Destination UK

The Highway Rat Trail at Moors Valley

Posted on
February 8, 2018

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

  1. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    February 8, 2018

    We love Moors Valley and My three would love this. We watched it at Christmas and as with all her stories my trio were enthralled so to do the trail would be fab

  2. Reply

    Mayah Camara

    February 8, 2018

    I am all for fun adventurous activities that keep the kids busy and make for some fun family time. I’ll defo have to share this post with my friends who have kids!

  3. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    February 9, 2018

    My kids will enjoy this trail activity. Looks like good fun.

  4. Reply


    February 9, 2018

    That sounds like such a great day out, great fun and also tires them out for a great nights sleep lol

  5. Reply

    Emily Leary

    February 9, 2018

    What a great way to bring The Highway Rat story to life via the The Forestry Commision’s Activity Trails. Lovely photos and it looks such fun!

  6. Reply

    Ami Rose

    February 9, 2018

    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

  7. Reply

    Melanie williams

    February 9, 2018

    What a great idea. I love that it is out doors and that they have made in interactive for the kids, so it engages them x

  8. Reply

    Rebecca Smith

    February 9, 2018

    I wish we lived closer – Jack adores The Highway Rat! This looks like so much fun!

  9. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    February 9, 2018

    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.

  10. Reply

    Baby Isabella

    February 9, 2018

    We love visiting Moors Valley and its great that they have introduced a new trail. We loved watching the Highway Rat on telly over Christmas x

  11. Reply

    melissa major

    February 9, 2018

    Looks like such a fun trail, we definitely need to go to the highway rat trail one day

  12. Reply

    Debbie Nicholas

    February 10, 2018

    This looks great we have a gruffalo trail here and the kids love it.

  13. Reply


    February 10, 2018

    I suspect my Nephew would be a huge fun of The Highway Rat x

  14. Reply


    February 11, 2018

    We want to take a trip here to do this, great pictures and look like lots of fun was had!

  15. Reply

    Kids of the Wild

    February 11, 2018

    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

  16. Reply

    Zena's Suitcase

    February 11, 2018

    The Highway rat trail looks so much fun and a great way of getting kids to explore the outdoors, I’m going to find out if there is one near us as the kids love the book and the film

  17. Reply

    London Mumma

    February 12, 2018

    We love a good trail, great for imagination plus educational too. Nothing better than family fun exploring.

  18. Reply

    Merlinda Little

    February 12, 2018

    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

  19. Reply

    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    February 13, 2018

    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

  20. Reply

    Sara | mumturnedmom

    February 14, 2018

    These trails always look like so much fun, and such a great way to get everyone out walking in the forests. That hawk house is awesome! #countrykids

  21. Reply

    Shiju Sugunan

    February 14, 2018

    Hehe loved the fun photos. Awesome post!

  22. Reply

    Karen | TwoTinyHands

    February 14, 2018

    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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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog