The Gruffalo’s Child

Half term fun for curious explorers

Release date: 16 September 2021

  • Saturday 16 October - Sunday 31 October
  • Gruffalo’s Child interactive trail at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Magical, autumnal landscapes and breath-taking wildlife set the scene
  • Trail builds on phenomenal success of last year’s Gruffalo trail

The Gruffalo’s Child trail, running this autumn, plots an enchanting journey through Kew Gardens and also at Kew’s wild botanic garden, Wakehurst, in Sussex. Adventurous visitors will encounter much-loved characters from author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s book, including, Fox, Owl, Snake, The Gruffalo, the Gruffalo’s Child and of course, the Big Bad Mouse. At Kew Gardens, intrepid explorers of all ages are invited to enjoy a trail across the Gardens, beginning at Brentford Gate, snaking through Kew’s Rhododendron Dell and concluding at the Children’s Garden.  

Throughout their wild journey, visitors will collect clues to cultivate their curiosity in their search for The Gruffalo’s Child and other characters. As part of their adventure, young visitors will get the chance to play and explore in Kew Gardens’ striking natural landscapes - home to 14,000 trees - and will become immersed in the enchanting world of The Gruffalo’s Child, brought to life with stunning planting which replicates the snow-covered landscape of the beloved book.

As well as the Gruffalo’s Child trail, Kew Gardens’ captivating autumn landscape boasts a canopy bursting with autumnal colours, and visitors can also learn more about seasonal produce in Kew’s Kitchen Garden, home to a harvest of beetroots, carrots and giant pumpkins, making a visit to Kew at this time of the year a truly memorable day out for the whole family.

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, will also host its very own trail, winding through Bethlehem Woods and a Tree Trunk Trek. Admission to the Gruffalo’s Child Trail is included with entry to the gardens, which can be pre-booked. Activities on offer at Wakehurst include ‘Make a Stick Buddy’, as well as a Creative Cookery Camp where visitors will explore further into the woodland before returning to base camp for cave building, hands-on nature art and outdoor cooking over a campfire. Both Kew Gardens and Wakehurst will be open early for members on selected dates between 16th – 31st October, full details are available here.  

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: “After the success of last year’s event, we are delighted to be welcoming The Gruffalo’s Child to Kew this autumn, allowing intrepid visitors to immerse themselves in the magic of Donaldson and Scheffler’s beloved imaginative world. This new adventure for 2021 promises to be one for all of the family to enjoy, particularly against the stunning botanical backdrops of both Kew and Wakehurst in the autumn.”

Daryl Shute, Brand Director at Magic Light Pictures, added: “It is so wonderful to enter a second year of this partnership with Kew. Their sites and ethos make the perfect home for The Gruffalo’s Child - a young, curious character who is discovering her environment, adventuring bravely and engaging with nature. Following the success of The Gruffalo Adventures they hosted last year, we know it will be a great activity.”


Admission to the festival is included in the general entrance ticket to the Gardens.

For images, more information or to unsubscribe from this list, please contact the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Press Office on 020 8332 5607 or email

We recommend that visitors pre-book timed entry slots online via the website

At Wakehurst, admission to the Gruffalo Trail is included in the garden entry ticket, which must be booked in advance. Some activities are separately ticketed events which must also be booked and purchased in advance along with garden entry.

Please note that the Gruffalo costumed character will appear on selected dates at Kew Gardens only.

Notes to Editors

About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international and a top London visitor attraction. Kew Gardens’ 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew receives approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support RBG Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.

About Magic Light

Magic Light Pictures is an award-winning brand-building company with a strong background in production, creating rich and imaginative experiences for families worldwide. The company, founded in 2003, directly manages production, licensing, global distribution and marketing. The company balances its brand-building work with film making of the highest quality – including Oscar-nominated animated feature Chico & Rita, comedy thriller Wild Target and natural history documentary One Life. Magic Light’s key brand is The Gruffalo, from the best-selling picture books by author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Magic Light produced the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated half-hour animated films, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, and has sold them to over 180 broadcasters worldwide. Magic Light also runs a cross-category international merchandising programme for The Gruffalo brand, with over 80 licensees and hundreds of products that capture the charm of the original books. Magic Light also produced Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, Zog, The Snail and the Whale and Zog and the Flying Doctors films – which have proved to be award winning half-hour classics that are as loved as The Gruffalo. In 2016 Magic Light produced two half-hours based on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. They were watched by 9.3million viewers and have won numerous awards including a BAFTA for Best Animation. Magic Light's film for BBC One, on Christmas 2021 will be Superworm. Follow on Twitter and Instagram @MagicLightPics