Last October we visited the Farmageddon Glow Trail at Whinlatter Forest in the Lake District. I didn’t write about it at the time but with the release of A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon on DVD (affiliate link) last week I thought this was the perfect time to share our experience.
Where can I find a Farmageddon Glow Trail?
There are Farmageddon Glow Trails at 23 Forestry England sites around the country. You can find your nearest one here. We went to Whinlatter Forest which is near Keswick in the Lake District. We’ve been here a few times before. Last time we were there we followed the Gruffalo Trail. If you’ve been to one of the Julia Donaldson Trails before then chances are you’ll find a Farmageddon trail in the same place.
What do we need?
The Farmageddon Glow Trail uses an app (available from the App Store or Google Play) on which you solve puzzles with the help of clues that you find along the trail. You should make sure you have downloaded the app before you arrive in case there isn’t enough signal in the forest.
You then also need a Glow Trail pack which you can purchase for £3.50 at the forest cafe or visitor centre. The pack contains:
- UV pen-torch
- Glow trail activity book
- Wearable Shaun the Sheep ears
- Stickers of all your favourite A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon characters
- Clue sheet
For some reason that I can’t quite remember now we didn’t actually buy the activity pack and managed to do the trail without it. It is possible to work out the clues without the UV torch but it would have been a lot easier (and probably more fun for the boys) if we’d had it so I would recommend buying one.
Farmageddon Glow Trail at Whinlatter Forest
I was expecting the Farmageddon trail to follow the same route as the Gruffalo Trail we’d done before but actually the Zog trail is still in place there, and the Farmageddon trail follows a different route.
The trail at Whinlatter is all on well maintained gravel paths so you would probably be fine in trainers but we always where boots or wellies whenever we go for a walk in the country.
The trail here is suitable for pushchairs but you should check accessibility if you are going to one of the other forests.
The Glow Trail starts just down from the visitor centre with a board that explains the story behind the trail…
An alien spaceship has crashed into Mossingham Forest and Shaun is on a mission to help the inhabitant – a lovable alien called Lu-La.
Lu-La needs your help to charge her communicator so she can call home for rescue. Hurry, she’s being chased by the sinister Agent Red and her hapless helpers the Hazmats!
You then follow the yellow ‘Hazmats’ who show you which way to go to the next clue. Each clue has a little picture which you match to a puzzle on the app. Each clue completed shows your progress towards charging Lu-La’s communicator.
As you are walking between each clue the app will also give you different physical challenges to do. There are things like jumping jacks or running on the spot, as well as others such as touch as many trees as you can in 30 seconds. These were fun and added something extra to the trail.
Will my children enjoy the Farmageddon Glow Trail even if they haven’t seen the film?
Toby and Gabe loved the Farmageddon Glow Trail, even though at the time we hadn’t seen the film. They perhaps would have understood the point of the story a bit more if we had seen it before but it really didn’t matter. They enjoyed following the signs to the next clue and completing the puzzles in the app.
As much as we would love them to just enjoy a walk in the forest because it’s calm and peaceful and full of natural wonder…. they have much more fun if there is some sort of purpose to their walk, and all the different story trails provided by Forestry England certainly do that.
What else is there to see at Whinlatter Forest?
About half way round the Farmageddon trail at Whinlatter you come to a great view point that looks out over Derwent Water, Keswick and the fells beyond.
We stayed at the top a little while for a rest and a snack while enjoying the view. And of course we used the opportunity to take some silly family selfies!
Whinlatter also has a children’s play area near the visitor centre and cafe. If you’ve still got some energy after completing the Glow Trail then there is also cycle hire available, and a Go Ape as well.
Would we recommend the Farmageddon Glow Trail?
Yes, definitely! We’ve previously done the Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Highway Rat and Zog trails and despite not having seen the film of Farmageddon I think this was probably one that the boys enjoyed the most.
The trail we followed is 3 km which was about right for Toby and Gabe at ages 6 and 4. They were starting to get a bit tired towards the end so any longer might have been a bit of a struggle.
The difference with the Farmageddon Glow Trail compared to some of the others is that you actually have a goal. By completing all the clues and charging Lu-La’s communicator you get to watch her fly off in her spaceship in the app. It then also lets you use augmented reality to take a picture with Lu-La and Shaun the Sheep which Toby and Gabe loved!
So, whether you have seen the film or not, the Farmageddon Glow Trail is a fun experience for all the family. And we went to see the film after we had done the trail and we thought that was pretty good too!
Have you done the Glow Trail at any of the other forests? We’d love to hear about it if you have!