you can have one delivered

Stickman Trail Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

I was provided with parking and 2 activity packs to take part in The Stickman Trail, all words and opinions are my own – apart from where stated.

11 thoughts on “Stickman Trail Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean”

  1. This looks like great fun!
    Stick Man is one of my favourite childrens books. I can probably recite the whole story to you without the book these days.

    I cannot wait for the film ….. I didn’t realise it was airing on Christmas Day, must remember to record it!!!

  2. I love Stickman! We were obsessed with Donaldson and Scheffler when it was published and we got it on the very day it came out. It’s such a lovely, heart-warming story as they all are. It looks like the boys had great fun on the trail – it’s a great way of motivating kids to get out and get active even when the weather is cold.
    I can’t wait to watch Stickman on TV on Christmas day now!

  3. We are big fans of Stickman – although when I read it Stickman always has a (very bad) French accent! Can’t wait to for Christmas day!
    Definitely going to do the trail when we get back from Coombe Mill – really useful reading about the activity pack as it sounds like something Freyja would enjoy doing.

  4. The stick Man is a wonderful link up for the Forestry Commission and a lovely way to engage children on forest walks, looks like yours took full advantage of everything on offer there and had a lovely time playing in the trees and along the paths. I love the stick see saw, such a great idea. thank you so much for sharing your day out with #CountryKids

  5. This is great to read – I’m really looking forward to doing the trail but our nearest one doesn’t open until December 28… On the plus side, we can watch it on Christmas Day first as we haven’t read the book yet either. #countrykids

  6. We haven’t done any of the trails for a couple of years. We do like The Stick Man book and are looking forward to the film. Looks like you made the most of it. N and I are usually the opposite- whizz round, and he doesn’t often want to go off piste despite me encouraging him to.


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