Meeting the woodland creatures of Whitestone, Wye Valley Woodlands

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I recently came across a word which perfectly describes what my little family and I have been enjoying doing for years: going on a “coddiwomple”. A codiwomple simply means “to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination”.

This is something we enjoy doing often, setting off in the car armed with just a picnic, waterproofs, and anticipation of new discoveries, often in the direction of South Wales and Monmouthshire – with often fantastical results!

One such coddiwomple we enjoyed recently was to Whitestone, a picnic area and play park in the Wye Valley woodlands. On driving through the nearby area a few weeks before, my husband had seen the signs for Whitestone Woodlands so we thought we might head there.

However, we had no idea what we would find exactly and what a wonderful surprise it was when we arrived!

For, surrounding the swings, beam and stepping stones in the play park, are woodland creatures, including bats, deer, an owl, an otter, and a mouse, not to mention butterflies, beetles and acorns, fern and pine cones, plus a little woodcutter…all intricately carved into old trees long felled.

The detail which has gone into the carving and creating of the woodland creatures is amazing; can you spot the owl with its dinner? And the ants with theirs?!

I love the different species of bats etched into the trees as well: what detail and character they have!

We ate our picnic on one of the picnic benches which looks onto the play park, soaking in the peace and stillness of the green woodland surrounding us.

Once my children’s tummies were filled, they ventured into the play park to meet the woodland creatures and play on the swings, a beam and stepping stones (all created from naturel materials, of course).

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Once they had spent time in the play park we decided to go on a woodland walk, and what a beautiful one it was: peaceful and green with only the sounds of birds chirping and wind rustling through the trees.

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And, with amazing views…!

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Should you fancy a trip to the woodland creatures and play park of Whitestone, you can find it in the Wye Valley Woodlands, NP16 6NF.

I promise you won’t be disappointed!